Buying vs importing a car in Andorra

Many people wonder how to buy a car in Andorra, or how to import it from Spain to Andorra or vice versa. Both Andorrans and residents and tourists are interested in learning about these issues. Buying a vehicle is something that is usually done rarely in life, since it is a durable good. Therefore, this question is interesting to solve and it is what we are going to try to do in this article.

We already indicated previously how you can obtain the Andorran driving permit or license where we also mentioned the issue of compulsory insurance, and also about the Andorran ITV, so this time we will expand the information explaining how to obtain a vehicle and what are the best ways to do so.

Import car from Andorra to Spain

Tourists who visit the Principality but are not residents often think of buy a car in Andorra and import it to Spain as Spanish residents. Andorra has very low taxes that they are very attractive and it is very tempting to think that you can buy a car and bring it to Spain just as you can with a mobile phone, perfume or a computer. However, unfortunately this is not possible.

We must note from the outset that The correct thing according to the legislation is to import any type of good from the country where it is purchased to the country where it will be used. However, in practice it is obvious that this is not done and it is also unfeasible. That is why the customs authorities impose limits according to the amount of product that is managed to penalize smuggling without harming people's personal consumption.

However, When we talk about a vehicle, the importation process from Andorra to Spain is completely obligatory since the car must be registered. And therefore it cannot be avoided. That is why, although many people go to Andorra to acquire different types of goods to use them in Spain, we can assure you that in general It is not profitable to buy a car in Andorra and take it to Spain.

It's not worth it because In the import process, the indirect taxes of the country to which it is imported must be paid (Spain, VAT of the current value of the car), others such as the circulation rate in that same country, and a series of fees and costs resulting from doing all the paperwork and documentation necessary for this. What this means is that only for certain second-hand vehicles it may be interesting to perform this operation.

How to import a car from Andorra to Spain?

In any case, we write the process below required to import a vehicle from Andorra to Spain. It would be applicable, for example, to people who cease to be Andorran residents and return to Spain after a period of work in Andorra.

Procedure to follow

  1. We have the Andorran car documentation (the famous yellow card, which must be signed by the owner to be able to cancel it).
  2. With her you should go to Andorran Central Customs to request the vehicle valuation (sent by mail).
  3. Already available for the cancellation and the valuation of the car, you have to go to the Transit (also at the border), which is where they process the name change (€ 11 cost approx.).
  4. With the name change certificate a descriptive documentation of the car at the Andorran border to be able to register it in Spain.
  5. In Spanish customs we carry out the import of the vehicle and we pay VAT corresponding to the valuation made by the Andorran Central Customs (cost of about € 185).
  6. Finally, at the Tax Agency, which is located in Customs itself, the import documentation is delivered. The car can now go down to Spain (although it cannot legally circulate).
  7. The reduced file by a chartered engineer (cost about € 70).
  8. It is requested appointment at ITV, to pass two reviews (€ 90 the first and € 24.50 the second).
  9. With the car file already approved and the ITV goes to the town hall of the municipality where you have registered to pay the road tax as applicable, and the Treasury to pay the registration tax.
  10. It is requested in Traffic with a rate of € 90 the new license plate number, which is usually awarded within 24 hours.
  11. Finally with the new license plates and the documentation up to date, a Spanish vehicle insurance.
  12. After which we request in a official manufacturer of the physical license plates and we put them in the vehicle.

Buy a car in Andorra or import it from Spain

Another different issue is related to those people who are Andorran residents. And it is that, when becoming residents, people must certify their driving license and register their vehicles in Andorra in a maximum period of six months. At that moment an important question arises: is it better import the car from Spain to Andorra or better sell it in Spain and buy a different one in Andorra already registered?

Well, it turns out that, unlike what happens with non-residents, it is obvious that yes it is a great advantage to buy a car as an Andorran resident. When registering and using the car in the Principality, the applicable taxes are Andorran, which lowers the cost of acquiring it in a very notable way.

Buy a car in Andorra or import it?

