Annual car costs
We are often asked what are the other costs involved when you buy a car. Obviously the most common one is the cost of transferring the car into your name which can vary from car to car. You have to pay 5.5% tax of the official valuation of the vehicle as stated by Hacienda and this may differ vastly from what you are paying for the car but it is set by the government and cannot be changed.
Tráfico charge a fee for a transfer, which is currently 52,80 euros and of course most people doing the job on your behalf will charge an administration fee for which they should be able to provide you with an invoice if you wish. You would then incur extra costs such as could be:
Annually each town hall will charge road taxes for each car registered in their municipality. There is normally what is called voluntary period i.e. a period of time of normally around 6-8 weeks when you can pay this amount voluntarily. In Arona for example this is normally from mid-April until the end of May but you would need to check with your town hall as they are all different. The cost is based either on the size of the engine or the emissions but the amounts are in general substantially lower than those in the UK. When a car reaches its 25th birthday it can be exempt from road tax, even if it is not on historical plates but this must be applied for in writing in the town hall.
A car has to have its first ITV when it is four years old and then every two years thereafter until the age of 10 when it will normally go down to annual inspections. Each inspection has to be booked, although there is an option to go and sit and wait for a slot to go on a waiting list for that day but we do not recommend this as it sometimes involves a rather long wait. Most garages will book and take your car for an ITV for you for a fee.
Again this is an annual cost and a lot of people do this by direct debit and never check prices elsewhere as they are not here when the insurance is due. It can be beneficial to look around but remember that legally you have to give two month’s notice to the insurance company if you are not going to renew, or else they are quite within their rights legally to sue you for the premium and in the current economic climate this is happening quite often, catching people out. There is also the option for you to change your cover from fully comprehensive to third party or vice versa (dependent on age of vehicle). Some Spanish companies will not cover a car fully comprehensive until they have sent out a perito (engineer) to inspect the car often causing a delay, after all if you have a new car you want to drive it as soon as possible!
Other annual costs not obligatory but recommended
If you want your car to return you a fair amount of miles then you need to look after it. This means ensuring that annual servicing or at least an oil and filter change is carried out. If you hear any strange or funny noises don’t leave them go to your garage and get them checked out. It maybe something and nothing but could be more serious and if left could cost a lot more to repair.