Some advice about cars, please.

Information and questions about driving in Andalucia, buying or importing cars and motorbikes plus legal issues surrounding taxes and licenses.
User avatar
IreneD
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 2242
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 7:35 pm
Location: Canillas de Aceituno

Some advice about cars, please.

Postby IreneD » Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:23 am

My OH and I retire this Summer and want to spend a lot more time at our house in Axarquia, hopefully 50/50 in both countries, Spain and U.K. But what to do about car(s)? I have an ancient Honda - M reg. and my OH has a van for work. We will be getting rid of both when we retire.

We have been thinking about maybe buying one car and driving backwards and forwards every few weeks, as having a car in the U.K. and another in Spain could be problematic - where to store the one we're not using for one thing (we don't have a garage in either country). But it's a long drive and will work out expensive, with stop-overs (3 nights per trip?). Does anyone drive over regularly, does it work for you?

Jool
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 4915
Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 5:56 am
Location: Coastal Almeria

Re: Some advice about cars, please.

Postby Jool » Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:13 am

How many trips do you think you will do each year? Could you do the Santander ferry and then its only a one day drive from there and a lot more relaxing?

In your shoes I would have the one car only as its less stressful and no hassle in terms of keeping them both legal as you can do it all on familiar territory. Also less secure if you have no garage and how will you get to and from airports etc? Those costs will also have to be factored in.

Jennifer
Resident
Posts: 393
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 10:53 am
Location: Jaen

Re: Some advice about cars, please.

Postby Jennifer » Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:12 am

Hi IreneD,
Are you really going to drive back and forth every two to three weeks ?
If so you really need to have a look at the costs using one car.
Its 926km from your location to Santander, its 10hrs driving plus stops. The ferry leaves in the afternoon so it would mean driving thru the night if you didn't factor in a stopover.
I did two return trips last year using Santander to Plymouth with discounts came to 1293 GBP
Plymouth to Lincoln is 461km.
Brittany Ferries are sailing Santander to Portsmouth this year so that will cut the UK bit down to 345km to Lincoln.
Parking at Granada airport is 4e a day and a 30-40 GBP flight with Uncle Mike could have you door to door in the time it takes to get to Santander.

J

User avatar
Devils Advocate
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 5579
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: Sierra Tejeda and England

Re: Some advice about cars, please.

Postby Devils Advocate » Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:52 am

Hiya Irene, your question is always a conundrum for us "part-timers" :wink:

I can only relay what we did when we first bought a place 7 years ago.
After weighing it up as you are we bit the bullet and brought a car over. After its UK tax ran out we matriculated it to Spanish plates..........simple processs and cost about 800 euros plus a change of headlights, I have a hunch you use the same lady as us for your Spanish affairs, she sorted everything whilst we were back in UK and we came out next time to a nice Spanish plated car.
Insurance and tax were also set up on DD so no problems there.
People say the ITV is a worry but it's not, bring a decent motor across and it will sail through, plus if it's under 10 years old this only needs doing every other year.......we've brought a couple across now and will be taking another over later in the year.

It's bloody dear getting a car across no matter how you do it so having one there in my view is a no brainer as opposed to driving back and forth.
As for parking we were in the same position as you at first...townhouse in a Pueblo with nowhere to park it.
We shopped around the car park people at the airport and plumped for "Car Parking Sur", Great guys!!
Yearly fee started off at 400 euros per year but has crept up a bit now........I think this years tarrifs are 650.......still not bad though for piece of mind. These guys also shuttle you to and from car to the entrance of airport and are always quick about it......they also wash it for you.

We're having a change though this year, with being in the campo and with a bit of space friends were saying we were mad not just leaving it at the casa....we always ignored this, anyway we've given in and car is now at the casa with the friends ferrying us to and from airport at their insistance....we'll pay them back in our own way though.

I'll finish by saying that the only other option that people swear to me is more cost effective is hiring.
Problem with that in my opinion is I'm a bit of a control freak and like to be free from rules and hassles other people cause............I couldn't stand someone saying the car was scratched when the mark was already there or quibbling about fuel..........no thanks :? ...I'd get angry 8)

If this new system does not work out for us we'll be back at Parking Sur instantly.
If you have any friends with space in the campo have a word with them....failing that the airport car park is cost effective.

All the best,
DA
Property owner in Andalucia since 2002. How time flies.

User avatar
IreneD
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 2242
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 7:35 pm
Location: Canillas de Aceituno

Re: Some advice about cars, please.

