Driving in Spain – Mistake #2: Not Having Your Vehicle Documentation in Order

Driving in Spain Mistake #2

This is the second article of a series of seven articles, which are based on my book “Driving in Spain: How to Avoid the 7 Biggest Mistakes Most Foreigners Make”.


Driving in Spain – Mistake #2: Not Having Your Vehicle Documentation in Order

The documentation required for foreign vehicles:

  • Documents that prove you are the owner of the car.
  • Car Insurance.
  • A certificate stating that the car is in good condition (in Spain this is called “ITV – Inspección Técnica de Vehículos”, Vehicle Technical Inspection).

Spanish vehicles must only carry the following:

  • Logbook
  • ITV Card + a sticker (if applicable) properly fixed in the upper right-hand corner of the windscreen.

For several years, keeping a receipt for your car insurance has not been compulsory, as the police forces can now check it digitally. This is only for Spanish cars. However, it is recommended you have a copy.

I print a receipt each year after paying the insurance online and put it along with the log book and ITV.

If you get stopped, it will always be much faster if the police or Guardia Civil check the receipt, rather than having to do it themselves.

ITV sign Spain

(Inspección Técnica de Vehículos)


How to avoid this mistake

Check that your car’s documents are in order. And keep the following in mind:

  • If you lose your Spanish car documentation, you can request a copy at your nearest DGT
  • Was the car’s documentation stolen? Then, you must provide a copy of a police report to obtain a duplicate from the DGT.
  • When driving a foreign car in Spain, ask about the insurance cover you have in this country. I am sure I am right in saying that you don’t want to get unexpected surprises in case of accident.
  • If you plan to live in Spain and keep your foreign car, you will have to register your car, undertake the ITV and change the licence plates (this process can be done either as a resident or non-resident).
  • Do not drive with your country’s vehicle test certificate expired.
  • Do not drive with out-of-date insurance. The fine is €1500.
  • Driving with Spanish ITV which has expired is a €200 fine for Spanish cars.




Click on the image please:

How to exchange driving licence in Spain


Like me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/torreviejatranslation


Share on Facebook if you think this article can be interesting for your contacts:

Opt In Image
5 Top Tips You Must Know Before You Move to Spain





  1. Mrs Rita smith says

    We bought a second hand car filled out all the appropriate documents but the previous owner has not registered the chance of ownership and we can’t get in touch with him to get the logbook back is there anything we can do I would be very grateful for any help you can give me regard

    • David Ruiz says

      Hi there,

      I would go to trafico to deregister the car and then to the Guardia Civil to make a report, just in case the other person does something with the car being you the legal owner.

      I hope this helps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *