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El Portal de Orihuela Costa - The Gate to Orihuela Costa

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Vehicles in Spain? When it comes to cars, the motorist in Spain gets a fair deal. Cheaper cars, petrol one third cheaper than the UK and an ever increasing road network make driving a pleasure.

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Vehicles in Spain
 
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The cost of operating a car in Spain is considerably less than in most other European countries. Petrol is about one third or more cheaper than it is in the UK and the cost of servicing is about 50 per cent of what you will have been used to.

Not surprisingly, new cars cost less but what is surprising is the fact that second hand vehicles hold their prices way past 10 years, and often longer.  In Spain, rust is not a problem.

Spares seem relatively easy to obtain but rather pleasing, is the fact that Spanish mechanics seem to repair items rather than replace them if at all possible. Exhaust systems seem to go on for ever; such is their skill at repairing things.

 
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Tyres may be slightly cheaper but there is nowhere near the amount of competition that would be found in the average northern European country. If you purchase tyres from a garage, expect to pay a little more than if purchased from a car supermarket centre or similar.

Car tax is based on the age of the car and is on average about half that which is current in the UK. Older cars will be taxed even less. There are no tax disks on cars and the tax need not be paid yearly. It will continue to accrue and must be paid when the car is sold or disposed of. For this reason it is better to pay it yearly. Exercise caution when buying a used car. You will owe the tax if it has not been paid!

When it comes to insurance, the Swiss company Helvetia and other similar companies are all in Spain and keen to do business with you. Insurance rates may be considered similar to those in the UK. If you have a "no claims bonus", you will require proving this, either by presenting your last policy or having your Spanish broker contact your previous broker, or insurance company in the UK. It's far quicker to have your previous policy handy.

 

All in all, the motorist in Spain has a far better deal than in most European countries. With an impressive road building programme, motoring in Spain is no longer something which many try to avoid.

If you have read either the Costa Blanca News or the Costa del Sol Times, you will be aware that the subject of cars, particularly importation, is quite topical. This is no doubt in part because of the speed in which the rules and regulations dealing with the subject are changing.

Importing a car into Spain involves the usual struggle with indifference, lethargy, indolence and bureaucracy as well as dealing with mountains of paper although the latter has been considerably reduced in recent years. It has been claimed that in the past a definite policy of discouragement was operated by the authorities in an attempt to prevent the importation of personal vehicles. They did this by erecting an almost impenetrable barrier of tasks, taxes and tricks which had to be dealt with prior to any vehicle being imported.

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Dirección General de Tráfico
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Threats from the EU did force the Spanish authorities to simplify the process which now only takes months to complete and involves a fee of only 12 per cent of the vehicles valuation. The actual fees and much more information about this topic can be found on the following websites. Just click on the graphics to get specific information.

 

Car Insurance in Spain: Under Spanish law, all vehicles using the roads must be fully insured for third party damage. However, there are hundreds of thousands of cars on Spanish roads which do not carry any insurance at all. The penalties for doing this can be severe, particularly where an accident is involved and injury has occurred when fines of over 1500 Euros, imprisonment or both may be expected.

If you find yourself new to Spain and looking for car insurance, bear in mind that in recent years a considerable number of Spanish companies have folded, leaving their policy holders without cover. However, today most Spanish companies are comparable with those found in the UK.

 
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