Postby IreneD » Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:48 pm

Thank you for your replies, much appreciated. Costs and practical considerations very helpful.

Jool, not sure how often we'll be making the trip but at the costs Jennifer has given - infrequently! (gulp!) In fact, I'm not at all sure that's an option, I didn't realise driving would be so expensive. The distances in both countries sound do-able though, especially as you say Brittany Ferries are sailing from Portsmouth this year.

DA, all brilliant advice for what to do in Spain, but that means we'd have to have a car in England as well. We usually fly from East Midlands, I need to find out if there is a similar place there to Parking Sur in Malaga. But again, that's going to be expensive, storing whichever car we're not using. I do have a daughter who lives near Luton airport who has quite a big drive we could possibly use, so I'll have to give that some thought....

Jennifer, I thought Uncle Mike no longer flew into Granada? I much prefer Granada airport to Malaga, so that's interesting if we can still fly to Granada, I'll look into that. We do fly Ryanair from East Midlands and actually quite like the airline, it suits our needs - I'm running! Lol!

DA, we have no friends at all in Spain at the moment, in the campo or anywhere :( but hopefully that will change. The hiring option had occurred to us, it would be good to hear from anyone who does that. Advantages would be tax, insurance etc sorted but we'd need (obviously) much better rates than the normal two week hire costs. As I said, at this point we're not sure how often we'd want to be travelling backwards and forwards, maybe 6 to 8 weeks, but that will depend on all sorts of things, how much I miss the family for instance.

Just wish we had more money (I'm sure I'm not alone there!) - after selling our house in the UK and paying off the mortgages, we do have a safety net to top up our state pension, but these car costs are going to make a big dent in it I reckon. (Our 'home' in the UK is a caravan, which is where I am right now). Of course, we could go back to Plan A and move over and become Spanish Residents but reading Andalucia.com has made me think twice about that! It's all your fault, guys, scaring me! :lol:

Seriouly, we do want 'the best of both worlds' but quite possibly can't afford it.

I find it very helpful to talk these things over, so many thanks once again.

Paula
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 2333
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2004 2:02 pm

Re: Some advice about cars, please.

Postby Paula » Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:04 pm

Not an easy answer to the way you want to do it Irene. Ideally sounds like you need a car in both countries, which is okay if you can afford it. We have to have two vehicles in UK (actually we have 3 vehicles in UK, but I'm working on that one :twisted: :wink: )and one in Spain, it is an expensive way of doing things.
Initially for the first 3 years we hired cars in Spain, but as the trips were getting longer and longer decided we were just throwing money away, as some trips the car hire was costing 1500 euro and that was at a deal rate. Also I got sick of driving puntos and fiestas, that couldn't get me up a hill!
Now we have the car in Spain I leave it at the airport if the charge works out cheaper than a taxi.

Jennifer
Resident
Posts: 393
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 10:53 am
Location: Jaen

Re: Some advice about cars, please.

Postby Jennifer » Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:10 pm

Hi IreneD,
You're right Uncle Mike only flys Stansted to Granada. ( and Liverpool ?)
Once you are out here, encourage family to come over :D so cutting out your need to go back.
Keep the current car in UK, and buy one out here, secondhand prices are higher than in UK, but with all the Brits moving back there should be some good deals about. Buy one that currently has a manufacture still in business. :cry: We bought a Rover LHD for 800e , its been a good one ,but some parts have to be sourced from UK.

J

User avatar
dawncl
Tourist
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2006 11:38 am

Re: Some advice about cars, please.

Postby dawncl » Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:09 pm

Hi
The East Mids to Granada flights start again in April

User avatar
IreneD
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 2242
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 7:35 pm
Location: Canillas de Aceituno

Re: Some advice about cars, please.

Postby IreneD » Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:21 pm

That's good news - thanks, Dawn!

Still not sure what to do, but we will probably get a new-ish left hand drive car and keep the Honda for a while. (if we can find somewhere to leave it in the U.K.) I think we will try driving, maybe even a long drive from Calais, stopping a few times. I expect the 'right' answer for us will evolve, we'll try all the options and see what works out best for us, cost will be the deciding factor. Very useful, hearing your experiences, thank you, guys. I saw a thread recently about buying cars, I'll go and have a look at that, I think it was DA buying a Spanish car in the U.K.? Anyway, I won't pester you about that, I'll go hunt for info. on buying cars.

Paula, I know what you mean about the Puntos and Fiestas - no good to us either, where we are!

