Importing a car; what's the best order of biz?

Information and questions about driving in Andalucia, buying or importing cars and motorbikes plus legal issues surrounding taxes and licenses.
1bassleft
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Importing a car; what's the best order of biz?

Postby 1bassleft » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:47 am

Hello all, just registered as a newb but have spent a fair while reading useful threads here before jumping in. I thoroughly read through the long-runner (2013-2016 IIRC) on bringing over a UK car but thought it would be better to start afresh with my particular circs.

I'm seriously considering purchasing a UK reg, LHD car, bringing it over and matriculating etc for it to become my transport here in future. As mentioned, I have read previous thread(s) so my main request for advice is - what would be the best order of progress in terms of legality, time consumption and keeping costs down?

My situation is that I have a NIE number but not certificate. When my father died in 2000, I inherited the Benalmadena Costa flat (that we honeymooned in) and, with my wife and son, have come out for school holidays. I always hired a car when we were out here (apart from two summers when we came down in my RHD Focus). Now, my son's at UK uni and my wife and I have finished teaching so we are now going to be spending >182 days out here. We've been out here for a month, going to UK for 10 days next week and returning sine die after that.

I've got a Cita for NIE (found the x-7digits-x on an IBI slip so should be just a duplicado) and residencia application in a few weeks. I haven't yet booked in for the padron but shall do that soon also. I have a hire car organized for mid Nov-mid Dec but can't keep doing this. I know what you're thinking - "buy a car next time you're out here" but this past month has been a fruitless search. A 10 y.o. LHD in UK fits the bill at £1500.

I have read that to transfer within 60 days but if I buy the car less than 6 months before my padron (or is it residencia?) it won't count as my personal possession. Assuming I have to pay VAT to the UK dealer, am I still liable for IVA on bringing it to Spain? Seems harsh if I do but should be <€150 anyway.

Is there any advantage to timing procedures in a particular order that might (legally) have a tax advantage? I might have time to consult a gestor about this plan beforehand. Do they tend to charge much for a bit of preliminary advice?

Sorry about the long post + life story. If more detail is necessary, just let me know. Thanks for any advice.

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Re: Importing a car; what's the best order of biz?

Postby costakid » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:59 am

Welcome to the mad house, Well the chances of a 10 year old car being VAT qualifying is about zero so your UK invoice from the dealer will be £1500 not £1250 plus vat. Another thing to consider is you will need an EU COC document before you can register in Spain. Depending on the brand it can be free but most charge around £100 for the certificate. You will obviously have local taxes etc to pay for registration.

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Re: Importing a car; what's the best order of biz?

Postby 1bassleft » Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:42 pm

Thanks for the welcome and quick response, ck; I'm close to certifiable myself so I'll hopefully fit in nicely.

Going back through some more, previous, threads it looks like I would have to have owned the car perhaps a year (never mind 6 months) for it to be considered a chattel. That's way too much of an inconvenience to save a few pesos on importation. Although I read in a lot of places "gosh, you'll wish you'd left that car in Blighty and bought one in Spain," I'm not so sure. RHD is out - my home car is FSH and totally dependable but previous experience being stuck behind a French or Spanish truck on a D-road is not something I want as part of my life.

Until I'm settled here, I don't want to buy new/nearly new and ,as you implied in another thread, even €3000 makes for slim pickings. £1500-2000 gets me further in the UK (although LHD is no longer a turn off - all those "Place in the Sun" programmes - it now attracts a premium). Although it can be a pain, my in-between status might be handy if I time things right. I'd figured in the CoC as an additional cost, first registration/importation and a more complicated initial ITV. Anything else on top of just buying locally? Either way, I'd use a gestor and, with winter approaching, sitting around for hours in an office waiting for a paper to be a stamped isn't such an ache as it might have been.
Thanks, Oz
EDIT: I've also taken into account light-swapping.

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Re: Importing a car; what's the best order of biz?

Postby Paddy Pumpkin » Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:35 am

I recently moved here with my mon-Spanish car. Ignoring the import tax as everyones situation will be different.

The other costs I faced were extended ITV (for new imports) paid about EUR 170 with a 30% discount for making an appointment. Then waited 2 days for the ITV place to produce my Technical card...and that was with pushing them. The ITV itself was super rigorous...ensuring the car was exactly as described on CoC. Number matching on everything, even down to tyres and wheels being exactky same as when it left the factory.