The advantages of buying a vehicle in Andorra are obvious due to its taxation: as the general rate of the IGI (equivalent to VAT) is 4.5% compared to the 21% of Spain, and the registration and circulation taxes are substantially lower than in this country, It is much more affordable to buy an Andorran car directly, since it also saves one on import procedures.

It is true that many Andorrans or residents import cars from abroad on demand and personalized, and in fact there are many dealers who are dedicated to this work. However, the difference is that new vehicles are imported. The problem arises when you want to import a car that is not new.

When importing a vehicle in possession (already used) an appraisal must be made of the current value of the vehicle, on which to assess the indirect Spanish taxes that must be disregarded and the Andorran taxes that must be paid. This implies that the process becomes expensive in time and money for three reasons:

  • In the first place, the appraisal must be carried out according to the regulations and already has a high cost.
  • In addition, in appraisals the value that is usually considered is not exactly beneficial, and reduces / eliminates the benefits obtained by the tax difference.
  • Finally, all the original documentation of the car must be provided, and the process can be complicated if modifications have been made.

Import or take your car to Andorra

In any case, the importation of motor vehicles is completely legal and allowed. Here you can read the procedure to follow when importing vehicles to Andorra. Around 3,000 vehicles are registered each year, of which approximately only 10% correspond to re-registrations of imported vehicles.

That 10% corresponds precisely to new residents who, with some frequency, settle in the Principality with their originally registered vehicle and do not want to sell it. Cars that are over 25 years old can be imported into Andorra as classic cars for collectors.

Necessary requirements

However, there are a number of requirements to import your car to Andorra:

  • First you have to have a Andorran residence permit, as is obvious
  • It is also necessary to be registered and registered in the Comú de la parish where do you reside
  • The vehicle to be imported must have been registered in your name for at least 6 months before importing it
  • The import must be carried out within the following 6 months from the receipt of the residence permit
  • The car must have been purchased in a European Union country
  • The vehicle must comply with European emission regulations of at least EURO 6 class
  • The steering wheel must be on the left

Required documentation

On the other hand, the documentation necessary is:

  • Owner's identification (ID and passport)
  • Certificate of residence (depending on the type of residence)
  • The original purchase invoice for the vehicle
  • Documents of the last technical inspection or ITV in the country of origin
  • Technical certificate and approval certificate of the car
  • Insurance policy with an Andorran insurance company
  • Export and import declaration made in the process
  • Cancellation of the corresponding vehicle registration in the country of origin

Approximate costs

With the followings costs associates:

  • The registration of the vehicle in Andorra has a cost of around €250 (approximately, as it varies)
  • To import it, the payment of an amount in euros equivalent to the 4.5% of the current value (the IGI)
  • The cheapest plates, which are issued by the Andorra Automobile Club, they cost € 60

Buying a car in Andorra

The most interesting option is, as we have said, sell the vehicle from the country of origin and buy an Andorran one. Thus, the car will already be registered and we will not waste time carrying out the arduous import process. In addition, as we have said, the car will be sold at a discount, since it will have less taxes applied.

Where to buy vehicles

In Andorra there are no dealerships and typical offices of the most famous brands, since until the Principality was opened economically, more than a decade ago, the incorporation of companies in the country required that at least 50% of the capital be owned by an Andorran. Due, large concessionaires belong to large family business groups and there are specific small concessionaires.

Thus, to buy new cars in large dealerships we have, for example, the Pyrenees Group dealers or the Center Prestigi Automòbils. Too Ford Autoselected. On the other hand, there are many small dealerships that usually distribute used and second-hand cars or luxury cars like Sewagen, JM automòbils and more. They can see a list of some of them here.

Finally, there is also a quite interesting search engine called Looking forcotxe where you can search, order and classify the different vehicles, compare prices and contact their owners or suppliers.

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Buying vs importing a car in Andorra [GUIDE 2022]
Jose Sanchis, Abast Technology and Systems Specialist, Andorra Insiders
Jose Sanchis

Supply Technology and Systems Specialist

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Andorra Insiders is an information platform about Andorra managed by Abast Global, an Andorran professional consultancy firm for legal, tax and accounting services specializing in the establishment of people and businesses in the Principality of Andorra. More information here.

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