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Topic: Driving a english car in spain... 6 months!?
User: suffolknick (view profile)29 Apr 2008 - 13:22


A friend and I have been traveling and investigating the possibility of purchasing property in northern spain for the last month and we are currently based in oviedo. One (of many!) problem we have encountered is the details and law surrounding how long we can affectively use the car in spain without having to import the vehicle. We have encountered most English sites that state that we can use it for up to 6 months in any 1 year but nothing concrete about this has been found on any official spanish goverment websites written in spanish or otherwise, we can both speak OK spanish but long searches have been fruitless. We also very interested to find out how us becoming residents would effect the permisability of us using the car within this 6 month period. Once again extensive searching has showed us that this is quite a grey area as this matter seems to exist between law of the road and law of residence. Some sites have indicated that once residency has been applied for, you are no permitted to drive any foreign vehicle (assuming that includes your own within 6 months of entering spain) whilst car insurance companies have insured us that we can drive the car for upto 6 months no matter whether you have applied for or obtained residency…

Whilst i really want to hear everyones opiniones, we have found quite alot about this on the web but like i said, nothing concrete on websites such as and, so if anyone could point us to a link it would be much appreciated!


User: granaina (view profile)2 May 2008 - 11:11
the laws regarding residency have changed - mainly in that you no longer apply for residency as an EU citizen, so some of these rules are out of date as far as you are concerned (I am assuming you come from suffolk, england!). but it is true that spanish residents must not drive foreign-registered cars in spain.

The sites you've found are correct - you need to import your car after 6 months (but I don't think there is a government site which lists all laws). lots of expats don't do this (i.e. they break the law), but it is difficult to insure a british car in spain so is worth importing if you live there anyway. also you may have discovered that those UK plates are a little bit like a big sign on the back of your car which says "foreign driver: cut me up"

If you need concrete evidence then you'll need to write to the ministerio de interior.

User: granaina (view profile)2 May 2008 - 11:22
sorry - should have pointed out that some companies will insure british cars in spain, but they don't care whether you comply with spanish law or not as long as you have an MOT.

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