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Motoring in Spain Book Update, July 2007

Access to Trafico forms.

The book gives details on how to download forms off the Trafico web site so that in most cases you do not have to buy them from an estanco or go to Trafico.

The short cut to the correct page noted in the book has been changed by Trafico, so here is the new one that works:

  1. Go to
  2. On the Home page that appears, click on "Conductores" under "Tramites" in the middle of the screen. 
  3. On the left side of the next screen click on ""Modelos e Impresos".
  4. You will be in the correct listing page.  Click on the dot to the right of the TASA (rate) form you need as described in the book on page 99.
  5. You can type in most of the information needed before you print it, or you can print the form out and fill in by hand.   You receive two A5 printed forms on an A4 sheet of paper and both contain the same typed in info.
  6. Send off with the correct payment which can be made at the post office.  The PO clerk will know what to do.
  7. Carry copies of the forms and documents sent along with the Correos receipt in case you get stopped on the road.
  8. It normally takes 3 to 5 weeks to get the new document back from Trafico depending on how busy they are.


Question From: Sam and Jo. of Torrox Costa, Andalucia.

Does API (Advanced Passenger Information) affect drivers who drive their own vehicles to and from the UK?

 No.  API is solely for the airlines security where the possibility of a suicide nutcase can bring an in-flight aircraft down, or even hijack it, etc.



Proposed PURCHASE tax changes from 2008 to encourage new car buyers in Spain with their choices.  18 Aug. 2007.

Courtesy of AutoVia, September Issue

The Spanish Government has announced changedspecial purchase taxes for motor vehicles that are intended to encourage buyers with their choice of motor vehicle with the intention of reducing carbon emissions. This tax is not to be confused with IVA (VAT).   Basically it means that models with efficient clean engines as determined by the EU testing standards will be cheaper to buy and this affects 63, 7% vehicles based on the sales figures for 2006, the last complete year.  But vehicles with higher polluting exhausts, the other 36, 3% with reference to the 2006 sales figures, will pay more.  The new costs are announced at this time to be from the 1st January 2008, so sales of the smaller cars will be slow from now and the larger cars should be increased for these are the ones where prices will rise.  It is a fair guess that the new proportions will not cause any los of revenue for the Spanish government.

The exhaust pollution is measured by the amount of CO2 that is discharged by the vehicle's exhaust per Km based on the controlled tests, so therefore the bigger the engine and or the more powerful the engine, or the heavier the vehicle the more the pollution.  The pollution form diesel engines is different to that from petrol but the new figures allow for that fact.  The new diesel exhaust will include filters to catch the particulates that are a feature of diesel engine waste.

The current car tax is based on two figures, 7% for petrol cars up to 1.600 cc or if diesel up to 2.000 cc and if over these two engine capacities, the current tax is increased to 12%.   From 2008 though, the taxes are going to be based on the CO2 emissions of each model based on the EU testing during homologation.  These will be based on four new tax rates; 0%; 4, 75%; 9, 75%; and 14, 75%.    To give examples, here are two tables, one petrol and the other diesel, for the most popular selling cars in Spain during 2006.  The models all show substantial reductions in column 5 compared with the current full prices shown in column 3.

Note that the figures are calculated with the tax not being imposed on the car price after the IVA is added and are for a guide purpose only. 


 Petrol Cars most sold in Spain 2006

 Official CO2 (Gr/Km)

 Current price

 Price with new tax

 Addition or Reduction in Price

 Renault Megane 1,6 “Expression”, Berlina





 Ford Focus 1,6 TI-VCT 116 Trend





 Citroen C4 1,6i 16V 80CV





 Peugot 207 1,4i 90CV (X-Line)





 SEAT Ibiza1,4 16V 75CV





 SEAT Leon 1,6 102CV.





 Peugot 307 1,6i 110CV (D-Sign)





 Opel Astra 1,6 16V GTC Easytronic 105CV (Enjoy)





 Renault Clio 1,2 100CV





 Opel Corsa 1,2 16V 80CV (Essentia)






 Diesel Cars most sold in Spain 2006

 Official CO2 (Gr/Km)

 Current price

 Price with new tax

 Addition + or Reduction - in Price

 Renault Megane 1,5 DCI 105CV “Espression”, Berlina





 Ford Focus 1,6 Duratorq TDCi Euro IV 90CV  Trend





 Citroen C4 1,6i 110CV





 Peugot 207 1,6 HDi 90CV (X-Line)





 SEAT Ibiza 1,4 TDi 80CV Reference





 SEAT Leon 1,9 TDi 105CV Reference





 Peugot 307 1,6 HDi110CV (D-Sign) 110CV (Design)





 Opel Astra 1,t CDTi 100CV (Enjoy)





 Renault Clio 1,5 DCi 85CV Expression





 Opel Corsa 1,3 CDTi 90CV (Enjoy)





 2006 Sales of cars by emission groupings.

 CO2 Emissions (Gm/Km)

 Registrations 2006

 %-age of market pool.

