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MOTORING IN SPAIN

UPDATE PAGE - April 2006

IMPORTING AND Registering a RH (UK, etc) VEHICLE IN SPAIN.

2nd April 2006.

Specifically a vehicle with a load area at the back, as in the photo for the Mitsibushi L200, 4 x4.    A reader has mailed me with a problem when they have tried to re-register a RH drive (steering wheel on the right as in the UK and Ireland) where it has been refused by Trafico and the ITV inspection official even though there is a 360 degree view from the driver's seat when presented.

The reason appears to be that although sold without a rear-cab or fabric cover the driver has a 360 degree view, a fibre-glass or fabric cover can be fitted at a later date thus making the vehicle illegal according to the Spanish vehicle safety Laws.

So any owner of such vehicles as in the picture, please be aware that you have a very good chance of having your vehicle refused being changed onto Spanish plates.

 __________________________________________________________________

ITV Inspections.  7 march 2006

While chatting to an acquaintance (a friend of a  friend) the other day she showed me her Renault Kangol, a small car-like vehicle which in her model is basically a van converted by the factory to a saloon car.  She loves it as she has horses and she is also a sculptress, so she can put her work, or hay, etc. in the back.  I was amazed to be told though that it is treated as a van because of the model, and as such had to have ITV inspections to suit as in the table below, these starting at 2 years instead of the 4 allowed for turismos (saloon cars).     The updated table is below covering all the ITV periods and types of vehicles.

Vehicles

Frequency of Inspections (each)

Exempt

Two years

Annually

6 months

1. Cars for private use.

2. Special vehicles used in works and services and self-propelled machinery, except those that cannot reach 26 kph due to their construction.

 Until 4 years

 From 4 to 10 years

 More than 10 years

Vehicles and a set of vehicles used to transport goods with a MAM of up to 3.000 kg.

 Until 2 years

 From 2 to 6 years

 From 6 to 10 years

 More than 10 years

1. Rental cars with or without drivers.

2. Cars and motorcycles used for driving instruction.

 Until 2 years

 From 2 to 5 years

 More than 5 years

1. Adaptable mixed vehicles.

2. Housing (camping vehicles, caravans)

 The frequency is the most restrictive applicable, depending on the transport being of goods or people.

1. Agricultural tractors.

2. Self-propelled agricultural machinery.

3. Agricultural tows.

4. Other special agricultural vehicles except cultivators    &  similar.

 Until 8 years

 From 8 to 16 years

 More than 16 years

Towed caravans with a MAM exceeding 750 kg

 Until 6 years

 More than 6 years

Motorcycles.

 Until 5 years

 More than 6 years

1. Vehicles used to transport goods with a MAM exceeding 3.500 kg

2. Independent tractors for HGV.

 Until 10 years

 More than 10 years

1. Ambulances

2. Cars for public use including school transport service wit or without a taxi-meter.

Buses, including school transport and transport of children

 Until 5 years

 More than 5 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

______________________________________________________

Survey on traffic densities to be carried out in malaga City.  17 April 2006

The recent news in the Press about a company being paid Eur.250.000 to determine why the roads entering Malaga City are jammed at certain times of the day is so simple that one could almost suspect that the payment is a bit "Yageish*".   The obvious reason that can be seen every day is that there are far too many cars travelling there, especially at work travel times, and especially with only one person in the car.   

But the answer is even simpler.  We had it in the old South Africa many years ago when I lived there.  It worked and it is to have all the way around Malaga City but about 5 to 10 km outside, in selected places where the establishment of such car parks is not a problem, "Park & Ride" car parks, where the very reasonable cost of the parking includes the trip on a bus, or, if near a railway station, the train (with extra carriages/engines used at peak hours), and the amount charged is to be so low as it will be heavily subsidised by motoring taxes, that the majority of motorists will use the service.     

