For members


The companies that insure young drivers in Spain

Like in many countries, insuring new drivers can be expensive in Spain and some companies even refuse to take the risk on younger people behind the wheel. Here are the different types of cover and companies that insure young drivers in Spain.

The companies that insure young drivers in Spain
Photo: Pixabay.

Learning to drive and hitting the road for the first time can be an exciting time for many young people.

Finding car insurance as a new or learner driver, however, can be pretty difficult and often incredibly pricey. This is true the world over, and in Spain it is no different.

In fact, some insurers simply won’t take the risk and refuse to offer coverage to drivers under 25 years of age. For those that do, premiums are almost always much more expensive and can make driving unaffordable. 

But perhaps this is with good reason. The data shows that novice drivers behind the wheel are more likely to suffer an accident – in some cases twice as likely.

READ ALSO – UK driving licence deal: How to exchange yours for a Spanish one 

According to a study by PONLE FRENO-AXA Road Safety Study Centre, the very youngest drivers in Spain are twice as likely to have an accident compared to the average driver. Drivers under the age of 22 have an accident frequency of 29 percent and young people aged 22 between 25 have a frequency of 25 percent, compared to 14.2 percent among other drivers.

It is worth noting that in Spain, the only place to (legally) learn to drive is with an official instructor at the ‘autoescuela‘. That is to say, unlike in other countries, learning to drive with a parent or older sibling is actually illegal, so there’s no ‘learner’s insurance’ available.

You can drive from age 18 in Spain, but last year, the DGT also announced a new type of licence for those from age 16. This is the B1 driving licence for electric vehicles with a maximum speed of 90 km/h and a maximum weight of 400 kg.


There are different types of insurance in Spain, ranging from the basic third-party to fully-comprehensive insurance, and then there’s the question of whether you want to be the named driver on the policy or simply added to someone else’s (likely your parent’s).

Of course, prices vary between companies, ranging from third-party insurance for less than €400 a year, whereas fully-comprehensive cover can cost more than €2,000 per year for a new driver.

Finding a fair (and affordable) policy can be a real head-scratcher, especially in a foreign language.

The Local has broken down everything you need to know below.

Different types of insurance 

Among the types of car insurance for new drivers in Spain, there are generally three types that you’re more than likely already familiar with – third party (terceros básico), extended third party (terceros ampliado) and fully comprehensive cover (seguro a todo riesgo).

  • Third-party insurance (terceros básico): this is the cheapest type and therefore often the most popular with learners and new drivers. This is the most basic type of cover and insures you against damage caused and against other people and cars.
  • Extended third-party (terceros ampliado): offers the same basic cover as third-party insurance, but is usually extended with protection against glass breakage, fire and theft. 
  • Fully comprehensive (seguro a todo riesgo): the most complete type of car insurance, with damage to your own vehicle covered. However, it is rarely suitable for novice drivers as premiums can be pretty pricey. 

Regular or occasional driver?

As a new driver, you have two fundamental options when it comes to taking out your car insurance in Spain.

The first is to be named as the regular or main driver (conductor principal) on your own insurance policy. This is undoubtedly the most expensive option, but also offers the most complete coverage since you will be fully protected against any type of mishap you may have at the wheel, however big or small, and you’ll be able to accrue your own no-claims bonuses and reduce your insurance premium over time.

The second is to be named as an ‘occasional driver’ (conductor occasional) on someone else’s insurance policy. This is incredibly common in Spain, as it is in many other countries. In this case, usually, an older relative with experience behind the wheel (and several years of no-claims bonuses) will be listed as the regular driver of the car, so the price of the policy will be lower.

Despite this, finding an insurer willing to cover a younger driver isn’t always easy.

Companies that insure younger drivers

Here’s a list we’ve put together of some of the cheapest companies that insure new drivers in Spain on both terceros básico and terceros ampliado offers.

Third-party insurance (terceros básico) 

  • Balumba: For around €300 a year you get basic coverage for Compulsory Civil Liability, free garage choice and travel assistance.
  • Drive & Win: For around €500 a year, Drive & Win offers Compulsory Civil Liability and travel assistance. 
  • Qualitas Auto: for less than €300 a year, it is possible to take out this insurance with the basic coverage of one to third parties, in addition to the free choice of a garage for repairs. 

