Buying and Importing Cars to Spain

Spain is one of Total Auto’s biggest left hand drive car import and sales markets..

Not unsurprisingly considering it has one of the highest populations of British expats and second home owners in Europe so much so that we have now set up our first continental location in Alhaurin El Grande in Malaga. When it comes to new and used cars we also know that Spain is one of the most complicated and interesting markets going. Simplicity is not at the heart of buying a car in Spain and whilst the UK system is probably the simplest and cheapest in Europe it does make the minds spin of most Brits. Like all things in Spain it’s about paperwork and having that in order. Essentially nothing can happen without proof of address, an in date passport and an in date NIE number of residencia card without these for buyer and seller.. quite simply.. it’s not going anywhere. For those choosing to benefit from importing a car into Spain these documents are also essential.

With Spanish registered cars it’s also important to background check everything. The Spanish system is such that debts and taxes that go unpaid can be attached to an asset such as car and that debt effectively stays with the car until settled. So you need to be careful because that cheap left hand drive Ford could cost you big time!

Pricing as such in Spain is also somewhat crazy at times. It’s very much a commodity driven market where supply and demand rule. 4×4 Automatic’s are desirable but rare pushing the prices on the Spanish market right up. A car that is worth £4000 in the UK in left hand drive cars can be worth £10000 in Spain, in fairness the same goes for Spanish registered right hand drive ones as well. The UK operates a structured mathematical formula for the depreciation of cars. Spanish pricing obviously demonstrates depreciation but everything seems to bottom out at a round €2000-€3000. We witnessed an 18 year Suzuki sell for the same price as a 7 year old one in the UK.

So the rules are simple, throw away your copy of Parkers, base your pricing on what the market demands and is willing to pay and don’t expect age, condition and mileage to particularly play a part!

This all said, the Total Auto car import model is based on trying to offer the buyer best value going, by importing using lower pricing models, offering better quality, lower mileage cars that will stand the test of time incorporate those heavy Spanish matriculation taxes too. Euro for Euro what we offer in terms of used left hand drives in Spain we hope to offer far better value.