Road tax in Spain What do you have to pay for your car?
All Spanish-registered vehicle owners (including motorcycle owners) must pay an annual road tax.
The amount of tax payable varies with the fiscal horsepower ( potencia fiscal or caballos fiscales) of your car, which is a nominal amount not necessarily related to the engine power of a vehicle.
Road tax must be paid to your local authority, usually some time between March and May. Announcements are made on municipal notice boards and in local newspapers and banks, and you may get a reminder (but don’t count on it!). Tax can be paid in person at the SUMA office near the Town Hall on the N332 on the Orihuela Costa,directly via certain local banks, direct debit from your account or by post.
When a vehicle is purchased, the owner in January that year pays the tax for the year.
If a car is unused for a whole calendar year, you can have its registration temporarily suspended ( baja temporal) at your provincial traffic department. However, if a vehicle is used for just one month in a year, tax must be paid for the whole year.
There’s a late payment surcharge (recargo), and the unpaid sum is also liable to interest. Some people have been able to avoid paying road tax for many years, although municipalities are now clamping down on non-payers, whose vehicles can be impounded by local police. Note that a Spanish-registered car is automatically logged by your local municipality when you register your ownership with the provincial traffic department.
A Spanish road tax certificate isn’t displayed inside your car’s windscreen or on your registration plates. However, you should keep the receipt in your car with your other vehicle documents, as the local police may ask to see it.
The Spanish equivalent to a MOT for roadworthiness of a vehicle is the ITV (Inspección técnica de vehiculos). British law says that if you have a UK car it must be taxed and MOT´d for the period it is out of the UK. If this runs out when you are abroad you must go from the port to the nearest MOT centre when you come back to the UK.
A vehicle must have the road test and be insured in the country where it is registered. Thus a car registered in the UK and it is in Spain but not imported is not legal if it has no MOT.
If you are driving a Spanish registered car without ITV and you are caught, you will be fined and maybe your licence taken away. ITVs in Spain are tested depending on the type of vehicle and the age. The price depends on the vehicle and where it is tested.
Please contact us if we can help with any vehicle related issues.