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How to Buy a Motorcycle in Spain

Updated July 18, 2017

Foreigners can buy Spanish-registered motorcycles in Spain, as long as they have either an official residence permit, called a residencia, or proof they own a home in Spain, a rental contract for a minimum of one year, or an NIE/NIF number, which is a foreigner's identification number in Spain. If you buy a motorcycle from a dealership, they will generally handle the registration and transfer of ownership and may even have their own insurance plans. Insurance is mandatory for all vehicles on the road in Spain.

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  1. Decide whether you want to buy a new motorcycle or a second-hand one. Dealers usually have both types of motorcycles for sale, or you can check advertisements in the local newspapers, websites or supermarket notice boards for new and used motorcycles. Classified ads in Motor en Mano, Anuncio Motor, Auto Seminal or Coche Actual are a good place to start.

  2. Ensure the seller has all the legal paperwork, and the names on the papers match the seller's identity documents. The seller must provide you with: vehicle registration document (permiso de circulacion), a valid ITV test certificate, receipt for municipal vehicle tax (impuesto municipal sobre vehiculos de traccion mecanica) and his own personal identification documents, such as an NIE/NIF card.

  3. Draw up a sale agreement (contrato de compraventa) or ask the seller for an invoice. In either case, it should state the details of the vehicle, names of both buyer and seller, agreed price, and date and time of the transaction. The date and time are important so that any outstanding fines go to the correct owner.

  4. Obtain a transfer of ownership form (Solicitud de transmisión de vehículos), which you can download from the DGT (Direction General de Traffico) website. This is a duplicate form, so that both the buyer and the seller keep a copy. Make sure both copies are signed. Have a bank check (cheque bancario) made out to the buyer for the full price. This is the safest payment method for both buyer and seller, and is the most widely accepted form of payment for private transactions in Spain.

  5. Register the change of ownership (transferencia de vehiculos) at the Jefature de Trafico. This cost varies depending on the size of the engine. Take a copy of the registration documents, your ID and proof of address, copy of the sales agreement and ITV certificate, along with the completed transfer of ownership papers, to the traffic department. You can then provide the seller with proof that all the paperwork has been registered correctly and the motorcycle is now in your name.

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Things You'll Need

  • Identity documents
  • Proof of address

About the Author

Fiona Wilkinson

Fiona Wilkinson is a freelance writer with a diploma in journalism and a B.Sc. in nutrition. She has 15 years of experience writing for a range of online and print publications on nutrition, health and fitness, travel and current affairs. Wilkinson is also a yoga teacher and Pilates instructor.

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