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MOTORING IN SPAIN, Third Edition

Update - January 2008

INSURANCE COMPANY SUPPLIES ACCIDENT KIT FOR MOTORING POLICY CLIENTS.

We have just paid for this year's Premium for our Ford Focus, which after six years is still going very well with 135.000 km on the clock.    I was with another agency for over six years, but as we all should, I decided to shop around and was amazed that the quotation from IBEX was 100 less for the same cover than my previous company.  Now when you are retired and having to watch the cents (hey wait a second, most us need to watch the cents now whatever our ages), a reduction from almost 600 to nearly 500 (-17%) is quite a saving.

About two years ago, I had an interview with one of the directors and several managers in their new offices in Sotogrande near Gibraltar, of IBEX who were just getting set up in Spain.  They have offices in Gibraltar but to satisfy EU Directives, they needed to be established in Spain for Spanish business.  They are underwritten by Lloyds of London so are financially sound.  During the lunch/interview, I handed over a copy of the book, and one recommendation I have always made is to carry a camera in the car or bike, so that in case of an accident you can take quality pictures to hopefully help your case.  I suggested a throwaway film camera as the photos can be enlarged a lot without ending up with the pixellation (little squares) that you get with especially mobile phone cameras.  Let us be honest, how many of us carry a decent camera around every day?  Not many, and the throwaway cameras cost only about 6 to 10, and have a built-in flash for night work, as well as 24 photos; enough for any accident.

The kit has a film camera with flash, a stick of chalk and a measuring tape and they are all in a roll-up, hard wearing bag that will easily fit in the glove compartment or under a seat, etc.

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Guardia Civil Campaign to check drivers without insurance.  (22 Jan 2008)

Just announced today, the Guardia Civil are to photograph vehicles automatically and check if they have any insurance as recorded on the database kept by the insurance companies database.   No insurance, a denuncia will be sent through the post, but there is a problem for many who do not bother with such niceties as insurance, also have the wrong addresses on the Trafico system.

But people who drive without any insurance are parasites on all of us who do, for we have to pay an amount, not a lot admittedly, into a fund that is there to cover the cost of accidents where the offending driver is uninsured.   So if you know of someone other that yourself of course, who is driving uninsured, you are doing us all a favour by reporting him or her.

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The UK IS HAVING THE SAME PROBLEMS WITH:

  • Foreign EU vehicles used by new residents in Britain and visitors that are not insured or who have paid any applicable road taxes.

  • Uninsured drivers now estimated at 1 in 20, which with the official 35 million vehicles on the roads there means that 1, 75-million are now illegal.  This includes those with no insurance or road fund tax paid, for one usually means the other also applies for these parasites, and of course, foreign visitors (job-seekers?) and new EU residents.

Now, while the big moan is that taxes are too high in Britain, the democratic way to solve the problem is by getting the taxes removed or reduced legally, not by not paying them.  The British seem to have a reputation for not voting in the right politicians since Margaret Thatcher, that is, who will make life fair by reducing wasted government spending and making sure that any tax-payer's cash spent is done so wisely and effectively.

It is proposed by the EU that from 2010 the fuel taxes within the EU will be levelled so that they are the same in all countries.   This means a drastic cut for those collected in Britain so they will either have to be collected from elsewhere (road charges per mile?) or spending drastically reduced.  It is up to the voters in the UK to decide.

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DRIVING LICENCE EXPIRED?  29 Feb. 2008.

If you forget to renew your driving licence when it has expired, and this for foreign EU DL holders resident in Spain is if you forget to take the mandatory medicals as well, you have four years to renew it without taking a new driving test.  Obviously while it is expired, you may not drive using it.

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