Buying Second Hand Cars on the Costa del Sol

If you rent long term on the Costa del Sol, chances are you will need transport. Long term car rentals can work very well and provide you with a reliable car and peace of mind, although it is worth keeping in mind that during the summer months prices usually go up substantially. For a longer term solution most people end up looking for a car to buy. Our rental clients often ask us for advice on general day to day issues about settling into life on the Costa del Sol and here are three of the most commonly asked questions about buying cars;

 Where is the best place to look for second hand cars?

There are many places to look for second hand cars such as classified ads, newspapers, auto magazines, plus auction websites such as Ebay Spain. Many people find reassurance with buying from a dealer as they usually come with one year warranty, however many people choose to buy from private individuals so they can get a better price. Basically there is no best place to find good second hand cars, it just depends what you’re looking for. If you can speak a little Spanish, you may even get a better deal by buying from places such as autoscout24.es where Spanish dealers and individuals advertise cars for sale.

Is it expensive to buy vehicles here?

Compared to the UK cars are generally more expensive here. However on the plus side, car insurance is cheaper in Spain than the UK.

What paperwork do i need to buy a car in Spain?

A foreigner can buy a Spanish – registered car in Spain if they have at least ONE of the following;

  • An official residents permit
  • Proof that they are a Spanish home owner
  • Documentation of being registered as an inhabitant (empadronamiento) issued within 3 months prior to purchase
  • A rental contract for the minimum duration of one year
  • NIE or NIF number

The buyer and seller should also draw up a sale agreement (contracto de compraventa) or the seller should provide an invoice. Either document should show the details of the vehicle, names of the buyer and seller, the sale price agreed, plus the time and date of sale. This information is used to make sure any traffic fines associated with the car are assigned to the correct person.

Next you will need a transfer of ownership form (Solicitud de transmisión de vehículos) which is signed by the buyer and the seller and a copy given to each. The transfer of ownership form is usually provided by the buyer and is available to download here.

The transfer of ownership is then finalised by the local traffic department (Jefatura de Tráfico) by registering the car in your name within 30 days of purchase. You can find your local traffic department here. The cost of doing this is currently 4% of the vehicle’s value. Documents you will need to supply are;

  • ·         The copy of the transfer of ownership (Solicitud de transmisión de vehículos)
  • ·         A copy of the sale agreement, plus copy of the seller’s ID
  • ·         The relevant paperwork provided by the seller;
    • Vehicle registration document (Permiso de Circulación)
    • ITV certificate as proof of roadworthiness
    • o   Receipt for municipal vehicle tax
    • If you are a foreigner you will also need to provide proof of habitation in Spain as listed above.

Remember to get the vehicle checked over for your peace of mind if you don’t feel confident doing it yourself. Take a look at this directory of mechanics to find one in your area.

To find out more about buying and selling vehicles in Spain from our friends at Anglo Info, click here.

For more information on settling into life in Spain or to view our list of long term rental properties on the Costa del Sol visit our website.

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