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Moving to Spain – The Pros and Cons of Bringing Your UK Car

by MatthewMoving to Spain

The Pros and Cons of Bringing Your UK Car to Spain: An Expatriate’s Guide

Moving to a new country presents various challenges, especially when it comes to transportation. For many British expatriates relocating to Spain, one major decision revolves around whether to bring their UK car along or purchase a new one locally. Let’s delve into the advantages and disadvantages of bringing your UK car to Spain.


  1. Familiarity and Comfort: Driving a car you’re accustomed to can ease the transition. Your UK vehicle may offer a level of comfort and familiarity that can be reassuring in a new environment.
  2. Cost Consideration: Bringing your UK car might be cost-effective initially, especially if you own it outright. Avoiding immediate expenditure on a new vehicle can be financially beneficial.
  3. Availability of Specific Models: Some UK models might not be readily available in the Spanish market. Bringing your own car ensures you have the specific model you prefer.
  4. Customization and Features: Your UK car might have certain features or modifications that suit your needs better than local options. This could include right-hand drive (RHD), specific safety features, or comfort enhancements.


  1. Adaptation to Driving Conditions: Spain drives on the right-hand side (LHD), which can take time to adjust to if you’re used to driving on the left in the UK. This change might affect visibility and manoeuvrability.
  2. Legality and Documentation: Registering and legalizing a UK car in Spain can involve bureaucratic procedures, taxes, and fees. It may require changes to conform to Spanish standards, such as headlights and documentation updates.
  3. Maintenance and Servicing: Access to spare parts and servicing might be easier for local vehicles than for UK imports. This can affect both cost and convenience.
  4. Resale Value: Selling a UK car in Spain might pose challenges due to differing market demands and preferences. This could affect its resale value compared to local cars.
  5. Insurance and Roadside Assistance: Insurance costs might be higher for imported vehicles, and finding suitable roadside assistance coverage might also be more challenging.

Additional Considerations from Community Experiences:

Many expatriates have sought advice and help from various sources when considering bringing their UK cars to Spain. Conversations within expat communities highlight the following insights:

  • Quotations and Services: Individuals have recommended platforms like Way Wallapop and services like Car Registrations Spain for quotes, documentation, and vehicle matriculation.
  • Challenges with Specific Vehicles: Some individuals faced complications with unique or imported vehicles, such as issues with registration due to origin and historical documentation.
  • Satisfaction with Service Providers: Positive experiences were noted with service providers like Car Registrations Spain, emphasizing ease of processes and good customer service.
  • Resignation on Certain Vehicles: Expatriates acknowledged instances where importing certain vehicles became impractical due to complexities or lack of historical documentation.


Deciding whether to bring your UK car to Spain ultimately depends on individual circumstances. While it offers familiarity and potential cost savings initially, the legal, logistical, and adaptation challenges should also be carefully considered.

Consulting with local experts specializing in car imports, understanding legal requirements, and weighing the overall costs against the convenience can help make an informed decision.

Moving to Spain involves various adjustments, and the choice of transportation is a significant aspect. It’s advisable to weigh the pros and cons based on personal preferences and long-term plans before making a final decision.

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