The driving license is one of the questions that haunts those who raise Andorra as a destination to live or are already established, as well as those related to the car, the motorcycle or in general the vehicle that is owned. Bringing your own vehicle from abroad and importing it or directly selling it abroad and buying a new one in Andorra is a fairly frequent dichotomy. Ditto with any other different vehicle, although it is less frequent.
Other less common but equally important issues are those that indirectly also affect the ownership of motor vehicles in the country: registration and personalized license plates, tourist plates, ITV, insurance and necessary extra documentation, road tax, garage and public parking, etc. they are part of the same pack of topics and questions related to automobiles.
Thus, in this article we are going to try to treat everything related to the automotive industry in the Principality with the greatest possible rigor, as we have always tried to do at Andorra Insiders.
Andorran driving license
Foreigners who are holders of a residence authorization in Andorra of any of the categories (it is not useful to have a provisional document), they can obtain a national driving license or license. Foreigners who, in addition, already hold a driving license issued by a foreign state, are forced to replace the Driving license for the Andorran license within 6 months after obtaining the relevant residence permit once approved by the services of the competent department.
For this they will have to deliver the foreign driving license to the Andorran administrations and comply with the requirements of the Highway Code. If the homologation is requested after a period of one year from the date of obtaining the residence, the applicant must initiate a file to obtain the driving license except for the existence of bilateral treaties on homologation and renewal of driving licenses with the issuing state of the applicant's driving license.
Automatic homologation process
The following driver licenses are automatically approved, without the need for a prior examination:
- Those issued by any member state of the European Union, in accordance with the Vienna Convention of November 8, 1968, provided that a bilateral agreement has been established and is in force on the homologation of driving licenses and permits, or there are reciprocity criteria in relation to the homologation of the driving licenses of both states.
- Those issued by States with legislation on types of permits, licenses and equivalent tests to the Andorran, with which there is reciprocity in the homologation criteria or with which a bilateral agreement for the homologation of driving licenses has been established that provides for it.
Thus, the Andorran driving license is obtained immediately by simply exchanging it if the previous license comes from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Portugal, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland or the United Kingdom.
Documentation required if you come from those countries
- Certificate of residence of the corresponding municipality
- Medical certificate (the test costs about € 25)
- Color passport photo
- The original of the foreign driver's license
Extra documentation required in case of other countries
For all other countries, authorities may require in addition to the following Additional documents:
- A complete legal translation of the text of the permit stamped by a consulate of the corresponding foreign state, if it is not in Catalan, Spanish or French.
- Certificate of authenticity issued by the Department responsible for issuing the foreign driving license.
- Certificate of equivalence of categories for homologation, explaining for which categories the foreign driving license is valid, delivered by the authority issuing the applicant's national permit.
It should be noted that this documentation must be provided with the Hague Apostille, so that it can be valid documentation in the Principality of Andorra. In any case, to approve a foreign driving license It is essential that it is valid on the day it is presented the registration request for homologation and that it has not been obtained while the interested party has his residence in the Principality.
Additionally, these applicants will have to pass a driving test in Andorra, according to the official maneuvering and circulation test program. On the other hand and finally, If they cannot obtain the necessary documents from the country of origin, they will have to take the driving test complete (theoretical and practical) within the first two years of residence in Andorra, in English or Catalan.
Import or take your car to Andorra
The importation of motor vehicles is completely legal and allowed. Around 3,000 vehicles are registered each year, of which approximately 10% corresponds to re-registrations of imported vehicles. This is due to new residents who, with certain frequency, settle in the Principality with their vehicle registered at origin. Cars that are more than 25 years old can be imported into Andorra as classic cars for collectors.
However, there are a number of requirements:
- 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 vehicle must comply with the European emission regulations EURO 5 class or higher (EURO 6)
- The steering wheel must be on the left
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 car homologation certificate
- 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
With the followings costs associates:
- Vehicle registration in Andorra has a cost of about € 200
- 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
- If the car has been purchased in a country that is not in the European Union, you have to pay the 10% of its value for an extra tax
Andorra personalized license plates
In the Highway Code of 2014, where it was specified that cars with more than 3 years old could be registered with the condition that they met EURO 5, it was also implemented the personalized license plate system on request.
