How and where to pay road tax

Each town hall imposes a charge for having a car registered as roadworthy. This is the so-called Tax on Mechanical Traction Vehicles (IVTM), better known as Road Tax. We will try to answer the questions most frequently asked on this issue.

Vehicles that are eligible for the tax, and vehicles that are exempt

All vehicles with number plates are eligible for road tax, including vehicles with temporary road permits or tourist plates.

Official vehicles, the vehicles of diplomatic representatives, of healthcare services, of people with reduced mobility, urban public transport vehicles carrying more than nine people, and machinery with agricultural inspection cards are exempt from the tax.

How and where to pay road tax

The tax accrues on the first day of the tax period, i.e. 1 January, or whenever a new car is purchased. It is paid once a year, usually between 1 April and 30 June.

You must make payment to the town hall at the location specified on the road permit for the vehicle. The town hall will notify you with an order to pay.

You can pay by direct debit or at a bank, and also online.

How long is this document valid?

The road tax is valid from 1 January to 31 December the following year. Each year you must renew the payment, which will terminate when you deregister the vehicle. .

When I have to pay road tax for the car

Normally the town hall will collect the payment in the last quarter of the year, although this may vary from one town to another.

How much does it cost?

The tax may vary depending on the town hall. Although charges are established by law in accordance with the power output and type of vehicle, each town sets the final charge.

There may also be discounts on the payment of this tax for some vehicles:

  • Up to 75% depending on the type of fuel and/or engine characteristics.
  • Up to 100% for older vehicles, over 25 years old.
  • 50% for vehicles registered in Ceuta and Melilla.

Can I be fined for non-payment of road tax?

Traffic police cannot fine you for non-payment of road tax. This is an administrative process which does not affect the vehicle's safety or legality. But the fact that they cannot fine you does not mean that another type of fine may not be applicable. The amount increases each year with surcharges for non-payment. If, when you have received several notifications and orders to pay with surcharges, you still have not paid and the debt exceeds EUR 500, the authority, in this case the town hall, may place an embargo on your account, or even impound the vehicle.

Also, if you do not pay road tax you will not be able to sell your vehicle, since one of the documents the traffic department will ask you for to transfer ownership of the vehicle to a third party is the receipt accrediting payment of this tax.

In the event of a road accident, insurance companiese are very reluctant to pay out compensation if the vehicle was not on the road with all the proper documentation, and this includes road tax. In the case of renting cars, this tax is included in the service contracted, and so the customer does not have to make any arrangements or pay it separately.


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