Guide to ITVs in Spain

Photo of the ITV building in Tablones with the mountain behind lit by sunrise

In this guide, we will walk you through the before, after and the nine steps during the ITV testing process for your vehicle.


Make an appointment at your local ITV centre of choice. (If you need assistance with this, we can support you; please don’t hesitate to ask.) Make sure to arrive early, as some locations may require you to type in your number plate to confirm your arrival before heading to the desk with the necessary paperwork.

The paperwork you need is the Tarjeta de Inspección Técnica and Permiso de Circulación. You may also be required by some locations to bring your driving license, valid insurance documents and previous ITV document. You will then be asked to pay a fee for your ITV, which varies depending on the vehicle.

Top tip: put all the seats in the upright position and fasten the seatbelts across all the seats that aren’t in use. This will save time during the test!

Wait until your license plate number shows on the screen that is usually outside in the parking area. It will tell you the lane number you have to head to.

The car will now go through a 9-step test to make sure it’s roadworthy.

Step 1
When you pull up to the lane, your inspector will meet you. Give them the Tarjeta de Inspección Técnica with the additional piece of paper they put on it at the desk. They will ask the mileage showing on the vehicle. The inspector will check the identification of the vehicle to match it to the paperwork. The make, model, frame number and license plate of the vehicle must match those indicated in the vehicle documentation. You may be handed a walkie talkie at this point to communicate with your inspector.

Step 2
The inspector will now check the exterior condition of both the bodywork and chassis. Vehicles must be free from oxidation and/or corrosion defects in elements affecting safety systems and must not have sharp edges that could cause injury to pedestrians. The wipers and washers must operate correctly (you will be asked to turn them on to show the inspector), and the condition of the doors and their mechanisms must ensure that they can be opened and closed. The windows are all checked to ensure they’re the correct type of glass and free of breakage that could impact on your field of vision. The mirrors are all checked to ensure there’s the correct number, they’re in good condition and their fixings are optimal.

Step 3
The inspector will now check the interior of the vehicle. Vehicles must not have edges or protrusions inside the passenger compartment. The seats must be deemed to be adequate and fully anchored to the body with the regulatory seat belts. Particular attention will be paid to their operation, fastening systems and fixings. The de-mister will be tested and the existence of the anti-theft and speedometer are checked.

Step 4
Now, lighting and signalling will be checked, including the direction of the dipped and main beam headlights. They also check that the lighting and signalling devices are approved, the regulatory number of lights are there and that they are in perfect working order. You will be asked to turn them on and off.

Step 5
The inspector will check your vehicle’s emissions. Using an emissions analyser, vehicle emission levels are checked, according to their date of manufacture and the type of fuel used. Also, the noise level must not exceed the current regulations. You’ll be asked to rev the vehicle in-between 2500rmp to 3000rmp to get a correct reading of the emissions.

Step 6
Now, the brakes will be checked. A roller brake gauge verifies that the braking efficiency is higher than the minimum required, depending on the vehicle type. It also checks that the wheels on the same axle brake with the least amount of imbalance between them. The condition and operation of the components related to the brake system are checked, from the pedal to the wheel barrel. You will be asked to brake at certain intensities and apply the handbrake.

Step 7
The inspector will now check the steering. They’ll check the condition and operation, any clearances to the steering wheel, column, steering box, and all vehicle steering gear bearings and ball joints.

Step 8
This step checks the axles, wheels, tyres and suspension. The overall condition of the axles and wheels is checked and verified. The tyres must be approved for that model, or equivalents. The different components of the suspension are also checked in relation to their bindings, damage, leaks or guards.

Step 9
In this final step, the condition of the engine is checked for oil leaks and its fixings. The general condition and attachment of the battery, as well as the fuel tank, pipes and possible fuel system losses, will also be looked at. The exhaust system is checked, looking for possible cracks and deformations. The fixings will be looked at, as well as the condition of the transmission.


Depending on the location these steps may vary in order.

After all of this has been checked, you will be asked to pull up just outside the testing area.

  • In the case of a positive evaluation, the inspector will give you a document with the results and a sticker indicating when your next ITV is due. Put the sticker on the front window of your vehicle.
  • In the case of a negative evaluation, the inspector will tell you why they failed your vehicle. You will then have a maximum of a few months to fix the issue. You will not be allowed to drive your vehicle, except to go back home or to a mechanic after this point. Once the issue is fixed, you simply rebook an appointment and normally you’ll just be checked on the things that caused the negative evaluation. You will not have to repay the fee, unless you’ve gone over the month or two month period stated by your regional community.

We can support you through the whole process, from booking appointments, dealing with mechanics and even attending the appointment with you.

Just get in touch.

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