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Fewer cars are sold, but registration tax collection goes up, how is it possible?

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Fewer cars are sold, but registration tax collection goes up, how is it possible?

The registration tax is established based on the price of the vehicle and its polluting emissions

In 2022, a total of 813,396 vehicles (cars and SUVs) were sold, the figure represents a decrease of 5.4% compared to the data for 2021 (when sales also fell). However, and despite the fact that fewer cars have been sold, registration tax collection has increased by almost 40%.

registration tax

In Spain, the registration tax is a fee that is paid at the time the purchase of a new car becomes effective; Therefore, it does not affect used vehicles or those with 0 km.

It is not the same for all cars, but the amount is calculated based on polluting emissions. This has given rise to many debates and various reforms. The last one, approved last year, sets the amount to be paid for registration according to the following table:

emissions Percentage*
Up to 120 g/km of CO2 0%
Between 121 and 159 g/km of CO2 4.75%
Between 160 and 199 g/km of CO2 9.75%
Above 200 g/km of CO2 14.75%

*The percentage is calculated based on the sale price before taxes.

Sales drop, but revenue rises

Taking into account that it is the new cars that pay the registration fee, it is logical to think that the more they are sold, the more it will be collected, however the figures for 2022 show that although registrations have fallen, the collection has increased.

Official data indicates that, in December 2022, public collection for registration taxes was 63.93 million euros, this is 109% more than in December 2021.

registration tax

The average fee to enter for this concept has been 744 euros, that is, about 220 euros more than a year ago; while in the month of December the average amount was 800 euros (300 euros more than in the same month of 2021).

Fewer cars, but more expensive

Given that the value of the registration tax is established based on the emissions and, above all, the price of the car, the reason that explains why more has been collected even though fewer cars have been sold is because they are more expensive.

The average price of cars sold in 2022 is 22,176 euros, which represents 8.3% more than the previous year. In December the difference is even greater: the average in 2022 was 23,443 euros, compared to 20,472 euros in the last month of 2021.

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