This article on car insurance in Spain, also commonly known as motor car insurance, is designed to help expats get the lowest and cheapest quotes.
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Table Of Content
How to Find the Cheapest Car Insurance
If you are considering buying a car and you want to find out how much car insurance in Spain costs then read on and we will give you examples.
You may also be wondering if you can insure your UK registered car in Spain and be on the road legally?
We will help with commonly asked questions such as:
- Can I insure my Spanish car in the UK?
- Insuring UK registered cars in Spain.
- Can I get online quote for car insurance Spain?
- Where do get car insurance for driving in Spain?
- Where can I find British expat car insurance in Spain?
- English car insurance Spain – Who does it?
- Can I get short-term insurance for Spain?
If you are looking to find out prices of insuring a car that you are potentially looking to purchase, you may wish to visit our guide on buying a used car in Spain.
If you already have a car in Spain and you are looking to renew your Spanish car insurance then it follows that you want to renew at the most affordable and lowest possible price. With another years no claims bonus to add onto your policy, it is even possible that your premium may go down.
Try contacting an insurance broker who will be able to compare quotations from many different providers as this will potentially save you enormous amounts of time (as well as money) contacting each insurance company directly yourself.
Spanish insurance brokers that can help you with finding cheap quotes for car insurance in Spain include: IBEX, INOV Insurance, Abbeygate, Jennifer Cunningham and Knight Insurance.
The bad news is that having car insurance in Spain is legally required so there is no getting out of it; however the good news is that there are a number of ways of reducing your premiums in Spain – without breaking the law!
While the article below looks at 10 different ways to get cheap (or at least cheaper) insurance in Spain, we must point out that you shouldn’t just choose your policy on the basis of price alone.
Make sure you consider whether the cheap quote you have found actually gives you the full coverage you require otherwise the policy and premium is a complete waste of money.
Whatever you do, don’t be tempted to provide false information on your insurance application as when it comes to making a claim.
There is no point of having auto insurance if you can’t make a claim when you need to – the insurance company can invalidate your contract if you have lied or provided false information.
10 Tips To Save You Money
Why pay any more than you really need to?
A bit of time spent researching and a few phone calls and e-mails to brokers or directly to insurance companies can save you literally hundreds of Euros in just one year.
Below we share with you ten ways that you can reduce and save money on your car insurance in Spain.
Tip 1 – Increase Your Excess
The best way to save money and cut your car insurance premium in Spain is to accept a higher excess (known in Spain as franquicia). The insurance company will always have a compulsory excess but you can add what is known as a voluntary excess in order to to reduce your premium (because you have taken on and accepted more of the risk of the policy).
Only do this once you have analysed your driving skills. If you believe the chances or odds of you having an accident in Spain is high then of course do not make your excess any higher. Also consider any named drivers on your policy and their driving skills!
For example if the excess is €250 then in an accident you would lose €250 of any claim you made. If you increase your excess (flexifranquicia) to €500 then of course you stand to lose that but then if you don’t have an accident in that year your insurance premiums will be much less. So in this example you can expect to save about €60 every year on your car insurance.
Tip 2 – Buying a Car With a Smaller Engine Size Will Result in Cheaper Premiums
Another good tip to save you money on your car insurance is to buy a cheap car which is not highly powered. In our experience of living in Spain and doing a lot of driving in all areas of Spain, we can advise that roads are often poor quality and full of holes.
Spanish drivers are often quite dangerous drivers – a massive generalization we know, but true!
Spanish drivers when parking will often be able to squeeze into the tightest parking spaces with a few nudges on the front or rear of your parked car!
What we are basically saying is that having a nice (expensive) car in Spain is all very well but the odds of having to claim on your insurance is higher than other countries we have lived in such as the United Kingdom.
Buying a cheap run-around town car is a sensible option. Buy a make and model common in Spain so servicing and replacement parts are cheap and you will also find your car insurance cover in Spain is similarly low and cheap. Avoid cars with modifications and extras that would make them more of a target for car thieves.
