Transition Period Countdown
Every year hundreds of vehicles from the UK are registered in Spain. Holiday home owners and people moving to Spain, bring their car over, decide to keep it here, and register it on to Spanish number plates.
Now the UK has left EU, when the transition period ends, many things currently taken for granted by Brits in Spain, will no longer be a given. Things like the right to reside, freedom of unhindered movement within the EU, and the preferential treatment of vehicles from the UK compared to non-EU vehicles when you bring them to Spain.
The transition period gives anyone planning to move to Spain from the UK until the end of the year to get things done like residency, exchanging driving licences and registering their UK cars onto Spanish number plates. With only a few weeks remaining until the end of the year, if you have brought a car the clock is ticking if you want to get it registered in Spain.
How much does it cost to register a UK or other EU vehicle on to Spanish number plates? We get asked this question everyday, it’s constantly being asked on Facebook and forums, and whilst it’s not a straightforward one to answer, because there are many variables, here we provide an accurate as possible guide to the costs, along with simple explanations and some tips.
The cost to register a UK or other EU vehicle Spanish number plates
We break down the costs into what we call the T’s, and some may or may not apply depending on the car or your situation.
Much conflicting information circulates about how long you can keep and drive a UK registered car in Spain. Even the authorities themselves seem to be confused and give differing responses.
Referencing information from official publications, we aim to present a practical explanation to answer the question.
Contrary to popular belief that a UK registered car can only kept and legally be driven in Spain for 6 months, the actual length of time will ultimately be dictated by the following:
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.
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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%