€428 billion in taxes generated by motor vehicles in EU-15, new figures show

Brussels, 24 April 2019 – New data released today shows that motor vehicle taxation brings in €428 billion per year to governments in the EU-15 countries alone. This figure – up 3.5% compared with the previous year – represents more than two and a half times the total EU budget.

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) published this data in the 2019 edition of its Tax Guide. This annual report contains the latest information about taxes on vehicle acquisition (VAT, sales tax, registration tax), vehicle ownership (annual circulation tax, road tax) and motoring (fuel tax) in the European Union and other key markets around the world.

The 2019 report shows major differences in tax levels across the EU. Regarding the basis of taxation, some member states still tax cars on their power, price, weight, cylinder capacity or a combination of these factors. Increasingly, however, countries are applying CO2-based taxation. According to the new Guide, 21 EU member states now tax motor vehicles based on their CO2 emission levels.

Incentives for electrically-chargeable cars are available in 24 out of the 28 EU states now, the ACEA Tax Guide shows, although the nature and monetary value of these benefits varies widely. Indeed, while most countries grant tax reductions or exemptions for electric cars, only 12 EU member states offer bonus payments or premiums to buyers of these vehicles.

“Tax measures are a crucial tool in shaping consumer demand for zero- and low-emission vehicles,” explained ACEA Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert. “Given that the affordability of electric cars is still a major barrier to their wider market uptake, Europe’s auto manufacturers strongly encourage the 28 national governments to put in place meaningful incentive schemes.”

Notes for editors

  • Besides the 28 EU member states and the three EFTA countries Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, the ACEA Tax Guide also covers other key markets around the world (Brazil, China, India, Japan, Korea, Russia, Turkey and the United States). It is compiled with the help of the national associations of motor vehicle manufacturers or importers in these countries.
  • The full 2019 Tax Guide can be found here:
  • A visual summary of fiscal income from motor vehicles in the EU-15 can be downloaded here: 

About the EU automobile industry

  • 12.9 million Europeans work in the automotive sector
  • 8.3% of all manufacturing jobs in the EU
  • €392.2 billion in tax revenue for European governments
  • €101.9 billion trade surplus for the European Union
  • Over 7% of EU GDP generated by the auto industry
  • €59.1 billion in R&D spending annually, 31% of EU total
Content type Press release
Vehicle types All vehicles
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