Conditions of personal plates
However, not everything goes, there are a number of terms:
- The combinations must be letters and numbers, in that order, or just letters
- The numbering must be Arabic (0-9) and the letters of the Catalan alphabet, capital letters and without accents
- The combinations that have already been reserved or assigned naturally are not accepted
- Combinations that may match the regular registration number are not accepted
- Nor those that may cause confusion (when letters and figures are difficult to distinguish from each other)
- Neither the combinations that contain DNA and others that belong to the Andorran state or authorities
- It must consist of a minimum of two and a maximum of five characters
- If it has five characters it must start with at least one letter
- Nor can it be a combination of the letters "MT", "CD", "CMD", "A", "CC" followed by numbers or the word "PROVA"
- All combinations that are contrary to the law, morality or public order or that generate confusion are rejected
- All abbreviations considered similar to registered trademarks or trade names are also rejected, unless it is proven to be the owner of them.
Cost of tuition
Further, these license plates have an extra cost, since its quantity is limited, it requires more effort from the administration and its objective is to have another source of income:
- The cost of the 2-letter and 3-digit license plates is € 300
- The cost of the 3-letter and 2-digit license plates is € 500
- The cost of registration with 4 letters and 1 figures is € 1,000
- The cost of the 5-letter license plates is € 3,000
- The cost of registrations between 2 and 4 characters is € 6,000
The owner chooses the custom plate and the car where you want to put the plate, obtaining a user license whose annual maintenance cost is fixed at € 200. It is also possible to change it to another vehicle in the future.
Temporary license plates or plates
Non-residents of Andorra can also register and register their car in Andorra. In these cases, temporary tourist or temporary license plates are issued and need to be renewed every year. The registration costs are the same as for the registration of an ordinary registration except the residence certificate, and Only residents of non-EU countries are allowed to drive vehicles registered in Andorra outside the Principality.
Car insurance in Andorra
As we have indicated, to register and circulate in Andorra the vehicle must be insured and you must have an insurance policy with an Andorran insurance company. In this regard, there are numerous insurance companies, such as AXA, Catalana Occidente, Assegurances Generals, Assega assegurances and Assap assegurances, Assegur, Becier assegurances, DKV, Financera d'Assegurances, Generali Andorra, Multisegur, etc. Even those of the Crèdit Andorrà bank or those of the Automòvil Club d'Andorra mentioned above.
There is also a insurance comparator called totsegur and it should be noted that if you are young and have had a driving license for a short time (therefore not having experience), insurance is usually quite expensive.
Buy and import a car from Andorra to Spain
Another issue to deal with in this regard is to buy an Andorran vehicle to import it to Spain as a Spanish resident. Although the Principality is popular for how low your taxes are and because many people come here to acquire different types of goods, we can tell them from the outset 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.
In any case, we write the process below required so that if you are an Andorran resident only for a few years or want to return to Spain after a period of work in Andorra, you can re-import it.
Procedure to follow
- We have the Andorran car documentation (the famous yellow card, which must be signed by the owner to be able to cancel it).
- With her you should go to Andorran Central Customs to request the vehicle valuation (sent by mail).
- 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.).
- With the name change certificate a descriptive documentation of the car at the Andorran border to be able to register it in Spain.
- 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).
- 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).
- The reduced file by a chartered engineer (cost about € 70).
- It is requested appointment at ITV, to pass two reviews (€ 90 the first and € 24.50 the second).
- 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.
- It is requested in Traffic with a rate of € 90 the new license plate number, which is usually awarded within 24 hours.
- Finally with the new license plates and the documentation up to date, a Spanish vehicle insurance.
- After which we request in a official manufacturer of the physical license plates and we put them in the vehicle.
Buying a car in Andorra
Although we have said that buying a vehicle in Andorra to take it to Spain does not pay off, it is obvious that yes it is a great advantage to buy a car as an Andorran resident. This means another option for those who are going to be residents: buy an Andorran car directly and sell abroad.
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. In addition, this IGI is reduced to 1% in the case of hybrid cars.
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 Motorauto, the official Opel dealer o 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.
Parking in Andorra
If something in general is not lacking in Andorra, it is parking. In general it is outdoor car parks since on the roads and streets there is no space to put squares and blue areas, although there are also covered and on the street. We can find them both public and private and at different prices. For example, here we have a list of communal car parks in Andorra la Vella and its rates and here those from La Massana. Ditto with the other municipalities.
Of course, the ski resorts have their own parking lots in different places and also most of Hotels big. It should also be noted that motorcycles generally have free outdoor parking, which is a big plus for it. Finally, renting a garage space can cost from € 60 / month to more than € 300 / month in the case of a large closed box for several vehicles.
I hope you liked and served the article, thank you very much for reading us. Any questions you have, you already know that you can contact us here.