The Low-Down On Spanish Car Road Tax
Do you drive a car, motorcycle or another vehicle in Spain and are unsure about the legal requirement when it comes to road tax?
Do you worry about being pulled over by the Spanish police and not having the correct documentation?
Understanding the rules, regulations and other legalities to get your vehicle taxed in Spain can be daunting when you first move here. However, you don’t need to be concerned as we have created this simple guide that will give you all the information you need to know about IVTM car road tax in Spain.
You will find out about:-
Let’s get started and find out more.
They say that only two things in life are certain - death and taxes. Well, I’m afraid the same applies here in Spain, although having said that, Spanish road tax (IVTM as it is known locally) is relatively cheap compared to the UK and many other countries.
What Is IVTM Spanish Road Tax and Why Do You Need It?
The initials IVTM stand for Impuesto Sobre Vehículos de Tracción Mecánica, which is the Spanish term for vehicle tax, or as you would say in the UK - Road Fund Licence. It amounts to the same thing.
If you own any sort of motor vehicle including a motorcycle and you’re going to be driving on Spanish roads, it is a compulsory tax – and a word of warning here - they can and will impound your vehicle if you are found without a valid car tax (IVTM) receipt. So make sure you don’t give the traffic police the opportunity!
How Much Does Spanish Road Tax Cost?
We’ve already indicated that the price of car tax here in Spain is cheaper than in the UK, but whereas in the UK the price is calculated on the engine size, age of vehicle and emissions etc, here in Spain it varies according to the type of vehicle, horsepower (Potentia Fiscal), and the region in which it is registered.
To give you some sort of an idea of cost, I used the Diesel y Gasolina calculator below, using a SEAT 1,600 cc, Altea Style as the vehicle. For Madrid, the cost was just €59.00 for the year, Seville €59.64, Zaragoza €35.46 and Malaga €51.12. Pretty cheap compared to the UK!
Note that if you have more than 33% disability, you may be exempt from paying IVTM.
Spanish Car Road Tax Calculators
There are two excellent websites available, which can tell you exactly how much the cost of the IVTM will be depending on the vehicle and where you live in Spain.
Diesel y Gasolina - This is a great site with several tools including where to find your nearest ITV testing station, the cheapest petrol prices locally and a handy tool that tells you what your IVTM will be for any vehicle and region in Spain - https://www.dieselogasolina.com/calcular-precio-impuesto-circulacion-ivtm.html
If you are located in the Alicante province, you can get an estimate using this tool from the tax collection agency there, Suma. https://www.suma.es/cuerpo_calc_imp.xhtml
You can find out more about Suma further below.
When Is Car Tax Due In Spain?
Payment is normally due at the end of April each year and the payment period stretches from March to May. If you’re late with the payment, you can still apply but you will be charged a small fine, however, be warned – as we said earlier, if you are stopped by the Spanish police and you don’t have a valid IVTM, your car can be towed away and impounded. In some rare cases, your bank account can even be embargoed!
You can pay your IVTM at your local town hall assuming that your car is registered in your local region or municipality. You can also pay at the bank. Once you are on the system and have paid IVTM, you just go along to the bank, and they will have the details on their computer system courtesy of your local authority. It’s the same for the Spanish equivalent of your council tax too.
When you have paid your tax, you will not be given a tax disc to display as you used to be in the UK (remember those?). So you must retain your receipt, and carry it with you when you drive, just in case you are asked to produce it by the police.
How Do I Pay My Car Tax in Spain?
All town halls allow you to pay your vehicle road tax in person. To do so you will need to present certain documentation when making a payment. See the required documentation section below.
It is possible to pay your Spanish road tax online, however, this will depend on the region you are in and whether your town hall has an online facility.
The first place to check is your town hall’s website. Just Google for “fuengirola ayuntamiento”. Change ‘Fuengirola’ to your own town or city. You should then easily find your town hall’s website.
Some banks may also provide you with an online facility to pay your road tax. Check with your own bank’s website to see if they do.
Tax Collection Agency
If you are in the Alicante region you can pay your road tax in person at your local Suma office. See more about Suma below.
You can pay your road tax at many of the high street banks in Spain. You can also set up a direct debit to pay it when it is due so you do not forget and incur any fines.
Documentation Required When Paying IVTM
When you go to the town hall (Ayuntamiento) or bank to pay your road tax you will usually need to present a few items of documentation along with your payment. These are:-
Suma Car Tax In Spain
Suma Gestión Tributaria or just ‘Suma’ is an autonomous body which was developed in 1990 by the Diputación Provincial de Alicante.
Suma is a public administration that manages and collects municipal taxes on behalf of the City Councils and other public administrations within the Alicante province.
