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Spain was one of the first countries to tax cars, at least when they're purchased, depending on their CO2 emission levels. What's good for four wheels is good for two, apparently, and a very similar tax system has been adopted for motorbikes, which will be put into effect at the start of 2009. This means that the amount of tax paid when a buyer registers a two-wheeler, called "Impuesto de matriculación," will be as follows:

Higher fuel prices? Higher registration taxes? Economic downturn? Might these three issues be the reasons why cars that produce more than 200 g/km of CO2 just aren't being purchased in Spain as much as they used to be. Sales of vehicles in this segment sunk by 44 percent during the first four months of 2008, compared to 2007 figures. All car sales were down, but the most polluting cars were the most affected: Vehicles producing between 161 and 200 g/km of CO2 sold 30 percent less, while sales o

The ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturer's Association) recently published a statement that calls EU members' tendency to tax vehicles according to CO2 production figures a positive step. The ACEA recognizes that it's an effective and wise measure to make motorists choices more fuel-efficient vehicles. They do not, however, think that a Registration Tax (such as Spain) is adequate or that most of the work is done, since current schemes still rely on power, cylinder capacity or a combination o