All vehicles on the roads in Spain must be roadworthy. It is up to the car or bike owner to ensure their vehicle has a valid ITV certificate. Vehicles must be tested at an authorised centre, just as for an MOT test in the UK…
The ITV (Inspección Técnica de Vehículos) is the roadworthiness test for a motor vehicle in Spain. It is the equivalent of an MOT in the UK.
ITV tests are compulsory and may only be undertaken by an authorised garage. The aim of the test is to reduce the risk of accidents, to contribute to greater road safety and better quality of the environment. It is illegal to drive a car which does not have a current ITV certificate.
- To find an ITV station in any region of Spain: Click here (in Spanish)
The price of the ITV test varies between provinces and according to the vehicle size.
- New cars are first tested after four years and must be inspected and tested every two years thereafter until the age of 10
- Any car over 10 years of age must be tested annually
- Motorcycles, mopeds and quad bikes are first tested after five years, after which the test is due every two years
- Caravans are first tested at six years, after which the test is due every two years
If a vehicle has been involved in a serious accident, it should undergo an ITV test after repair to establish whether the repair was carried out correctly.
Taking the ITV Test
It is usually necessary to make an appointment for the test date. The vehicle’s registration document (permiso de circulación), technical papers (ficha técnica) and proof of valid motor insurance must be taken to the testing centre. If the car is being tested after import, other documents will be necessary: for more information, see Obtaining an ITV Certificate for an Imported Car
Vehicles are inspected on the following items:
- tyre tread
- shock absorbers
- wheel alignment
Cars will also be checked for the condition of the bodywork and mirrors, windscreen and wipers. For example if a door cannot open it may be considered a safety violation.
When the tests are complete a document is issued detailing three categories of defect: minor faults (defectos leves), serious faults (defectos graves) and very serious faults (defectos muy graves). The presence of serious faults will lead to an inspection result of “unfavourable” (desfavorable), and very serious faults will result in an inspection score of “negative” (negativa). If the serious or very serious faults are found, the vehicle must be repaired before an ITV can be issued. If very serious faults are found, the vehicle cannot be driven away from the inspection station.
Faults listed in defectos leves are smaller faults which will not necessitate a retest, but should be repaired promptly as fines may be issued by the police if the problem is not resolved.
Failing the test
If a vehicle fails the test, the owner is issued a paper listing the faults. The repairs must be completed within one month of the test.
If the repaired vehicle is returned to the ITV centre within 15 days, the owner will normally receive a discount on the cost of the repeat test. Should the car not be retested during the one month period, notification will be sent to the Jefatura Provincial de Tráfico, and the car may be deregistered.
Passing the test
An ITV card details the results of each test undertaken, and a certificate is issued as proof of roadworthiness. The certificate must be displayed in the top right hand corner of the windscreen. It shows the month and year of the next test due.
In the case of motorbikes and mopeds, the certificate may be carried with the vehicle’s paperwork.
Not displaying the ITV certificate, or driving without a valid ITV can incur severe fines.
Vehicle roadworthiness is not transferable across the EU countries. A car imported into Spain must pass the Spanish ITV test before it can be registered in Spain; likewise, the ITV of an an exported Spanish-registered car will not be valid in another country.
- To find out more about getting an ITV certificate for an imported car: Click here
An ITV testing station can carry out the roadworthiness test on a foreign-registered vehicle and issue a “voluntary certificate”. In this case, the ITV station may not issue a sticker for the windscreen, but the certificate can serve as proof that the vehicle is roadworthy. A vehicle without a valid ITV is illegal; may not be safe to use on the road, and may invalidate insurance cover.
Note: a vehicle that is in Spain for a continuous period of more than six months is considered to be permanently imported and must be re-registered on Spanish plates.