All motor vehicles that circulate on Spanish roads are obliged to periodically undergo a technical inspection (ITV, for its acronym in Spanish).
The deadlines for taking the car to the inspection stations may vary depending on the age and nature of the vehicle, but this is a mandatory procedure to ensure minimum safety conditions for all road users.
It is not a good idea to miss deadlines. According to the Spanish traffic authority (DGT), the police use a system of highway cameras that scan car license plates and compare them with ITV records. For this reason, it is common to receive a fine at home for not having taken the car for inspection, without the police having stopped the vehicle.
Existen cámaras que detectan la #ITV sin pasar— Guardia Civil 🇪🇸 (@guardiacivil) June 10, 2015
Cumple la norma y viaja seguro.
Por tu seguridad y la de todos pic.twitter.com/1AICFvnhzL
For regular passenger cars and motorcycles, the Spanish law estates that they must be inspected for the first time four years after registration.
After the first inspection, the vehicles must go to an ITV station every two years, until the vehicle is ten years old. From that moment, the obligation to inspect vehicles becomes annual.
The terms are different in the case of commercial vehicles. In this case, the law is more demanding and vans for commercial use, for example, must have their first inspection two years after first registration. Afterwards, they have to continue doing it every two years until the vehicle is six years old.
From six to ten years old, commercial vehicles must undergo an inspection every year until they turn 10. From the age of 10, vehicles will have to visit the ITV station to go through inspection every 6 months.
As a general rule of thumb, there are four documents that the driver will have to show at the time of the vehicle's inspection test.
- The Technical Sheet, known in Spain as the 'ITV Card' (Tarjeta ITV) with the latest ITV report. This is not necessary the first time you visit an ITV station.
- The car's registration certificate (Permiso de circulacion).
- A document or receipt that proves the vehicle is insured.
- The driver's ID (not the car owner's ID).
ITV results, fines
Taking our vehicle to be inspected can lead to three possible results:
- Favorable ITV: the driver can continue driving after paying the compulsory ITV fees.
- Unfavorable ITV: The technicians have found a serious fault (or several minor faults), so the vehicle must be taken by the driver to an automobile repair shop to correct those faults.
- Negative ITV: The vehicle accumulates enough serious faults to not be able to circulate. It must be towed by a crane to a garage to be repaired.
Penalties for failing to comply with vehicle inspection regulations vary in Spain, with fines ranging from 200 to 500 euros:
- Having the inspection expired, that is, driving the vehicle or having it parked in the garage or on the street without having carried out the inspection on the corresponding dates: 200 euros.
- Driving the vehicle with unfavorable ITV result (except to take the vehicle to the automotive workshop): 200 euros. In this case, the owner of the vehicle must ensure the faults are repaired and return to the ITV station within a maximum period of two months.
- Driving with negative ITV result: 500 euros. In this case, the vehicle is not authorized to leave the ITV station on its own. It must be towed by a crane and the owner has two months to repair it.
In addition, it is mandatory to carry the ITV sticker (V-19 distinctive) on the windshield of the car. Failure to do so is grounds for a fine of 80 euros.