How to register a bike in Spain

How to register a bike in Spain


How to register a bike in Spain

By Marc Abbott -

Riding Skills

 08 December 2011 10:54

I am going over to live in Spain and I want to re-register my bike over there? Is this possible?

Marc Tinney, London

Yes it is, but it is a lengthy and potentially expensive process. Anyone importing a bike to Spain has to be aware that there are 17 autonomous communities (kind of regional governments) who can and do make their own laws. Wherever the vehicle owner has decided to reside they will be governed by the laws of one of these communities in addition to Spanish law. As a consequence there is no Spanish DVLA equivalent that deals with the importation of vehicles and instead the importer has to liaise with several local government departments. If you choose to live for example in Catalonia or Valencia or one of the other regions having its own language, even your ability to speak Spanish may not always smooth the way!

MCN reader Les Elford went through the process this summer and this is his advice: “Unless cost is not an issue do as much of the importation process as possible without seeking professional advice and/or assistance. I had an email quotation of 800 Euros to undertake the importation process on my behalf from an English-speaking business that I found on the Internet. Having subsequently spoken to other people that figure seems to be competitive with similar offers advertised. But it makes sense to get at least two written quotations of the costs involved before agreeing to use their expertise.

“You will need to obtain a Certificate of Conformity (COC) from the bike manufacturer. This shouldn’t be a problem for newer vehicles (2006 to 2007 seems to be the cut-off point) which should all have EU Type Approval. The alternative to COC. may be to obtain a Certificate of Compliance from the manufacturer; however this isn’t the same as type approval and may not be recognised as such in Spain.

“Next up is to obtain a “Ficha Technica” document which cross references the information from the Certificate of Conformity or Compliance and ensures that the bike still holds true to the original technical specification. Yup, modifications are a potential nightmare! My advice is to avoid the importation of a modified bike, or a grey import, if you want an easy life as it’s possible that the bike will have to be returned to original specification before you can proceed. TUV Rheinland has offices in many Spanish regions that will provide a Change of Residence Ficha Technica for a very reasonable 103 Euros.

“Clutching the Ficha Technica, the bike’s V5, N.I.E. (Spanish identity number for foreigners) and Empadronimiento document, obtained from the Town Hall and proving Spanish residence, head for the ITV centre (Spanish MoT test centre) and present the bike for testing. Make sure that there are photocopies of all these documents because at this stage the Ficha Technica and V5 originals may be retained by the test centre. If all goes well the bike will pass the test and a certificate marked “Favorable” will be issued. The ITV test will ensure that the light/s dip to the right (no beam deflectors allowed), the speedo shows KPH as well as MPH, the exhaust output, noise and emissions, are compliant and the brakes and suspension work effectively on a rolling road. The pass document can be exchanged in a few days for a “Tarjeta De Inspeccion Tecnica De Vehiculos” for an outlay of 86.99 Euros. This fee relates to the change of residence status and the test is valid for two years. Subsequent ITV tests are significantly cheaper once you have the “Tarjeta”.

“The accumulated documents now have to be presented to the local authorities to pay, firstly, the local road tax  at the Town Hall 10.60 Euros for the year and, secondly, the Modelo 576 – for 140.13 Euros. This is a single payment first registration tax in respect of importing the bike. The first registration tax is based on the value of the bike and its CO2 emissions so the amount payable will vary accordingly.

“With receipts for these payments you now head to the Traffico office, likely to be located in the nearest large town or city and fill in a “Solitud de Matriculacion” form. This form must be accompanied by all of the documents accumulated so far. If everything is in order a “Permiso De Circulacion” will be issued within a few days at a cost of 91.80 Euros. This document provides the new registration number and you can then go to the local plate provider and pay 12 Euros to have the plate supplied.

“The total cost of the above, in Valencia, was 444.52 Euros. However, there are experts called ‘Gestors’, a professional go-between with extensive knowledge of Spanish bureaucracy who can be invaluable when dealing with the authorities. They will charge anything from 50 to 100 Euros depending on how much of thetaxation and registration work they carry out.

Was it worth the time and effort? Yes, because, as a Spanish resident, after 30 days the bike could not be legally used on UK plates. (Non-residents can use vehicles for six months at a time in Spain) Also, having researched Spanishsecond-hand bike prices, which are much higher than the UK, I didn’t lose money by importing the bike myself and paying to get it legal for Spanish use.”