Tax from motor vehicles rises to €398bn in key EU markets, highest taxes per vehicle in Belgium

Brussels, 29 April 2021 – Motor vehicles are responsible for €398.4 billion of tax revenue for governments across key European markets, according to the latest data from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA).

This figure – 3% higher than the previous year – represents close to two and a half times the total budget of the European Union. The national income ranges from €99.9 billion for Germany, which has the EU’s biggest vehicle fleet, to €6.2 billion for Ireland.

When looking at average total tax revenues per motor vehicle, Belgium collects €3,187 per vehicle annually, with Austria (€2,678) and Finland (€2,523) completing the top three of EU countries with the highest per vehicle income. The lowest tax revenues are found in Greece and Spain, where the state collects €1,264 and €1,068 per vehicle respectively.

This data was published today in ACEA’s Tax Guide, which provides an overview of all taxes that are levied on vehicles in the EU and other world markets, including taxes on vehicle acquisition (VAT, sales tax, registration tax), ownership (annual circulation tax, road tax) and motoring (fuel tax).

“Vehicle, road and fuel taxes generate huge amounts of government revenue every year in the EU,” stated ACEA Director General, Eric-Mark Huitema. “This income should help fund the charging and refuelling infrastructure that is now urgently needed to cater for the rapidly growing market uptake of alternatively-powered vehicles.”

Huitema: “Indeed, over the first quarter of this year, almost 14% of all new cars sold in the EU were electrically chargeable. However, this trend can only be maintained if governments step up investments in infrastructure.”

When it comes to fuel taxes, petrol is still taxed more heavily than diesel in almost all European countries, with the exception of Belgium and Slovenia. Tax on diesel ranges from €317/1,000 litres (in Hungary) to €617/1,000 litres (in Italy). For petrol, taxation goes from €345/1,000 litres (Hungary) to €813/1,000 litres (the Netherlands).

VAT rates on new vehicles range from 17% in Luxembourg to 27% in Hungary, the report shows.

Average annual tax revenue per motor vehicle, by country*

  1. Belgium: €3,187
  2. Austria: €2,678
  3. Finland: €2,523
  4. Ireland: €2,438
  5. Denmark: €2,251
  6. Netherlands: €2,158
  7. Germany: €1,963
  8. France: €1,911
  9. Italy: €1,727
  10. Sweden: €1,561
  11. Portugal: €1,528
  12. Greece: €1,264
  13. Spain: €1,068

***

Notes for editors

  • The full 2021 edition of the ACEA Tax Guide is available at:
    https://www.acea.be/publications/article/acea-tax-guide-2021
  • * Per country estimates based on the number of vehicles on the road in the corresponding year. For other EU countries data on motor tax revenues are not available.
  • This Guide covers the 27 member states of the European Union, the United Kingdom and the three EFTA countries (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland). In addition, it also provides in-depth information for Brazil, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Turkey and the United States.

About ACEA

  • The European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) represents the 15 major Europe-based car, van, truck and bus makers: BMW Group, CNH Industrial, DAF Trucks, Daimler, Ferrari, Ford of Europe, Honda Motor Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Jaguar Land Rover, Renault Group, Stellantis, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars, and Volvo Group.
  • More information about ACEA can be found on www.acea.be or www.twitter.com/ACEA_eu.
  • Contact: Cara McLaughlin, Communications Director, [email protected], +32 485 88 66 47.

About the EU automobile industry

  • 14.6 million Europeans work in the auto industry (directly and indirectly), accounting for 6.7% of all EU jobs.
  • 11.5% of EU manufacturing jobs – some 3.7 million – are in the automotive sector.
  • Motor vehicles account for €398.4 billion in taxes in major European markets.
  • The automobile industry generates a trade surplus of €74 billion for the EU.
  • The turnover generated by the auto industry represents over 7% of EU GDP.
  • Investing €60.9 billion in R&D annually, the automotive sector is Europe's largest private contributor to innovation, accounting for 29% of total EU spending.