Car translations Spain

Very often, people returning to Poland from Spain decide to buy a car and bring it into the country. They usually already have the car they want to buy selected at that point, and only the procedure for registering and exporting the car remains problematic.

Encouraged by the attractive prices of cars in Spain, Poles are sometimes tempted to buy a vehicle in Spain to save money. It then becomes necessary to make a trip to Spain and hunt down an interesting specimen locally.

Before going to Spain, many people look for interesting sales offers online. If you have chosen this route to acquire a car from Spain, attractive offers can be found at We also recommend the use of the Polish-language classified website –

When buying a car in Spain, take care to have a bilingual purchase and sale contract drawn up in Spanish and Polish. This will allow you to avoid possible problems when registering in Poland.

What do I get when I buy a car?

  • Spanish registration certificate – permiso de circulasion
  • technical card containing the technical inspection and technical data of the vehicle, the so-called tarjeta – inspeccion tecnica de vehiculos
  • proof of sale: purchase invoice (if purchased from a car dealer or purchase contract).

NOTE! When buying a car in Spain, you must remember to take a photocopy of the so-called NIE (Numero de Identificacion de Extranjeros) of the previous owner from the seller. Without this document, you may have problems deregistering your car.

A visit to Trafico
In order to de-register a vehicle from Spain and obtain a temporary registration certificate until the car is registered in Poland, you must visit the Provincial Traffic Board (Jefatura Provincial de Tráfico) – i.e., the Spanish equivalent of our communications department.

In Trafico, you fill in a form to de-register the car – “baja por exportacion”. You also pay a fee of €7.80. Once you have received the relevant de-registration document, you must purchase temporary registrations – the so-called ‘placas verdes’ – from the trafico. Temporary plates, also known as tourist plates’, are valid for 60 days and cost €18.60. In the export plates, the registration number is preceded by a T in them. They do not have a Euroband, but the expiry date is shown on the right-hand side in a red stripe. The whole procedure for producing the relevant documents should take you a maximum of two days.

It is also necessary to purchase third-party liability insurance, which is included in the purchase of the temporary number plates.

Official opening hours in Spain
Offices are mostly open until 2 pm in Spain. It is good to know that most establishments close for what is known as siesta time, from 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. or 5 p.m. They then reopen and usually work until
7 p.m., 8 p.m.

How can I read the validity of a technical inspection?
On the back of the ‘ficha técnica’ document you will find the ITV stamp and the expiry date of the inspection.

Once you have decided to import a car from Spain, consider using a transport van or autotransporter. In this way, you can avoid possible inconveniences from German police officers, and save time and money.

Before you cross the border into Spain, you should find out some practical information about the country’s traffic regulations.

  • The highway is almost always toll, while the expressway is not. The amount of the charge is based on the distance travelled and the category of vehicle. It is also often influenced by the hour of travel.
  • The Spanish police are very rigorous in their road checks. So make sure your car has an up-to-date technical inspection, as well as proper brakes, tyres, first aid kit, warning triangle and reflective waistcoat.
  • Ensure that seatbelts are fastened in all occupied seats in the car. Their absence can cost you a lot.

When you return to Poland, you must use the services sworn translator. His or her assistance is essential because the documents you have in your possession are in Spanish and, under current Polish law, must be translated.

If you have a bilingual purchase and sale agreement, also drawn up in Polish, it does not need to be authenticated. However, you need to know that in some offices they may require the seal and signature of a sworn translator, also on this document.

A certified translation is characterised by the corresponding repertory number, as well as bearing the legible imprint of the round seal and the signature of the sworn translator.

When buying a car in Spain, you may often hear from the seller that the car has a valid technical inspection, allowing you to avoid the inspection in Poland and thus save money. Unfortunately, such a positive scenario may not always take place. There is a risk that the official in Poland will not recognise the technical inspection if the deadline for the foreign examination is longer than the Polish regulations stipulate. In Spain, a compulsory technical inspection (Inspección Técnica de Vehículos) takes place every two years for vehicles that are less than 10 years old. Cars older than 10 years must undergo an inspection every year.

