Car Tax in Spain

When re-registering a vehicle onto Spanish plates we receive a great deal of questions regarding car tax in Spain and how long can an owner legally keep their foreign plated vehicle in Spain.  The following are some questions and answers which we hope will help you.



Question:  We are living outside of the EU and importing a non-European car with us to Spain.  Do we have to pay customs tax?

Answer:  Yes, the first car tax in Spain you will have to pay is Customs Duty (Impuesto de Aduana)    Your paperwork wil be checked by customs, the value of your car calculated/assessed and levy duty of 10% plus an “administration” fee to be paid to the Customs agency.



Question: Do I need to pay tax on a car I am importing from the UK to Spain?

Answer:   This spanish car tax is the one that causes the most confusion for expats as it also known as “Registration tax” or  “CO2 emission fee tax”.  It´s official and proper name is “Impuesto Especial Sobre Determinados Medios De Transporte” .   It should not be levied, as in theory import tax no longer existed when goods are moved between EU countries.  However, until there is an EU intervention, this particular car tax in Spain must be paid when re-registering a vehicle onto Spanish plates.

This Spanish car tax is calculated on the local tax office (Hacienda) valuation of your vehicle, multiplied by age of your car which will give you a base figure.  This figure is then muliplied by the CO2 level.  The higher the CO2 emissions the higher the tax you will pay.  Click here for a no-obligation quote to see how much it will cost yout o re-register your vehicle here in Spain.

Please note that this car tax in Spain applies to all vehicle types from whichever country the vehicle originates or whatever the nationality of the vehicle owner.   Even a Spanish native importing a vehicle from Germany or Holland would be obliged to pay this car tax in their respective province of Spain.


Question:  How much per year is this and do I need to pay it during the re-registration of my vehicle?

Answer:    Yes, this does need to paid during the re-registration process.  At the time of writing this,  this particular spanish tax (also know as Impuesto Vehiculos Traccíon Mecanico” ) is not as costly as in other European countries.   However, it is not a fixed price as in the UK.  The calculation of this particular car tax in Spain will vary depending on the region (province)  and also the power of the vehicle being taxed.  Once the road tax has been paid at the local town  hall the owner of the vehicle will be issued with a receipt of payment, this must be kept in the car at all times.  For further information regarding this spanish tax or any other query please click here.

Question: How long can I keep my foreign registered vehicle in Spain?

Answer:   You are allowed to keep your foreign plated vehicle in Spain for up to 6 months.   Once the 6 months are up, by law, the vehicle must then be taken out of Spain for 6 months before you are allowed to bring it back in.  Nice in theory …    Many expats  do not quite follow this law and many have had there cars for years in Spain.  Some are still getting away with it but many have been stopped by the police and had their car impounded and a fine.

Due to the economic crisis here  in Spain  indebted town halls are desperate  for “quick cash” and therefore the  number of police controls in expat areas has increased considerably to stop foreign plated cars.   If you want to be on the right side of the law click here for a no obligation quote to re-register your vehicle onto Spanish number plates.  We can normally have a quote in your inbox within a few hours.

Question:  Can I avoid paying  registration/co2 tax on my UK plated car ?

Answer: Yes, you are exempt from paying registration/CO2 emission tax if the following applies:

1) If you have owned the car for more than 6 months as shown on the original registration document

2) If your Padron (Electoral roll at your local Town Hall)  and NIE  are  less than 2 months on the day of paying the registration/co2 tax.

3) Baja Consular from the British Consulate (If you qualify for the above 2 points then you will need to obtain a “baja consular” certificate which states you have permanently left the country you were previously living in to Spain)

For further information on the above or any issues on car tax in Spain please do contact us here or click here  for a no obligation quote.

Question: I am importing a brand new car into Spain, I have already paid VAT, do I also need to pay IVA ?

Answer:  If you re-register the car before 6 months then yes, you will be liable to pay IVA, even if you did pay VAT in the UK.  Therefore you should wait until you have owned the car for more than 6 months and have covered 6,000 kilometres.

For further information on car tax in Spain please click here to contact us.