The Cost of Owning a Car in Spain

What can be better than having your own car to cruise in the Spanish sun or explore the country? Buying a car might also be the solution to most of your commute problems. If you’re thinking of getting a car or already have one in Spain and need to know how much it will cost you every month – here is the post for you.

Without considering the car price, the average cost of owning a car in Spain is between 230 and €400 per month. It’s about 2,760 to 4,800 annually. The cost factors include fuel, insurance, parking, maintenance, and taxes. In addition, the average purchasing price for a car in Spain is €25,000.

Owning a car in Spain is neither cheap nor expensive. The owning costs depend on the region. In central Madrid, for example, most car services are premium, while in inland Spain, the prices are reasonable. Besides, Spain is one of the cheapest countries in Europe to buy a car. Read through this blog for more information on car ownership costs in Spain. 

How much does it cost to own a car in Spain?

Car owners in Spain can expect to pay around €230 per month or €2,760 a year to run their vehicle. This amount doesn’t include the initial purchasing or financing of the car.

Some people require their vehicle, whether because they live in a rural area of the country, travel long distances regularly, or for other reasons that demand independence and ease of travel.

For many others, however, the decision is not so simple. Around 80% of Spain’s population lives in cities, many of which are densely populated and easy to navigate on foot or via efficient public transportation networks.

Owning a car in Spain isn’t always a necessity but a perk for weekend trips and more comfortable travel. But, in such cases, is it worthwhile to purchase a car in Spain? The cost is one of the deciding factors for many people.

Aside from the monthly payments, there are numerous additional costs to consider. It’s safe to conclude that a driver in Spain must pay at least €1,500 annually to use their vehicle and much more in many cases.

Here’s a breakdown of the major additional costs associated with having a car in Spain.

ItemCost
Car insurance€54 for a liability cover
Parking€70
Fuel€77,5
Maintenance€20 – 30
Other costs€10
Total per month: €231,5

Depending on your car insurance, fuel, and parking expenditure, the cost of having a car in Spain can be up to €400 per month.

Parking is one of the costs you’ll need to consider. If you live within a city in Spain, you have to rent a parking space for your car. The cities have little space hence the parking fee is more expensive. In Madrid, it costs around €70 to €150 monthly. 

However, there’s a street parking option. You can park in the blue lines for 2-4 hours for about €1 per 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can park in the green lines for 1-2 hours for about €2 per 30 minutes. 

They charge per minute, with prices as high as €0.05 a minute. Overnight parking can cost between €25 and €50.

In Spain, your car should have a technical inspection performed at the ITV station every year for old cars and every two years for newer ones. You’re responsible for any repairs – or you’ll not use your vehicle. 

The ITV test involves verifying your documentation, the exterior status of your vehicle, and the functionality of the lights, brakes, tires, etc. One inspection typically costs between €25 and €35.

You should not ignore taxes! The most common is your municipality’s one-time registration and yearly road taxes. If you buy a used car, you will have to pay a transfer tax, and if you import your vehicle from another country, you’ll pay the import fees.

When compared to other countries, gas prices in Spain are pretty expensive. A gallon of gas in the United States costs around $2.50 and $3.00. A liter of gas in Spain costs about €1.30 – with 4 liters per gallon, that’s more than €5 per gallon. 

If you use your car every day, this can eat up a significant portion of your budget, especially when combined with the overall costs of owning your vehicle.

Finance charges are costs that you pay on your car loan or rental agreement if you don’t buy it on a cash basis. Finance costs will are hard to estimate because payment plans are different. 

Costs of running a car in Spain per month

Buying a car is no problem; keeping it running might be costly, especially if you haven’t planned for it. Here’s a breakdown of running costs for your car in Spain. 

1. Fuel

In Spain, fuel prices went up in 2021, making €14 more expensive than the previous year to fuel your car. According to the European Commission’s Oil Bulletin, filling up a 55-liter tank full costs an estimate of €77.80. The cost of diesel is €69.80.

That signifies that an occasional driver with a petrol car (48% of the total car owners in Spain) who fuels up once a month would spend approximately €77.5 on fuel per month.

Suppose you’re considering purchasing an electric car, which, while more environmentally friendly, is still way more expensive than conventional vehicles. It would help if you considered Spain’s current sky-high electricity prices.

It’s a different story, with the alternative of charging at home if you have the correct setup or at public and private charging points. It may be less expensive than fuel, but electric car drivers must adhere to low-rate hours to avoid Spain’s most expensive electricity bills.

2. Car insurance

Your car mainly kept in Spain should have insurance, even if you don’t drive it, failure to which you’ll face steep fines. The cost of car insurance varies depending on the vehicle’s price, the driver’s experience, and the type of insurance coverage. 

According to the Spanish price comparison site acierto.com, the average price of fully comprehensive insurance without excess in Spain is €124 per month, while minimal liability insurance costs €54 per month.

It’s critical to properly research what your insurance provider offers as part of the package, and there’s an increasing number of user-refined policies available online.

3. Maintenance

Maintenance expenses are challenging to quantify, but it’s fair to assume that the older the car, the greater the need for maintenance and services.

The first service on a new vehicle is usually performed after 15,000 kilometers and totals an average of €250. 

However, car manufacturers recommend servicing your car every 5,000 kilometers. Failing to do so for a long time will cause problems eventually; your vehicle will wear out and break down. 

On average, you can expect to pay at least €20 to €30 to maintain and service a car in Spain.

4. Toll

You’ve had to pay fewer tolls in Spain for the longest time than in other European countries, with a couple of motorways recently becoming toll-free.

The EU, on the other hand, has put pressure on the Spanish government to introduce tolls following the European model, considering the €140 billion Spain is receiving as part of the EU recovery fund. 

Beginning in 2023, you’ll be charged an additional fee for each kilometer driven on the highway; the amount charged per kilometer isn’t determined yet. 

Car prices in Spain 2022

When you’re buying a new car, two options are getting a brand new car or a used one. In this part of the post, we’ll give you an estimate of the car prices in Spain in 2022, both used and brand new. 

The car prices vary depending on the company, model, and year of manufacture. The biggest drawback of buying a car is the depreciation you will face as soon as you get out of the dealership with the keys in your hand.

According to the website coches.net, the average price of a used car in 2020 was €15,631. In 2021, the price went up to €17,410, gradually increasing over the months until it reached an average of €19,160 in December 2021.

Ancove, a second-hand vehicle association, determined that the average purchasing price in December was €11,912, 14.43% higher than the same month in 2020. Cars more than eight years old cost an average of €9,023, making these vehicles much more economically viable. 

New cars in Spain are more expensive than in some other European nations though less costly than in the UK and can cost up to twice as much as cars in the US. 

In 2020, the average cost of a new car was around €20,000, and the price keeps rising. In addition, a new vehicle will drop in value significantly in the first year. 

Before you drive off into the sunset, you should consider extra and ongoing costs, such as insurance, taxes, gasoline, and emissions tests. If you live in a big city or anywhere with good public transportation, it may be sufficient to depend on buses and trains. 

Alternatively, you can invest in a good bike. There are also new car-sharing services. However, Spain is a large country, and traveling long distances without a car might be difficult or inconvenient.

Anna

Anna is an experienced expat and writer. She has been living abroad for over 6 years.

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