Insuring a Vehicle in Spain: Car Insurance

Find out about the types of vehicle insurance available in Spain and how to make a claim. Also, find out what the cover provides and how to insure a foreign car in Spain...

All vehicles must have at least third party insurance. Proof of insurance must be carried at all times. There are penalties for drivers of vehicles without valid insurance.

Types of Insurance

Spanish insurance policies may vary from the standards of other countries, including EU countries. For example, when a car is considered a write-off in Spain, the insurance company will only refund a percentage of the value.

  • It is obligatory for all cars to have at least third party, fire and theft insurance (part comprehensive). This is called: seguro a terceros or responsabilidad civil obligatoria
  • Fully comprehensive "all risks" insurance (Seguro a todo riesgo) is available and often obligatory when leasing a car or buying on hire purchase
  • Optional driver and passenger insurance (Seguro de ocupantes) provides compensation for loss of earnings and death. Special insurance may be required for exceptional contents and accessories

The Spanish insurance system operates on a no-claims bonus (bonification/sistema bonus-malus). In order to benefit, evidence of no prior claims will need to be provided. It can significantly reduce the cost of insurance. A premium may be reduced by electing to pay an excess (franquicia or deducible).

Claiming after an accident

If an accident is caused by an uninsured vehicle, injured party or owner of damaged property is entitled to compensation from the Insurance Compensation Pool (Consorcio de Compensación de Seguros).

If the car is registered in another country, a Green Card must be displayed.

Insuring an EU-Registered Car in Spain

If the car spends over six months of the year in an EU country other than Spain, it is necessary to take out a European insurance policy with the home insurer. EU regulations mean that all vehicles must be insured in the country in which they are registered. Therefore if the car is (for example) UK-registered it cannot be insured with a Spanish company. The vehicle can, however, be insured with a British insurer in Spain, by using the Spanish branch of a UK insurance company.

To register a car in Spain it needs to be deregistered in the country of origin then re-registered with the authorities in Spain.

Further Information