Historic licence plates for classic cars in Spain

Historic Number Plates for Classic Cars in Spain

Registering Classic Cars in Spain

The process of assigning a registration number to a Classic Car in Spain is more or less the same as that for a normal car.  However the car will have to go through more vigorous checks before it can be passed.  There is no differentiation in regard to age of vehicle and the registration number issued.  So a 50 year old classic Ferrari brought to Spain from another country, and a brand new Nissan Micra, could end up with consecutively numbered plates.

This is quite different to the UK for example, where vehicle registration numbers have a year marker, so you can know the cars are from the number plate.  Spanish vehicle registration numbers have no age identifier.

From a Classic Car perspective, this means that, if you’re bringing your pride and joy 1964 Mercedes SL to Spain, when you register it, you will end up with a registration number that doesn’t fit with the age of the car.  The registration will be just like any other regular new cars registered at the same time. Not great for prestige.

Personalised number plates are very popular in many countries like the US and UK, and bring in a small fortune in revenue for the issuing authorities; Spain’s DGT however, have missed a trick – you can’t get personalised number plates in Spain.  There is however another option for Classic Cars that qualify to be classified as ‘historical vehicles’.

Historic Number Plates for Classic Cars In Spain

If you own a car that is 30 years old or more, you will in most cases be able to get it registered with ‘historic’ number plates.  Historic registration numbers for Classic Car in Spain, begin with “H”, and confirm the vehicle’s classic or ‘historical’ status.  This allows it to be driven on the road in its original condition, even though that might not comply with current legislation, e.g. without seat belts if the car was manufactured before they were made compulsory by law.

You may be able to register your Classic Car using the standard route, however if you want a special number plate for your special car, then apart from being a way to overcome type approval requirements, historical number plates are an obvious choice.

How much does it cost to get Historic Number Plates for a Classic Car in Spain?

The cost to register a foreign Classic Car to Spanish Historic Number Plates varies depending on the car.  You should expect to pay around €1,500 in basic costs.  This would include paying a company to handle the process, admin, all paperwork and certification, ITV, and the actual new ‘H’ plates.  The basic cost wouldn’t include any repairs or modifications that may be required to enable the vehicle to pass its ITV inspection, or taxes.

There are a number of taxes that may apply: road tax, special registration tax, or import duty and possibly VAT if the vehicle is from outside the EU.  So vehicles imported from outside the EU, non-standard vehicles, e.g. one off’s or low production models, will cost more.  Modified cars generally will not qualify.

We offer a professional service to owners of foreign registered Classic Cars in the Costa del Sol to obtain Historic number plates.

This service is suitable for both residents and non-residents who either already own a foreign registered Classic Car which they wish to bring to Spain, or those who want to buy one to import into Spain.

Note: Unless you are taking up residency in Spain, in most cases the car will be subject to special registration tax, and or customs duty and VAT if the car is not registered in the EU.  These taxes are calculated on the vehicles current value.  At 13%, 10% and 21% respectively, this can work out to be quite a lot.   We offer a service for people who are changing residency who wish to register their classics in Spain and avoid paying some of theses taxes.


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