In Spain all vehicles are subject to regular safety checks through a road worthiness test, known as the ITV, Inspecciòn Tècnica de Vehiculos, – Vehicle Technical Inspection.
New cars are tested after 4 years, and are then required to be inspected every 2 years until the car is 10 years old.
New mopeds, quads, and motorcycles are tested after 5 years, and then every 2 years until they reach 10 years.
Any vehicle over 10 years is required to be inspected and tested every year.
All vehicles being imported to Spain are also subject to an initial special inspection before the vehicle can be registered in Spain. This inspection has a few more checks, as along with roadworthiness, the technicians are checking that the vehicle conforms with standards.
Before undergoing the technical inspection of your vehicle, you should carry out some basic checks that can prevent the result from being unfavorable. The list below covers the standard test and as well as the extended import inspection.
✅Obligatory insurance – be sure to bring proof that you have mandatory insurance in force.
✅Doors – check the doors open and close correctly from both the outside and inside of the vehicle.
✅Mirrors – check all the mandatory mirrors are in place and are in perfect condition.
✅Number plates – make sure the licence plates are legible and properly attached to the vehicle.
✅Dashboard – check the control panel lights work once the vehicle is started.
✅Horn – test the horn to make sure it works.
✅Lights – check all lights work (high, low, front, back, fog, indicators, license plate light, brake lights and reverse lights).
✅Fuel cap – check the fuel tank cap is in place and secure
✅Engine – check the engine has no oil leaks (it does not leave oil stains on the floor).
✅Seat belts – check the seat belts can be fastened and unfastened.
✅Seats – check that the seat adjusters work and if applicable moved to allow access to rears seats (two door vehicles).
✅Tyres – replace worn tyres and any that don’t match across the axle.
✅Tyre pressure – make sure the inflation pressure is correct.
✅Windscreen – check that there is clear vision through the windscreen and no significant chips or cracks
✅Wiper washer – windscreen and rear wiper must work, with the blades doing their job and water comes out to clean the windscreen at the front and back.
✅Windows – check that the winders work on all windows that open
✅Window tints – front door windows cannot have any tint and any other tints must have been installed by an approved person and etched with their certifying mark
✅Modifications – any changes or additions such as a tow bar or upgraded suspension must have been completed / fitted by an approved workshop and carry a conformity plaque
✅IMPORT dashboard – make sure that the speedometer has KPH or can be switched to display KPH
✅IMPORT headlights conformity – for right hand drive cars, make sure the headlights have been adjusted or changed to suit driving on the right
✅IMPORT foglights conformity – if there are not rear foglights on both left and right, a single foglight must be on the left (looking at the back of the car) or in the middle
✅IMPORT modifications – remove any additions that do not carry a conformity plaque
Once at the ITV station and ready for your inspection, the following is recommended to help the inspector to perform a more efficient test:
-Make sure the engine is warm and at the proper temperature (normal operating temperature of the vehicle when running).
-Keep all seat belts fastened.
-Unlock all the doors.
In diesel vehicles, check that the oil level is adequate and clean the exhaust system by revving the engine several times just before the test begins.
After the inspection if the vehicle passes your vehicle technical sheet (ficha technica) will be updated and you will be given a new ITV sticker. If the vehicle fails you will be advised of the reasons, and you will then need to arrange the repairs and to return to the ITV once corrected. You can read more about fails here.
If the inspection is for importing a car, you will have have to wait for the paperwork to be completed and return at a later date to collect it.