Living in Greece

A practical guide to moving, living, working & traveling in Greece, plus musing and misadventures from an American in Athens

Circulation tax

circulationgreece
Circulation tax or τέλη κυκλοφορίας (teli kykloforias) applies to all vehicles with Greek license plates, which are registered at the tax office as active. It is a road tax paid to use a vehicle on a public road, known in other countries as a registration fee, motor tax or excise duty.

In a bid to cut approximately 80 million euros in costs, no printed tax invoices are sent by mail and no stickers are issued as proof of payment from November 2012.

*Article last updated on January 6, 2015.

Summary

The article covers:

  • How circulation tax is calculated and when it’s due
  • How to access and print a bill
  • Payment options
  • How to withdraw a vehicle from circulation.

How much will I pay?

Circulation tax is calculated according to engine capacity, and rates are subject to change annually.

For 2015:

  • From 51 cc to 300 cc: 22 euros
  • From 301 cc to 758 cc: 55 euros
  • From 786 cc to 1071 cc: 120 euros
  • From 1072 cc to 1357 cc: 135 euros
  • From 1358 cc to 1548 cc: 240 euros
  • From 1549 cc to 1738 cc: 265 euros
  • From 1739 cc to 1928 cc: 300 euros
  • From 1929 cc to 2357 cc: 660 euros
  • From 2358 cc to 3000 cc: 880 euros
  • From 3001 cc to 4000 cc: 1000 euros
  • From 4001 cc and above: 1320 euros

*Vehicles of 50 cc and under (i.e., mopeds, scooters) do not pay road tax. Hybrid vehicles get a discount or sometimes incur no tax.

Rates for 2013 and 2014 were unchanged.

Road tax for taxi cabs is calculated at a higher rate, and a 10 percent surcharge applies to trucks/lorries and buses.

Using the vehicle’s age as a criterion was abolished on January 1, 2011.

Luxury tax

All vehicles registered after 2002 with an engine capacity over 1929 cc will be assessed a luxury tax from 2014, which can be found under ‘Υπηρεσίες προς Πολίτες à Φόρος Πολυτελείας’ on the gsis.gr website and printed if they didn’t receive a notice by mail. It must be paid by January 31, 2015 this year.

Vehicles with engine capacity of 1929 cc to 2500 cc pay 5 percent; and those 2501 cc and above pay 10 percent.

Surcharge for vehicles registered after November 2010

Passenger cars registered for the first time in Greece on or after November 1, 2010 are also assessed a ‘green fee’, according to grams of carbon emissions (CO2) per kilometer:

  • 0 – 100 (g/km): None
  • 101 – 120 (g/km): 0.90 euros
  • 121 – 140 (g/km): 1.10 euros
  • 141 – 160 (g/km): 1.70 euros
  • 161 – 180 (g/km): 2.25 euros
  • 181 – 200 (g/km): 2.55 euros
  • 201 – 250 (g/km): 2.80 euros
  • 251 and above (g/km): 3.40 euros

Vehicles from another EU member state

First read, “Registering your car in EU countries” to determine if and when you need to exchange license plates. Not all vehicles need to be registered. It depends on your citizenship, length of stay, residency status and reason for being to Greece.

Also helpful: “Importing a car into Greece” and first-hand information on customs and circulation tax from Eri, found below in Comments on February 7, 2014.

When it’s due

Deadline to pay every year is December 31 for the following year. For example, the last day to pay 2015 fees is December 31, 2014. Many wait to the last minute and insist on paying cash, which creates long lines at banks, post offices and tax offices after Christmas.

An extension ’til January 5, 2015 was announced on December 31 for 2 million people who still hadn’t paid on the last day, supposedly “due to weather” even though payment can be made in minutes from the comfort of home. Parliament was dissolved shortly thereafter for snap elections, so no further extension is possible.

In 2013, some 29,000 people did not pay or submit paperwork to withdraw vehicles from circulation. In 2014, that figure skyrocketed to 200,000 with only 5.37 million vehicle owners paying their bills on time and generating over 1 billion in tax income for state coffers.

*Tax offices are closed on December 25, December 26 and January 1.

Paying late

The penalty for paying late is double the circulation tax.

Circulation tax invoice may not be reused

A printed bill

The bill has two, non-identical parts — the first being for the vehicle owner, and the second for the bank or post office if making payment at these locations. It shows the name, AFM, amount due and the license plate number (circulation number)* in blue text and the payment code at the bottom in black.