Calculating your Suma road tax - If you are located in the Alicante province, you can use the Suma website to calculate your IVTM vehicle road tax here - https://www.suma.es/cuerpo_calc_imp.xhtml
Paying your Suma road tax online - You can also pay your car’s Suma road tax and any fines online at the web address below.
Pay your Suma car tax via instalments - Suma allows you to pay your road tax via a flexible payment plan to help you manage the costs. See the following page in English for your options and to set it up.
Paying your Suma road tax at a local office - You can also pay your road tax at one of the 46 Suma offices in the Alicante region. See the following page from Suma with a full list of all the offices. https://www.suma.es/en/oficinas
Note that the SUMA service is only for those who reside in the Alicante province.
Buyer Beware when Buying a Second-hand Car
You should also be aware that when you buy a second-hand car if the previous owner did not have it taxed, you will become liable for any amount that is owed, so it’s a case of checking this out carefully or you could be in for a nasty surprise.
If you’re buying a new car from a dealer, they will guide you through the process of applying for the first IVTM for that vehicle. If you are purchasing a second-hand car, it can be worth paying a small fee to a gestor who will check the vehicle documentation, any outstanding taxes and help you to register the vehicle.
In Spain, the registered vehicle owner on the 1st of January is the person who is liable to pay the road tax.
If you have not received an IVTM bill for your vehicle in May, it may be an indication that the registration of the vehicle is not right and may be worth checking.
How can I check if the car tax on a vehicle has been paid?
In Spain, you can get a vehicle report which in Spanish is called an Informe de Vehiculos.
You can get either a standard report or a detailed report.
The standard report is free and will tell you things like when the vehicle was first registered and whether there have been any incidents with the vehicle that may prevent it from being transferred to another owner.
The detailed report which costs just 8.67 euros is more comprehensive and tells you who the owner is, where the vehicle is registered, mileage, ITV history and the number of owners. The detailed report will also tell you if there is any unpaid road tax.
You can visit the following official DGT web page for further information on vehicle reports.
Reports can be done either online via the link below.
Or in person at your nearest trafico office using the following form.
Vehicles That Are Exempt from IVTM
Some vehicles are exempt from Spanish road tax or are subject to a discount. These include vehicles that are used for public services, such as taxis, diplomatic vehicles, and cars over 30 years old which are completely exempt from IVTM.
Eco-friendly, electric or hybrid vehicles may also receive a reduction of up to 75%.
There’s one other thing that you should be aware of too, and that is that whereas in Britain Road Fund Licence is what it costs to drive on UK roads, in Spain, on many of the motorways (Autopistas) you also have to pay a small toll for the privilege of using the motorway.
Toll roads are normally designated by an “AP”. For example, the AP-7 on the Costa del Sol is just one example of a Spanish toll road.
My Vehicle Is Not Going to Be on the Road. Do I Still Pay IVTM?
If you will not be using the vehicle on the Spanish roads, you will not be liable to pay Spanish road tax. You will need to apply for a Baja Temporal. This is the equivalent to the SORN (Statutory Off Road Notice) in the U.K.
Learn more about deregistering your vehicle in Spain.
Fines for Late Payment
As mentioned previously, if you are late paying your IVTM, a small fine will be issued which is usually around 5% of the total.
If payment has not been made after 1 year, the penalty rises to around 20%.
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
Q. When is car tax due in Spain?
A. Payment is usually due at the end of April each year and the payment period stretches from March to May.
Q. How much does road tax cost in Spain?
A. It can vary depending on the vehicle’s engine size and the region in which you reside. Use the road tax calculators on this page to get an idea of the cost.
Q. How do I pay my car tax in Spain?
A. There are different ways to pay. You can pay in-person at your town hall, at your bank and depending on where you live, you may be able to pay online with your town hall or bank. If in the Alicante region you can pay online or in-person at the Suma offices.
Q. Is there car tax in Spain?
A. Yes and nearly everyone has to pay it unless your vehicle is over 30 years old. Those with 33% or more disabilities may be exempt.
Q. Can I pay my Spanish car tax online?
A. Yes, you can with Suma if in the Alicante region. Some banks and town halls also offer this facility.
Q. Can I pay my road tax monthly in Spain?
A. Some provinces allow you to do this including Suma in the Alicante province. Suma offers a flexible payment plan to help you manage the costs. See the following page for full details https://www.suma.es/en/formas-pago
Q. What happens if I don’t pay my road tax in Spain?
A. In the first year, the fine is 5%. If the fine is not paid in the first year of non-payment, this is then increased to 20%.
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Updated: June 27, 2023 CET