The future of VTCs in Spain depends on Europe. In a few days we will know if they can continue operating or if they disappear

The tension between taxi drivers and the VTC has never declined since Uber y Cabify they set their eyes on Spain. The taxi drivers want the ratio of one VTC for every 30 taxis to be respected, while the VTCs appeal to free competition. This litigation could end soon at the hands of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) of Luxembourg.

He next June 8the CJEU will rule on a preliminary ruling question raised by the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia on whether the limitation on the number of licenses really VTCused by Uber and Cabify, is contrary or not to European law.

At the same time, the Supreme Court admitted a new appeal in 2021 in order to analyze whether its previous ruling of 2018, in which the legality of the ratio 1/30it respected the freedom of establishment of companies or if, on the contrary, it involved State aid to the taxi sector, contrary to the treaties and regulations of the European Union.

The CJUE could thus, next June, give an oxygen balloon to the VTC or sign their death sentence in our country. And it is that the decision of the CJEU will ultimately depend on whether the proportion of 1/30 is in accordance with European law or not. In case the 1/30 ratio is illegal for the EU, there will be no legal way to prevent the renewal or granting of new licences.

The ratio of one VTC for every 30 taxis is not respected

Court of Justice of the European Union

The respect of the proportion of a VTC license for every 30 taxi licenses is the main demand of the taxi sector. A proportion, by the way, that it is not respected in any Autonomous Community.

Currently, there are 18,389 VTC licenses granted in Spain (+1.5% compared to 2022) and at the same time there are 60,039 taxi licenses. This gives us a ratio of one VTC for every 3.3 taxis, far from the ratio of one VTC for every 30 taxis set by law so that new licenses can be granted. To adapt to the law of 1/30 there would be “surplus” 16,388 VTC licenses.

taxi madrid

The Community of Madrid brings together more than half of those licenses considered surplus. There are 15,008 taxi licenses compared to 8,787 for VTC, which means that there is one VTC license for every 1.7 taxi licences. In Catalonia there would be some 2,500 surplus licences, 15.3% of the total, and 3,097 in Andalusia, 18.9% of the total.

The ‘Ábalos Decree’ of 2018 allowed the Autonomous Communities to regulate the VTC sector, opening the door for them to demand a second license, either regional or local.

Some have gone a bit far, like Catalonia, which has even legislated on the type of cars that VTCs must use to obtain a license. A situation, that of Catalonia with Barcelona at the forefront, which has led Cabify, Uber and Bolt to consider leaving the city.

The CJEU will issue a sentence on June 8. Meanwhile, the taxi and VTC sectors are looking at Luxembourg with concern. One is risking his survival in our country and the other is going to return or not to a situation of almost monopoly.

Source: Motorpasión by

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