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Motoring Book Updates, June 2006


4 July 2006.

The facility to check your driving licence record for penalty points has been added to the Trafico web site.  It may be accessed at:

As we know, the new system started on the 1st July 2006.

You can also find out the closest "school" to where you live for recovering your licence.



The Trafico web-site has lists of approved scrap yards around Spain, including the Canaries and the Balearics.  Simply go to (Click):

and select your Province and a list will be presented, with addresses and phone numbers. Only approved scrap yards (desguaces) are listed.



Last week end I paid a visit to Alhaurin del Grande, a small town, not a pueblo, near Marbella about 20 km away.  There was a lot of people around but the most obvious and noticeable motoring event was the high numbers of youngsters riding around without crash helmets - at all.  Two weeks into the new penalty points system, and you would think that the news had not reached there yet.  This is a big problem in Spain, complete disregard for the law, and it happens in the pueblos and smaller towns because the policia locales are not doing their job.   I am happy to say that my belief is that by insisting that helmets are worn, as a long term motorcyclist who occasionally fell off his machine especially on icy or wet roads where oil had been deposited by lorries or tractors, I am doing the kids great service by insisting that they wear their helmets and gloves at least.  Falling off even at a slow speed can result in serious head injuries, and hands that have contacted the road with some force, means that no work can be done for a week.   We all owe it to our kids to set an example and o insist that laws that were made as the result of deaths and injuries be obeyed, and not just on the roads.  Many say that it is too hot.  As someone who has ridden in very hot weather in the Middle east and Africa, rubbish.  At anything over 5 km/hr, the breeze keeps you cool.

Malaga City, Monday.  Same story in the back streets.  Oh dear!



19 July 2006.

A report in the Daily Mail today states that a pilot scheme is being started in London to involve the owners of businesses whose employees are caught using a mobile phone without a legal hands-free kit, initially by a policeman visiting them and giving a lecture.  Forgetting about the amount of serious crime that needs to be policed, this is the "nanny state" going again too far.  Just increase the fines and award penalty points.  The scheme, according to the report, includes employees in their own private cars, not just those in company cars.   I believe that perhaps the confiscation of the vehicle for a week (at first, and then double the period for each succeeding offence) at the owner's expense for the collection and compound charges is a better idea, and this should be brought into action for those caught driving too fast in residential areas.  Remember that in a 20 kph speed limit area, 40 kph is 100% over the limit and really means going to jail now, or at least losing your licence.  In residential areas, where there are no pavements for pedestrians to use, there is automatically a 20 kph limit.

Link to article at this time:



20 July 2006  (Table corrected 30 August 2006)

From the 1st July, the table on a separate page (Click) TABLE is to be used as a guide by the Guardia Civil and policia locales when issuing multas (fines) for speeding.  The table on page 52 in my book is up-dated by this table.  Please remember that the book, Motoring in Spain, is the only book of its kind - in  English, including those on general Laws on property, etc, that is updated on a specific easy to access web site: this one.     It is suggested that you print it out and carry it in the vehicle with your book, or just do not speed in the "wrong places".


HAS Someone you know been caught?

Twice a month on a Tuesday afternoon from 2 - 3 pm, I appear on the Mary Harboe Show (now with Mike Soutter) on REM.FM Radio.  On the Tuesday 18th July, Mary had a guest who is an artist, a very attractive lady I might add, but her beauty did not stop her getting a fine for €105 for using her mobile phone while driving, although it was while she was stopped at the side of the road trying to find her way to where the show was taking place which was at the La Cabane Hotel on the beach opposite the Costa Del Sol Hospital.  As one of the main topics of the show was the use of mobile phones while driving, she could not have picked a better time, but, of course, not for her, because she then had no cash to buy my book to prevent the possibility of receiving other fines for other "transgressions".  It does show that any one of us can be caught for what we may consider an innocent and harmless action, but the use of mobiles with ear-pieces or held to the ear is specifically banned because of the number of accidents it has caused.  And Trafico recommends that a hands-free setup is only to be used for not more than a minute at a time as it distracts the driver from the main task; driving safely.  I forecast that within five years, the action will be banned altogether due to accidents still occurring.

To remind you, you are not allowed to use a mobile phone held to the ear/s, or with any device in the ear/s (such as Bluetooth earpiece or wired earpiece/s)  on the roads, and this includes on the hard shoulders.  You must leave the road completely and not cause a blockage to other vehicles or pedestrians.

Me?  I have just had a Parrot brand (the best?) model CL3000 hands-free kit fitted, and in the next few days I will learn how to use it with my Bluetooth mobile phone.  It connects by radio and automatically starts when you switch on the "ignition" ( We have a diesel) even with the phone in your pocket.  You can even ask by voice for the phone to dial a specific number for you if you have pre-programmed it in.  More later.



Notes in addition to those in the book.

Or as we call it the road fund tax which is paid annually to your local council, not to a central agency as in for example, the UK- the DVLA.  The methods of paying this annual tax, the cost of which often varies from council (ayuntamiento) district to another, are as I know them at this time, but this is Spain so there may be others:

1.                 If a smaller town, you simply go to the ayuntamiento cash desk with your car documents, especially the permiso de circulacion and if applicable, the receipt for last year, and pay the cash as on their rate list (Tarifa/lista de Tasas) and you will then be given the new receipt immediately with sometimes a copy which will be identified as such so it cannot be used for any other purpose.  If you are not on the Padronamiento, do this first.

2.                 If you live in a large town, then you can go to the council office desk/building where the receipts are issued, and shown the clerk yourpermiso de circulacion.  He/she will call it up on their PC screen, and if you are correctly registered as on the permiso, you then to to another desk where you will be given a form which is printed out while you wait (a few seconds if you are lucky).  

3.                 Then you have to go to one of a list of Banks as shown usually on the council office wall.  Then you hit problems because most banks will not accept these types of payments except first thing in the morning, so note the times which are usually shown against the participating Banks in your town.  You go to a noted bank, join the queue and wait for 40 minutes (yes I have done this, and fought off the little old ladies pushing in the queue) and then you get told by the teller, that as you do not have an account at their Bank, you cannot pay the money in there.

4.                 So, as the Various Banks’ time limits have expired, you wait until tomorrow and look for a Bank that will accept your payment without you having an account there.

5.                 The simpler way, of course, is that you arrange for the amount to be transferred form your Bank to one of the Banks listed, but make sure that the account is the correct one for the payments.  Usually your Bank can advise on this.  Then the council should post you the new receipt.

6.                 I have just completed this in Marbella where we moved to recently, and the second method applies.  But the bonus is that for our Ford Focus, in the last pueblo, the annual charge was about €130, now in Marbella it is only €84.  Quite a difference!

7.                 Remember as I say in my book, you pay this tax at the council for the area as shown on the permiso de circulacion.  That is why it is important that you get the addresses changed at Trafico if you move.

8.                 When you buy a new car, normally the seller will do all of this for you for the first year but if buying second-hand, private or though a dealer, all the caveats in my book apply here.

9.                 Final tip, if doing this in the summer, carry reading material and a bottle of water, and perhaps a portable chair.




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