British Registered Car in Spain

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Len S
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British Registered Car in Spain

Postby Len S » Mon May 30, 2011 10:07 am

I have always been of the opinion that a british road legal car (valid road tax and Mot, if over 3 years old) can be used in Spain for up to 6 months in any calender year. This assumes that you also have insurance that is valid for use in Spain. However I have just been told that the duration is 3 and not 6 months.

I would be very grateful if anyone can inform me of the correct, legal, situation. As an aside whatever the correct duration is does it refer to the duration the car can be USED in Spain as opposed to being in Spain? I like many have others only spend 2 to 3 months a year in Spain and whilst out of the country keep our cars locked away in in the garage of our properties, and therefore not being driven on Spanish roads.

Eventually I propose to re register it in Spain but am waiting a couple of years for its value to decrease to reduce the tax I would have to pay as it is currently worth approx £20k.

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Re: British Registered Car in Spain

Postby annfoto » Mon May 30, 2011 10:39 am

Len S wrote:I have always been of the opinion that a british road legal car (valid road tax and Mot, if over 3 years old) can be used in Spain for up to 6 months in any calender year. This assumes that you also have insurance that is valid for use in Spain.

Yes that is true but the maximum time you can use the car in any one period is 3 months.
From a practical point of view how can you maintain a valid MOT if you don't take the car back to the UK once a year?
Is there a valid economic case for having a £20K car locked in a garage for 9 months of the year devaluing?
Ann

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peteroldracer
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Re: British Registered Car in Spain

Postby peteroldracer » Mon May 30, 2011 11:24 am

Well put ann (except I don't know where the 3 month use bit comes from - a visitor can happily have in the country and use a non-spanish registered car for up to 6 months) - the other point is, given the (at last!) much increased activity by Trafico on enforcing rematriculation rules, including special bi-lingual squads that target areas in turn, could you afford to have it impounded, then spend a lot of your valuable holiday time sorting it all out? It is only permitted to be here for that six months - or one month in the case of residents - then must either be taken out of the country or rematriculated.
By the time you have taken it back and forth for MoT testing a couple of times, you will have paid out much or more of what it would cost you to make it right. You will also probably save some money on your road tax.
I am well aware that there are lots of illegal cars ferreted away in the Brit zones - but so will be Trafico.
Last edited by peteroldracer on Mon May 30, 2011 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: British Registered Car in Spain

Postby frank » Mon May 30, 2011 11:26 am

It's personal choice I suppose, but the economics don't seem to stack up, if it were me, I'd be hiring a car for those few months, much less hassle.
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Re: British Registered Car in Spain

Postby El Cid » Mon May 30, 2011 11:40 am

As you correctly say Peter, a foreign registered car can be used in Spain for 6 months in any one calendar year and if not taken out of Spain it must be garaged for the rest of the year. As it is 6 months on one year strictly it could be used for 12 consecutive months spanning Jan 1st.

As you point out it must be street legal in it's country of registration while in Spain.

The 6 month period is based not on the car but on the person so if you spend 4 months in Spain and then go back and bring your car over a few weeks later you will only be able to use it for 2 months in that year.

If you think about it, were you to personally spend more than 6 months in Spain in that year, you would automatically become tax resident and then you would have to re-register the car anyway.

I think the 3 months that you were quoted is because of the confusion about now having to register on the register of foreigners after 90 days. That is a complete red herring as signing on the register does not make you resident in the fiscal sense - it is merely a formality that you have to complete when your 90 tourist status expires.

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Re: British Registered Car in Spain

Postby Enrique » Mon May 30, 2011 12:41 pm

Hi,
Check out this site..........................for longer that 12 months

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/Bu ... DG_4022582

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Re: British Registered Car in Spain

Postby peteroldracer » Mon May 30, 2011 1:23 pm

There is no way legally to do what so many think they can get away with - for me, the most annoying of all are the 'personal plate' brigade, who must be anally retentive anyway!
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Re: British Registered Car in Spain

Postby Beachcomber » Mon May 30, 2011 3:13 pm

The police and Guardia Civil are certainly cracking down heavily on foreign (especially UK) registered vehicles using the direct.gov and DVLA web sites to check on the validity of MOT certificates and vehicle excise licences. I know of three of the 'they can't touch me' barrack room lawyer brigade who have had their vehicles impounded at roadside checks. Couldn't have happened to nicer people!

This is a good earner for DGT at a time when the country is on the verge of bankruptcy so it definitely is not worth taking the risk.

Len S
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Re: British Registered Car in Spain

Postby Len S » Mon May 30, 2011 4:38 pm

Many thanks for all your replies.
I fully accept that the economics of what I do do not stack up. However I enjoy driving my vehicle and not a hire car and accept that the miles driven in Spain must be very expensive. I acknowledge that I am in the fortunate situation to do this.
The car is less than three years old so does not yet require an Mot. However we take it back to the UK for 3 to 4 months a year and use the opportunity to see parts of Spain ( and France if we don't go back on the Santander ferry) that we have not visited before.
We, as opposed to the car, only spend approx three months in Spain per year. Whilst we are not in Spain the car is securely locked up and demobilised in the garage.
To stop peteroldracer fretting the car has and always has had a valid excise licence and valid insurance for both UK and the rest of the EU, and will have a valid MoT when it is three years old. However I hope he is sitting down when he reads this as it does have a personal number plate so I suppose I qualify for membership of the anally retentive club, as defined by him. I personally do not understand people who want to drive/ride in circles round a race track either now or in the past. However it would be a very boring world if we all liked the same things in life. My advice to him, for what its worth, is to chill out and accept that we are all different and get enjoyment out of different things.
Once again, many thanks for all your responses.

