Mandatory car inspections were introduced for road safety. In Spain, you take the car to an ITV (Inspección Técnica de Vehículos) branch for technical and environmental inspections. Prices for this are determined per region and differ greatly.
The Spanish consumer association FACUA discovered price differences in the rates charged by different regions of up to almost 167% for petrol-powered passenger cars and 99% for diesel vehicles.
The average price of the ITV in the 17 autonomous regions is currently €34.69 for petrol passenger cars. That is 1.1% more than in 2020. For diesel vehicles it is €41.68 (1.7% more than the previous year).
The consumer body’s analysis includes ITV rates for passenger cars, both diesel and petrol with catalytic converters (non-catalysed cars are becoming less common in Spain’s fleet), as well as motorcycles. The prices collected include 21% VAT (or 7% of the IGIC of the Canary Islands, 9% of the IPSI of Ceuta and 4% of Melilla), but not the traffic rate, which is set at €4.14 for all inspections .
Ceuta is the area with the highest ITV tariff for petrol cars: €45.37. They are followed by the Basque Country (€45.01) and the Madrid region, where the average of the stations surveyed, which set fares without regional regulations, is €42.10.
The cheapest rates for petrol inspections of passenger cars are charged in Mallorca (in the Balearic Islands, management depends on each island council) at €17.01. Murcia has only one station operated directly by the regional government, in the city of Alcantarilla which charges €22.30. Andalucia charges €26.19 for vehicles under 1,600 cubic centimetres and €35.40 for the rest. And Extremadura (in the stations managed by the government), has a rate of €28.96.
As for the ITV rates for diesel cars, the Madrid region is the most expensive, averaging €57.63. This is followed by Ceuta with €53.81 and Murcia with €48.26 in private stations (compared to €30.90 in the only public station in the region, which is the third cheapest in this category).
The lowest rates for the ITV of diesel cars are those of the public stations in Extremadura (€28.96), those of Andalucia for cars under 1,600 cc. (€30.79), the only public station in the municipality of Murcia (located in Alcantarilla) with €30.90 and the one in Mallorca, for €30.92.
The average rate for the ITV of a motorcycle in the seventeen autonomous communities is €20.13 euros (2.1% more than in 2020). In this category, the difference between the most expensive and the cheapest is 261.8%. For example, the (privatised) inspection in the Madrid region has a rate of €36.94. At the other extreme, Mallorca, taking the ITV costs €10.21.
The ITV analysis carried out by FACUA this year shows that most tariffs (12 out of 20, so 60%) have been frozen and show no variations from 2020. The highest increase occurred in Navarra, where tariffs had not changed since 2011, with 25.5% more for petrol passenger cars, 39.9% for diesel cars and 50.4% for motorcycles.
After Navarre, the second highest increase was in Madrid, both for petrol passenger cars (2.2% more), diesel passenger cars (2.9% more) and motorcycles (1.7% more). Extremadura ranks third with an increase in rates (both in government offices and privately owned) of 1.0% across the three types of vehicles.
In contrast, in five Autonomous Communities there has been a decline in rates. This was mainly the result of updating prices to the Consumer Price Index. They fell by 0.4% in Castilla y León, 0.8% in Cantabria, Ceuta and the Basque Country and 1.0% in Galicia.
The tariff of the Tráfico Traffic Service has increased very slightly, from €4.10 euros in 2020 to €4.14 in 2021. The tariff is paid together with the ITV costs and not added to the prices in the FACUA study.
Privatised service in Madrid
The Madrid region is the most expensive in absolute terms in terms of the ITV for diesel cars. This region has liberalised the ITV service. Therefore, the rates are not regulated by the regional government administration.
Each company charges the prices it sees fit here. Although, most companies apply different discounts to the rates published in each ITV station to try to attract more customers. These discounts are provided by the FACUA because of heterogeneity not taken into account in the study.
According to the rates published in Madrid, the average price of the inspection is €42.10 for petrol cars. That is 2.2% more than in 2020, a figure that is 21.4% above the Spanish average. For diesel cars it is €57.63. That is 38.3% more than the national average.
Different rate systems
Andalucia is the region that offers a more complex tariff system. Vehicles are distinguished not only on the basis of petrol or diesel engines, but also on the capacity. For example, the rate is €26.19 for petrol passenger cars with engines of less than 1,600 cubic centimetres. For cars with a larger cylinder capacity it is €35.40. Something similar happens with diesel cars. The Junta de Andalucía sets a rate of €30.79 for cars under 1,600 cubic centimetres and €40 for the rest.
The other extreme is Extremadura, where there is one rate for all vehicles. The cost is regardless of engine size and whether it is petrol or diesel. Everyone pays €28.96 (in the case of an ITV station operated directly by the regional government) or €35.04 (in the case of stations under the concession regime).
In general, the difference is significant in how each autonomous community sets its own ITV rates. And this despite the fact that the inspections are regulated by state regulations. The Royal Decree 920/2017 of October 23, regulates the technical inspection of vehicles throughout Spain.