Tip 3 – Third-Party Car Insurance is the Cheapest Type
Get cheaper car insurance by opting for third-party car insurance in Spain.
This money saving tip comes with a common-sense warning – if your car has a high value then fully comprehensive car insurance in Spain is a must.
But if you can live with the possible cost of replacing your current car – maybe it is almost due for a change or it no longer has much value – then go for third party insurance in Spain.
You will save a substantial sum on your annual premiums.
Tip 4 – Cheaper Spanish Car Insurance By Increasing Security
If you can increase the security of your vehicle then you should be able to save money on your quotes. Insurers appreciate that you have made additional efforts to reduce the likelihood of your car being stolen which means less claims, which is good for them.
If you can park in a more secure area such as a garage or driveway as opposed to on-the-road-parking this should reduce or lower your payments.
Fit an alarm or immobilizer to your car but first find out with your insurance broker or company that whatever model of security system you fit to your car is approved and will actually result in lower premiums otherwise you may be spending money for nothing.
Tip 5 – Accept Limited Mileage to Lower your Premiums in Spain
This is a bit of an insider secret in the car insurance business but if you don’t tend to clock up much mileage then you can sometimes get a reduction in your premiums by getting an agreed mileage restriction inserted into your policy.
Tip 6 – Shop Around and Compare Car Insurance
Shop around and reduce your premiums. With Internet insurance sites such as ours you can easily find many different providers for car insurance.
Many Internet-only car insurance companies such as Linea Directa will have the cheapest premiums because they have smaller overheads compared to the big companies with large offices and staffs. Try also Liberty Seguros Spain, Mapfre Spain or Caser Insurance.
We also recommend contacting a number of brokers such as Knight Insurance Spain or Abbeygate Insurance Spain.
Use an insurance price comparison website that compares many deals on the market and instantly shows you the cheapest deals on offer. This will save you both time and money.
Another related tip is to tell a company what you have already been quoted and ask if they can beat it. Often they will.
This is because the market is extremely competitive and they want your business as they are banking on you being less proactive when it comes to renewing and so getting a new customer can be very lucrative indeed.
Tip 7 – Drive Safely and Carefully for Cheaper Quotes
Driving carefully and safely in Spain will in the end result in lower premiums and cheaper car insurance. Our driving in Spain page has all the rules and regulations that must be obeyed.
Any convictions or points you get on your driving license for things such as dangerous driving, drink-driving, speeding, breaking the road laws etc all increase your insurance premiums as you are then seen as higher risk.
Insurance companies love low risk drivers who have a clean driving license and exemplary driving record because they make little or no claims and therefore the insurance companies get to keep all of the premiums you have paid.
That may not sound fair but car insurance is compulsory so like it or not you may as well pay as little as you possibly have to.
Also, your insurer will reward you with cheaper insurance when the time comes to renew your insurance as they give you discounts the more years you have on your no-claims bonus discount.
Insurance companies prefer older drivers as they statistically do have fewer accidents, so if you are aged over 50 then make sure you find a quote that takes this into account.
There are also specialist insurance companies that only offer policies to older drivers and these companies are often very competitive on price.
Tip 8 – Get All Your Spanish Policies With One Insurer
Try get your insurance policies in Spain under one roof. Assuming you will also need other types of insurance in Spain then it makes sense to take out policies with the same insurer.
For instance you may have more than one car or you may also need house and home insurance for your property. Perhaps you have Spanish life insurance, a funeral plan or cover for your pet?
Your insurer should be keen to get all of your possible business so they should offer further discounts to keep your custom.
Tip 9 – Pay Your Spanish Car Insurance Annually
Pay your car insurance yearly in one single payment.
Paying annually instead of opting to pay by monthly installments makes sense because it works out less.
When you pay monthly premiums an amount of interest is typically added to cover the extra administration and the fact the money is not yet in the bank. These rates of interest charged are often quite high and often more than a banks loan rates.
Tip 10 – Less Named Drivers Saves You Money
Reduce your named drivers or other drivers on your car insurance policy.