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Re: British Registered Car in Spain

Postby swerve » Mon May 30, 2011 5:50 pm

Seemingly all the impounded British cars are going to be parked in a little town called COMARES. :lol: :lol:
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Re: British Registered Car in Spain

Postby peteroldracer » Mon May 30, 2011 6:13 pm

No thanks swerve - there are quite enough of them here already! If Trafico impound them, they can do it on the spot, kick everyone out to continue their journey as best they can, then grua the offending vehicle to a local(ish) pound. As someone had already pointed out, this then means that the car cannot be driven out until it is rematriculated, involving an ITV that it cannot get.....a bit of Catch22?
Frank's comment about the economics are now clearer - it is more about ego than eco :lol:
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Re: British Registered Car in Spain

Postby El Cid » Mon May 30, 2011 7:53 pm

I have no personal experience of what happens if you get caught as a resident driving a UK car but about 7 years ago a friend had a problem.

He had been a regular visitor in his UK car and then decided to become resident and applied for a Residencia card. He continued to drive his UK car and in fact took it back to the UK and then returned with it.

He was planning to take it back to the UK and sell it and had actually ordered a new car in Spin.

He was wrongly advised by a solicitor that he had 6 months from the time it had last entered Spain before he had a problem. A few weeks after his residencia had been valid for 6 months he was stopped by the police. They put his car under "house arrest" and taped it up with the usual blue sticky tape so he couldn't use it.

He took (better) legal advice and visited the tax office with his (new) solicitor to sort it out. They charged him the full matriculation tax (about €1200) and the only reason they did not fine him was because he could produce ferry tickets for the car in a few weeks time and a copy of the new car order.

The car continued to be impounded until the start of his return journey to the UK.

At that time this sort of action was unusual but now it is much more common. Although many people still get away with it, if you get caught the consequences can be serious.

Like Peter I totally agree with this. Why should I have to pay registration tax, road tax and ITV charges when some people think that they should not.

Personally I think the cars should be taken away and crushed!

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Re: British Registered Car in Spain

Postby julian » Mon May 30, 2011 8:19 pm

"Personally I think the cars should be taken away and crushed! "


with or without the owner? :twisted:

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Re: British Registered Car in Spain

Postby Bowler » Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:04 pm

Both my cars have personalised number plates, and I don't mean the **** ones like wer4u and such *beep* my numbers are proper ie AAW 1 and 2 for EXAMPLE !! I am however, contrary to Pete's profiling, very regular 08.30 and 18.30 hours daily :clap:

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Re: British Registered Car in Spain

Postby peteroldracer » Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:16 pm

I suppose if age and infirmity means that you must be reminded of your name every time you look at your car, that is fair enough. If your ego is so fragile that you have to advertise who you are by having a personal plate, then it is probably cheaper than getting some treatment.
If, however these cars outstay their alloted time in Spain and are impounded, it is worth noting that you will be unable to transfer the number, so all that money goes down the pan!
It also helps Trafico by making the non-Spanish number even more obvious.
If they stay in the UK, or are used to come over for less than six months at a time, returning to the UK, there is no legal problem, but I would suggest that most people will not be impressed.
I was sat in a cafe in Puerto Banus many years ago and a big black Bentley came past, driven by the usual "look at me" so common down there. The number plate read BUG 1, and I spoke louder than I meant to when I said "'Big Ugly Git', sounds about right!". Round me people spluttered or *beep*, so I am not alone in my derision.
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Len S
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Re: British Registered Car in Spain

Postby Len S » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:06 am

Oh dear, oh dear!!!!!!!
Peter has gone off on one again.
Peter may I respectfully suggest that you calm down, pour yourself a glass of wine, and stop thinking about us personal number plate brigade in our legal Bentleys, 4x4s etc having the temerity of driving around southern Spain.
Tolerance of others is an excellent personal trait, try practising it, you will be surprised at the beneficial effects it has.
If you must direct vitriol at others please commence with the thieves, murderers, rapists of this world and leave us to later, much later.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: British Registered Car in Spain

Postby chrissiehope » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:15 am

Hubby has a personalised plate - not out of vanity but a.) because it is worth an awful lot more than he paid for it many years ago, and b.) because you can't tell how old a vehicle is when you've got one, so he can keep his for ages and it still looks good (unless of course you are a make & model fanatic, in chich case you will be able to tell :wink: )
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Re: British Registered Car in Spain

Postby peteroldracer » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:25 am

It is just me probably, but I reckon anyone that has any real reason to be famous will do as much as possible to avoid being noticed...
That Bentley was not legal - 100,000€ plus worth of car, but not into paying out for a tax disc like normal folk. :cry:
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Re: British Registered Car in Spain

Postby Bowler » Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:34 pm

Both my number plates were bought many years ago as investments, both bought for less than 3000, now worth more than 12000, good eh!!

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Re: British Registered Car in Spain

Postby peteroldracer » Fri Jun 03, 2011 5:13 pm

Best of luck if you can really sell them at that. Must be more money about than most folk think if things like that are worth that sort of money!
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