The Spanish Road Tax (Rodaje)

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The Spanish Road Tax (Rodaje)

I would need to be told what other EU countries do about charging road tax to vehicle owners. In Britain it is simply called Road Tax, and you pay according to type of vehicle. The annual sum is set by the government of the day, and the quite enormous income generated by the Tax is supposedly used in the maintenance of roads and everything to do with them. It does not matter if you live in North Yorkshire or South Devon, you will pay the same road tax according to what vehicle you use. It is well known that ‘Spain in Different’, and in the case of the Rodaje the difference is stupefying.

   In Spain how much you pay per year is settled by the authorities at your municipal offices. One presumes this insane idea came about because some government or other wanted to give each municipality the chance to fill the money box without much effort. The problem is that the result can be that if you live in, say, La Orotava, you will pay twice as much road tax than you would if you lived down the road in La Matanza. This is obviously ludicrous, but it is the Law.

   Again, one would have thought that a road tax should be calculated by judging how much room on the street your vehicle takes up. If you are rich and own a Bentley Continental, you will be using up six metres of street whenever you park your noble aircraft carrier. But you may be poorer and own a Smart, which is hardly two metres long. Logic would indicate that the owners of Continentals and Smarts should pay a hugely different Rodaje. But it is not as easy as that. And they don’t.

   In Spain it doesn’t matter how long or wide your car is; it is the horsepower and capacity (they tell us) that controls the amount of tax. This is simply not true. Until recently I owned a 24-valve, turbo, 2.5 litre, 6-cylinder Ford Probe. Its length was exactly the same as my present vehicle, a 1.8 litre standard Peugeot 407, with I should estimate about one fifth of the power of the Probe. But I paid exactly the same road tax. So how is it calculated?

   Again, a friend living down the road in Los Realejos paid much less for a Porsche Boxer! Where are we headed? For the lunatic asylum? Of course this Spanish system provides ample opportunity to town halls with a gangster complex to charge whatever they like. But is it fair?

By | 2012-07-09T17:41:35+00:00 July 9th, 2012|English Language, EU History, Humour, Spanish History, Today|0 Comments

About the Author:

‘Dean Swift’ is a pen name: the author has been a soldier; he has worked in sales, TV, the making of films, as a teacher of English and history and a journalist. He is married with three grown-up children. They live in Spain.

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