You need to insure all vehicles in Spain to at least third party liability level. This includes cars, trucks, RVs, motorbikes, and scooters. However, bicycles don’t require insurance. Anyone caught driving without insurance by Spanish police can be fined up to €3,000.
To get car insurance in Spain, you will need to register the vehicle. You can drive foreign vehicles for a limited period (3-6 months) without Spanish registration but will need to have at least third party insurance. All vehicles need insurance, even those that are parked or inactive, although insurers will usually only cover roadworthy vehicles.
Traffic on a street in Barcelona, Spain
As in many countries, insurance is applied to the vehicle rather than the driver. You can add drivers to the policy, although those aged under 25 or with a poor driving record may affect premiums. Policies can often be transferred to another vehicle in the event of a sale, although premiums may change.
Car insurance is one of the biggest Spanish insurance markets, accounting for 31.5% of non-life insurance in 2017. The Directorate-General for Insurance and Pension Funds (Direccion General de Seguros y Fondos de Pensiones – DGSFP) regulates insurance companies in Spain.
See more information in these guides on insurance in Spain, driving in Spain, and Spanish driving licenses.
Can you use car insurance from another country in Spain?
If you move to Spain from another EU country, you can continue to use your existing insurance policy. However, you will need to check with your insurer that you have international coverage.
Citizens from non-EU countries may be able to use insurance from their home country for a limited period (3-6 months), but if you are relocating to Spain from a non-EU nation then you will need to register your car and buy car insurance in Spain once this period ends.
Read Also: How To Get Your Car Insurance In Nigeria
Types of car insurance in Spain
The three main types of car insurance in Spain are:
Third-party liability (responsabilidad civil obligatoria or seguro obligatorio)
This typically covers all damage and costs incurred by third parties including vehicle damage, personal injuries, and legal costs. However, a standard policy won’t cover any of your own costs.
You can tailor third-party insurance to include extras such as roadside assistance, so be mindful of coverage and exclusions when purchasing this type of insurance. It’s a worthwhile option if you have an older or inexpensive car, or if you don’t drive often.
Third-party fire and theft (responsabilidad civil obligatoria, incendio y robo)
This covers standard third-party claims plus will also cover a certain amount of damage to your own vehicle. This typically includes fire damage, storm damage, natural disasters, and accidents, plus theft and vandalism.
As with standard third-party liability policies, you can tailor this insurance to meet your requirements.
Comprehensive (todo riesgo)
This type of insurance covers all costs incurred by both yourself and third parties, even if the accident was your fault. Be mindful, though, that companies usually won’t pay out if you are in violation of the law (e.g., driving while drunk).
Comprehensive insurance is sensible if you have an expensive car that will cost a lot to repair, if you drive every day or if there are particular risks associated with your driving. However, don’t forget that your premiums will rise in line with increased risks.
Car insurance costs
Car insurance premiums in Spain averaged at just over €350 per year in 2016, just above the EU average. Premiums have come down from an average of over €450 in 2005. Third-party coverage can be as cheap as €150 but will usually be around €250–300. Fully comprehensive policies are likely to be €400 a year or more.
Car on a street in L’Armentera, Spain
As with most countries, Spanish premiums are determined by factors including vehicle value and age, driver profile and age, and any additional risks associated with the policy. In Spain, your place of residence is also important, with higher premiums associated with busier cities such as Madrid and Barcelona.
You can reduce your annual premiums by voluntarily increasing your excess or deductible, which is the amount you have to pay towards each claim. Most policies have a compulsory excess amount, although comprehensive packages can usually be taken out without any excess. These will be more expensive than standard comprehensive policies. Some insurers also offer temporary (3–6 months) policies at a higher monthly rate.