Car From the US to Spain: Assessing the Viability and Costs


I have been trying to find the cost of bringing my car from the US to Spain. On the Consulate website it says I can bring a car without paying import tax. It looks like I have to change the tail lights and maybe a few other items.

Car From the US to Spain: Assessing the Viability and Costs

I have a 2019 Equinox with 25,000 miles. I don’t owe anything on it but if I sell it I won’t make hardly anything. To buy a similar car in Spain would cost about 3 times what I could sell it for here. People say it’s easier to just buy in Spain. Anyone with an experience in the matter?


These are the answers of Spainguru’s Facebook group members:

“On top of what people are saying, parking spots here are not made for American cars, I also believe they have laws about carbon emissions your car won’t pass so I’m not sure you get much benefit out of bringing your car. Just a couple extra things to consider.”

“Yes, the carbon emissions levels may well be too high. It will I’m sure not be allowed to be driven in Barcelona or Madrid and those limitations are being extended all the time to smaller cities.”

“I’m aware of the emissions but everything I have read is that problem only applies to older cars. This car has a turbo 4 cylinder that had very high emissions standards. I have seen more problems coming the other direction with the European cars don’t meet the American standards.”

“The main thing I have seen with Portugal is changing the tail lights but I haven’t seen much on Spain.”

“Have no car. Public transportation in the us does not exist. Enjoy Spain!”

“Sell it for 10k and get a 10k used car over here, it will save you a ton of stress.”

“There are various import specialist companies that could help. Google ‘Car Import Spain’ or this one has good information.”

“I’ve imported cars from the UK using an agent. It’s not difficult but takes a while. Best to find an agent and give them your registration number. From that he should be able to give a quotation and a summary of what needs doing. Cost of second hand cars is high in Spain and their warranties are not worth the paper they are written on, in my experience. Good luck.”

“Importation maybe free just to get you excited about it. But make sure to budget around $8,000 – $10,000 to ship it to Spain. Don’t forget to add the hidden fees like: While the car is parked at the docks station on the USA side and also at any other port of entry in EU. Maybe another $4,000 for those additional fees.”

“That Equinox would be a very large car by Spanish standards. it might not even fit into most standard parking spaces.”

“We brought an Audi Q5 and we are glad we did. However, it is a German car so sourcing replacement lights was easy. Do Equinox make taillights with orange indicators?”

“Consider this car isn’t a known car in Spain and it’s likely to be challenging to find a mechanic to work on it. Since it’s not a coveted make or model, it would not have much value to a buyer in Spain.”

“Besides getting here and getting it legal, you’ll have nothing but trouble with parking, affording gas (it isn’t government-subsidized like USA) and meeting emissions. You’ll never be allowed to drive it in central Madrid or Barcelona. You’ll have to import parts and pay customs duties.”


Bringing a car from the US to Spain involves numerous considerations beyond just the initial shipping cost. Issues such as emission standards, the suitability of American cars for smaller European parking spaces, and the availability of parts and service are significant. Many contributors suggest that the hassle and potential expense might outweigh the benefits, recommending the purchase of a car within Spain as a more feasible alternative.

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