The ITV Test is a periodic test which motor vehicles must undergo in Spain. It is similar to the MOT test needed by cars in the United Kingdom. This article will take you through the ITV test requirements, and will show you how to book your own car in for an ITV in Lanzarote, and what to expect on the day.

ITV stands for Inspecion Technico Vehiculos, or technical inspection of vehicles. For most cars the test is due when they are four years old, and then once every two years. However, there are exceptions, notably commercial vehicles which have been converted to passenger use – for example the Citroen Berlingo, Renault Kangoo and Hyundai H1 – all of which require an ITV at two years of age. If in doubt, check your cars Ficha Technica document, which should be kept in the vehicle.

Booking an ITV is simple and the easiest way is to do so online. http://www.serviciositv.es/

We’ve always used the test centre in Arrecife, which is near the entrance to the hospital, but there is also one in Playa Honda now, close to Mercadona.

On the appointed day, head to the ITV centre of choice. Go into the office with all the papers for your car and pay the fee, which ranges from €34 to €48 for a private car depending on whether it needs an emissions test and if it is petrol or diesel powered.

Take your car insurance, ficha technica and permiso de circulacion.

They will issue you with the actual test form and direct you to the back of the building. If you have a diesel vehicle, you will first have to go into the diesel emissions’ shed, which is the first building you will see. In there, they will ask you to step out of the car and the technician will plug the exhaust system into the computer and rev the engine. Once he has finished, head around the corner to the main building, where they will direct you into one of the lines and take your paperwork from you.

Basically, you are now on a kind of conveyor belt, and you will drive your car slowly to each station, where they will check, in turn:

Oil and water
Lights, wipers, washers and horn function. Alignment of headlights, function of seat belts.
Emissions test (petrol cars)
Brakes and hand brake test on a rolling road
Inspection and test of tyres, shock absorbers, wheel cylinders, steering joints

You’ll be expected to sound the horn, work the wipers and lights, wiggle the steering wheel and apply the brakes at the right moments, so brush up on your basic “car” Spanish.

Important note – if your car has an aftermarket accessories, like a tow bar, blacked out windows, or non standard tyres and wheels, you’ll need a “homologation” form to show they are approved for your car.

At the last station, if your car has failed, you will be issued with a fail certificate with clear instructions on what needs fixing. Failures can either be “serious” which means you cannot drive the car and will have to get it towed by grua to a garage, or “not serious” in which case you will be given a certain number of days to put it right and get it re tested.

If your car has passed, the tester will fix a new sticker to the windscreen and hand back all your papers. Unless the car is more than 10 years old, the next test will be two years hence – if it is more than 10 years old, you will be expected to come back in a year, unless it’s a commercial vehicle in which case it’s every six months.

And that’s it! Simple as you like and quite good fun!

More reading? Buying a used car in Lanzarote.



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