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MOTORING IN SPAIN

UPDATE PAGE - February 2006

Getting to Trafico on-line forms.  2 Feb. 2006

Trafico has changed the way you get into some of their pages in their web site, and one page where you can see and download/print commonly used Trafico forms is as in my book on page 98, http://www.dgt.es/indices/dgtHtm_Impresos_es.html

If you use this it comes up with the message telling you that this is the "old way".  On my PC with ADSL, if you wait about 15 seconds, it switches to the page automatically, but if you have a problem, then carry out the following: -

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Go to www.dgt.es

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Click on "Tramites" at the top of the page on the screen.

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Click on "Modelos e Impresos"

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You will now be in the correct page and you can follow the instructions as in my book

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Problems registering a Spanish-plated vehicle when you do not have residencia.       7 Feb. 2006

Officially, as a new resident here or a visitor as an EU citizen, you may not own a Spanish-plated vehicle unless you have one of the following: -

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Residencia.  

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Not de Empadronamiento from your local Ayuntamiento.

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An escritura (deeds) for the house you own in your name (not a company, etc), or a personal (not a company) rental contract for more than one year.  You may also have your wife's name on the deeds/contract as well as yours.  You will need this to get theEmpadronamiento

A reader had the following problem.  He owns property  with an escritura in his name.  He bought a new motorcycle to use here, and the dealer registered it for him using the empadronamiento he had, and he received the permiso de circulaccion, etc, two months after the delivery  This is not good because it normally takes only two weeks by post, same day if taken in.  Unfortunately, a mistake was made on the address, so he took it back but the dealer returned it saying that as, in the meantime his empadronamiento  had expired, he could not get it re-registered with the correct details.  He then went back to the ayuntamiento to get the empadron. renewed only to be told that as he did not haveresidencia, he could not be entered on the padron register.  It seemed to be a Catch 22 situation, and we wondered why this was possible.  Apparently, it is thought that to stop illegal immigrants from being entered on the padron registers, all theayuntamientos have been instructed by Madrid that the forms are valid for one year only now, and those who are to be newly registered, including re-registering for another year, from now must prove conclusively that they have one of the three above items.  As the current empadrons. reach the one year-old date, they will automatically be no longer in force, a point worth remembering if you are dealing with an entity for the first time needing this document.

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Obtaining a Spanish International Driver's licence   10 February 2006.

Reprinted from The Round Town News, Costa Blanca and Gran Canarias newspapers.

Dear Brian
First of all I want to tell you that I recently purchased your book, Motoring in Spain, and think it is fantastic! 
On page 84 of your book under the title DRIVING LICENCES--NON-EU CITIZENS, you write that information about obtaining an International Driver's Licence can be found on your www.spainvia.com
website menu as "INTERNATIONAL DRIVING LICENCES".  While I found the article "International Driving Licences -What are they?" I could not find anything on how to obtain one while living in Spain.  Have I missed something?
Sean McLin


Brian replies
Trafico is the place for these and they cost 8,80 euro.
You obviously need a Spanish driving licence, and a passport type photo as described in the book.  The need for Spanish driving licence should change if you are a resident here with a legal EU licence and you should obtain one from your country your licence was issued in although the laws vary from country to country.  
To obtain one you will need (and send it certificado, keeping copies to carry with you in case you are stopped by the GC/policias): -
1. Application form TASA 4.7
2. Original and a photocopy of your residencia or NIF/NIE
3. Original and a photocopy of your driving licence.
4. Two photos 35x 25 mm passport size.  Make sure they have a white or very light background, your head fills the frame, and you are not smiling.
5. Chequeo de Giro (postal order) for 8,80 euro.
6. SAE for Trafico to post your documents and IDL back to you.  Make sure that the stamp and envelope is big enough. Normally you can download the Trafico forms off the Trafico web site.  I will update the IDL pages on my web site (Done as you can see
).    Regards, Brian J Deller.

LEGAL SERVICE FOR EX-PATS.

I will be looking at starting this service for ex-pats this year.  It will mean a network of lawyers around the popular areas who are paid a retainer from the premiums and those who participate will be supplied with a booklet of addresses and contact numbers to keep in the car (as well as a web-site), and a standard form to complete so that all the evidence is quickly available for the abogado to keep costs at a minimum.

NOW COMES THE QUESTION.  IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN THIS SERVICE; PLEASE E-MAIL ME AT  (click)     viadevida@spainvia.com

If you live in the Marbella area and need legal help for any service other than "high criminal" (murder, etc), IRWIN MITCHELL is located at: -

 Edificio Single Accommodation, Planta 5, Oficinas B y C,

 Avda. Severa Ochoa, 28, Marbella.        Tel. 952 76 46 59.

