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How to figure out your car tax—and pay it easily

All you need to know about car tax, including when and how to pay.

4 min read

Owning a car can make your life much easier. When you don’t have to depend on public transport, you can be more flexible and independent when deciding to move around. At the same time, this doesn’t come cheap. On top of the initial purchase, you’ll also have to factor in maintenance costs, insurance, fuel, car tax and inspections—all of which can really add up over time.

You can easily cut back on insurance and fuel costs by spending less time in the car. But regardless of how often you spend behind the wheel, all car owners have to pay car tax (bollo auto). This is usually about 10% of annual maintenance costs. But how exactly do you calculate the car text, and how do you pay it? Read our short guide to find out.

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What is car tax?

Car tax is a tax that must be paid on every motorized vehicle that you own (regardless of whether it’s a car, motorcycle, van, etc.). Any vehicle that is registered in Italy with the Public Automobile Registry (Pubblico Registro Automobilistico, PRA) is subject to car tax. The tax also applies to vehicles with long term rentals, leasing, or those purchased with installments. In most places, the car tax is collected by regional governments, with the exception of the autonomous provinces of Bolzano and Trento. The Italian Revenue Agency collects the tax in the regions of Friuli Venezia Giulia and Sardinia. 

As mentioned before, the car tax is based on ownership, rather than use. This means that you’ll have to pay it whether you leave your vehicle in the garage or use it every day. The car tax amount can be lowered or rendered void only in certain cases. For example, if the driver is disabled, if the car runs on liquified petroleum gas (LPG), or if it is a classic car.

How is car tax calculated?

 Car tax is calculated based on the following criteria:

  • Engine power, expressed in kW. This figure is normally available on the vehicle’s registration certificate. If it’s not shown, divide the vehicle’s horsepower by 1.35962.
  • The vehicle’s environmental class (Euro 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6)
  • Region of residence

If you’re calculating your car tax by hand, first you’ll have to multiply the kW by the environmental class number. Then factor in the regional contribution, which depends on where you live and the amount of CO2 your vehicle emits.

The quicker and easier way to find your car tax is to do it online using the ACI (Automobile Club d'Italia) website. You will need your car’s license plate number and the first date of registration. The system will automatically pull the information linked to your vehicle and calculate how much tax you owe and when it’s due.

When and how to pay car tax

Car tax should be paid during its validity period. After that date, you have one month to make the payment without incurring penalties.

More specifically, if the deadline is:

  • December 31 you can pay from January 1 to 31
  • January 31 you can pay from February 1 to 28
  • April 30 you can pay from May 1 to 31
  • May 31 you can pay from June 1 to 30
  • July 31 you can pay from August 1 to 31
  • August 31 you can pay from September 1 to 30
  • September 30 you can pay from October 1 to 31

You can pay the car tax:

  • at ACI, either in person at one of their offices or via their website (aci.it)
  • at the post office
  • at an automobile documentation agency
  • at authorized retailers or tobacco shops
  • from your bank’s home banking portal
  • at authorized ATMs
  • via the PagoPA payment system

What to do if your car tax payment is overdue 

So, what do you do if you didn’t make your car tax payment on time? If the infraction isn’t contested yet and the administrative verification process hasn’t started, you just have to pay the full amount that is owed—provided it’s only been up to two years. If you haven’t paid for more than three years, however, then your vehicle might be at risk for seizure from the Italian Public Vehicle Register (Pubblico Registro Automobilistico, PRA).

Here are the penalties for paying the car tax up to two years late:

  • + 0.1% per day when paid within 15 days after the deadline
  • +1.5% when paid between the 16th and 30th day after the deadline
  • +1.67% when paid between the 31st and 90th day after the deadline
  • +3.75% when paid between the 91st day and 1 year after the deadline
  • +4.286% when paid between the 1st and 2nd year after the deadline
  • +5% when paid 2 years after the deadline

Pay your car tax with N26 in just a few clicks

Tons of emails, dates, payments—trying to remember every deadline is tough. Most people find themselves paying at the last minute. With N26, the 100% mobile bank, paying your car tax is as simple as grabbing your smartphone: simply download the N26 app and select the Actions tab. Tap on Send Money and select Other Payments. Choose Car taxes (Bollo auto) from the menu. You will be directed to the service provider’s website where you can complete the transaction in just a few steps directly from your smartphone, wherever and whenever you want. What are you waiting for? Open an N26 account and manage your payments in Italy, hassle-free!

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By N26

The Mobile Bank

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