Buying and owning a car in the canary Islands

Buying and Owning a car in Tenerife or any other of the Canary Islands

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Buying a car in Tenerife or any other of the Canary Islands can present itself as being a pretty daunting task when it comes to dealing with all the paperwork and paying the relevant taxes. We’ll try and break everything down for you as simply as possible in this page.

buying-second-hand-cars-tenerife-canary-islands

Things are a lot easier if you are buying a new car from a car dealership in the Canary Islands - the sales agent there will handle all the necessary paperwork for you but you will still be expected to pay the 5.5% transfer tax and administration fee to Trafico.

If you don’t feel comfortable dealing with the paperwork, you can always employ the help of a professional to handle the purchase of your second hand car in the Canary Islands for you. There are several businesses to choose from but in Tenerife, we would recommend Crystal Clear Solutions – just ask for Sylvia or Ryan.

There are many seond hand car garages you can go to in Tenerife such as Wheeler Dealers in Las Chafiras. It is also popular for private vendors to park their cars on the side of busy streets with their contact details put on display.

If you are buying a second hand car in Tenerife or any other of the Canary Islands, the most important thing you must realise is that all debts are associated to the car, not the owner (parking fines, outstanding loans, even social security, taxes, etc.) Therefore, the first thing you must do when buying a used car in Tenerife or any other of the Canary Islands is go to the Ministerio de Trafico (Ministry of Traffic - the Spanish equivalent of the DVLA). In Tenerife, this is in Santa Cruz on Calle Heliodoro Rodriguez Lopez - opposite the Hiper Dino. Call (+34) 922 227 840 ext:060 for general inquiries. As of June 2014, you need to book an appointment online to visit the offices. You can do that by visiting https://sedeapl.dgt.gob.es/cije_internet/faces/paginas/indexSolicitud.xhtml

Jefatura Provincial De Trafico‎
Calle Heliodoro Rodríguez López 34,
38005
Santa Cruz De Tenerife

Here, you will pay a small fee to obtain an Informe (information sheet) to see if any Embargos (debts) are associated to that car. Be careful, as it sometimes takes time for embargos to be placed on a vehicle so the embargo may still be placed on the car after you have purchased it.

Tax should be paid on the car already, always ask for a copy of the tax receipt from the seller.

You must also pay a transfer tax and an administration fee on the purchase of your second hand car which amounts to 5.5% of the value of the second hand car plus 40 euros for admin. In Spanish, this is called the Impuesto de Transmisiones. In Tenerife, you pay this tax by visiting the Delegación Provincial de Hacienda (Provincial Tax Office) in Santa Cruz. In case you need to make an enquiry, their telephone number is (+34) 922 53 44 32.

Delegación Provincial De Economía Y Hacienda De Santa Cruz De Tenerife
Av Marítima
38003
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Spain

At this stage, they will present you with a contract specifying the purchaser and seller’s details and the purchase price. You must have this document stamped and paid.

The next step is to go to the Jefatura Provincial de Trafico (Provincial Traffic Headquarters – another name for the “Ministry of Trafic” – see map above) where you need to fill in the Cambio de Titularidad (Change of Ownership papers) for your second hand car. This transfer process will take a minimum of 15 days.

You will also need to change the name on the Permiso de Circulación (traffic permit) and attach the following documents (always take the original documents plus 2 copies of each):

  • Copies of your NIE certificates for both buyer and seller of the second hand car
  • Contract signed by both buyer and seller
  • Ficha Técnica (what is commonly known as a Green Card) and a Permiso de Circulación. Combined, these two documents are the equivalent to a British logbook. You must also make sure that you receive proof (in the form of a receipt) that the road tax has been paid as you cannot transfer the car without it having been paid. The Ficha Técnica shows all the technical specifications of the vehicle and whether or not it has a current ITV (equivalent to a MOT)

Used cars in Tenerife and the rest of the Canary Islands tend to retain their value quite well due to the favourable climate.

Don’t forget, if you don’t feel comfortable dealing with the paperwork, you can always employ the help of a professional to handle the purchase of your second hand car in the Canary Islands for you. There are several businesses to choose from but in Tenerife, we would recommend Crystal Clear Solutions – just ask for Sylvia or Ryan.

Owning a Car in Tenerife or any other of the Canary Islands

If the car you are buying is more than 4 years old, make sure it has passed its ITV (equivalent of the MOT). If not, you can take your car to an ITV centre where they will test the car for you and issue with a pass or a fail.
Impuestos de Rodaje (road tax).

You must pay your road tax at the Ayuntamiento (town hall) which governs your locality. Prices vary between local authorities and size of the car’s engine but are always a lot cheaper than what you would be paying back in the UK – usually around 39-84 Euros. There is no tax disc, just a receipt so remember to keep it safe!

What should you keep in your glove box? Roadside spot checks are very popular and are carried out by the Guardia Civil (police in green uniforms and white and green vehicles). Failure to comply to rules can result in on the spot fines.

Here’s a list of the paperwork you will need to have on you at all times:

  • Drivers’ License
  • Insurance policy document AND proof of payment from the bank or receipt from an agent.
  • Permiso de Circulación (Traffic Permit – you should avoid leaving this in your glove box for security purposes and keep it on your persons.)
  • Ficha Técnica
  • ITV disc must be up to date and displayed on your windscreen
  • Passport or Certificado de Registro (formerly known as the Residencia)
  • Two warning triangles in case of break down
  • A complete replacement bulb kit
  • First Aid Kit
  • A fire extinguisher
  • Two reflective jackets

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to head on over to Crystal Clear's Facebook page and ask your question there. You will have your question answered quickly and informatively!