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Plaza de la Constitución in Montejaque. Karl Smallman
The 'tax haven' village in the Serranía de Ronda where thousands of cars are registered every year

The 'tax haven' village in the Serranía de Ronda where thousands of cars are registered every year

With one of the lowest vehicle tax rates in Spain, Montejaque attracts car rental and transport companies

Francisco Jiménez

Malaga

Friday, 9 June 2023, 18:16

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Montejaque has a population of only about a thousand, however in 2022, in this small village in the Serranía de Ronda, 2,499 cars were registered. The figure in 2021 was 4,055.

This is not due to a sudden frenzy of residents changing cars or local businesspeople deciding to renew their fleets of vehicles. The real reason is the vehicle tax in the village, which is one of the cheapest in the province. This has turned the village into a magnet for companies with fleets of cars, like transport and car rental businesses, who register an office in the village but whose cars never actually drive on the streets there.

It is a trick that is legal and is understandable, as road tax can double depending on the municipality where it is paid. And it can be even less if tax cuts of up to 75% are applied, which are allowed by local councils depending on fuel and engine criteria.

To give an idea, for cars of up to 11.99 taxable horsepower (HP) (used to measure how much a car should be taxed relative to engine power) and cars with taxable HP between 12 and 15.99, in Montejaque the road taxes are 8.52 and 17.99 euros respectively. This is far less than the 65.80 and 138.90 euros it costs in Malaga city.

This data comes from a report from drivers’ association AEA, which, as well as naming 25 areas across Spain that have become tax havens, has also produced a ranking of the different provincial capitals.

Malaga is 18th on the list. It is the fourth highest provincial capital in Andalucía, behind Huelva and Granada, which both charge 68.16 and 143.88 euros, and Cadiz, with 67.25 and 142 euros.

Comparisons

Nationally, there are differences of more than 150% between provincial capitals. For example, an average car (with 11.99 taxable HP) would entail a road tax of 34.08 euros in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, while this would be 59 euros in Madrid, 68.16 in Barcelona and 87.93 in San Sebastián.

In Malaga city, it is 65.80 euros. These figures show that the most expensive areas are San Sebastián, Vitoria, Bilbao, Tarragona, Barcelona, Lleida, Palma, Ciudad Real, Valladolid, Huelva and Granada. On the other hand, the cheapest main cities are Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Melilla, Ceuta, Zamora, Cáceres, Palencia, Jaén and Badajoz.

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