What do I need to do, if I am buying a car in the UK but want to export it to Spain?

Asked by Sue Rodgers

If you’re taking the vehicle out of the UK for less than twelve months then you only need to worry about adapting the headlights to avoid dazzle to others. The vehicle would remain subject to UK law – MOT, insurance, tax and you’d have to return to the UK for the MOT. If you spend more than 182 days in Spain in any calendar year then you become a resident for tax purposes and would be obliged to pay import tax.

The Spanish system for permanent import of vehicles is very complex – such that the best advice seems to be to buy a car once in Spain. Try searching web forums – it should be possible to get advice and help from ex-pats who’ve already been through the process.

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