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Buying a car in Spain as an expat

Buying a car in Spain as an expat Image

November 06, 2014

Expat communities are often nestled in such beautiful locations that people forget about the rest of the country, or use cheap airlines to jump from spot to spot. However, these people miss out on the scenic grandeur of Spain’s open roads. Buying a car in Spain is great way for expats to see the country and maintain the sense of freedom they felt in their home country.

The idea of buying a car in what can be quite a bureaucratic culture, and a foreign one at that, can be daunting, but it’s worth the time and effort. First, you should make sure that you can produce either your Permiso de Residencia (Residence Permit) or your escrituras (house deeds or rental contract of at least a year).

A Certificado de Empadronamiento may be required, as will the last three months of your pay-slips if financing is needed. You should also consider hiring a gestor or gestoria to deal with the administrative bureaucracy on your behalf, and to help negotiate the language barrier. You can choose to buy from a dealer or a private citizen. Buying from a private seller means that you’ll have more room for negotiation, but you’ll get no warranty or guarantee and will have to draw up the paperwork yourself. This means creating a Contrato de Compraventa (purchase agreement) and acknowledging the ownership transfer at your local Registro de Vehiculos (vehicle registration desk).

More reliable cars will have ‘toda prueba’ (all checks welcome) printed in the advert. This allows the standard practice of taking the car in question to a garage for a thorough going-over. You can check out private listings through specialised car magazines or online.

Dealerships will take care of the paperwork and provide a guarantee of up to a year, but they’ll also charge a lot more, even on discounted vehicles. However, you may be able to trade in the car at a later date, while financing will also be simpler as it is done through the dealership.

Wherever you buy your car, you will definitely need insurance – driving in Spain is illegal without it. At the very least, you will need to provide third-party cover and carry the policy documentation with you when you’re driving.

Ibex Insurance Services is a leading car insurance provider in Spain for expats. We’re expats ourselves and are highly knowledgeable in our field, so you can trust us to provide quality, affordable cover. Contact us today to find out more.


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