This topic has come up several times with clients recently. They thought they had sold their car and received a sale contract so it was no longer their responsibility, only to find that they still receive tax (Suma) bills and fines for the vehicle some time on. So what should you do when you sell?
Whether you are selling your car privately or through a garage as a part exchange, you need to make sure that the documentation is arranged so that ownership is changed to the new owner.
If you are selling privately, then ask the purchaser to provide you with a copy of the justificante to show that the paperwork is in processing, or accompany them to their gestor office or trafico to make sure, though this is not always practical.
If you are part exchanging or selling through a garage, check their policy on changing ownership when you first start to discuss a deal with them. Some garages change the ownership immediately, but as this has a cost to it, some will wait until they have a purchaser for your old vehicle and then do the change of ownership. Whilst the vehicle maybe sat on their premises and not out and about, whilst you are listed at Trafico as the owner, you are held responsible for the vehicle. Ask for a copy of the justificante.
In order for the documents to be changed the purchaser will need a copy of your NIE or Residencia document amongst others. If they don’t ask for this then you can be sure that the transfer probably isn’t going happen.
We would always advise clients not to cancel their insurance until they are sure that the transfer is in processing and they have some proof. Most Spanish insurance companies now want to see proof that the ownership has changed to cancel the policy.