For Eur 250.000, I will write a report which will include all the planning to get this system up and running.   Just think, I could have the answers in say two weeks, not two years.   And similar reports are to be made in other big cities in Spain

The savings to be made are immense especially now that oil is forecast to hit the US$70 mark soon with predictions of even US$100 later, and not only for the motorists but especially for Spain.  Lower oil imports means more retained cash, lower numbers of cars travelling means less pollution, a problem in Malaga that can be seen from afar, and far fewer traffic accidents. The buses can be equipped with the latest diesel engines with Stage Four anti-pollution systems. and be quiet and comfortable, with the daily news being broadcast or a TV channel with advertising to further lower the running costs.   All that needs to be organised is adequate security for the parked vehicles, easy with modern technology, and bus lanes that will further encourage drivers to "Park & Ride". 

Where do I apply for the grant, please?

*Marisol Yage (pronounced Yagoo) is the current Mayor of Marbella, and she is in prison awaiting trial along with about 20 other council officials for alleged theft and corruption that, if found guilty, proves that the old adage about kids getting more adventuresome if they are not stopped when stealing coins from mummy's purse.  If you are interested, click here for more on this.

 http://www.citymayors.com/politics/marbella_corruption.html

 ________________________________________________________________

NEW SPEED TRAPS PROVE TO BE EFFECTIVE. 17 April 2006.

The new fixed camera speed traps that have been installed in Malaga Province have proved to be effective with speeding having dropped by 500% in some areas, says MP Miguel Angel Heredia.   At present there are five such traps installed.  I have noticed that traffic in the vicinity of the traps is very speed conscious, except for the outsider visiting the areas and too stupid to look up where the traps are located.

 ___________________________________________________________________

RADAR DETECTION MACHINES IN THE VEHICLE.

As expressed in my book, in Spain, any machine fitted in a car that can either pick up and warn of a radar signal emission, or can send out a signal to confuse the speed trap transmitter, is NOT legal, and it is classed as a serious offence to have one working in the vehicle.   Now many ex-pats will be unaware of this because at this time in the UK (and Germany) they are legal as far as detecting a signal is concerned (but not changing the transmitter signal).  In France, you are not allowed to have such a machine in the vehicle at all, even locked in the boot.

But one radar detection machine you are allowed to have in the vehicle is the one in your navigation system where, in conjunction with a global positioning system, it warns you of a known trap ahead, but these are usually of the fixed type that can be located on the Trafico web site by anyone with a computer and access to the Internet.

I write this because I have seen advertisements for such devices in the English Press here in Spain.  So please be warned!

The table below gives, from the Internet, the situation for most of the European countries even outside the EU, with their laws at this time.  The crazy point is that in some countries, it is legal to sell them, but illegal to use them, and Spain is in this situation.  One local shop I know of advertises them blatantly in the local Press and in their web site, but, of course, fails to mention that the 350 device may not be used in Spain.  Big fines if caught.  But then (with tongue in cheek) there are so many drivers who do not care anyway judging by the numbers still using mobile phones held to an ear, or driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Country

O K  to Buy and  Own?

OK to Use?

Frequencies USED

Albania

Yes

Yes

Austria

Yes

Only under licence

 24.125
34.360

 Belgium

No

No

 9.410
24.125
34.360

 Bulgaria

Yes

Yes

 Czech Rep.

Yes

Yes but being changed 2004?

 Denmark

Yes

No

 24.125
34.360

U K

Yes

Yes, but law being changed soon.

13.450
24.150

 Finland

No

No

France

No

No - Very high fines.

9.900
24.125

 Germany

Yes

No

 13.450
24.125
34.360

 Greece

Yes

No

 Hungary

No

No

 Italy

Yes

Yes

 24.125
34.360

 Italy

No

No

 Latvia

Yes

No

 Lithuania

Yes

No

 Luxembourg

No

No

 Norway

Yes

No

 Poland

 13.450

Portugal

Yes

No

 10.600
24.125
34.360

 Romania

Yes

Yes

 Slovakia

No

No

Spain

Yes

No

13.450
24.125
34.360

 Sweden

No

No

 Sweden

Yes

No

 Switzerland

No

No

 24.125
34.360

 Switzerland

No

No

The Netherlands

No

No

 13.450
24.125
34.360

 Turkey

No

No

 _______________________________________________________________

SEMANA SANTA WEEK, Trafico's statistics.

