All vehicles on the roads in Spain must be roadworthy. It is up to the car or bike owner to ensure their vehicle has a valid ITV certificate.

Vehicles must be tested at an authorised centre for safety and emissions, just as for an MOT test in the UK.

The ITV (Inspección Técnica de Vehículos) is the roadworthiness test of a motor vehicle in Spain. It is the equivalent of an MOT in the UK.

ITV tests are compulsory and may only be undertaken by an authorised garage. The aim of the test is to reduce the risk of accidents, to contribute to greater road safety and better quality of the environment. It is illegal to drive a car which does not have a current ITV certificate.

The price of the ITV test varies between provinces and according to the vehicle size.

• New cars are first tested after four years and must be inspected and tested every two years thereafter until the age of 10

• Any car over 10 years of age must be tested annually

• Motorcycles and quads are first tested after four years, after which the test is due every two years

• Mopeds are first tested after three years, after which they must be tested every two years.

• Caravans are first tested at six years, after which the test is due every two years

The frequency of testing for other vehicles including mopeds, taxis, vans, lorries, and adapted vehicles can be found here (in Spanish)

If a vehicle has been involved in a serious accident, it should undergo an ITV test after repair to establish whether the repair has been carried out correctly.

Taking the ITV Test

It is usually necessary to make an appointment for the test date.

• Find an authorised testing centre on the website of the DGT (Dirección General de Tráfico) and then select a province

The vehicle’s registration document (permiso de circulación) and technical papers (ficha technico) must be taken to the testing centre.

Vehicles are tested to ensure the following parts are in proper working order:

• tyre tread

• lights

• emissions

• shock absorbers

• brakes

• wheel alignment

Cars will also be checked for the condition of the bodywork and mirrors, windscreen and wipers. For example if a door cannot open it may be considered a safety violation.

Serious and Lesser Infractions (Infracciones Graves & Leves)

When the tests are complete a document is issued detailing the Infracciones Graves & Infracciones Leves. Any fault listed in the section Infracciones Graves (serious fault) must be repaired before an ITV can be issued.

Faults listed in Infracciones Leves are smaller faults, which will not necessitate a retest, but should be repaired promptly as fines may be issued by the police if the problem is not resolved.

Failing the test

If a vehicle fails the test, the owner is issued a paper listing the faults. The repairs must be completed within two months of the test.

If the repaired vehicle is returned to the ITV centre within 15 days, the owner will normally receive a discount on the cost of the repeat test. Should the car not be retested during the two month period, notification will be sent to the Jefatura Provincial de Tráfico, and the car may be deregistered.

Passing the test

An ITV card details the results of each test undertaken, and a certificate is issued as proof of roadworthiness. The certificate must be displayed in the top right hand corner of the windscreen. It shows the month and year of the next test due.

In the case of motorbikes and mopeds, the certificate may be carried with the vehicle’s paperwork.

Not displaying the ITV certificate or driving without a valid ITV can incur severe fines.

Foreign Vehicles

Vehicle roadworthiness is not transferable across the EU countries. A car imported into Spain must pass the Spanish ITV test before it can be registered in Spain; likewise, the ITV of an exported Spanish registered car will not be valid in another country.

Further information and updates

The full article, including information pages on the Green Card System, Driving in Spain, Buying & Selling a Car in Spain and Accidents and Vehicle Insurance in Spain are available at www.angloinfo.com.

Bill Boyd

Director AngloINFO Costa Calida

Email: costacalida@angloinfo.com

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