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Matriculation and transfer of car ownership What’s the difference? 

We are often asked how much does it cost to matriculate a car when in reality what the individual really wants/needs is a transfer of ownership of a Spanish registered car. Matriculation is a word that often gets mentioned in conversations or on social media by people who do not really know what they are talking about. In this edition we are going to clarify the differences and what must be done.

Matriculation (matriculación)

This is what has to happen when a vehicle is purchased from another country (normally within the European Union) or a person who has brought a foreign registered car to Spain and then wishes to sell it. It can be a relatively simple and straightforward process providing the rules are followed exactly.

The first thing one must do is to visit the ITV station with the car. Normally cars bought in any EU country will not have any problems with passing an ITV, however if the car has come from outside of the EEUU then things change and can become more complicated.

To be able to Matriculate a car from the EU involves a lot of paperwork (welcome to Spain!) and it will be necessary for you to present at the ITV station the following documents.
1- The Log book/Car registration document/Technical specification documents, originals and copies.
2- The Invoice for the vehicle (again original) and translated into Spanish. In Tráfico it is not specified but is recommended to have the document officially translated.
3- The Modelo 620 which you are able to do on the internet.
4- The proof of payment of the Taxes re the above document.
5- The Solicitud de matriculación from Tráfico or ask a Gestoria to do this for you, at a cost of course.
6- The original papers for the car acquired outside of Spain
7- A certificate of the technical characteristics of the vehicle inspection with the blue and pink copies (this are done by an engineer)

These are the basic rules in a very simple form Transfer of ownership (traspaso)

This happens when the car is already on Spanish plates and the car has been sold or purchased by an individual or company. The process is similar although not as lengthy as the matriculation (which can sometimes take many months to complete).
1- Complete the modelo 620 and pay the appropriate taxes. This needs to be presented in the tax office along with copy documents for the buyer and seller and car papers.
2- With an appointment at Tráfico, present all original documents for the purchaser, copies for the seller along with the paper from Hacienda and car paperwork and all being well the ownership name change can be completed.
The most common reasons for a failed transfer of ownership are, an embargo, outstanding Road taxes, or a reserva (outstanding Finance), incorrect or missing paperwork.
Our recommendations are to use a registered Tráfico collaborator to do the job for you.