 Semana Santa is the Easter week period when the roads are really crowded with holiday makers for the spring/summer seasons.

 No of deaths: 108, three more than last year.

 In touring cars (normal family transport, as opposed to buses and heavy goods, vans ,etc), 48% of those killed were not wearing seat belts.

 In the National Paraplegic Hospital in Spain, 40% of the patients were injured in road accidents.

 The most dangerous age group for deaths and injuries is still 18 to 35 years old.  50% of the deaths last week ere to those under the age of 35.

 After all the publicity about seat belts, we have to wonder at the sheer stupidity of people who will not "clunk & click, every trip".     Remembering that many were probably not driving or even in the front seat, the time has come, says the Trafico Chief, to look at raising the penalties for not wearing a seat belt.  The current maximum is 300, but looking at the above figures, the Government could not be faulted for raising it to 3.000.

 What is it that causes otherwise rational people to be so stupid when they get in a motorcar?  Despite the publicity on the other causes listed below, drivers are still not obeying the rules which have been made as the result of statistics of actual accidents, deaths and serious injuries in 2005.  The "Distraction Cause" includes such "crimes" as not wearing a crash helmet, because it is a major cause of deaths and serious injuries.    The scale level indicates the seriousness and number of times it is likely to occur.

Scale Level

Distraction Cause

9,5

Crash helmet not worn correctly

9,5

Jumping a red traffic light

9,4

More than 3 glasses of wine or using drugs

9,4

Children misbehaving causing driver distraction.

9,3

Driving without a driving licence

9

Not wearing a seat belt

8,9

Using a mobile phone without a hands free kit.

8,7

Excessive speed

8,7

Falling asleep at the wheel.

8

Driving after drinking 1 to 2 glasses of wine.

7,8

Faulty vehicle, no ITV certificate.

7

Smoking while driving

6,8

Adjusting the radio, etc. (will be navigation equipment soon, as well)

6,7

Using a mobile phone with a hands-free kit

 It is interesting to note that using a mobile phone with a legal hands-free kit is listed, something I have said for years that it is very dangerous, especially in traffic, to drive and talk on a phone.  Eventually, it will be banned, I am sure because the signs are there in the statistics.   Having ridden motorcycles for many years including racing them on the dirt and the track, any one who rides even a moped without a crash helmet correctly fitted deserves to be sanctioned and whoever does it is potentially saving the life of the fool who refuses to protect them selves from a sudden blow to the head with the road or part of another vehicle, and this includes quad-bike riders as well.  I speak from experience when after riding motorcycles well over a million kilometres on the roads in several different countries in all types of weather, on more than one occasion, my life has been saved by a crash helmet.

 ___________________________________________________________________

RADAR CAMERA TRAP LOCATIONS IN SPAIN.

This item is also on the October 2005 page, but bears repeating as it is so important.

Speed Cameras in Spain. 

Unlike some other countries, Spain certainly seems to have taken the right route to improve road safety.  In 2001, Spain was the third worst in the (old) EU for deaths and injuries on the roads, but a concerted effort seems to seems to paying off, although there is still a way to go.  There are reported to be 500 speed cameras in Spain, with many fixed, and quite a few mobile.  The fixed cameras can be located by going the the government Trafico web site where maps show exactly where they are.  This web site address is at (click)

 http://www.dgt.es/trafico/radares/radares.htm

Naturally, it is in Spanish, but is easy to follow if you do not understand this language.

 ______________________________________________________________________

Joining a Spanish Motoring Support Agency in Spain.  28th April 2006

My book notes the various main roadside agencies that are available in Spain similar to the AA and RAC in the UK, for example.

The RACE, Real Automovil Club de Espaa, is one of the big ones, and a mail enquiry from a reader prompts the following translation of one of the classes of service available, the one that would probably be the most popular.

RACE PREMIUM SERVICE

Roadside attendance for you and the members of your immediate family.  (This means close relatives such as the wife and children who have a licence to drive your vehicle).

