This paper aims to analyse cooperation in R&D in the automobile industry in Spain. It first examines to what extent firms cooperate with external actors in the field of technological innovation, and if so, with what type of cooperation partner, paying special attention to the differentiation according to the size of the firms. Second, it aims to study how the firm’s size may affect not only the decision of cooperating but also with which type of partner, while controlling for other determinants that have been considered in the literature as main drivers of collaborative activities in R&D. We use data provided by the Technological Innovation Panel in the 2006-2008 period for firms in the automotive sector. We estimate a bivariate probit model that takes into account the two types of cooperation mostly present in the automotive industry, vertical and institutional, explicitly considering the interdependencies that may arise in the simultaneous choice of both.