Import of modified vehicle to Spain?
Posted: 01 September 2014 02:04 AM  
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My husband has a 2002 Toyota Tacoma truck that he adores and wishes to take with us when we move to Spain next year. The issues is that it has been modified,  lift kit and larger wheel rims and tires. From what I can find online, these modification may be an issue passing the ITV and conversion to EU standards. Does anyone have experience with this? Or can someone point me in the right direction to get a firm answer?  I don’t want to chance it and have it shipped over there only to find out it will not be allowed or cost $$$$$ to get it o.k. by Spanish standards. TIA!

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Posted: 02 September 2014 11:44 AM  
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Your best bet is probably to talk to your nearest Spanish Embassy. From your IP address I would guess its in Boston.

Almost certainly any deviation from the manufacturers build standard will meet with compliance problems here. I dont know if US manufacturers have a vehicle lighting standard that is EU or Spain compliant for example direction indicators (turn signals in US parlance) must be independent of side lights so in addition to the EU unapproved suspension wheels and tyres this is something else you need to consider.

You may well be liable for import duties on the vehicle too… all in all it could be an extremely expensive operation especially on top of the shipping costs.

You say in your other post that you are moving to Rota; if you have any connections with the US Navy have you thought about consulting the base families office for up to date information? Links to US Forces or not, for up to date information I would suggest you contact them anyway as local regulations and national regulations can sometimes be poles apart. Take a look at this link; it may be of some help…

http://issuu.com/navstarota/docs/welcome_aboard_package_2013

I am assuming that you and your husband have US Driving Licences… unless the originating state have reciprocal agreements with Spain you might well find that your US Licences cannot be legally exchanged for Spanish Licences and you may have to take a Spanish Driving Test… you can use your US Licences in conjunction with an International Driving Permit for the first year but after that you will need to exchange them for Spanish Licences. As I said if the issuing state does not have a reciprocity agreement in place you will need to go to an approved driving school and take the Spanish test… which is a b*tch…

All that said, good luck with the move and I hope everything works out ok.
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Posted: 02 September 2014 01:06 PM  
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Thank you, foxbat.

Yes, we will be moving to Spain on military orders. The shipping and import fees are not an issue for us as that will be taken care of by the military.  We have spoken with several people at the base but no one can give us a straight answer about the truck. We’ve been told everything from “no problems” to it will be impounded.  I had not thought to contact the Spanish embassy and will do that next. I’m hoping they can give me a definitive ‘no’ on the truck. Just consider the fuel costs, it seems stupid to take it with us.

We do have to EU driving licences. Is the testing process for the EU driving licence easier than the Spanish?

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Posted: 02 September 2014 03:09 PM  
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The thing about driving licences is that each member state of the eU sets its own examinations and whilst the core material is similar there are national differences. In Spain the theory part of the exam is wide ranging and covers a lot of areas which on the face of it have little or nothing to do with driving itself.

There is no such thing as an EU common licence which covers all of the member states, rather each country’s individual licences are accepted throughout the EU.
I think this is the same as in the US where each individual state’s licences can be used nationally, there is no such thing as a USA wide national licence.

For example I am a Brit by birth and hold an UK issued EU approved licence I can therefore drive anywhere in Europe on this licence. In theory, when one takes up residence in another EU country one should exchange this licence for the other country’s bersion. It’s supposedly a straight swap, no test, just a degree of burocracy. However there is no legal requirement to do so; its one of the ‘joys’ of EU rules and regulations. Reciprocity agreements do exists between some US states and Spain and it might be worth your while looking into this ahead of your move ie., try to obtain a licence from a state that has a reciprocity agreement with Spain in place. That way you could enjoy the same straight swap arrangements that we have. Sorry but you will have to research the legalities of that one yourself.

Just going back to the vehicle itself… as I said the vehicle must be compliant with whatever the manufacturers basic build standard is for the country in which it is to be used. Its my understanding that the Toyota Tacoma has its origins in the Toyota Hilux a vehicle which is used extensively in Spain. Given your husband’s familiarity with the vehicle type it would probably be best to buy a second hand Hilux or similar over here which is already on Spanish plates and, having registered the change of ownership, discuss with a Toyota dealer any modifications he may wish to make. Any modifications however must be incorportaed by an approved agency and the details recorded and stamped on the vehicle documentation. Even the simple addition of a towbar has to be recorded; if an after market towbar is fitted and isnt recorded the vehicle will fail the ITV test… tyres must be in compliance with the stated type size and rating as recorded, again its a fail item if they dont. Similar rules apply to headlights if uprated bulbs or additional spotlights are fitted.

As a rough idea of prices involved hers a link to a website giving some examples of the Hilux examples available for sale in Spain at this moment…

http://www.coches.net/coches-de-ocasion.aspx?MakeId=46&ModelId=599&ProvinceId=0&Version;=&BodyTypeId=0&FuelTypeId=0&MaxKms=9999999&MinKms=0&MaxYear=0&MinYear=0&fi=SortDate&or=-1&MaxPrice=0&SearchOrigin=2&text=toyota_hilux

Dont be put off by the recorded ‘mileage’ of some of these vehicles; rember we are dealing with Kms here not miles and 1Km= 0.625 miles… so a car with a recorded odometer reading of 100,000 Kms has in fact just 62,500 Miles on the clock!

Hope this helps in some small way…
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