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Cars and Tenerife

Auto information for Tenerife.

Driving Licences - Accelerated Courses

If you are a Resident of Tenerife, do not possess a driving licence and wish to take your driving test then unless you speak fluent Spanish, you will almost certainly be better off to take an intensive driving course in the UK (or your country of origin). For non-Spanish Nationals this is invariably faster, more practical and cheaper - plus your UK driving licence is normally acceptable in Spain.

Such courses should be taken with a driving school experienced in dealing with accelerated instruction. We can recommend the Drive 4 Life school in Plymouth, who have an exceptional record and can meet a variety of special needs. For further information, you can contact Raj directly at .   Affordable accommodation can be easily found in the Plymouth area. Apart from being a very interesting and beautiful part of the country, it is probably the only part of the UK where you can avoid weather related interruptions in your course.

Important Ground Rules

Buying Used Vehicles

When purchasing a second-hand car, it is important to immediately take into account two major points

(1) Debts - You buy the car AND it's debts and past liabilities, e.g., unpaid taxes, fines, etc.

(2) Transferring Ownership - Can become problematical, especially if

Debt recovery measures can be placed on a car, so searches of debts must always be made before parting with your money. Eurosol offer search services to ensure that a second-hand car does not have problems which you will inherit, and to ensure the vendor even has the right to sell the vehicle. In spite of continuously circulating this advice, every week we have at least one person contacting us when they discover they have major problems with their recent purchase.

Transfer of Car Ownership
When buying or selling a vehicle in Tenerife, there is a routine, but time consuming procedure involving the Ministerio de Trafico. You can attempt to do this yourself but it is recommended you use a Gestor to do this for you, yhus ensuring that the vehicle is correctly transferred to your ownership.

Important Transfer Points

(a) Foreign Non-Residents may purchase a vehicle, on the basis that they are regular visitors and thus need the vehicle. They will require an NIE/NIF Number and Certificado de Domicillo.

(b) Foreign Residents will require a copy of their Residencia and/or NIF number

(c) Past Debts. In Spain, a vehicle may be linked to past debts. For example, unpaid taxes and fines associated with the vehicle, (by the current or previous owners) or even unrelated debts, where the creditor has power to use the car as an asset for seizure, means that the car may carry debts for which the new owner will become responsible. Also, if road tax has not been paid, you should remember that a the time of writing, Road Tax is a Local municipal tax. So, if the car originated in, say Barcelona, and there are unpaid taxes - you would have to go to Barcelona to pay the taxes and any fines, before you could transfer the ownership.

(d) Check Vehicle History BEFORE Buying. Avoid problems in (c) above, and protect yourself from future problems' liabilities, have the vehicle's history checked at the Ministerio de Trafico

(e) If Current Owner is a Company. If the seller/current owner of the vehicle is a company, then the Ministry de Trafico may require a Certificate from the Registro de Mercantile and Finance Registry. This declares that there are no outstanding Credit Finance liabilities connected with the vehicle and a copy of the company's Escritura.

Documents Required to Transfer Vehicle Ownership

  1. Residencia or Passaporte Original + 1 Copy
  2. NIE Certificate / NIF Card Original + 1 Copy
  3. Certificado de Domicillo - If non-resident Original + 1 Copy
  4. Autorizacion 2 Original (If EuroSol do this for you)
  5. Declaracion of Impuestos de Transferencia Original
  6. Solicitud de Transferencia Modelo 1.5 Original - Signed by Seller, stamped by Bank
  7. DNI / NIF of the seller 1 Copy
  8. Permiso de Circulacion Original + 1 Copy
  9. Tarjeta de Inspeccion Original + 1 Copy
  10. Servicio de Recaudacion para Impuesto de Circulacion Original + 1 Copy
  11. Certificado de Seguros Original + 1 Copy
  12. Contrato de Compraventa (Bill of Sale) Original + 1 Copy
  13. Escritura de Compania (if the 'owner/seller' is a 'company') Original + 1 Copy

Importing and Matriculating on to Tenerife Plates
Whether bringing in your existing car into or buying a new car outside of Tenerife, the principles are the same.
(i) Non-Residents Cars are normally allowed to stay on the island for a 'holiday' period of 6 months.
(ii) Residents are allowed 2 months, from the date of import, to get the vehicle matriculated on to TF plates
. Matriculation is a lengthy process which involves various inspections and can take up to 14 visits to Santa Cruz. Every original document belonging to the vehicle must be to hand, including the ferry tickets, dated and stamped by the authorities to confirm exactly when the vehicle arrived in the country. Taxes are levied at a rate determined by the 'Authorities' assessment of the value of the car (can be far more than you actually paid for the vehicle). Most people offer a matriculation service for vehicles only if they are consulted before the vehicle departs its country of origin. Otherwise, they cannot ensure that the correct procedures and documents will allow matriculation. If the vehicle is already here, most owners might find the cost of matriculation prohibitive. People who say they can 'matriculate the car cheaply and quickly' for you are invariably suspect and it is highly unlikely that you will finish up with a problem-free and correctly authorised matriculation.


Vehicles imported after 1 January 1993.
1. Document proving entry of vehicle.
2. Request Technical Inspection for vehicle in the Consejería de Industria, Avda. de Anaga 35-37, Santa Cruz.
3. Photocopy of the original documentation of the vehicle, certified by the Consejería de Industria.
4. Receipt of purchase from the country of origin (if the documentation is not in the name of the person who imported the vehicle).
5. Municipal Tax (I.V.T.M.) - request in offices of Cajacanarias.
6. Valid I.D. Card for Spaniards or Residence Card for foreigners.
7. Tax on specific means of transport (Model 565) Delegación de Hacienda Estatal.
8. Request application forms provided by Traffic Department.
9. If the owner is a foreigner, he must provide proof in the form of a sworn affidavit that he does not own any Spanish registered vehicles or a Spanish driving licence. Owners possessing these must provide a photocopy of the Permiso de Circulación of the vehicles or driving licence.


If the vehicle was brought into the country before 1 January 1993, the same documentation must be presented, except for No. 1, which is replaced by the D.U.A. (Unitary Customs Declaration). Owners should contact Administración Principal de Puertos Francos, Avda. Jose Antonio, Edificio de Hacienda Estatal, Santa Cruz.