Extended third-party (terceros ampliado)

According to price comparison site, the best companies (approximate price estimates) for extended third-party coverage are:

  • Qualitas Auto: €321
  • Balumba: €337
  • MAPFRE: €608

What if nobody will insure me?

It is possible that nobody will insure a newly qualified driver.

But fear not, there is another option. You can get coverage with Spain’s Consorcio de Compensación de Seguros (Insurance Compensation Consortium), which is part of the Ministry of Economy and offers civil liability coverage.

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For members


EXPLAINED: What you need to know about road tax in Spain

Here's what you need to know about IVTM, Spain's road tax, as well as how much it is, how to pay it, and what happens if you don't.

EXPLAINED: What you need to know about road tax in Spain

If you live in Spain and own a car, you’ll have to pay road tax.

Road tax in Spain is known as IVTM (Impuesto sobre Vehículos de Tracción Mecánica) and is a tax you pay at the municipal level, that is, to your local town hall.

According to Spain’s General Directorate of Traffic (DGT), “the Traffic Tax of a vehicle is a mandatory tax that is applied on all motor vehicles, allowing them to circulate on public roads throughout the country”.

Key things to know about IVTM

  • You pay the tax in the municipality where the vehicle is registered.
  • The municipality where the vehicle is registered and where the owner is resident must be the same.
  • The exact amount you pay depends on where you live.
  • The legal owner of the vehicle is the one who must pay the tax, nobody else.
  • In Spain, the road tax period begins on January 1st of each year, and payments are usually taken sometime between April and June. 

How much is it?

How much IVTM you pay depends on where you live in Spain and the type of car you have. Ultimately each local council decides how much you pay, so it’s always best to check with them first.

Generally speaking, the annual tax is between €112 and €300 for the year.

There can be quite significant rates in different parts of the country, but it’s based on the ‘taxable horsepower’ (THP) of your vehicle, which basically means how big and powerful the engine is. You are taxed according to its capacity. If you have a smaller, less powerful car you’ll pay less road tax, whereas gas-guzzling four-wheel drives pay more.

In Madrid, for example, the annual road tax for a car with a THP of greater than 20 (a relatively powerful car) is €124 for the year, but in Oviedo in Asturias, it is almost double at €224.

The Basque municipality of San Sebastián has the highest road tax rates in Spain, while Melilla and Ceuta generally have the lowest.

How do I pay or check my road tax status?

There are several ways to check the road tax status of your car.

You can do it on the DGT website, using your NIE, digital certificate or [email protected] password, and you just have to input your license plate to see the tax status.

You can also do it on the miDGT app, or in person at DGT traffic offices, but must make an appointment first via phone or online.

The local town hall (Ayuntamiento) also allows you to pay road tax there, as well as the possibility of paying directly to them online. Check your local town hall’s website to see if this is possible in your municipality. 

You could also check your bank statements to see if the DGT or Ayuntamiento has already charged you for the road tax this year.

If you move and need to reregister the tax address of your car, you can do it on the DGT website here.

What happens if I don’t pay road tax in Spain?

If you fail to pay your road ta in Spain you could be fined or worse.

According to the Spanish motoring website, however, as the IVTM is technically an administrative procedure, if you’re stopped by the police and can’t provide your road tax paperwork you shouldn’t be fined.

It’s worth keeping in mind though that the fines handed out by the DGT added up to a whopping €507 million in 2022, the highest figure ever recorded, so it could definitely be a possibility. 

If you don’t pay the tax within the payment period, the town hall will also add a surcharge for any late payments. It is a five percent surcharge if you pay it late, but before they formally notify you;
a 10 percent surcharge if you pay the tax after having received the notification and before the new deadline; and a 20 percent surcharge beyond that.

If you simply don’t pay the IVTM and your debt grows to more than €500, the local council can even seize your car.

Similarly, if you have an accident without valid road tax, many insurers will reject compensation claims, and you will not be able to legally sell your vehicle if you haven’t paid it.