Vehicle taxation in Spain is "one of the worst in Europe"according to T&E

Vehicle taxation in Spain is "one of the worst in Europe"according to T&E

Spain ranks 23rd out of 31 European countries in terms of adoption of battery electric vehicles

Oct. 30 () –

Transport & Environment (T&E) has assessed the taxation of automobiles in Spain as “one of the worst in Europe”, because it continues to offer “more advantages” to the purchase of polluting vehicles than to that of electric cars, according to the report ‘The good tax guide’ prepared by the organization and in which the tax systems for the registration of private and company cars in 31 countries on the continent are compared.

Thus, the study reveals that Spain occupies the last position among the European countries analyzed in terms of income from vehicle and fuel taxation.

“This inadequate taxation of automobiles explains the gap between the objective of five million electric vehicles by 2030 and the current volume (…) circulating in the country, which barely exceeds 200,000. In fact, Spain occupies the 23rd position of top 31 countries in Europe for adoption of battery electric vehicles, behind Italy, France and Portugal,” T&E analysts said.

Along these lines, the head of T&E fleet electrification, Óscar Pulido, has opined that the Spanish tax regime for cars is “outdated” and rewards the choice of a fleet that is based on fossil fuels.

“This situation is in flagrant contradiction with the ambition of being a modern country, governed by a progressive coalition, and more so in a context of environmental and energy crisis,” Pulido defended.

In fact, the European Parliament and the European Council have agreed this week that from 2035 in the European Union the sale of passenger cars and vans with combustion engines will be prohibited. However, this pact still needs the approval of the Twenty-seven and the plenary session of the European Parliament to be definitively adopted.


The T&E report also delves into the deficiencies that, in its opinion, the Spanish tax regime applicable to cars has and that do not favor the deployment of electric vehicles in the country.

On the one hand, analysts have highlighted that only a minority of polluting cars pay the corresponding registration tax when buying new vehicles.

“This tax is proportional to the emissions of the vehicle. However, the registration tax exemption is at a very high limit (120 grams per kilometer), and the other sections are not restrictive enough, for which the majority of new vehicles avoid this tax. In 2021, only 1.1% of registered vehicles did so under the quotas of the fourth tranche (the highest) and just 5.9% did so with the third “, highlights the analysis.

T&E has also pointed out that Spain is one of the nine European countries out of the 31 analyzed in which plug-in hybrid cars are still fiscally favored and are not penalized based on their environmental impact, “despite the fact that it has been shown that they produce emissions pollutants for not circulating systematically in electric mode”.

For this reason, the T&E study concludes that the differentiation between plug-in hybrids and battery electrics in Spain “is null”.

In this context, the study also emphasizes that the tax regulations also make no difference in the VAT deduction for “highly polluting” cars and those with zero emissions.

“This means that companies are discouraged from migrating their fleets to sustainable vehicles. In Belgium, France or Portugal, the amount that can be amortized depends on the emissions emitted by the vehicle. Spain should follow suit,” T&E has assessed.


“The findings of the report conclude that there is enormous potential to modernize vehicle taxation in Spain, which, today, instead of favoring non-polluting vehicles, continues to use regulations that have become dusty over time” , has opined the organization.

Along these lines, he has recommended the country to “urgently” reform the taxation of automobiles, given that the figures show that “it is one of the worst in Europe” and has considered that the Government must adapt these taxes “to current times”.

“In other words, favoring the substitution of polluting vehicles for clean vehicles and, in this way, increasing the low levels of adoption of electric vehicles while improving air quality and mitigating climate change”, added Pulido.

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Written by Editor TLN

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