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19 August 2022

How To Register Your Car And Get Spain License Plates

19 August 2022 5 min read
how to register your car and get spain license plates | How To Register Your Car And Get Spain License Plates | EUROCOC

If you are making a permanent move to Spain with your car, you should begin the registration process as soon as possible, after which you will be given Spain license plates.

Read on to understand what processes you need to follow to successfully register your car and get a new set of Spain number plates.

How Does The Spain Car Registration System Work?

In Spain, the official traffic body is the DGT (Dirección General de Tráfico), and they are in charge of assigning license numbers to vehicles.

Here are the steps you need to take to complete your vehicle’s registration:

  • Legal Translation

If your car’s documents are not in Spanish, you will need to contact an officially approved translator to translate them into Spanish. These documents include your car’s registration document, technical sheet, and purchase invoice.

  • European Certificate of Conformity (COC)

An EU Certificate of Conformity declares that your vehicle can be driven safely on European roads, and it is often issued by the vehicle’s manufacturer.

If you want to purchase a Certificate of Conformity online without delay, you can order one from EUROCOC and it will be delivered to your doorstep.

  • Technical Inspection

You need to book a technical inspection that will be conducted by the ITV (Inspección Técnica de Vehículos). During the inspection, you will need your vehicle registration documents, a COC, and the purchase invoice.

  • Taxes

You will need to pay a Registration tax to the tax authorities, and its cost can be up to 15% of your vehicle’s value. The exact percentage depends on your vehicle’s model and its CO2 emission. Paying the registration tax involves filling the Modelo 576 (576 Form).

You will also need to pay a Road tax – IVTM (Impuesto sobre Vehículos de Tracción Mecánica) – to the Spanish province you’re settling in. The value of this tax depends on the province and your vehicle’s engine power and weight.

  • DGT Payment

The final step is paying administrative fees to DGT for an official registration card (the current fee is €94.05). You can either pay online or book a physical appointment.

Moving your car to Spain from a left-hand drive country like the UK can be difficult since Spain uses the right-hand drive system, making the registration process less straightforward.

Instead, you can purchase used left-hand drive cars that are already in Spain. Some of them have UK plates, while others have Spanish plates.

You can check out listings from Milanuncios, Tablόn de Anuncios, and Auto Scout 24.

How To Apply For Spain Number Plates?

After you have your license number which is on the registration card gotten from DGT, you can consult a specialist to make a new pair of license plates for you. The cost can be anywhere between €6 and €50 depending on the specialist.


The fees for registering a car in Spain vary depending on your location and vehicle type.

You will need to pay a road tax (can range around €20 to €200), a registration tax (can be up to 50% of your vehicle’s value), license fees (€94.05), and fees to make license plates.

What Do Spain Car Number Plates Look Like?

The government-approved colour for a regular Spain license plate is white with black characters for the car’s registration number, for both front and back plates.

Generally, the Spanish number plate for a car is rectangular – a lot wider than its height. The plates for motorcycles are different, tending towards a square shape.

On the left side of a Spanish plate is a blue section spotted with 12 yellow stars in a circle (the EU’s flag) and the letter ‘E’, which is Spain’s international vehicle registration code (written in white).

The current license plate system for private vehicles in Spain does not display the region where a vehicle was registered, but only its registration number and the EU flag.

Format Of Spain Number Plates

The registration number assigned to private vehicles in Spain contains 7 characters, with an AAAA BBB format. The first four characters on Spanish plates (AAAA) are numbers, while the last three (BBB) are letters.

No vowels are used for the three letters, but rather, all consonants apart from ‘Q’ appear on license plates.

Also, none of the 7 characters on Spain license plates has a specific meaning, as numbers are given out serially, in the order by which a vehicle is registered.

The first vehicle registered under the current system has a registration number of ‘0000 BBB’ and the system will expire when a Spanish car is assigned the license number ‘9999 ZZZ’. Theoretically, the system will expire after 80 million vehicle registrations.

plates e | How To Register Your Car And Get Spain License Plates | EUROCOC

What Types Of Spain License Plates Exist?

Some Spanish number plates are coloured such as taxicabs (white characters on a blue background), trailers (black characters on a red background), and temporary plates (white characters on a red background).

Spain Custom Number Plates

Due to the serial nature of number plates in Spain, it is not allowed to customize your plates, as you must display the registration number given during the registration process.

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