If you are just going to be the only driver – and in most cases this is likely, then tell your broker or your insurance company because this could and should result in cheaper car insurance as most policies in Spain allow other people over 25 to also drive your car (with third-party liability usually).
Do also be aware of the opposite case where it is good to ‘name’ a driver.
For example if you have young children who are learning to drive, by naming these younger drivers on your policy, they start to build their own no-claims discount/bonus up.
Premiums may well be higher initially but in the long run it saves them by building up a clean driving record.
Spanish Companies Providing Motor Insurance
Companies that provide car insurance in Spain include: Linea Directa (the Spanish equivalent of Direct Line Insurance in the UK) as well as Liberty Seguros, Allianz and Mapfre.
Price comparison websites will take your specifications and instantly search online and compare prices for the cheapest car insurance on the market. Always shop around as car insurance is unfortunately expensive.
If you are not Spanish you may be unprepared for the seemingly ‘anything goes’ attitude that most drivers in Spain seem to adopt!
You also may not be familiar with driving in Spain or the local road customs such as when to give way etc. so this immediately increases the chances or odds of you being involved in an accident. We suggest you at least read these basic tips for driving in Spain.
So because the likelihood of having an accident in Spain is quite high so it is vital to have proper car insurance. We are not just dealing with damage to your vehicle or the other vehicle involved – considerable medical claims could result – for you or for the other party.
This is known as third-party liability and is the most important thing to cover when taking out insurance in Spain. Finding yourself uninsured or under-insured could be a real financial disaster for the rest of your life.
There are many companies providing auto services and policies in English to cater for the expatriate market in Spain so you understand what your insurance policy covers and what your liabilities are.
Do take into consideration your language skills. If you are not fluent in Spanish then it is important to take out car insurance with policy documents issued in English. Otherwise you won’t fully understand what you are covered for.
Don’t take the agent or brokers verbal explanation as when it comes to claiming on your insurance you will be the one footing the bill if you find you are not properly covered. So check the small print and ask questions until you are 100% sure the policy if what you want.
Car insurance is very similar in Spain to that of the United Kingdom – there is a choice of fully comprehensive policies or third-party fire and theft policies.
Websites To Compare Car Insurance
Unlike the United Kingdom Spain does not have the variety of sites which will help you to compare car insurance between the various providers. In the UK websites such as Go Compare, Compare the Market, Confused.com and Money Supermarket are household names that Spain does not have as yet.
There is now a new price comparison website called Acierto.com which can compare prices and quotes from many different Spanish insurance companies as listed below:
- Linea Directa
- Genesis Insurance
- Zurich Insurance
- Click Insurance
- Direct Insurance
- Fenix Directo
- Regal Insurance
- AXA Insurance Spain
- Caser Seguros
- Liberty Seguros
- Mutua Madrid
- Pelayo Insurance
- Reale Insurance
- Bilbao Seguros
You will then be able to make an informed decision about which coverage and policy to choose because price is just one factor.
Knowing the benefits of each policy and the after-sales service should you have an accident in Spain is equally as important as finding the cheapest quote.
Fully Comprehensive Car Insurance
Fully comprehensive insurance is called ‘todo riesgo’ which translates as ‘all risks’. This can also be referred to as full-coverage insurance.
This covers your vehicle and any other cars involved in an accident as well as covering you and the third-party in the event of personal injury and for medical expenses.
But do check the limits and amounts to ensure you are happy with the level of liability. Some insurance companies will not offer fully comprehensive if your car is more than three years old.
Fully comprehensive insurance will usually also come included with asistencia en viajes (breakdown cover and roadside assistance) and legal expenses (defensa penal).
Third Party Car Insurance
This is the most basic type of car insurance in Spain and it is this type that is the compulsory, minimum as required under Spanish law. In your documentation you will see this referred to as either responsabilidad civil obligatoria or seguro obligatorio.
