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Motoring in Spain Book Update, APRIL 2008


It has been pointed out that there is an error on pages 92 and 93 in theThird Edition that has crept through at printing time.  Please accept my apologies and the missing text is below.

There is a short break in the text on pages 92 and 93.  The following is the text that is missing.   The italicised text is as in the book and the plain text is the missing portion.

 Page 92 bottom:

The new duties from January 2008 are based on the CO2 grammes per kilometre official figures, and if you vehicle is an older model, this figure will be measured at the ITV Station and could attract the higher tax levels regardless of the engine size.

 Missing text:

 Many expats do not bother to check on the local laws even though the information is available and it is a shame because when they get caught, the penalties are now quite severe.  I have received numerous communications by those who have taken the trouble to get legal but know of neighbours or associates who blatantly break the law, either because they cannot afford to (although they can afford the Friday & Saturday nights in the local bar) or due to ignorance (which is not an excuse in law) which can easily be solved as you, dear reader know having already bought this book.

  The fact remains that many risk having a criminal record here in Spain by not obeying the laws, but for those that do, it is a good feeling being stopped in a roadside check and being legal, knowing that you will be able to drive away after showing your documents.   Many forget that by not being legal, even though they are paying their insurance premiums, they are still uninsured.  

Page 93 top:

The author has heard of people driving without insurance at all because they discovered that they could not get insurance locally, especially if the vehicle is over ten years old, and their company in the foreign country would probably not cover the risk if they knew that was being driven mainly or totally in Spain without their knowledge. 


 Identity documents that should be carried in Spain AS A RESIDENT HERE.

7 May 2008

I have received advice from a reader/listener that as a resident in Spain, the road-side authorities (Guardia Civil and police) have been expecting that you should carry identity information as follows:-

If you have a foreign EU driving licence, which is quite legal if it is current and the periodical medicals are up to date, you should also have a copy of your passport with you.  Now the EU Directive on this says that you only need to carry your original passport with you when you move either between EU states or to other countries e.g. the USA.   You do not need to carry it within the country in which you are resident, but the worry for the Spanish authorities is that they really need to see an official document with a photo on it.    (There are a lot of crooks out there, drug dealers etc.)

As the cost of replacing a UK-PP is eye-watering expensive (€158; Apr 2008), I always carry only a photocopy with me and it has always been accepted but then I also have a Spanish driving licence with a photo, that can easily be checked at the roadside with the new PDA system used by the Guardia Civil or the police.  You should also have your Spanish residencia card or the new A4 certificate of residencia which is legal now, although it has no photo on it. 

It is important that the person checking is satisfied that you are legal so you can get on your way with the minimum of interference (and sweating?)

I also carry a copies of our notas de empadronamientos, or padron registration receipt, in the car (My wife's and mine).

If you have a SPANISH DRIVING LICENCE (DL), THEN A RESIDENCIA IS OK and usually the DL is enough to satisfy the officials.

Make sure that the address that is at Trafico is correct and up to date for if there is a discrepancy, you could be fined up to€300.  This could be picked up, for example, at the roadside with the Permiso de Circulacion and the insurance certificate having different addresses on them, or the residencia certificate, etc conflicting with the Trafico registered address.  Remember that most of the officials now have Personal Digital Assistants that can log onto the Trafico records computer system from the road-side using mobile phone connections.  I have one expat, who has advised me that he was fined for this offence - €300.

Many thanks to Wally and Elaine Johnson for this advice.



 As advised before, soon after the Third Edition was published, the addresses for certain pages noted in the book were changed when Trafico completely rewrote their web site.

Two that are important are here (noted before though in this web site)


 For the downloading of application forms or TASAS for ALL PURPOSES - drivers and vehicles,  information go to Click -


For the list of medical clinic DRIVER'S TEST centres, go to Click):


 Select your Province in the drop down menu and select "Buscar" (find)


 On the next screen select your local TOWN or CITY  in the drop down menu and click on Buscar.


 The address list of all the registered centres in that area will appear on the screen.


Good luck.  But do not panic, the test is easy and you can have a practice especially if you smile and charm the se๑ora, but try and make sure that you pay no more than €30 for the test.  Ask to see the printed tariff first or ask a Spanish friend to phone and confirm.   Some readers have reported being charged up to €50.  (And we thought Britain was called "Rip Off".)  

€30 is plenty for the simple test and the paperwork.







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