Car insurance in Spain for non-residents

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Many of expats, who have decided to relocate to Spain, are interested in car insurance in Spain for non-residents. What should you bear in mind?

People think that according to the rules of the European Union it is not necessary to buy a Spanish car insurance.  In part it is, but you are limited in time.  You can’t drive in Spain for a long time without notifying the Spanish authorities.

You will need to arrange Spanish car insurance.  In Spain, any type of transport must be insured, otherwise you can get a fine of up to 3000 euros or go to jail.

– Car insurance is obligatory by Spanish law and if any car is not insured, even if it’s not in use and kept in a garage, the fines would be between 650 and 2800 euros. Besides car insurances are the same for all the people. Companies don’t apply any difference between the Spaniards of expats, – Miguel Angel Cortes, from BMI Insurance Brokers SL, points out.

Temporary car insurance

When you come from any European country, having insurance made there, then you can only use it for a particular limited time.  Usually temporary car insurance lasts for 90 days.  In the UK, insurers can offer insurance coverage for up to six months.  But after this period, you must register the car in Spain.

And if you wish to become a legal resident of Spain, you must register your car within 30 days from the moment you arrived in Spain.

Moreover, you are not allowed to insure a foreign car with a Spanish insurance company.  According to the rule in the European Union, that all cars must be insured where they are registered, first you should register your vehicle in Spain.

Spanish insurance companies offer various insurance packages that provide protection against certain risks – from damage to complete loss of the car or damage to the driver’s health.

Options of insurance:

  • Third-party (seguro obligatorio – which is the minimum required by law).
  • Third-party, fire & theft or part comprehensive (responsabilidad civil obligatoria, incendio y robo).
  • Comprehensive (todo riesgo).
  • Roadside assistance (asistencia en viajes).

Cheap car insurance in Spain

Fortunately, car insurance in Spain is one of the cheapest in the European Union.  Cheap car insurance in Spain really pleases expats. As in any other country, car insurance cost will depend on different criteria.

As Miguel Angel Cortes mentions, prices will be different depending on many things. Model of the car, the duration of its use, engine size, driver’s age and his experience, etc. Sometimes it even matters whether do you have a garage or not, because some programs provide a discount if you do.

You should compare car insurance terms of different insurance companies. There are many national and international insurance companies called “empresa de seguros”.  Each has a network of its own offices to work with clients, it operates through insurance agents or on the principle of direct insurance. But there is something that may surprise you.  If you live in a rural area, your insurance is likely to be cheaper.  In contrast, premiums in areas such as Madrid tend to be higher.

To obtain auto insurance you need a driver’s license and a NIE / Residency permit, expats must have a residence permit or a foreigner identification number (NúMero de addedidad de extrenjero or nie number)

What to do in case of an accident

If you are in a minor accident, perhaps, you can find a compromise solution on the spot. Then calling the traffic police is simply optional.  Participants in the incident should fill out a form. The documents remain in the hands of the victim, and the copy of the documents is with the culprit.  After that the victim should submit the form to the insurance company. The experts will consider the case in detail and pay all losses.

But, when the accident led to serious consequences, calling the police is mandatory. Try to collect as many witnesses as possible before their arrival.  If the culprit has disappeared, it is necessary to write down the car number and fill out an act, which is then given to the insurance company.  Further, the company is already dealing with the culprit.

Due to the predominantly mountainous roads where visibility is low: the driver must have a pair of emergency triangles and a vest in the car.  The insurance company must also evacuate the driver and passengers, assuming all financial costs.


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