Be aware of what cover this third-party insurance covers you for which is not your own vehicle but purely any damage to another vehicle or persons that you may be involved in an accident with. This is usually limited to a certain amount and this day and age you may wish to pay a little bit extra, about €50 to obtain ‘ilimitada’ which is unlimited third-party coverage.
Third Party Fire and Theft
You can opt for just third-party insurance but it is better to pay the extra for third party fire and theft. This is because there really isn’t much difference between the two and also because there is a lot of car crime each year in Spain.
If your documentation says ‘responsabilidad civil obligatoria, incendio y robo then you have third-party fire and theft insurance.
Your contents inside the car will not normally be included but often legal expenses will be.
With all the types of car insurance as in the UK there are discounts for no-claims and discounts for named drivers as well as excesses/waivers.
One difference between Spain and the United Kingdom is that your policy will almost certainly automatically include annual Europe-wide roadside assistance and breakdown cover.
Some policies also cover you for a hire car if your car is off the road but some companies offer it as an optional extra so do check your policy details.
How Much Does Car Insurance in Spain Cost?
We are frequently asked questions concerning the costs of car insurance in Spain:
- How much does car insurance cost in Spain?
- Is car insurance in Spain cheaper than the UK?
- Do you have a list of cheap Spanish motor insurance companies?
In general the cost of insuring your car in Spain is slightly less (but not by much) than that of the UK in our experience.
Here is a real example of car insurance premiums in Spain: Citroen Xara Picasso (see photo), four years old, value approximately €10,000. Annual premiums are 568 Euros for fully comprehensive cover. Driver aged 45.
What Happens if I Don’t Take Out Insurance Cover?
Car insurance is compulsory in Spain.
It is obligatory of course to insure your car in Spain (seguro obligatorio). If you are not insured and many people are not, you could face a fine of €3,000 or be sent to prison in extreme cases.
Even if you are insured and you are stopped by the many different types of police in Spain, you can be fined €60 if you are not carrying your documentation. Make sure you carry in your car your receipt from your insurer or broker that proves you have paid for car insurance.
Can I Insure My UK Registered Car in Spain?
We know many of you want to know if you can insure your UK car and drive it to Spain. Then having driven your car to Spain you then panic and want to know if it is legal and whether your car insurance is valid or not.
There is much debate on this subject and so many people give differing answers. The easy answer is that yes you can obtain insurance with many companies and brokers who are actively advertising to insure UK registered cars but the question most people have is what happens when/if I need to make a claim?
Many people will tell you that it is not possible to insure a UK registered car in Spain. They say the policy in invalid under Spanish law and so it would follow that your car is not legally insured in Spain.
We have heard conflicting reports – some people have claimed the insurance companies paid out in the event of a claim, others have told of the insurance companies using the small-print to invalidate the insurance contact/policy.
Some people once their UK MOT has run out, go and get a Spanish ITV (this is basically an MOT in Spain).
The Spanish ITV test is a certificate of road-worthiness for a Spanish plated vehicle. It proves the car is driveable and safe and ensures the insurance company cannot claim the car was at fault in the event of an accident.
But this doesn’t mean that it makes your UK registered car in Spain legal to drive on Spanish roads. Simply if you have been in Spain for more than six months your car is technically illegal on the Spanish roads and you are at risk with your insurance.
If you are in any doubt ask your insurance company to provide you in writing with a letter stating that they understand that you are a permanent resident in Spain and that your car is UK registered and plated with no valid MOT or road tax in Spain but that you have obtained a Spanish ITV and that they are happy to provide you with insurance under these circumstances.
The easiest option is to eliminate all doubt and possibility that your insurance in Spain is invalid by re-registering your UK plated and registered vehicle, be it car, motorbike, van, caravan or motor-home by registering it as a Spanish vehicle – in other words importing it into Spain legally.
Green Card Spain – Driving Outside of Spain
On the flip side you can also drive your Spanish registered vehicle in the United Kingdom as most Spanish car insurance policies also include around 30 days, sometimes 60 days, foreign travel cover whereby you can take your car outside of Spain and still be insured.