*Elements were removed to protect the privacy of person who allowed me to scan it.

How to access and print an invoice

Circulation tax invoices are available online at TAXISnet via gsis.gr as of early November each year, though there is typically a delay due to Greece being Greece. *Note that the Ministry of Finance has not changed the date from 2012, but the link is correct and the system is working.

1. Go to Εφαρμογή Εκτύπωσης Τελών Κυκλοφορίας Αυτοκινήτων.

2. Press the blue ‘ΕΙΣΟΔΟΣ‘  button.

3. Enter the ‘ ΑΦΜ‘ (AFM/Greek tax number) and ‘Αριθμός Κυκλοφορίας‘ (Arithmos Kykloforias/circulation number aka, license plate number) of the vehicle you wish to access.

4. Press the ‘Αναζήτηση‘ button to request the invoice and verify that the AFM and license plate number match records in the database.

5. If they match, the message in red will say: ‘Επιτυχής αναζήτηση. Πατήστε Εκτύπωση‘ (Search successful. Press Print).

6. Press the ‘Εκτύπωση‘ (Print) button. It allows you to view and print (if connected to a printer) or save as a PDF by clicking the download button on your browser window. You can print more than once, if necessary.

If the database returns an error or no match is found, you need to contact the tax office to update or correct the vehicle’s records.

Taxpayers can also access their records at gsis.gr with their TAXISnet username and password, but the method above is quicker and easier.

*Greece first announced its intention to implement an online system in 2010, but it did not go live until December 23, 2011, which was too late for the 2012 year. In 2013, the system experienced problems and the availability date was changed four times.

No Internet access, no printer?

If you do not have Internet access or a printer:
a) Ask a friend/relative;
b) kindly ask permission at work, if possible and appropriate;
c) go to an Internet cafe, photo/photocopy shop, office with a printer;
d) visit a post office in Greece with your AFM and license plate number.

Certain banks, such as Alpha, Piraeus Bank, Eurobank and TT Hellenicbank, also offer the option to retrieve your invoice and online payment code, with only your AFM and license plate number.

Those with Internet access but no printer can look up the payment code, then pay online or by phone without needing to print an invoice.

Where or how to pay

Payment of circulation tax can be made via:

  • Post offices. See, “Find a post office” at the official ELTA website. Many locations will be open late to accept payments on December 30 (20:30) and 31 (18:00).
    *As of November 29, 2011
  • Banks: In person, via ATM and by phone. Which ones? Contact the bank in Greece you do business with and proceed from there.
    *If you contact a Greek bank outside Greece, they won’t have a clue what you’re talking about

Less than 7 percent of vehicle owners pay circulation tax via e-banking.


Tax sticker from imerisia.gr

Proof of payment/stickers

Silver-and-blue stickers or σημάτα (simata) — known to some as a tax disc or vignette — are no longer issued as proof of payment, but police vehicles equipped to access database information will be able to verify if the owner of a truck, car or motorcycle/motorbike has paid circulation tax using the license plate number.

Those who paid in person at the tax office, post office or bank should keep their receipt; and those who paid online or by phone are encouraged to keep a bank statement or other evidence at hand. Not all police vehicles have the relevant technology.

Turning in license plates — tovima.gr

Withdrawing a vehicle from circulation

Persons who cannot or do not wish to pay the road tax can withdraw their vehicle from circulation.

To do this, you need to visit a tax office in person and bring the following items:
a. Άδεια κυκλοφορίας αυτοκινήτου/Circulation permit
b. Πινακίδες/License plates
c. Φωτοτυπία της δήλωσης εισοδήματος που να αποδεικνύεται ποιος είναι ο κάτοχος του Ι.Χ./Photocopy of income tax statement to prove you own the vehicle
d. Το αποδεικτικό ότι έχουν πληρωθεί τα τέλη του 2013/Receipt proving you paid circulation tax for 2013. All past taxes must be paid as a prerequisite.
e. E9 statement showing that you own or rent a space to park the stationary vehicle. If you do not own or rent a parking space, a friend or relative with a parking space can sign a dilosi stating they are letting you use theirs and have it stamped at the police station. Present this along with a photocopy of their E9.

It is not necessary to have insurance on a withdrawn vehicle.

At the tax office, you’ll be asked to fill out an application.

