Well it was never a happy marriage and the divorce promises to be very messy but a small majority have had their way and so the uncertainty for we expats will continue for some time to come

My income is predominantly derived from the re-registration of non-Spanish cars, a high proportion, but not all, from the UK, so yes I am directly affected. I can look forward to retirement in December, well semi-retirement really as I love my work and need to keep my brain active which daily battle with the bureaucracy achieves, but my much younger colleague Leigh who will take over from me has greater cause for concern. So do my associates in the UK who ship new or nearly new cars to expats here in Spain

Vehicles already registered here are unaffected but if you have a UK plated car and are considering re-registering it, nothing will change for some time until trade arrangements are defined. After the divorce it will be interesting to see what happens. A vehicle that has EU Type Approval can in principle be registered in Spain without problems. Even after the split it would be difficult to foresee UK manufacturers moving away from agreed EU standards. The main unknown is taxation

Duties and taxes

When I re-register vehicles from say Norway or Switzerland the vehicle has to be assessed for Customs Duty and IVA (VAT) which amount to about a third of the value. If this was similarly applied to UK vehicles post the final split the amount of UK plated cars coming into Spain would reduce significantly.

At the moment any vehicle from anywhere in the EU is not charged IVA as this was paid in the EU country of origin. It is therefore conceivable that if VAT was paid when a vehicle was purchased whilst the UK was still a union member it will not be levied here, though it is equally possible that IVA could be charged in Spain and then reclaimed in the UK as presently happens with some brand new cars imported to this country

Customs Duty is presently 10% of value and as this is levied against Norwegian cars for example; unless we remain in the Customs Union it is difficult to see how this would not be applied to UK cars,

Registration tax, commonly referred to as import tax is levied on vehicles from any country, so this should not change. Perhaps I should point out that ALL of these taxes can be exempted in the right circumstances so it is vital that the right advice is given from the right source to save unnecessary expense

Where to buy a car

People bring cars from their home countries as they know and like them and they are debt-free, let alone that generally speaking cars are much more expensive in Spain. Some clients have told me that trying to buy new cars in Spain can be a challenge as the dealerships are not always flexible. Buying second hand can be fraught in any country, so background information is vital as are reputable dealers. Many clients buy directly or indirectly from Germany where the quality and prices are good and I can’t see that country leaving the EU any time soon. This will continue to be a good option as there is no IVA or Customs Duty between member states

To sum up. Vehicles from the UK will almost certainly be subject to additional taxation in the future, so if you have a UK plated car you may wish to consider bringing it over in the next year or so, alternatively consider buying a Spanish one or seek better deals within other EU countries. Consider the overall cost of purchase, taxation and registration before you decide as the bottom line may vary considerably. Research and correct advice is as important as when buying a property. I will do my best to keep you well informed as the manure continues to hit the expelair!