The Vehicle Import law is now being applied.
As explained in my book, the law concerning personal imports for newly arrived EU resident foreigners' vehicles, since from the beginning of May this year, is now being strictly applied according to readers' letters and phone calls. This is where, when a new resident has registered with the local ayuntamiento for the nota de empadronamiento, they have 30 days in which to register their UK, etc. plated vehicles. Failing to do so means that the vehicle will be treated as an import by a "Spanish resident" and the 7% import duty will be applied.
So please be warned if you have a foreign plated vehicle and are about to put it on Spanish plates. Know the law and how to carry out the procedure.
The transfer procedure is explained in detail in my book, step by step, even if you do not speak Spanish, along with many other procedures to even save you going to Trafico, or to buy forms from an estanco (a shop that sells official forms).
Cost of my book: €16,50.
Cost to employ a gestor for this procedure: usually starts at €200.
It makes sense and many readers have written to thank me for the information in my book.
CHANGING YOUR FOREIGN EU DRIVING LICENCE FOR A SPANISH ONE.
26 May 2006.
We should all know by now that it is legal for foreign residents, those who live in Spain for more than 183 days a year and have (or should have) taken out residencia, to drive using their original current EU driving licence (D/L). But what happens if you want to change it for a Spanish one?
I have received E-mails from ex-pats living in various parts of Spain who have done just this and there are inconsistencies in that some have been asked to take a medical, and others not. When I changed my 1979 issue UK D/L in 2003, at the Malaga Trafico, I was not asked to take a medical. My age was then 65, but others living in Alicante, even at a much younger age, were.
This procedure is covered in detail in my book, even on how to do it by post. My recommendation is that you find out from your local Trafico office what is needed for your transfer before you rush out and have a medical. But then of course, if you have a foreign EU licence, as I have recommended, it is very advisable to have taken the medical as the Spanish law states that you have to obey the same conditions as the Spanish do with their driving licences and in this web site. All covered in the book.
MEDICALS. The medicals are organised through private clinics that are officially registered to carry them out. They are basically small offices where you take an eye test, a co-ordination and motor reflexes test and answer questions about your health. You then sign a form as a "sworn statement" that the answers to the questions are true, and take/send it to Trafico for your licence renewal. But the form states that it is valid only for three months! Do nit worry about that; it is because the system is that the medical must be used to re-validate the Spanish D/L, which has expired. As your foreign D/L is valid until you are 70 years of age, you have had the medical simply to obey the law on this matter and it ensures that you have complied with the law and is effectively valid until the end of the next period, as in my book on page 87.
Medical Costs. The cost of taking these medicals seems to vary greatly from town to town, and I recommend that you get a Spanish friend to find out what these costs are before you go. Most have a printed tariff, especially where there are usually several of these offices near a Trafico: hence there is competition. I suspect that often the charge is related to the clerk's notion of what you can afford, and as a foreigner, to which you will not object (in Spanish?) profusely. I will be going near one of these offices/clinics soon and will call in and get a tariff.
How to AVOID SPEEDING FINES? 29 May 2006
Take a careful look at these photos of the same vehicle, taken near our home while out for a walk. See if you can spot the differences. I wonder if the different number plates front and rear are deliberate? Which is the correct one? The one not normally caught in the radar camera trap?