You will need to check with your individual insurance company because sometimes the coverage is limited to third party only. Check your documents and you’ll usually find a green card with the foreign insurance details.
This ‘green card’ or International Certificate of Motor Insurance, is no longer a legal requirement within the European Union but it is useful to prove that you have the minimum insurance cover required to drive on European roads.
Road Tax in Spain – IVTM
If you own a vehicle registered in Spain be it a car or other type of motor vehicle used on the roads, then you are liable to pay an annual road tax. In Spain this is called Impuesto Sobre Vehículos de Tracción Mecánica (IVTM). Read more about road tax in Spain.
No Claims Bonus in Spain
The good news is that most Spanish insurance companies and providers will recognise your no-claims bonus (NCB) even if you have built this up in another European country such as the United Kingdom (UK).
In common with other countries your car insurance in Spain gets cheaper the longer you go without making a claim on your insurance policy – in Spanish this is called prima de no reclamacion.
Plus you can now pay a small additional premium in order to protect against the risk of losing your no-claims bonus (no claims discount).
Temporary Car Insurance – Short-Term Car Insurance
This term may be unfamiliar to you but this type of insurance is becoming more popular. Temporary car insurance (aka short term car insurance) is a form of short term car insurance which enables you to insure a car for a very limited duration usually for just a few days at a time but it can be as long as a month.
Some of the reasons you might want to take out temporary insurance in Spain would be for friends and relatives who come to visit you for a holiday and to stay with you.
If they are not covered under the terms of your current car insurance then you can obtain temporary car insurance so that they can drive your car while you are at work.
Another reason is that you might just want to borrow somebody’s car for a short trip or temporary period. Why go to all the hassle of taking out an annual policy only to cancel it later.
We all know how you don’t get a full refund for the time left on your policy and in some cases you don’t get anything back at all!
Short term car insurance is becoming increasingly popular for expat residents in Spain. This is due to the nature of people from the United Kingdom going back and forwards to Spain.
Many people have holiday homes in Spain and they might stay in Spain for short periods. In this instance short-term insurance may be a more economical alternative to taking out an annual car insurance policy.
In this way you can just take out insurance when you need it. These short term car insurance policies can be taken out for just one day or as long as a month.
It can also be referred to as temporary car insurance. There are many reasons and situations where sometimes you just want to drive a car for a week, perhaps you are borrowing somebody’s car while yours is being fixed, there are all sorts of reasons and short-term insurance provides a solution.
Reader Simon wrote in to ask:
“Do you do short term insurance, i.e 3 months for a 700cc quad bike?”
Answer from our experts:
“The law in Spain is that if you have a vehicle it must be insured at all times irrespective of whether it is being used or is parked up on or off the road. As such, no companies provide short term insurance. It is an enquiry we get quite a lot. If the vehicle is registered in another country the existing insurance for the vehicle in that country should be extended to cover use in Spain for the period required rather than arranging a separate policy over here.”
We have just quoted and insured the following makes of cars registered in Spain:
Ford Mondeo Ghia Automatic
Opel Zafira 2.2 diesel
Elegance Seat Leon 2.0 tdi automatic
Opel Astra 1.6 comfort
BMW 320TD Compact
Honda Accord 2-Axle-rigid body Saloon
Renault Megane Cabrio
Vauxhall Cotsa Designe
Peugeot partner combo 1.9D
Nissan Terrano 3.0 DI Sport
Seat Ibiza1.6 tdi Reference
Peugeot Bipper 1.4HDI Confort
Fiat Doblo 1.9 Multijet Dynamic
Jaguar X Type
Getting Quotes – Information You Will Need
- First Name
- Date of Birth
- Telephone Number
- Current Insurer
- Renewal Date
- Years Held Your Driving License
- No Claims Bonus
- Any Previous Claims or Convictions
- Vehicle Type
- Vehicle Use
- Date of Purchase
- Any Name Drivers
- Country Of Registration
- Year Of Registration
- Registration Number
- Car Make
- Car Model
- Engine Size
- No of Doors
- No of Seats
- Type of Insurance Cover Required
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