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 MOTORING IN SPAIN - UPDATE, DECEMBER 2008

  1. Driving Licence medicals for expats with foreign EU DLs again.  Latest news.  There se4ems to be much controversy on whether te EUDirective and the leter from the Spainish Ministerio del Interior is still in force about residents here with foreigh driving licences having to have the same medicals as Spanish citizen drivers.  I am doing more work to find out for sure but I have seen nothing in the Trafico web-site (www.dgt.es) or the official web-site for Brussels.
  2. No need to carry spare light bulbs: but lights must still be working for vehicle to be in a roadworthy condition.   You may be required to take a faulty vehicle later to police station to have vehicle checked if stopped and unable to fix at the roadside.
  3. Parking of caravans and auto-caravans on public roads.   The police are now encouraged to issue fines and orders to move to either private land (with owner’s permission) or to official camping grounds.  Previously reported in full.
  4. Carrying Insurance certificates.  Drivers of foreign plated vehicles must still carry the “green cards” or policy certificate.    Failure to do so will mean possible showing within a few days at local police stations or Guardia Civil offices.   This can also increase the risk of being caught if you are illegal with a foreign plated vehicle that should be on Spanish plates so please be aware.   As confirmed to me by the Operations manager of IBEX insurance, the FIVA (Ficha Informativo de Vehiculos Asegurados) database only applies to Spanish-plated vehicles, even if your foreign plated vehicle has been insured by a Spanish broker.  It will not be on the FIVA database.
  5. Much attention is being paid to the accident rates of older drivers within the EU.   We must be aware and fight any moves to force older but physically and mentally fit drivers off the roads.   With the medicals in Spain, this will be easy to do as passing the medicals proves the driver is fit to drive.
  6. Trafico reports that 30% of road users killed are over the alcohol limits.  This includes pedestrians who are, of course, classes as road users.   The police are paying special attention this season to drinking and driving so please do not do it.   We value you as listeners.
  7. MOT scam for Uk plated vehicles.  A certain advertiser in some of the English language papers here in Spain is offering MOT certificates for UK plated cars.  I have phoned and for about  150  cash, you can receive a new MOT certificate,.  Just send a photocopy of your V5 document etc. to his address in the UK with the cash (untraceable payment) and a new certificate will be posted back.  Now when this fellow is caught, as he is bound to be eventually, he will have your vehicle details (name as well) in his records so do you want to risk it?     And 150 goes a long way to making your vehicle legal here on Spanish plates, especially over say three years or more.

 

 

Scam EU driving licencesOnce again the scam artists are at work, or should I say “not at work” by offering EU DLs to anyone with an EU passport for a few hundred Euros.  They tell us that they can organise a genuine DL from countries like Hungary (mentioned by name) and tell you that even if you are banned or even need a HGV licence without taking the test, they can still do it and “it is legal”.  Rubbish, it is not legal.  To qualify for a new EU DL you must be resident in the country issuing it for at last 183 days a calendar year to qualify and you have to hand in hand in your legal existing DL in exchange.  That is the EU law.  They are being bought on the black market and it looks very bad for countries that allow the sale of them via the back doors of their administrations.   Imagine being stopped by a policeman who wonders why you cannot speak Hungarian or even English with a heavy Hungarian accent is bound to cause suspicion.   And the insurance companies are on to the scam so beware and do the right thing.   The insurance office will ask you for a photocopy of your current DL when you are first insured.   Please be totally legal and enjoy the peace of mind and do not feed these people who are too lazy to work legally for a living.

Interchange of driver information will soon be here.  As advised in months gone by, the various countries are exchanging information with other EU States where a driver has been convicted of a motoring offence, and especially where penalty points have been deducted or awarded.    So do not feel secure if you have a foreign EU DL thinking that you cannot earn penalty points or have the DL withdrawn.  It will be in operation early next year according to EU reports from Brussels.

 Finally, have  great Christmas nad be safe.  Do not drink and drive as the police are looking for offenders, and if you see someone obviously well over the limit getting into a car, have the courage to take the keys back into the bar he/she has jutst left.    You are doing everyone a great service.    I am not ashamed to say I have done it in years past and have been rewarded by the drivers thanking me the next day when they realise what could have happened.   We humans seem to get very stupid when we have had a few drinks and many may live to regret it later.

 Have a merry Christmas and a safe 2009.

Be safe and TRUST NOBODY.

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