I attempted to do the importation paperwork myself and the lost the will to live. The registration charges were 160 EUR) having attempted to do it myself...I gave up and hired a gestor who cost EUR 300. The 35 EUR for plates.

So to summarise. The importation costs which you cannot avoid were 170 ITV and 160 registration costs and 35 for plates. So 365 EUR. Then you will have to pay 6 months road tax which was about 60 EUR.

Realistically you will need a gestor too unless you want to have many trips to various departments getting contradictory answers. I am not trying to put you off but.....I wouldn't do it again, it only worked for me as my car was relatively new. Don't forget the 2000km of fuel to Andalucia and the French mitorway tolls and at keast one night in a hotel along the way.

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Re: Importing a car; what's the best order of biz?

Postby 1bassleft » Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:39 am

Thanks Paddy, really useful to get somebody's personal experience; especially when recent. Don't worry about putting me off per se, if certain aspects are bad then it's good to be told :thumbup:

I'd decided against the ferry to Santander/Bilbao in favour of the Chunnel. Most of my family live on its doorstep and a leisurely jaunt through France would be more pleasant than a breakneck run. The over+above costs (using a gestor) are bearable providing the savings on the initial purchase balance it.

The :shock: bit was the rigour of checking to the CoC. I was aware that I'd need to avoid any aftermarket mucking about (easy to forget in the heat of a purchase moment, though) but, just to clarify, the tyres? A 2007 or whatever can't have the original tyres - do you think I need to put the factory recommended make on to be super-certain or did you mean I must stick to 195/70x13 if that's what the spec says?

What is apparent (unless I've misread) is that there's no "lucky you, if you time 'x,y and z' in the right order you can save some money" which is handy to know. Which just leaves the legalities (again, anyone please flag me up if I'm getting this wrong)
a) If I buy a UK LHD, I can take it all the way to Malaga while I am still a UK resident and then go through the process of renationalizing myself and the car.
b) I can buy something here, resident or not, transferring into my name and sorting residency in due course.
c) A wild card. A Spanish plated car in the UK (I do see them) would have to be trailered out of the UK unless I had my Spanish residency done beforehand (and presumably even then I can't drive it until I'm registered in Malaga as the new owner).

All scenarios include the obvious MOT/ITV in force, insurance cover correct and triangles, bulbs hi-viz jackets etc. I can see me doing a lot of walking when the hire car runs out in mid-Dec unless I get lucky.

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Re: Importing a car; what's the best order of biz?

Postby Enrique » Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:15 am

Hi 1bassleft,
"I must stick to 195/70x13 if that's what the spec says"............yes and load rating e.g. 85 T
Must be same make and tread pattern across the axle.

Some members have successful bought LHD cars from a place near Basingstoke in Hampshire, search this Forum ........... :idea:
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Re: Importing a car; what's the best order of biz?

Postby costakid » Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:34 am

Under the EU 4th directive a car has to be insured in the country that it is registered in. If you buy a UK registered lhd car and insure it in the uk as a uk resident you can drive it for 6 months in Spain. As soon as you take out residency you become illegal apparently.

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Re: Importing a car; what's the best order of biz?

Postby costakid » Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:36 am

Enrique wrote:Hi 1bassleft,

Some members have successful bought LHD cars from a place near Basingstoke in Hampshire, search this Forum ........... :idea:


And if you want to treat yourself look at www.onwheelsltd.com They have some very nice LHD cars

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Re: Importing a car; what's the best order of biz?

Postby Paddy Pumpkin » Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:43 am

What is apparent (unless I've misread) is that there's no "lucky you, if you time 'x,y and z' in the right order you can save some money" which is handy to know. Which just leaves the legalities (again, anyone please flag me up if I'm getting this wrong)
a) If I buy a UK LHD, I can take it all the way to Malaga while I am still a UK resident and then go through the process of renationalizing myself and the car.
b) I can buy something here, resident or not, transferring into my name and sorting residency in due course.
c) A wild card. A Spanish plated car in the UK (I do see them) would have to be trailered out of the UK unless I had my Spanish residency done beforehand (and presumably even then I can't drive it until I'm registered in Malaga as the new owner).

