Road Tax is compulsory in Spain, all vehicles must be taxed in Spain.
The level of road tax in Spain is set by the municipal authorities and will vary from area to area. The tax is paid into the local authority and it can be paid in person at the relevant Town Hall office or at a bank. Not paying this road tax can have serious consequences, possibly leading to your vehicle being impounded.
The amount of road tax payable on a vehicle also varies with the fiscal horsepower (potencia fiscal or caballos fiscales), which is a nominal amount not necessarily related to the actual engine power of a vehicle.
Note that; a Spanish-registered car is automatically logged by your local municipality when you register your ownership of that vehicle with the provincial traffic department. Late payments of road tax in Spain, is liable to interest and late payment surcharges.
If you from one town to another then you should change the registered address for the vehicle to pay the car taxes in the write town. This is now striaght forward with many town halls acting as offices of the Regional Traffic Office. This means pre-booked appointments in a far off Regional Traffic office are a thing of the past for many people. See our article about how to change the address for your vehicle.
Non-payers may find their Spanish bank account embargoed or in some cases the vehicle can be impounded by local police. This can result in costly fines and interest, plus payment of the outstanding tax, before the car is released.
If you purchase a car in Spain, ask to see the receipts for the paid road tax, because, unpaid road tax is passed onto the new owner during vehicle transfer. This can leave you liable for any unpaid tax on that vehicle, relating to the previous owners.
You cannot tax a UK registered/plated vehicle in Spain.