It may, therefore, be the case that the car you purchase has a Spanish technical inspection expiry date of more than one year. In that case you will have to go to a diagnostician.
When presenting the Spanish technical inspection, you must also take into account the fact that the car may be sent to a diagnostic station in order to establish the necessary data for registration, which were not included in the original Italian documents.

In summary, even if you have an up-to-date Spanish inspection, do not forgo a visit to a Polish diagnostic station. It will ensure that you obtain the relevant documents and avoid unnecessary problems when registering with the transport department.
After a successful inspection, you should receive a technical inspection certificate and a Vehicle Identification Document.

The next item on the list of necessary steps for registration is to visit the Customs Office. Remember to complete the formalities at the Customs Office within five days of purchasing the car.

What are the formalities at Customs Office?
In the office you must:

  • file the so-called “Simplified declaration for intra-Community acquisitions”, identified by the symbol AKC-U
  • pay the excise duty to the bank account of the relevant Customs Chamber.

What does the excise duty depend on?
Many people mistakenly believe that the amount of excise duty depends, for example, on the year of manufacture of the car. Under current law, the amount of excise duty is determined by the engine capacity of the vehicle purchased.

If, therefore, your vehicle has an engine:

  • up to 2000 cc, the excise duty is 3.1% of the vehicle price
  • over 2000 cc, the excise duty is as high as 18.6% of the vehicle price

What do I need to submit in order to obtain a document confirming payment of excise duty?

  • the completed AKC-U declaration
  • an application to the Head of the Customs Office for the issue of a document confirming payment of excise duty
  • proof of stamp duty payment (you will pay PLN 17 for it).

It is also necessary in the car registration procedure to obtain the relevant certificate from the Tax Office. You go there to obtain a VAT exemption. However, remember to visit the tax office once you have confirmation of payment of the excise duty.
In order to obtain a tax exemption, you must fill in a VAT-24 application and pay an amount of PLN 160 to the office.

And don’t forget to include a VAT -24 with your application:

  • Original and photocopies of vehicle documents, together with translations by a sworn translator
  • Proof of payment

Fees at the Tax Office are unfortunately not all the expenses that await you. You still have to pay what is known as the recycling fee before visiting the Motor Vehicle Department. This fee must be paid by all persons who bring a vehicle into Poland from abroad. It was introduced in Poland in 2005 as a result of increased car imports from the West.

In order to obtain the relevant document, you will need to pay PLN 500, into the account of the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management.

NOTE! When ordering the transfer, do not forget to include the model and make of your car in the title of the transfer, as well as the description “recycling fee”, and the chassis, body, VIN or frame number of the vehicle.

Here are the details to which the transfer should be ordered:
National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management: BGK III Branch in Warsaw 65 1130 1062 0000 0109 9520 0014.

Now, all that remains is the final key place for registration, which is the Motor Vehicles Department competent for your place of residence.

When going to the Department of Motor Vehicles, you must remember to take all the documents you have managed to collect so far. And don’t forget all the copies and translations. Also take your completed car registration application with you.

A template for such an application can be found here:

At the office, you pass all the documents and the certificate for the de-registration of the car in Spain. In return, the office will issue you with a temporary registration certificate, plate and window sticker.

Now all that remains is to go to the insurer and take out the compulsory third-party liability insurance.

How much will I pay to register my car at the Department of Transport?
You will pay PLN 256 for the registration of a car purchased in another country.

The registration price includes the cost:

  • Licence plates – PLN 80
  • Registration certificate – PLN 54
  • Issuance of a vehicle card – PLN 75
  • Issuance of a temporary permit – PLN 13.5

And also:

  • Legalisation sticker – PLN 12.5
  • Control sticker – PLN 18.5
  • Registration fee – PLN 2.

With the registration procedure correctly completed, you can enjoy your car. From now on, you are the rightful owner and user of the vehicle!


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