Importing a UK car.

After reading on another website that Spain is about to ban the import of all right hand drive cars I thought I would shed some light on the situation.

On December 23rd last year our gestor finaly completed the process on our Audi - we now have Spanish plates and our car is fully legal! Wahey, well it did take a long time probably about 7 months all in all.

So here is the process:

1) get your car insured, try to get cover for a uk plated car

2) Take your car to Baza and get a "ficha technica" this is a document that will take around 7-10 days to receive and details everything about your car, dimensions/towbar/cc/vin plate etc

3) Take your car to the ITV testing station outside Baza - you must have your ficha technica with you. DO NOT go to Caravaca ITV station - they simply do not entertain uk vehicles (dont ask me why when Baza do)

4) You can change your headlights beforehand if you so wish (advisable) but you can take a risk and get them adjusted (depending on make and model) and you might get away with it. Changing headlights is costly but if I can offer one word of advice to save you mucho dinero it is this.....we went to the motor factors in Huescar and were quoted 598 euros for a pair of Audi lights, then we went to the scrapyard in Baza who can also order new parts within 48 hours they charged us 250 euros for the pair (same genuine items)

5) Providing you pass the ITV see your local gestor and tell him to sort the rest, you can do it yourself but it simply is not worth the hassle.

Thats it!! A word of warning though....... (yeah I know, its never that easy)
When aquiring your ficha technica check the details - the guy had my car down as a 6 cylinder V6 engine 150bhp when actualy its a 4 cylinder 2ltr 120bhp. This caused problems.

Go for your ITV once, if anything has to be done to pass you will get 15 days to rectify the problem. At the time we asked for our money back and so had to go through the whole ITV again (otherwise they only check what the car failed on the last time) Our first ITV picked up 3 faults that had to be fixed, the second ITV picked up 4 faults - all completly different.

Costs: (approx, this is what it cost us August 2005)

Ficha Technica 75.00
ITV 103.00
Headlights 250.00
Gestor fee 296.00 (inc all taxes/trafico etc)

TOTAL 724.00 euros

If your not concerned about driving an RHD car and the car is worth it or of value/classic status etc etc then I would say go for it, from a selling point of view it will always be way below Spanish market value because the steering wheel is on the wrong side but the fact that it has Spanish plates will make it worth something. UK registered RHD cars here in Spain hold very little value if any. The procedure will differ from region to region which is probably why there is so much debate about the whole thing, also this is just how we did it so rules and procedure may have changed again by now! Anyway its here as a guide for those who may need it. Good Luck!!!!

Baza ITV station 958342098
Scrapyard 958702902
Mechanic (orce) 646694850


Kate said...

I know this has nothing to do with importing a UK car but yes avoid Caravaca ITV place. I realised when it my ITV was due that I had misplaced my ITV card (the green card). As this is the most important document I had to make a visit to Guardia Civil to let them know. They were very helpful and gave me a signed and stamped paper and told me that it wouldn't be a problem to go to get my ITV.....well after driving to Caravaca and getting in the queue (that was extremely long), the very unhelpful woman told us it wasnt possible as as far as she was concerned the car could be stolen!! - even though I had been to tell the Guardia Civil. So a couple of days later I went to Baza, was the only person there, they said it wasnt a problem, it cost 20euros less than it would have been in Caravaca, and two weeks later I received my Green Official card in the post. So in future I will be avoiding Caravaca.

cave renovator said...

Thanks for that Kate, its all usefull info so may save someone a lot of frustration and a wasted journey. Baza ITV station is a fair hike from this area but Caravaca is even further (even more so from your neck of the woods) We got there for 7.50am to be told a simple flat "NO" english car - forget it. It was our 2nd attempt at an ITV which obviously meant going back to Baza to try for a 3rd time all in all. The language was "choice" whilst swiftly exiting the car park at Caravaca - Alonso would have been impressed...Know for next time anyway.


Anonymous said...

can I ask cave renovator a question
what did you do with your car for the seven months it took to get it registered ? did you have to garage it for that period or were you able to drive it on UK plates and UK road tax.
PS which web site was it that you got the info about RHD vehs import ban.


cave renovator said...

Hello Gary, welcome to the site.

Befor leaving the UK we had our car taxed for 6 months and MOT,d for 12. Legally in Spain you can drive a UK plated car for 6 months before having it registered so this is what we did. Most reputable insurance companies will insure you for driving abroad for either 3 or 6 months - in our case it was 6 months so we wre fully legal.

We began the process straight away as we invisaged it taking a while. We spoke to our local Guardia Civil who were aware that we had started the process. The car was insured (most importantly) and ITV'd within the 6 month window - after that all we were waiting for were the ESP plates.

The ban of RHD cars to Spain is/was purely a rumour and has to my knowledge been confirmed as untrue - read about it on

Any other questions on importing a UK car, mail me or drop into the forum


Anonymous said...

Hi, just to let people know that before you go changing head light units over its best to check if they can be adjusted over by means of lever or clip, on Audi's this is possible so check before spending money, the lever is usualy mounted on top and changes direction of the beam, also to make life easy it is also possible to convert alot of newish cars over to left hanf drive, Im moving over to Spain soon and will be aiming for this along with a few other motor related issues I see people are having problems with.
Oh yes, space is still available in my van for goods to be brought down into Spain, if possible let me know through e-mail

cave renovator said...


My A6 headlights were fully adjustable, we even got them tested at a pre ITV garage in Huescar where they measured the beam direction up against the same machine used by the testing stations.

Still not good enough for the ITV though, they insisted that we had to have Spanish headlight units as adjustable beam direction does not meet the testing standards.


Eliza said...

I don't suppose you could recommend a Gestor in Huescar or Granada could you?