When you own or register a vehicle in Spain, you almost always have to pay some form of vehicle tax. The type and amount that applies depends on the vehicle.
Local Vehicle Tax
IVTM Impuesto sobre Vehículos de Tracción Mecánica is the Spanish equivalent of what we refer to in the UK as road tax. Almost all vehicles driven on public roads in Spain, are subject to this tax, which is administered and collected locally by the Town Hall.
The tax is set by the municipal authorities, and varies from area to the next. IVTM is paid to the local authority and can be paid in person at the relevant Town Hall office (Ayuntamiento), at a bank or by direct debit.
Vehicle Tax When Registering a Vehicle in Spain
When you register a vehicle in Spain, either new or used, in all cases locally collected road tax‘ – IVTM (Impuesto Sobre Vehículos de Tracción Mecánica), must be up to date.
There are 3 main circumstances and taxes that apply when registering a vehicle in Spain. These are:
- Purchase of a new vehicle
- Buying a second hand vehicle or changing ownership
- Importing or registering of a foreign vehicle
Tax – New Vehicle Purchase
New vehicle purchases in Spain are subject to IVA (Impuesto sobre el Valor Añadido), Spanish VAT – currently 21% of purchase value.
In addition, when a vehicle is first registered in Spain, it may be subject to an additional registration tax.
This vehicle tax is based on the new value of the vehicle and it’s CO2 emissions. Vehicles with CO2 emissions below 120g/km are exempt from the tax, and the rate increases with the level of emissions as follows:
- 121g/km – 159g/km = 4.75%
- 160g/km – 199g/km = 9.75%
- 200g/km or higher = 16.75%
Tax – Buying a Second Hand Vehicle
In Spain when you buy a second hand car, there is vehicle tax on the change of ownership. This tax is called Impuesto sobre Transmisiones Patrimoniales Onerosas, or ITP for short. The rate paid depends on the original new value of the car, it’s current age and the power output of the vehicle, (Calculo de la Potencia Fiscal – CVF).
The power output determines the rate of vehicle tax, in Andalucia this is either 4% or 8%, however this does vary across the different autonomous regions. The original new value of the car, and it’s current age are used to work out a value for the vehicle, to which the rate will then be applied. A depreciating factor is applied to the values according to the number of years since the vehicles first registration. This goes from 84% for a car between 1 and 2 years old, down to 10% for a vehicle more than 12 years old.
Tax – Registering a Vehicle From Another Country
When registering a vehicle from another country in Spain, the same taxes may apply as for a new vehicle.
Customs duty of of 10% and VAT of 21%, applies to vehicles brought from countries that are not in the EU. Additionally, VAT applies to vehicles from EU countries that are less than 6 months old or that have covered less than 6000 km’s. Registration tax will also apply if the vehicle has CO2 emissions above 120g/km. If applicable, the taxes are applied in the same way as a new vehicle, however the vehicle´s original new value is depreciated according to it’s age.
Aside from low CO2 emissions, there are other circumstances where it can be possible to pay less tax when registering a vehicle from another country in Spain. You can apply for an exemption from VAT and registration tax if you are moving to Spain from another and bringing vehicles that you already own with you.
If you have already moved and brought the vehicle to Spain, so long as you have not already obtained your Spanish residency certificate, or card (Residencia), and not signed on the padron you may be able to take advantage of this exemption and avoid these taxes.
To do so you must demonstrate that it is/was your main vehicle of use in your previous country, (owned the vehicle for 6 months or longer), that you were resident for the last 12 months in the country and that you have just left. You then have a 60-day window (from the date of your registration as a resident in Spain), to apply for any registration tax exemption, and 1 year to avoid customs and VAT.
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