How ToVehicles

How to get your ITV

The Spanish 'MOT' guide

The ‘Inspecciòn Tècnica de Vehiculos’, better know as the ITV, is an inspection to check if your vehicle is roadworthy.  Even though this is essentially the same thing as an MOT, the process is a little different. Rather than dropping your vehicle off an MOT registered mechanic, who tests and fixes issues to ensure it passes, the ITV test centres are a drive-through, wherein you sit in (or on) the vehicle itself, driving from one end to the other via a number of stations, some with pits containing mechanics who checking under the vehicle (for a van or car). You are instructed to do a few things, like using the accelerator, breaks, lights, turn the wheel etc. An emissions test is also conducted.

Vehicles under 4 years old are exempt. Those 4 – 10 years old must be tested every two years. Older than 10 years requires an annual test.

To La Linea, the closest, biggest test situation is in Algeciras. There is a list of test centres available through Andalucia available here.

You can book your appointment via the website here. You will be allotted date and time. Arrive early to produce your documentation at the office desk. Make sure you bring:

  • ‘Permiso de Circulacion’ Which is your vehicle registration document
  • Your insurance policy document (or evidence of)
  • ‘Ficha Tecnica’ (if you have one) which is the report from your last ITV test.
  • You NIE number.

The cost of the test is dependent on the vehicle type (and maybe location?) For a car, it’s between €33 to €49 depending on the engine size (increasing with size). Bikes and Mopeds between €30 to €43. Large vehicles for transport will cost up to €63.

What to do during the test (car or van) 

If you are lucking you may get someone who speaks English. I have also read that it is sometimes possible to pay extra and have someone at the test centre drive it through the test for you. But if you must do it yourself, here is what to expect, and some useful Spanish to learn in advance!

The first station you drive through is for lights, wipers, indicators, hazards and seatbelts.

  • Los faros – Headlights
  • Luces de posición/largas – Dipped headlights/full beam.
  • Antinieblas – Fog lights.
  • Las luces traseras – Back Lights.
  • Las luces de los frenos – Break lights.
  • Dale un poco de agua – ‘Squirt some water’.
  • Limpiaparabrisas / Las Escobillas – Whippers.
  • Señales de giro – Indicators
  • Cinturón de seguridad – Seatbelt.
  • Toca la bocina – Sound the horn.

The second station is for wheel alignment.

  • El volante – Steering Wheel.
  • Izquierda – Left.
  • Derecha – Right.

The third station is for hand brakes and brakes.

  • El freno de mano – Handbrake.
  • Quita el freno de mano – ‘Release the handbrake’.
  • Pisa el freno – ‘Step on the brake’.

The fourth station is for omissions and oil and so on.

  • Abre el capo – Open the bonnet.

Upon completion, you are asked to park out on the other side of the test centre. You may be asked to return to the office to collect paperwork and the essential sticker. However, all that happened to me was a guy came gave me my sticker, and so I was on my way! The little sticker, showing the month and year for when the next test is due, is to be stuck onto the right-hand side of the windscreen. If it fails the test you have some time to take it to a garage and get it fixed. Depending on the reasons for failure, you are given around 30 days to get the issue fixed and return for another test.

If your vehicle fails the test, you may not have to pay an extra fee if you can get the issue fixed by the end of that day. Otherwise, you will be given 15 days to get it fixed and should be given a discount on said inspection. If after 15 days, you will have to pay the full amount.


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