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Car insurance in Barcelona

Planning on getting behind the wheel in Spain? Make sure you’re covered with the help of our fully comprehensive car insurance guide.


Choosing the correct car insurance can be a little overwhelming, especially if you aren’t clear on the differences between each one. If you’re thinking of driving in Spain, Cogesa Expats is your go to provider, offering a wide variety of insurance options at competitive prices

This blog is sponsored by Cogesa Expats.

Car insurance in Barcelona

Car insurance in Spain

Car insurance in Spain differs from what some expats are familiar with (e.g. expats from the UK). For example, in Spain you must insure the vehicle as opposed to the people who are going to drive it.


You can add drivers to your policy, although those aged under 25 or with a poor driving record may affect premiums. Policies can also sometimes be transferred to another vehicle if you decide to sell your car. It is mandatory to insure your car under Spanish law to at least third-party liability level (even if it is off the road).


This includes cars, trucks, motorbikes, RVs, and scooters. Anyone caught driving without insurance can be fined anything from €600 to €3.000.

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)

A third party car insurance policy ensures that if you cause an accident, any damage to the other person’s vehicle, any personal injuries and legal costs will be paid for by your insurer. However, a standard policy won’t cover any of your own costs. You can also tailor third-party insurance to include extras such as roadside assistance.

Third-party fire and theft (responsabilidad civil obligatoria, incendio y robo)

Third-party, fire and theft insurance is the mid-level of cover you can get for your car. It gives you more cover than basic third-party insurance, but not as much as a comprehensive policy. Crucially, it won’t pay out if your own car is damaged in an accident, but it will cover a certain amount of damage if caused by fire plus theft and vandalism.

Comprehensive (todo riesgo)

Fully comprehensive insurance offers the best level of protection in the event of an accident. 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 won’t pay out if you are in violation of the law (e.g., driving while intoxicated).

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.

Additional forms of car insurance in Spain

Aside from the above policies, most companies also offer additional coverage for certain things:

Breakdown assistance

Covers towing and repair costs, along with a replacement vehicle.

No-claims protection

Allow you to protect your no-claims bonus if you make a claim.

Personal accident insurance

Covers medical costs and can provide compensation in the event of death/disability.

Legal expenses insurance

Covers legal fees in the event of a court case due to an accident.

Applying for car insurance in Spain

Each car insurance company will have its own application process, however most companies allow customers to apply online. Most insurers will ask for the following as a minimum requirement:

  • Spanish driving licence or a licence that can be used in Spain
  • NIE
  • Spanish bank account
  • Postal address in Spain
  • *Some companies may also want a copy of your ‘no claims discount’ from your previous insurance company

Once your application is processed, you should receive your insurance certificate, EU accident statement form, and green card if you plan on using your Spanish car insurance overseas. It is no longer a legal requirement to carry your car insurance documents in your vehicle, although it’s worth having a copy to hand just in case you need to show proof of insurance at any given time.

What is the green card

The ‘tarjeta/carta verde’ or green card is a document to prove that the driver has adequate insurance cover for driving abroad. Only certain countries require you to carry one when visiting their country, so it is worth double checking this before you travel.



What is it for?
It was designed to serve two purposes: to facilitate the movement of cars across international borders and to ensure that victims of accidents caused by foreign vehicles are not disadvantaged.

I already have car insurance from my home country, is it still valid 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 permanently then you will first need to register your car and buy brand new car insurance in Spain once this period ends.

Inexperienced drivers

Some Expats who have moved to Spain might find themselves unable to insure a vehicle with Spanish insurance companies if they also want the coverage to include their children. Many younger expats cannot buy their own car insurance or even stay under their parents’ insurance preventing them from using the car while they live in Spain.

This is quite common, as insurance companies do not want to incur extra risks by issuing insurance policies to young, inexperienced drivers and therefore drivers aged under 25 in Spain usually have to pay much higher premiums in order to be insured.

About Cogesa Expats

Cogesa Expats is a nationwide insurance broker who has been working with several of the main insurance companies in Spain since 1917. Some of these insurance companies provide special car insurance deals for expats that come with some of the best prices in the Spanish insurance market. Not only can Cogesa offer some of the best prices for insurance policies,  they can also provide maximum ‘NO CLAIMS BONUS’ without having to show previous claim history, as part of an agreement with their partnering insurance companies.


In Spain, you have the option to choose between fully comprehensive coverage or a third party insurance. By law, it’s obligated to have at least the standard third party coverage. Cogesa Expats helps you find the best price for your car insurance in Spain and aside from the compulsory liability coverage, you can also choose from a wide range of additional insurance add ons.


You may also choose from a great range of workshops where you will receive the best repairing services. At Cogesa Expats, their car insurance policies deal with other matters too such as; traffic fines, legal assistance, substitute vehicle, coverage in case of collision with animals, or transportation of the vehicle in case of an accident. Get in touch today to find out more!

More about paperwork in Barcelona

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