All scenarios include the obvious MOT/ITV in force, insurance cover correct and triangles, bulbs hi-viz jackets etc. I can see me doing a lot of walking when the hire car runs out in mid-Dec unless I get lucky.[/quote]

I did mine in September and had a slightly different experience than a friend who did it in July! It took me 3 days to get ITV paperwork...his was a lot longer as car was older so very difficult to wind it back to exact soec as per CoC
a) Yes...people come on holidays with foreign cars all the time. You are effectively on holidays here until you become a resident
b) here? being UK? Yes UK is one of only two countries in Europe where yiu can buy and reguster a car without being a resident (or having a national ID number)
or here?. being Spain? Not 100% on this but I do know you need an NIE to buy a car in Spain (and to import a car also)
c) Yes on a trailer to Spain...you can't get insurance without an NIE and Spanish address...you can't drive without insurance. You also cannot get valid insurance from an non-Spanish company. UK companies can only insure UK cars.

To avoid the environmental tax in Spain (the tax they make you pay to import a car dependent on CO2 emmissions). You will need to prove you owned the car for minimum 6 months and also prove you were living in the UK for that time...hint don't make it 6 months and a day as the Spanish tax office don't define proof of living in the UK so can just refuse to give you the exemption. Although open to correction on this I think if the car is over 10 years old it is exempt from this tax


I understand you are planning to buy a UK car for about £1,500 so about E1,700. So to register it here with gestor and get it on the road cost me in total circa E700 (without environmental tax). Your costs to get here from UK will be minimum E400 (ferry, fuel, hotel and tolls). So Unless the same car here costs well north of E3,000 I would think long and hard about importing.

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Re: Importing a car; what's the best order of biz?

Postby Paddy Pumpkin » Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:47 am

costakid wrote:Under the EU 4th directive a car has to be insured in the country that it is registered in. If you buy a UK registered lhd car and insure it in the uk as a uk resident you can drive it for 6 months in Spain. As soon as you take out residency you become illegal apparently.


Completely correct although there is an exemption for students which I used to keep a foreign car on the road in Spain for longer.

btw re tyres I concur with Enrique they were super diligent on wheels and tyres. Additionally they even measured the length of the car to the millimetre.

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Re: Importing a car; what's the best order of biz?

Postby El Cid » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:15 am

Paddy Pumpkin wrote:
To avoid the environmental tax in Spain (the tax they make you pay to import a car dependent on CO2 emmissions). You will need to prove you owned the car for minimum 6 months and also prove you were living in the UK for that time...hint don't make it 6 months and a day as the Spanish tax office don't define proof of living in the UK so can just refuse to give you the exemption. Although open to correction on this I think if the car is over 10 years old it is exempt from this tax


It is not an "environmental" tax as such and it is not confined to imported cars.

All Spanish cars have to pay a "matriculation " tax when they are put on the road. With a new car the cost is included in the price. The amount of the tax is based on the CO2 emissions figure and is set in 4 tax bands from zero to 14.75%. The tax is applied to the invoiced price of the car. Many new small cars fall into the zero band where they emit less than 120gm CO2.

When you register a foreign used car you pay the same tax, the only difference is that the value of the car is based on its original cost, depreciated according to its age. A 10 year old car is valued at 17% and over 12 years old it is 10%.

The tax office publishes a very long list of all cars with their emissions % and original price.

For a car the age and value of the one described, it probably isn't worth the hassle of claiming the exemption for "chattels"

Sid

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Re: Importing a car; what's the best order of biz?

Postby peteroldracer » Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:01 pm

one small point, you should not register on the padron unless or until you are resident in Spain.
I have to agree with the majority (?) that it seems an awful rigmarole to import and go through all the procedures. Fly over in relative comfort and hire a car while you look for one to buy would be my advice, as we did this in 2005.
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Re: Importing a car; what's the best order of biz?

Postby costakid » Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:10 pm

peteroldracer wrote: Fly over in relative comfort and hire a car while you look for one to buy would be my advice, as we did this in 2005.


Are you still looking Peter?? HA HA

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Re: Importing a car; what's the best order of biz?

Postby peteroldracer » Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:16 pm

Within a month we had bought a 2-year old Terrano, which served us well and was sold with our house this year, still going fine. The only time I have bought an old banger was my first car, a 1953 Ford Consul Mk1 which I paid £35 for in 1962. If you cannot afford a decent car, go on the bus! I worked with a real petrol head for a while who always said buses were big cars for poor people....
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Re: Importing a car; what's the best order of biz?

Postby costakid » Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:09 pm

1953 Ford Consul Mk1 which I paid £35 for in 1962. Today £20000.00

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Re: Importing a car; what's the best order of biz?

