Vehicles registered in other countries, that are being used in Spain, are not required to pay Spanish Road Tax. They do however have to be fully road legal in the country in which they are registered, which includes up to date road tax.
Many people who brought vehicles with them when they moved to Spain, have allowed their road tax to run out, declared the vehicle as permanently exported, or as no longer in use on the road, e.g. UK – SORN. In the past it was relatively easy to get away with driving foreign cars in Spain without road tax, (some people even used fake documents or tax discs to avoid detection).
These days, the Local Police (Policia Local) who enforce payment of road tax, have become more thorough in their checks of foreign cars in Spain. They know for example, that DVLA records for all vehicles with UK licence plates can be checked on the GOV.UK website, and immediately impound any that they find do not have road tax.
If you have foreign cars in Spain and road tax has not been paid, then it is illegal to drive it on the road, until the car is taxed. For many vehicles it is either impractical or impossible to get the car taxed again in the country where it’s registered, e.g. UK expired MOT, or marked permanently exported, in which case, the car will need to be registered in Spain, so that Spanish road tax can be paid on the vehicle.
To find out more about registering UK or other foreign licensed cars in Spain, read our article Registering & Importing a Foreign Vehicle into Spain.
If you need help with a UK or foreign registered vehicle in Spain, or would like to speak to our expert feel free to give us a call, or send us your enquiry.