British plates in Spain

by Barbara
(Torremolinos)

I´ve heard that the Spanish police are quite lenient with drivers using cars with British plates. What is the policy for expat drivers in Spain? I thought you have to change your plates when you move.

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Feb 08, 2010
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Is it legal to drive a British car in Spain?
by: Marbella Family

There are a lot of people driving in Marbella with British registration plates for many years and, yes, it is not legal. A car that is not re-registered after being in Spain for some time is breaking the Special Tax Law of 1992, Law38/1992 of Dec 28 in its annex:

“New or used means of transport to which this law referred should be definitely registered in Spain when they are to be used in Spanish territory by persons or entities who reside in Spain or own businesses in Spain”.

This is an issue of evading taxes in Spain. The local police are not able to control this problem as a car with foreign-registered plates is under the jurisdiction of the Spanish Tax Office. The police are more concerned that vehicles are insured, so they check this when you are pulled over. However, the Tax Office can immobilize your car until it´s proved that taxes are being paid and it is legal.

If you want to know more about this problem contact the Spanish Tax Office on 901 200 347.

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