Tax offices typically keep licenses plates for one year. However, given the economic climate, the Finance Ministry announced on January 2, 2013 that plates would be stored indefinitely to reduce state costs and eliminate bureaucracy for those wishing to put vehicles back in circulation beyond 12 months, which can be done by simply paying that year’s road tax and picking up the plates. — the license plates are destroyed (though they often keep them longer). If they destroy them, you apply to the Ministry of Transport and tax office to issue new license plates and pay a small fee.

Since the recession began in 2009, a steady and increasing number of vehicles have been abandoned or withdrawn from circulation and the road death rate has fallen to 1974 levels. A half million licenses plates have been surrendered to date.

Have a question or comment?

In the interest of transparency, I do not own a vehicle in Greece. This article is based on extensive research and translations I performed, plus three friends who granted me access to private information about their cars, tax information and recent/past experiences. I will not ask them to answer questions from readers.

  • Billing errors, tax questions and further information on withdrawing a vehicle from circulation should be directed at the tax office.
  • Banking inquiries and those needing payment assistance should seek out customer service.

There’s no way I (or anyone) can cover how Greek tax and road laws harmonize or contradict every country’s laws and advice specific to your situation and vehicle. That would require a website dedicated to this one subject and an enormous amount of time to keep updated.

Actual experience and corrections that may enrich this article and help others are welcome.

Sources

I primarily use Greek-language sources and first-hand experience because official websites and English-language newspapers give little detail, are often incorrect and rarely match what happens in real life.

— First-hand information from friends C.T., Y.M. and N.K.
— Reader ‘Steve’ who sent me a gsis.gr link on November 23 via Twitter, which was invalid but still helped me find the right one
Υπ. Οικονομικών: Δε θα καταστρέφονται οι κατατεθειμένες πινακίδες” — To Vima
Ο φόρος πολυτελούς διαβίωσης μαζί με το φόρο εισοδήματος από το 2014” — To Vima
Έρχονται τα σημειώματα του φόρου πολυτελείας για ΙΧ άνω των 1.929 κ.εκ.” — To Vima
Τέλη κυκλοφορίας ΙΧ: τέσσερις εργάσιμες για την πληρωμή τους” — To Vima
Και στα ΕΛΤΑ η εξόφληση των τελών κυκλοφορίας” — To Vima
Ξεκίνησε η ηλεκτρονική διάθεση εντύπων για τα τέλη κυκλοφορίας” — Ta Nea
Τέλη κυκλοφορίας: Από την Τετάρτη 7 Νοεμβρίου η καταβολή τους” — To Vima
Road tax gets easier to pay” — Kathimerini
Online road tax payment system launched” — Kathimerini
Πώς θα κάνετε το Ι.Χ. ακίνητο” — Eleftherotypia
Και σε ΕΛΤΑ η πληρωμή τελών κυκλοφορίας” — Naftemporiki
Kαι από το internet η προμήθεια των τελών για το 2011” — Eleftherotypia
Σε όλα τα Ι.Χ. θα εφαρμόζονται τα «πράσινα» τέλη κυκλοφορίας” — Eleftherotypia
Τέλη πολλών ταχυτήτων” — Ta Nea
Χαράτσι 252 ευρώ για ίδιο Ι.Χ.!” — Eleftherotypia
Λιγότερα μποτιλιαρίσματα λόγω ΔΝΤ!” — Eleftherotypia
Η κρίση μείωσε τα τροχαία!” — Eleftherotypia
Δεν απαιτείται ασφάλιση για ΙΧ που έχουν κατατεθεί οι πινακίδες τους” — To Vima
Ανοίγει τη Δευτέρα η ηλεκτρονική εφαρμογή για τα τέλη κυκλοφορίας” — To Vima

About

Kat is a well-traveled American editor and author. To learn more, see “About Me.”

  • Livingingreece.gr was created in 2007 to present meticulously researched original articles that fill a gap left by traditional media, government portals and commercial websites/forums run by people without credentials.
  • @LivinginGreece is a Twitter feed curated from recognized Greek and international news agencies to provide breaking news about Greece, plus real-time updates and insider tips mined from 15 years experience.

