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Hidden or unexpected costs of buying a car 

As the title says there are all too often costs, other than the agreed purchase price, that the buyer/seller incurs when buying or selling a car. This is either privately or from a garage or even a brand new car.

We have all seen the big billboards advertising brand new cars where they state “from 7995 euros” for example. This price is to grab your interest and is normally for the very base model, without matriculation (registration costs) being shown and is including finance and the scrappage scheme. With many new cars sold now you do not even have a spare wheel as standard and this often is not mentioned and/or is either added onto the cost of the car or simply ignored and the buyer is left without a spare wheel and knows nothing about this until they actually NEED one!

Turning to the purchase of a secondhand car there are normally three costs that you should be aware of. Firstly there is a Tax (Impuesto) payable to be able to complete a transfer of a car. The tax is 5.5% of the Official valuation of the car which is obtained from the Tax Office.

It is prudent to remember that it is the official valuation and not the price you are paying that this tax is based on. If you for example buy a car privatley at a cost of say 3500 euros, it is highly likely that the Official valuation would be considerably higher. So where you may be budgeting on tax of 192,50 euros if the official valuation is say 4100 euros then the tax would be 225,50 euros a fairly substancial difference.

If you do not pay the taxes on the official valuation the Tax office will in due course issue you with a fine for undelaration and you would have to pay the difference, in this case the 33,00 euros plus a fine.

The next cost is that of the Tasa payable to Trafico in order to complete the transaction. There is absolutly no way around avoiding this charge and for a vehicle transfer the cost curretly stands at 53,40 euros.

Unless you are fluent in Spanish, know where to find all the necessary forms and information to do this, it is advisable to engage the services of a Gestoria or registered person who carries out these types of transactions on a regular basis as they will have all the necessary knowledge, the correct information and will be able to advise you if there are any potential problems. Of course this comes at a cost and can vary but an average cost for this type of transcation.

A registered person can normally do the transfer quicker than a Gestoria and often if they are working in the vehicle business they will be more experienced than a Gestoria who deals with a much wider variety of transactions.

When purchasing a secondhand car from a garage, often the transfer cost is included, as it is in the interest of the garage to not only protect thier customer but also thier reputation, how often have you heard people say “I bought my car from XYZ garage or person six months ago and I dont have any paperwork”.

A car with no paperwork is really worthless as unless you have the documentation to PROVE that you are the legal owner i.e the Ficha Tecnica and Permiso de circulacion in your name then the vehicle in the eyes of the Spanish Law is not yours, even if you have paid for it in full.

Having said that there will be a short period of time after your purchase where you will not have the official documents, as is normal in Spain, all the relevant authorities require sight of original documentation and in the case of a car transfer this is no different. As we all know Spain works on a mañana basis, so you have to be patient but sure that all is in order.