Postby peteroldracer » Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:13 pm

Not after my brother had finished with it - I ran it for 2 years and did about 15000 miles in it before being issued a company car. He took it over and within three months it was wrecked!
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Re: Importing a car; what's the best order of biz?

Postby 1bassleft » Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:39 pm

Thanks for contributions to this and previous threads that I've gained a lot from. I'm heading back to UK for 10 days but will keep looking in here. Special thanks to the headsups on the CoC rigour - probably entailing throwing out decent tyres to have the same brand name on the sidewalls :crazy:

A UK LHD purchase is looking less likely, although money saving wasn't my strongest priority. I'm just in a better position to source, check and sort. Ten years old, ~160k kms or less, SH and replaced essentials are not dodo teeth, even in LHD. A few remaining Qs, if people would be so kind
1) Everything else being in order, should/must I avoid driving an ES car until the transferencia is completed? If showing my technically legal paperwork results in a shrug and impounding because the computer says I should be called Marie-Carmen, then I'd rather just wait.
2) MUST the seller be present with me (or are permisio etc and photocopied ID acceptable) to effect the transfer? I know this seems rude, but I'd prefer no educated guesses as this can rapidly shrink my radius and type of seller as time ticks on.
3) Pete suggested I hold off on padron until after residencia. That surprised me as, from reading elsewhere, I got the impression that the most important thing to accompany my NIE was proof of the Spanish address to send tickets to if I want a car to drive. In the last 15 years, DGT have twice sent a photo of my hire car to my UK address and I had no trouble paying electronically, but that's by the by. What's the reason to delay the padron application - is it to do with things other than driving?

Just to clarify for everyone; I have a x1234567x from 2001 but am applying for a duplicado, my UK photo licence has full bike and car entitlement and was renewed this summer. Insurance for UK and ES is something I can and will organize appropriately. Bangers and buses aren't what I'm after. A safe and reasonably reliable 1-2 year stopgap until I swap this holiday flat for a proper home seems preferable to hundreds per month on hire cars that seem to be used as parking brakes by persons unknown would do nicely.
Thanks again, Oz

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Re: Importing a car; what's the best order of biz?

Postby peteroldracer » Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:45 pm

Re the padron: only people with their principal residence should be signed on to that municipality - despite desperate boroughs like Nerja campaigning for everyone to sign. This is to maximise their official population so as get them in the highest bands for state funding.
You have been happily and legally driving a Spanish registered car many times as I understand it, every time you hire?
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Re: Importing a car; what's the best order of biz?

Postby 1bassleft » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:07 am

I've read in Sur a number of times over the years how much the Ayunts would like me to sign on to the padron for exactly the reason you describe. I never did because I was only here 8-10 weeks per year. Now that's changing, I'll do things pretty much in the order of whatever appointments come up first. My home Policia offered me 20/12 just for a NIE but Torre's offered me mid-Nov for NIE and Residencia so I took that. I'll enquire about padron on my return in two weeks.
Hire car co.s took my UK and Benal address but the DGT sent the photos to my UK address (well worth it to prove that a 1.0L Fiesta I called "Brian the Snail" actually exceeded 120kph on the way to Sevilla - must have been downhill). I didn't think I could register my own Spanish vehicle with a UK address and have violations posted there, hence the padron. I'll look into it, but it's better for me to be contacted here as it could be months before I'm next sifting through UK mail.

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Re: Importing a car; what's the best order of biz?

Postby Alcala Barry » Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:11 pm

1bassleft

So you are going to buy a car in the UK for £1500 you are then going to drive it cross-channel and down to the coast, so probably somewhere in the region of 2,200kms. Is that really wise? You do not get much of a car for £1500 these days. If you have good mechanical knowledge and carry tools with you, then maybe. But even then I can not see how you would justify it financially. You will need UK insurance and breakdown cover for UK and Europe and then another Spanish policy as soon as you can transfer it over here, go through all the palarva and paperwork. I am not trying to be negative, but you have to admit that there is a 50/50 chance that the car could end up broken down and junked in a French Breaker's yard.

I would suggest very strongly you wait until you have a paper copy of your NIE and buy a second hand car here. Personally, I think you would have a much greater choice and better value for money buying one down on the coast. Of course there are some iffy characters around selling second hand cars, but that happens in all countries.

However, that is just my opinion, but I wish you good luck with your venture.

Regards

Barry


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