May 18, 2018

Just read your piece in the Costa Blanca News. As usual very interesting and informative.
However when talking about tow bars it does beg one question. How can you get an after-market tow bar incorporated on to the matriculation document when changing to Spanish number plates? What you are saying is that if the car was not originally fitted with a factory tow bar you will have to dismantle the tow bar off the vehicle when it has the inspection. How can you legally fit it back on again so that it is reflected on the new matriculation document?

Kind regards
Mr Denzil Franklin

Hello Denzil.
Thank you for your email and kind words
When a vehicle is imported into Spain it should match the original build spec’ i.e. homologation. Typically, “bolt-ons” such as tow bars, side runners, bull bars etc. are optional extras and therefore not part of the original spec’. Certain vehicles, such as Land Rovers, have tow bars that are part of the homologation, so no problem
Non-spec’ items have to be removed at the time of the import standard ITV inspection
However, where a vehicle is being imported as a “personal possession” when someone comes to live in Spain, the rulebook is set to one side and approved parts can remain on the vehicle. Note that this is a simplification of a more complex answer
Tow bars can be fitted to any suitable Spanish vehicle. This has to be undertaken at a recognised workshop, as they are obliged to fit a tow bar approved by the vehicle manufacturer, provide specifications regarding the appliance and its fitting instructions. After this, the details of the tow bar are added to the ‘ficha tecnica’ (ITV card) by an ITV station
Whether a workshop would remove and fit the same tow bar prior to and after the original ITV inspection would be their call
I hope that this helps, but please do not hesitate to get back to me if unsure

Graham Shelton

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