        For the vehicle noted on the application however close to your home (For some cheaper membership classes you have to be so many Km from home before the service is allowed).  In Spain, islands, Portugal, Gibraltar and Andorra from a simple puncture to the repatriation of the vehicle to your home. 

         Mechanic's attendance 24 hours, 365 days a year. 

        Repairs at the roadside or (80% of the vehicles we are able to repair at the roadside) or we move the vehicle to a local approved vehicle service repair centre. 

        Repatriation of the vehicle, if necessary, to your home.

        Lost the keys of your vehicle?  We will obtain replacements. 

        Personal and medical attendance for you and your family:  From 25km from home in the Spanish mainland (the peninsular) and from 10km from home in the Balearic and Gran Canarias Islands, Portugal, Andorra and Gibraltar

        We cover you and your family for the emergency medical and pharmaceutical expenses in Andorra and Gibraltar.  (Here in Spain, you should have a Spanish medical cover already)

        Through a 24-hours telephone service, the advice of a specialised medical consultant to solve to any aspect related to your health or a direct family member. 

        Transfer of medicine in an emergency and, of course, all the other services of the RACE. 

        Telephone 902 40 45 45 (national call rate) and we will inform to you in detail into all the benefits that RACE-Premium offers to you, for only 70 a year.

However, there may not be someone there who speaks English, but there may be at your local RACE office especially in an ex-pat area such as Marbella, Torrevieja, etc.

The addresses and phone numbers are at the web address which can be copied from here and placed in your browser (Internet Explorer?) address bar or just click on the link below: -

 http://www.race.es/portal/oficina_virtual/donde_estamos/index.jsp?menu=8&submenu=0

 _________________________________________________________________________

MORE INFORMATION ON LOST YOUR UK LICENCE. 28th April 2006

This is covered in my book, but the following supplies more information.

Where a driver is no longer resident in GB, it is not possible to reissue their British licence.

If a driver should lose their licence whilst living abroad, they should be advised to make enquiries with the Licence Issuing Authority in the country in which they now reside regarding advice on driving there.

Should the licensing authority require confirmation of your driving licence details, the driver will need to telephone the Centre to request a “certificate of entitlement”.

Switchboard Telephone No. 0044 (0)1792 78 2341. Leave the (0) off if phoning from outside the UK.

Opening Hours – Monday to Friday 8.15am – 4.30pm

A fee of 5.00 is charged to cover the cost of issuing a certificate giving licensing details (a D737 certificate).  The certificate can also be issued to drivers whose UK licences have expired.

When the driver telephones the Centre they will be asked to provide their full personal details or driver number and details of their credit/debit card number (we accept Visa, Eurocard, MasterCard and Maestro).  If the credit/debit card holder is someone other than the driver we will also need to speak to them.

I am afraid that due to the insecurity of the internet, certificates of entitlement cannot be arranged via e-mail.

With regard to the position of UK residents renewing expired UK driving licence entitlement, at present there is no time limit set by when a driver would need to apply to renew, providing their last licence was issued on or after 1 January 1976.

Thank you Mrs. Matthews of the DVLA, Swansea, UK.

 ________________________________________________________

The "dreaded" medical for renewal of your driver's licence.  30 April 2006.

I receive many E-mails with advice or queries from readers, many of which are covered in my book.  This advice, I pass on here or in my articles in the Press, and one such item is from Fred J. who has lost an eye years ago.  When he went for his medical here for his Spanish driving licence, he passed but his licence was endorsed that he had to drive a vehicle with two wing mirrors (no problem, as just about all cars have these now) and a panoramic rear view mirror inside the car.  Also, he has been restricted to drive at a maximum of 100 kph, sad but better than being banned from driving altogether. 

 When I was a young man in Lincolnshire, I had a friend there called Austin Munks who owned the Jaguar dealership near Boston.  He had lost an eye while grass-track motorcycle racing before the Second World War.    I can remember driving with him on the local main roads (single carriageway each way) at speeds of 80 plus mph and feeling safe as he was an excellent driver, even though he was in his 70's, so the loss of an eye is not a major handicap.

 ___________________________________________________________

UPDATE MAY2006

  

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