If you have a foreign registered vehicle, the mandatory vehicle inspection must be done in the country where the vehicle is registered. So, for example, if you have a UK registered vehicle, you must get your MOT done in the UK.
There is sometimes confusion because a number of people have taken their cars to Spanish ITV stations and undergone an ITV test. This is most likely true, but the difference is it is what is known as a voluntary ITV and is not legally binding.
You can take any vehicle at any time to an ITV station, and they will inspect it, but even for Spanish registered vehicles, this voluntary ITV is beneficial as a preventive tool, but it does not affect the expiration date of the periodic and mandatory ITV.
So why does it exist? As an example, summer is one of the times of year when incidents are recorded on the roads. In fact, in 2021 the months of July, August and September accumulated 32% of the total deaths in road traffic incidents of the year. This is mainly because it is also the period in which there is greater road mobility. Therefore, it is vitally important to take extreme precautionary measures before making a road trip.
The Spanish Association of Collaborating Entities of the Administration in the Technical Inspection of Vehicles, AECA-ITV, explain that one of the preventive measures that drivers have to guarantee the correct functioning of their vehicle systems before making a long journey is the voluntary ITV.
It is a type of technical inspection that can be completed (if the interested party so requests), such as the one that is carried out on a mandatory and periodic basis for all vehicles, or partial, which means that only correct operation of a specific element or system of the vehicle is checked, for example, the brakes, steering or emissions.
These types of inspections usually have a lower cost than a periodic and mandatory ITV and do not affect its expiration date. It does however offer peace of mind before undertaking a road trip.
Likewise, the voluntary ITV can also be of great help when purchasing a second-hand vehicle. It is a tool that allows the buyer to be assured that the car you are going to acquire is in good condition and allows the seller to offer a guarantee of the proper functioning of the vehicle.
On some occasions, used cars can present complex problems that are not detected with the naked eye and that can only be seen through a complete check such as that carried out by ITV stations, which includes: the engine, the lighting, the brakes, the emissions, among other systems. Also, through this type of inspection, it can be detected, for example, if the vehicle has any non-legalised modification.
Of course, with this type of voluntary inspection, you should know that if any serious or very serious defect is detected, you will still have to get that fixed immediately, and then return to the ITV station to verify that it has been corrected.