E-mail address.  josemaria.delorenzo@irwinmitchell.com

Web site www.irwinmitchell.com

All aspects of the law are catered for, except pure criminal, and English (even the dialects such as Welsh, Scottish and Geordie, etc), is understood by Jose and some staff members.

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 So you have Residencia, but no Driving Licence? 22 February 2006

A lady reader has advised a problem that may be more common than we know.   She is English and married to a Spanish national who is a member of the Policia Local, and until recently, had no driving licence.   As there are no lessons in English near where she lives on the Granada coast, and her grasp of Spanish is less than satisfactory for the necessary lessons, she decided to go back to the the UK for a period of time to take the test there.  She passed and came back thinking all is now well, but after she was stopped by the GC she was told that her licence is not legal as she had residencia before the date of the test in the UK.  As we all know the date and place of the test is noted on the driving licences.   What can she do?  

 Personally, I think that if you have passed an authorised  test within the EU, the licence shows that you are competent.  It is a fact that if you move to the UK from another non-EU country with a licence that can be changed for a licence of the country you are resident in as described in my book, but you cannot change that licence in Spain.  For example, the UK has reciprocal arrangement with certain countries, mainly ex-colonies, where licences can be changed if the holder moves to the other country for 12 months plus.   But the new licence issued still shows the place and date of the test on it and not, for example, in the UK, then it cannot be changed for a Spanish licence.  In the "old days", this was unfair, but today in many of these countries, especially African, including Morocco, it is possible to simply buy a licence without taking a test.  SeeClick, Limpopo article.

I have asked the lady concerned to let me know what happens, but it is a warning to all in a similar position.

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Price difference between diesel and petrol narrows.

 Unlike the UK where standard diesel fuel is more expensive that the 95 octane petrol, diesel has historically been cheaper here in Spain, and this has led to the current situation where over 50% of new cars sold each year are diesel powered.  But there is more to it than that because here in Andalucia, where there are many steep hills and mountain passes, the diesel engine is far superior for everyday use as the engine does not have to be at high revolutions to develop enough power.  And the modern diesel is quite and relatively clean, especially the latest models designed to what is called Category 4 with particle traps in the exhaust systems.

 However, the price difference has gradually narrowed over the last year and this is really unfair because the use of diesel saves the country millions in fuel oil costs, as well as being easier the refine.  Although on most of the lower cost cars, the diesel-engined models cost more to buy than the petrol versions, the savings in the running costs are also enhanced when you come to sell the car.  See the table on the cons and pros in this web site.  Click, 1st March, 2005

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Spare Tyres.  The trends.

As previously reported, there are have been moves by manufacturers to overcome the losses of space in car boots in these days of reliable tyres as far as punctures are concerned.  I have a Ford Focus with wide tyres on it, and I have had one puncture in 100.000 km. since new, and that was soon after I collected it when a big spike left on the autovia damaged it beyond repair.

There are now four ways that you can get home after a tyre is punctured and they are listed here with the pros and cons.

Normal sized spare wheel.

Emergency wheel

Sealing spray with electric air compressor

Run Flat Tyres

Pros.  Can drive on with no reduction in speed or distance as long as you have remembered to check the pressure regularly.

Pros.  Takes up less room in the boot and weighs less. Can drive on after changing.

Pros.  Takes up very little room in boot.  Do not have to remove wheel at the side of the road.  Electric air compressor can be used to pump up all tyres weekly, etc.  OK for cars with different sizes of tyres front and rear.

Pros.  No need to have a spare tyre unless you are travelling e g thru Africa.  Much more room in boot if no spare carried. Do not have to remove wheel at the side of the road. 

Con.  Takes up a lot of room in small car boots, heavy and initial cost is high.  Have to change at the side of the road.

Con. Restricted on speed and distance with reduction in speed (80 kph?) and distance (100 Km?).  Still have to change at the side of the road

Con. Need to jack up car to spread sealant inside tyre before pumping up.  Restricted on speed and distance before proper repair.  No good for larger hole  punctures.

Con.  Restricted on distance (200 km) and speed (80 kph) before repair must be done.  About 20% more expensive than standard tyres. Needs special wheel rims, except Michelin PAX system.

In addition, you can buy at a motor shop for about 10, a kit for plugging punctures without taking the tyre off the rim, and then pump it up with the liquid sealant charged aerosol, just like the tyre shops do.  The plug is self-vulcanising (bonds to the tyre rubber) which is OK for normal small car motoring, but not high-speed sporting vehicles.

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UPDATE MARCH2006

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