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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Tax offices/DOY/efories: Should be the location closest to your legal residence on file. See, “List of tax offices in Greece.”
- 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.
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.
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.
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
Kat is a well-traveled American editor and author. To learn more, see “About Me.”
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