Any long-term Tenerife resident at least once in his lifetime comes around to buying a car. If you buy a new car, usually a showroom or a car dealer takes care of all the paperwork, including issuing a vehicle registration certificate in the buyer’s name. But what happens when you buy a second-hand car? If you don’t speak fluent Spanish, it may pose a serious problem or at least become an extra cost, since specialised agencies charge between 60 and 200 euros to change the car’s documents into the new owner’s name. But your Spanish interpreter in Tenerife is here to help you with this quick guide as to how to do it yourself and save a few quid in the process.
So, you’ve chosen your dream car and agreed on the price. The first and most important step is to prepare a private purchase agreement. A standard template is available for download here.
The agreement must contain the basic information about the parties entering into the agreement and the car that is the subject of purchase, as follows:
– full names of buyer and seller;
– their respective ID numbers;
– the vehicle brand and model;
– chassis number (número de bastidor);
– its registration plate number (matrícula) and
– the agreed sale price.
Apart from purchase agreement the Traffic Office will require a change of car title notification form duly signed by both parties (it can be downloaded here). If the seller is open to negotiations and prepared to adjust the price a little bit, it’s worth comparing the final sale price with the estimated value of second-hand vehicles, because the property transfer tax calculations are based on the following values: if the estimated value of a particular brand and model is higher than the price stated in the agreement, the tax calculation will be based on the value from the tax authorities spreadsheet, however, if the agreed price is higher than the estimated value, then the tax will be calculated based on the purchase price. The corresponding spreadsheet is published annually by the Spanish tax authorities (you can find this year’s values here. If you can’t find your car model in the list, you can always call 012, the local general information number, and they will tell you the exact amount of property transfer tax.
The property transfer tax is called Impuesto sobre Transmisiones Patrimoniales, it amounts to 5,5% from the car purchase price. The payment form is called Modelo 620, you can obtain it from your nearest tax office and pay in any bank branch, or it can be paid online (provided you have a Spanish digital ID certificate that enables you to operate in the digital segment of Spanish Hacienda website), but, since you will have to visit the Central Traffic office in Santa Cruz for the final step of the procedure, I recommend settling the matter of the property transfer tax in the central tax office in Santa Cruz, situated at Avenida Tres de Mayo, 2.
You will need to bring a purchase agreement signed by both parties, pay the amount of tax resulting from the car’s estimated value, and after that, you can continue to the last step of the procedure – get the new car documents in your name in the Traffic Office. It’s situated at the following address: calle Heliodoro Rodríguez López, 34, 38005 Santa Cruz de Tenerife. It’s recommended to arrange a prior appointment on the following link. If you get a prior appointment for 11 or 12 o’clock and hit the tax office early in the morning the same day, say, at 9 o’clock, you’ll be able to do everything in one day. Please remember to bring the following documents:
– A duly signed and stamped form 620.
– An original and a copy of a purchase agreement.
– An original of the car’s registration certificate (Permiso de circulación).
– A copy of the car’s MOT test card (Ficha técnica del vehículo).
– A copy of seller’s ID documents and an original (or a certified copy) of buyer’s ID.
You have up to one month from the date stated in the purchase agreement to change the car documents to your name. The new car registration certificate (permiso de circulación) is issued the same day when you apply for it.
Hopefully, I’ve not missed out anything important in this brief guide, but if you still have any questions, feel free to ask me. And please share this article with your friends – maybe it’s something they need to know 🙂