How to buy a car in Spain

As one of the biggest real estate companies on the Costa del Sol we have many international clients. After buying the dream home on the Costa del Sol the next step is often to buy a car. So one question that pops up regularly to StartGroup´s sales team is “How do we buy a car in Spain? What is the process? How do I know it is safe to buy a car in Spain?”

The system in Spain when it comes to buying a car is not very complicated. However it could be very different from the country our clients come from, like the Scandinavian countries, the UK or Germany. 

One thing to remember is that changing name on documents will always cost money hence we alway recommend to leave this process to a gestor or a person with experience to deal with this. 

In some countries the name change on documents is free, however Spain compensates with lower road tax than many of the other European countries.

Below you will find some tips for when you buy a car from a private individual, or a small dealership. However if you buy a new car most of the time all the services and registrations are taken care of for you. 

Another good way of buying cars is using one of the big second hand dealerships that are online, such as Using one of these services is quite easy, the car gets delivered to your door and you get guarantees on all cars, no matter the age. 

  1. Before you start looking for a car, you need to decide what type of car you want to buy. Consider your budget, your needs, and your preferences.
  2. You can buy a car from a dealership or a private seller. Look for reputable dealerships or private sellers online, in classified ads, or through word of mouth.
  3. When you find a car that you are interested in, inspect it thoroughly. Check the condition of the exterior, interior, tires, brakes, and engine. Take it for a test drive to see how it handles.
  4. Once you are satisfied with the condition of the car, negotiate the price with the seller. You can do some research online to get an idea of how much the car is worth.
  5. If you need to finance the car, you can do so through a bank or a car dealership. Compare the interest rates and terms of different lenders to find the best deal.
  6. Complete the paperwork: Once you have agreed on the price and financing, you need to complete the paperwork. This includes the transfer of ownership, registration, and insurance.
  7. Pay the taxes you will need to pay the appropriate taxes and fees for the purchase of the car. These may include value-added tax (VAT), transfer tax, and registration fees.
  8. After completing the paperwork and paying the taxes, you will receive the car’s documents ( “ficha tecnica” and “permiso de circulation”), including the registration certificate. 
  9. Congratulations, you are now the proud owner of a new car in Spain. Make sure to obtain the necessary licences and permits to legally drive the car on Spanish roads.

Note that the above steps may vary depending on whether you are buying a new or used car, and whether you are buying from a dealership or a private seller.