Driving in Spain – what is IVTM road tax?

IVTM what is it?

If you own any sort of vehicle (van, car, motorcycle etc) that’s going to be driving around on Spanish roads, you’ll need to pay IVTM.

What is IVTM?
Known in Spain by the catchy title of “Impuesto Sobre Vehículos de Tracción Mecánica”, thankfully shortened to IVTM, it’s the equivalent of the UK’s Road Fund Licence or Road tax.

How is the IVTM calculated?
In Spain the cost is based on the engine size and the region the vehicle is registered. Every Spanish town has a different rate and you’ll be pleased to know that these can be considerably cheaper than some of the charges made in other countries like the UK.

Who pays the IVTM?
The registered owner on the 1st January each year pays the full IVTM for that year. If you buy a car during the year, your IVTM will come due the following January.

When is the payment due?
Most Town Halls or tax agencies issue the bills between March and May and you have until the end of June to pay, but it really does vary between locations.

If you don’t pay on time, they can charge interest and depending on how long you leave it , you may find the payment is deducted automatically from your bank or tax returns.

To sell the vehicle, the IVTM must be paid up to date.

How do you pay the IVTM?
Whichever organisation issues your bill (could be your local Town Hall or a tax agency) you should receive a bill in the post. Some Town Hall’s allow you to pay ‘in house’ using your ID and vehicle documents, while others offer online payment, plus the opportunity to set up a direct debit for future bills.

By far the easiest way is to take the bill to your Bank and pay in person.

Some areas (e.g Malaga and Alicante) outsource to companies who manage the taxes for them, so you can either pay in person at their offices or via their websites.  

Are there any discounts or exemptions from IVTM?
Registered disabled, public transport (e.g. taxis) and vehicles over 30 years old don’t pay any IVTM at all. Eco-friendly electric and hybrid vehicles can be eligible for discounts of up to 75%.

Do I need to pay IVTM when registering a vehicle in Spain?
Yes, you pay IVTM pro-rata for what’s left of the year as part of the registration process, usually broken down into quarters. The full amount is due the following year.

Good to Know
You can check if the IVTM is up to date on a vehicle you are looking to buy on the DGT website by ordering a Spanish vehicle check called an “Informe de Un Vehículo ”. It’s worth noting that the Informe only shows previous years owed, not the current year.

The DGT website can be difficult to navigate if you don’t have a Digital Certificate, but there are private companies like Einforma who can order an Informe on your behalf.

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