IVTM Impuesto sobre Vehículos de Tracción Mecánica is Spanish vehicle tax, the equivalent of what we refer to in the UK as road tax.
Almost all cars registered in Spain are subject to this vehicle tax, and it’s administered and collect locally by the Town Hall. If you aren’t familiar with the vehicle tax system in Spain, you’ll find the following useful, to understand it, if not to flag issues, get them resolved and avoid problems in the future.
If you own a Spanish registered vehicle, and by mid May haven’t received a bill for vehicle tax, or notification of payment, this could be an indication of a problem relating to details held by the DGT (Direccion General de Trafico) about the registered owner of the vehicle.
The following are some of the things we hear and questions we get asked about Spanish vehicle tax.
When taking up residence in Spain, there has always been a requirement to either exchange your UK driving licence for a Spanish driving licence, or at least register it with the Spanish traffic authority, the DGT (Direccion General de Trafico).
Now, due to Brexit, all UK licence holders living in Spain, must exchange their UK licence for a Spanish licence, if they wish to continue using it to drive in Spain after Brexit.
The following link takes you to a guide on how to do this provided by the DGT.
Canje de Permisos – Ingles
It is written in English, however, its not entirely clear, so we’ve summarised below the key points regarding the documents you’ll need and the process, based on our experience doing these.
We get asked lots of questions about bringing UK registered cars to Spain, and whenever we write, share articles or info, the comments and replies that we get, reveal a lot of confusion. Mis-information abounds regarding driving UK registered cars in Spain, keeping them here, and switching them to Spanish number plates.
So we’ve compiled a list of the most prevalent myths and FAQ’s, and answered them with facts and other useful info.
Driving UK registered cars in Spain
Myth-Fact-Right-Wrong? Click on the tabs to find out.
Fill in your vehicle details below to check tax and MOT status online.
Note – In addition to the tax and MOT information above, the authorities in Spain can access the details of the registered keeper of the vehicle.
Unlicensed drivers and most non-EU citizens are required to take a Spanish driving test, (written theory and practical), in order to obtain a Spanish licence. Helpfully, in larger cities and places where a large part of the population is not from Spain, the test can be conducted in your native language.
There are many driving schools advertised in foreign language newspapers and magazines offering preparation for the Spanish test. If it is not available in your native tongue, you will have to take it in Spanish, and this can be challenging even for native speakers. The testing process is difficult and not cheap, the theory quite involved. You have three attempts to pass (this includes both the written and actual driving test) and then you have to pay additional fees for another three opportunities. The theory test consists of 40 questions, of which you can fail only three. So make sure if you sign up, you are prepared to dedicate considerable time to study and practice.
This can be a frustrating experience for drivers who have already held a driving license in their own country and been driving for many years.