Please note my copyright policy and be aware that violations will be pursued.

http://bit.ly/GRroadtax

67 Comments

  George wrote @ December 28th, 2012 at 16:09

Hi, thanks for this excellent information. I know you ask we go to tax office for further information on withdrawing a vehicle from circulation, but we foreigners all know what an awful, time consuming and painful experience this is. So was wondering if any readers have any idea or information on what happens if you ‘withdraw your vehicle from circulation’ and as you say, the plates get destroyed. What happens then, say after the year end or following years. Can the car be ‘back in circulation’ or can it be scrapped? Or used for a ‘withdrawal’ discount against a new or newer car? Or it is stuck in your (or your friend’s or relatives) driveway or land forever? (I mean who knows here in Greece??). An if any of the above are possible, what (countless) documents and payments/charges are involved? Thanks in advance for anyone who has some knowledge of this situation and takes the time to explain. Cheers and Happy New Year to you and all your readers.

Kat Reply:

Bureaucracy is burdensome for all persons in Greece, not just foreigners.

1. The section is about withdrawing it from circulation, but please read what it already says about taking it out. If I ever compile information about putting it back in circulation, a different article will be linked as this post is 1500 words.
2. A withdrawal program has been in effect since 2011, answering questions about discounts, replacing or junking an older vehicle, documents, fees, etc. See “Vehicle withdrawal program extended through 2013.”

If the vehicle is ‘stuck,’ that’s on the owner since he/she decides what to do with it and is responsible for taking action.

  peter wrote @ December 28th, 2012 at 18:58

Thanks for your article. I was waiting for the bill to arrive in my mailbox like every year. You saved me from defaulting. (I guess government doesn’t think its necessary to inform each vehicle owner.)

Kat Reply:

I also notified people in November on the Twitter news feed @livingingreece, which many find helpful.

Nice to see you again, and always a pleasure to help people who have given back to the website.

  eric wrote @ January 1st, 2013 at 16:51

hi,
great site, priceless info, but i can’t find out how to print a form for a moped, could anyone help me out?
thanks a lot\eric

  tony wrote @ January 3rd, 2013 at 21:58

If your moped is under 50 cc you don’t need to tax it

Kat Reply:

Thank you for sharing that info. I’ll add a note to the article. All best!

  angeliki wrote @ January 15th, 2013 at 19:39
  Val wrote @ May 29th, 2013 at 23:21

Hi Kat, I have a hybrid vehicle and my circulation tax was zero this year!
Well, that’s what was printed on my form. I printed it off and carry it in my glove compartment.
Hope I read it right but last year I paid 6 euros for the year.

Kat Reply:

That’s awesome! I’m glad you’re still a reader and share these things with me. Nice to see you again 🙂

  Oskar wrote @ July 4th, 2013 at 17:36

We were not informed that the road tax 2013 has to be paid until 31st december 2012. Our tax for the moto is Euro 22 and according to the new rules, the tax is double if not paid in time.

We cannot understand why we had to pay Euro 52 (instead 44) at the tax office in Paros !

The people there could not explain why we have to pay the extra money !!

Kat Reply:

Circulation tax is due every year at the same time, so it’s a known deadline. Also, paying double for paying late is not a new rule. That’s always been the case.

I do not own a vehicle and everyone I know with a vehicle/moto pays on time, so I don’t know why you were required to pay 8 extra euros. To get an explanation, you could have demanded to speak to a manager or filed a complaint if staff were not helpful. You can also consult the Greek Ombudsman and file a claim for free at: http://www.synigoros.gr/?i=stp.en.how

  Claes wrote @ October 10th, 2013 at 19:09

Question 1:
What about the roules for this/next year??? I had to pay the dubble tax as a fine due to I didnt were i Greece November – January.
How to fix this??? My bank, Emporiki/Alpha, dont want to help due to they dont know the new roules. Leaving Greece end Oktober, coming back May.

Question 2:
Do you mean gsis.gr or webbanking at my account in Alphabank?
I think I can log in at gsis, and get the bill via my AFIMI and plate number.

Question 3:
When, is it possible to print out the bill of cirkulation tax for 2014 ?

Kat Reply:

Answer 1:
Banks don’t know because no one knows yet. New rates are posted later this year, and the article will be updated accordingly.

You can make arrangements to pay online. It’s not necessary to physically be in Greece to pay circulation tax.

Answer 2:
Answers are in the article, did you read it? In November/December, use instructions in ‘How to access and print an invoice.’ Pay the invoice using one of the methods in section ‘Where and how to pay.’