User avatar
Julie
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 3534
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2004 4:47 pm
Location: Andalucia & Greater Manchester

Re: Some advice about cars, please.

Postby Julie » Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:46 pm

Hi

I would recommend the hire for a while and then reacess the situation, we bought a car in Spain as well as keeping the cars in Uk as we went back and forward, then started spending a lot more time in Spain, but now , hubby is in hospital very poorly and the spanish car is just sat in Spain gathering dust, we also bought a motorhome to drive back and forward in, that is also sat gathering dust, so I personally would recomend the rental for a good while.
The travel cost by road are quite high too.
No soporto ver la casa sucia, ahora mismo me levanto y apago la luz.

User avatar
IreneD
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 2242
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 7:35 pm
Location: Canillas de Aceituno

Re: Some advice about cars, please.

Postby IreneD » Thu Jan 22, 2009 4:44 pm

Julie, I'm sorry to hear your OH is poorly, I do hope he will be O.K. If you need a friendly ear, don't hesitate to PM me.

You just never know what's around the corner, do you, and I can see why you are recommending hiring for a while.

I did have some good news today, which is putting a different slant on things for us here in the U.K. The caravan site we are on doesn't have a storage field (some sites have a separate field and will tow the 'vans on and off the pitches depending on when they are needed) so we were thinking, once we are in a position to be in Spain for longer visits, we'd have to move to a site which will do that. I went to pay the pitch fees for the next month today and got chatting to the receptionist and discovered we CAN stay on the site, the 'van can stay where it is and we only pay £4 a night when we're not there, we have to - of course - disconnect the water and electrics. We've been to Spain twice since September (which is when we sold our house in the U.K. and bought the 'van) so have paid more than we need have for those weeks we weren't here! :roll: They certainly aren't forthcoming with that info. and I only brought it up after talking to one of the 'permanent residents' on the site.

There is a caravan site about 20 miles away from where we are now which has a storage field, only £250 a year, but if we stay where we are, it means we can also keep a car on our pitch when we're not there, which is one of our problems solved. It will be worth the extra money not to have to move, and to have somewhere to keep the car, plus it's close to some of the family (and a beautiful site). I think things are getting clearer for us.

DA - I had a look at Car Parking Sur, it looks great, that would cost us 4 euros a night, same as Granada, according to Jennifer, so we are getting somewhere! Thanks, both - and everyone who has replied. Really helpful.

User avatar
pigs-might-fly
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 2088
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2006 6:20 pm

Re: Some advice about cars, please.

Postby pigs-might-fly » Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:37 pm

We have driven our car to the UK & back three times now.
After calculating all the costs we chose to use Norfolk Line from Dunquerke to Dover. It has regularly been the cheapest of the cross channel ferries for us.
The Spain to UK sea route is extraordinarily expensive and in our experience it is cheaper to drive through Spain & France, stopping overnight in the likes of Formule 1. We have done it with three over-nights, but coming back last time we only stopped once, in Tours.
(Try B& B Hotels, website:- http://www.hotel-bb.com/ ) better than Formule1, but not much more expensive).
The rest of the trip, to Manilva, we did in one bash, leaving at around 8 AM and getting home at 2 AM.ish.
I don't think we could do that again now, but it saved a fair bit in hotel costs.
We always use the French Auto-Routes - costly, but the time saving is significant when all you want is point A to point B.
All in all it worked out better than driving to AGP, parking there & renting a car in the U.K. for our stay, (which on all those occasions was for longer than a fortnight - car hire in the U.K. is costly, too!)
For a two week trip, flying is cheaper, if you can rely on free transport at the U.K. end, but it's nuisance not being mobile there with your own transport!
Location: The Dukeries.

User avatar
Julie
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 3534
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2004 4:47 pm
Location: Andalucia & Greater Manchester

Re: Some advice about cars, please.

Postby Julie » Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:33 pm

but the time saving is significant when all you want is point A to point B.

I have driven both tolls no tolls and with no time differnce it took me 24 hours driving either way from Adra to the tunnel
No soporto ver la casa sucia, ahora mismo me levanto y apago la luz.

User avatar
IreneD
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 2242
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 7:35 pm
Location: Canillas de Aceituno

Re: Some advice about cars, please.

Postby IreneD » Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:08 am

p-m-f - really good to hear your thoughts and that website is excellent! I took a couple of hotels at random, and had a look at Tripadvisor, both got excellent reviews, and the costs are so reasonable. I am getting so much help, I hope one of these days, I will be in a position to help others. :)


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests