Bringing a classic car over


I want to bring a classic car to Spain and it’s 27 years old.
Do the same rules apply regarding the amount required for the change of plates or are there allowances for an old car? Not sure if there is also a tax sum payable each year. This car will only be used on occasions.

Geoffrey Spinks

Exceptionally, we forwarded your enquiry to our former Mediterranean Motoring columnist Graham Shelton, who has kindly taken time off from his retirement to reply.

Dear sir
Thank you for your letter to Costa News regarding historic vehicles. Historic vehicles, which are defined as more than 25 years old, can be imported into Spain “as is”, in other words in their original condition.
This means that they do not have to comply with modern standards such as indicators, emissions, seatbelts, rear fog lights, etc. However, the headlights must be suitable for continental roads.
The process starts by a thorough recording of all details of the vehicle and results in a document unique to the vehicle showing all of its mechanical details and characteristics. Additionally, an inspector from an engineering “laboratory” also inspects the car to confirm that it is historic. The first two inspections can normally take place at your home.
You will also need to be a member of a specialist car club who will also confirm the car’s authenticity.
The documents gathered are then sent to the Industry Ministry who let them gather dust for a while before sending an acceptance letter to your home.
Once all of the papers are ready, after several months the vehicle is subject to a physical ITV inspection (MOT) to ensure that it is roadworthy. Depending upon the type of car and its age, subsequent inspections are then every three, four or five years, as opposed to annually for cars over 10 years old registered in the normal way.
Registration tax is due on almost all vehicles coming into Spain. The value for this type of vehicle is “market value”, which we normally deduce from websites, naturally finding a similar model at the lowest value.
For example, if the car were valued at €5,000, the tax is levied at 12% of this, which would be €600.
Road tax is not normally levied on historic vehicles after the first year. All of the processes for registering historic vehicles must take place in the region in which you live, so if you are in the Valencia or Murcia region we can help directly.

Graham Shelton

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