Answer 3:
I already answered this question. See the second sentence in Answer 2.

The option to print circulation tax invoices and pay online only began last year, so a “norm” hasn’t been established. Also, this is Greece – anything can happen.

All articles are updated on a rolling basis from daily news, so I’ll change the article when announcements are made.

*Future redundant questions will be deleted.

  Mike wrote @ November 2nd, 2013 at 14:23

I own a 1962 S2 Land Rover. I am considering transferring it from UK to Greek registration. I have been trying to find out if the zero Road Tax for vehicles over 25 years old applies in Greece as in the UK. Do you have any information?

Kat Reply:

Question is already answered in the article above. In section, ‘How much will I pay?’ it says that a vehicle’s age was abolished as a criterion. Therefore, road/circulation tax will apply.

  Jamie wrote @ November 5th, 2013 at 13:18

I have recently driven back to the UK in my Greek car and now wish to take it off the road and scrap it. Is there a way of withdrawing a vehicle from circulation without being in Greece?? Much appreciated.

Kat Reply:

As it says in the article above under ‘Withdrawing a vehicle from circulation,’ you need to appear in person and turn in your plates plus show proof that all tax had been paid to date.

I understand you couldn’t have driven back to the UK without plates.

Be aware that I cannot advise you because I don’t know the procedure for scrappage in the UK and how it harmonizes (or not) with what’s normally required for GR (license plates and #1-6 under section ‘Steps’ at “Vehicle withdrawal in Greece.” Therefore, you need to call the Greek tax office/eforia and ask.

  Barbara wrote @ November 19th, 2013 at 17:11

Thanks once again for up to date information regarding circulation tax. Today I had been trying the taxisnet site with no joy, probably due to my very limited Greek. Checked Living in Greece and have now printed all my paperwork.

Kat Reply:

Excellent! Feels good to be self-reliant, doesn’t it? Love to hear stories like this.

Thanks so much for your comment, and all best.

  Emmanouil wrote @ November 27th, 2013 at 12:42

As of this morning (27 Nov) the GSIS website gives:

Μ Η Ν Υ Μ Α

ΣΟΒΑΡΟ ΣΦΑΛΜΑ στη Βάση Δεδομένων :
ErrorLoc = ConnDB().makeConnection():1
OriginClass = com.gsis.year2012.telhkykl.service.TelhKykltBean
ErrorMessage = java.sql.SQLException
Internal error: Cannot obtain XAConnection weblogic.common.resourcepool.ResourceLimitException: No resources currently available in pool inc00DS to allocate to applications, please increase the size of the pool and retry.. at weblogic.common.resourcepool.ResourcePoolImpl.reserveResourceInternal(ResourcePoolImpl.java:591) at weblogic.common.resourcepool.ResourcePoolImpl.reserveResource(ResourcePoolImpl.java:343) at weblogic.common.resourcepool.ResourcePoolImpl.reserveResource(ResourcePoolImpl.java:330) at….

and so on. Austerity seems to be hitting their webserver resource pools too. Go figure!

Kat Reply:

GSIS has been known to crash intermittently due to overload or other unknown reasons. I tried it a few minutes ago and it was fine.

Thanks for sharing your experience.

  margaret wrote @ November 27th, 2013 at 19:30

Question 1:
we brought our car with us from uk . we bought it in uk new 2004 registered here in greece got greek plates 2012. got our luxury tax bill saying our car was under 5 years bill is for 440 euros . does this mean our car is considered new from when we registered here in greece. thanks

Question 2:
Thanks for your quick responce response to my question.Ihave asked a few people and they say that the car is taken from when it was first registered hear here in Greece. Now we are thinking of selling it if we can. Thanks again.

Kat Reply:

Answer 1:
Any car registered after 2002 with engine capacity over 1929cc is assessed luxury tax, so it doesn’t matter if it was 2004 or 2012. The age of the car is not a factor, as stated above in section ‘How much will I pay?’ It is determined by engine capacity.

If you have further questions, best to inquire at the eforia.

Answer 2:
I recommended that you inquire at the eforia because everyday people, Greeks and non-Greeks alike, often have no idea about what the law says and will make up an answer. You will seldom hear the words, “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure.” All best.

  zonars wrote @ November 30th, 2013 at 14:38

Your comment/question was moved to, “Should I move to Greece?

Sorry, comments are closed at this time.