 New Special Tax (%)

















 Overall totals




 It must be remembered that the above examples cover only a few of the models listed.  It will certainly alter the buying patterns to a certain extent but someone who has his/her heart set on a vehicle in the upper tax classification of 14, 79% will not be bothered about the extra few thousand Euros it will cost, but many who buy a 4 x 4 as a "fashion statement" might well be dissuaded from doing so in favour of a car better suited to their needs with a lower CO2 figure.

I have just had our 2001 Ford Focus TDdi ITVed for the second time at 124.000 Km.  It has the diesel engine with the fixed turbocharger, not the later common rail engine with the variable one but I am very happy with the car.   The pollution figure was 153, which is well within the 4, 75% tax figure above so the new taxes will benefit most new car buyers with the much lower Co2 figures anyway, and the savings will also affect used car prices in about two plus years time.  But I did fill up with the more expensive diesel that is sold such as BP Ultimate.  This has claims of being cleaner hence the reason for doing it for a month before the ITV.   Coincidentally, the fuel consumption was also better; down from an average of 6, 2 L/100 Km to 5, 85, a saving of 5,65%.  But the testing time was too short so I will continue to use the more expensive fuel for six months to see if the improvement continues and is worth while economically.

But the one point I am very happy about this change is that usually governments look at increasing taxes.  This will be a saving for most family and sensible drivers.  I hate to write it, but would the UK Labour government take this tack?



It is being proposed that drivers who are caught speeding at more than 80 kph than the posted speed limits on intercity roads are to be jailed for 3 to 4 months and to lose their driving licences for up to 4 years.   This will be a blow to those drivers who have cars and motos that can exceed the 120 kph speed limit often in third gear.  Certainly even many smaller cars can now do 200 plus kph with the options offered of powerful engines and chassis modifications to suit.

More fixed and mobile radar traps are proposed (inevitable, I suppose) and the proposal is to be discussed at a convention this Autumn.    Personally, our 2001 Ford Focus diesel with a 66 Kw (90 bhp) engine is fast enough for me, and not many keep up with us on the corners.


Cats Eyes and Cameras.  22 August 2007

Expats will fondly remember the safer driving in especially bad weather where the road ahead was lit by those little dots of reflected light called cats eyes.  Small glass eyes were embedded in a rubber casing that sunk into the road as your tyres went over them, and it it was raining, the rain-water in the little built in reservoir squirted up and washed the glass eyes.   Invented in 1934 by a man who went on to become very wealthy indeed, i have had many occasions especially in my youth when I have been riding back the 160 miles (260 Km) on my old motorcycle with its 35 Watt headlight (Lucas, Prince of Darkness) bravely trying to light up the road so I could justify the 60 mph I was usually travelling at after dark.  If it had not been for those cats eyes, I would not have been able to safely exceed 35 mph.

Well they are now expected to take on another role in addition where speed cameras are to be installed in them connected to computers so that the proliferation will probably end up with there being millions of speed traps in the UK, not thousands.   I do not know why the government does not just say to the manufacturers that cars and motos than can exceed 50 mph are not to be offered on sale in the UK.  It would cause chaos and put thousands of law enforcement people out of work, but it may still come.   Certainly, some of us may live to see speed limiters where your vehicle will automatically slow down as you enter restricted areas, and you can do nothing about it.

The golden age of motoring has indeed passed.   I have not seen cats eyes here in Spain.  Has anyone seen them in the north where I have not been - further than Madrid that is?



As you may know, and as explained in the book, you can pay for using the toll roads in Spain by either cash, credit card or using a transponder that automatically debits your Bank account.  The following credit/debit cards are acceptable, certainly on the Alicante peaje (toll road), if you wish to use this facility which on a busy day, can save you time at the booths.


 Press Release 16:  UK-DVLA warns motorists - check Registration Certificate (V5C)

before buying a used vehicle.  

 Release Date: 10/08/2007

For those who are offered a vehicle that could be too good to be true, the UK-DVLA has again warned motorists to be on the lookout for stolen registration certificates when buying a used vehicle. They are also reminding the public to call their hotline on (0044) (0) 870 241 1878 if they wish to check whether a certificate is genuine prior to the purchase of a vehicle. 

Motorists are urged to check the serial number that appears at the top right hand corner of the registration certificate (V5C) before purchasing a used vehicle.  If it falls within the range BG 9167501 to BG 9214000 they are advised not to purchase the vehicle. 

These certificates have a different background colour on the Notification of Permanent Export (V5C/4) tear off slip on the second page, which looks mauve on the front and pink on the reverse. On legitimate documents they should be mauve on both sides. 

DVLA issued a similar warning in February 2007, but is re-issuing the warning following indications that additional stolen documents might be in circulation. 

The registration certificates are being used to accompany stolen vehicles that have had their identity changed to match that of a legitimate vehicle. This practice is known as cloning. The cloned vehicles are sold on to unsuspecting members of the public who can suffer significant losses if the vehicles are recovered.

We have been warned.





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