Your Car is in Danger in Spain

Trouble on the Costas.

Today a friend of mine there told me that he would like to believe that Spain is a member of the European Union, wouldn't you? We have all heard nightmare stories to do with land grabbing on property that you own, and we are told this practice might now be changing due to intervention by Brussels. But now he tells me the Spanish and unscrupulous ex-pats are at it again! This time it's not your home at risk but your car!

Hundreds of UK registered vehicles are being impounded all over Spain. Unless you have Spanish plates you are at risk. So if you are touring Spain you had better beware and make sure you have the correct documentation with you and maybe a Spanish document or a telephone number of a Spanish speaker to call in case you are stopped on the road.

This week Fred Knight from Thaxted in Essex was touring in his Chrysler Voyager in Valencia. He was stopped by the police at a roadside checkpoint specially set up to check foreign cars. Although he had his driving license and insurance certificate with him he had omitted to bring the registered document which was at DVLC as he had just acquired the vehicle.

The Spanish Police did not speak English and neither did Fred have a lot of Spanish so conversation was confusing and Fred was unsurprisingly misunderstood.

The Spanish Police were not interested in whether he lived in Spain or whether he was a tourist. The new law states that if you are in Spain for longer than 6 months with your car you are considered by law to be a resident for the purposes of the Spanish Police Departmento Traffico. Should you actually move to live in Spain then you are now, due to a change in the law, liable to exchange your UK number plates with a Spanish MOT within 30 days of entry.

Fred's car was placed in a Police compound and it took him 5 days of form filling and retrieving statements from the UK before a translator helped him to remove it and clear up the misunderstanding. There was also a fine for not carrying the registration document.

The change in law has new implications both for those wishing to live in Spain and take their car with them, as well as the visitor who may be on a tour. Spanish Police do not have to speak English. The onus is on the traveler to speak the local language! Most tourists today who travel to Spain come by Air and hire a car.

Recently Keith Sharp from Rutland had a similar experience. Keith had made several journeys to Spain in his quest for an overseas property. He had now found his dream home abroad and had moved in as a resident of Spain. He had taken with him his recently acquired Renault Scenic which he had purchased in the UK the year before. Not wanting to lose too much money on a sale of the vehicle he preferred to take it with him even though it was right hand drive.

He made sure he had in the car two red triangles, a yellow coat, lamp deviators and spare bulbs to comply with French and Spanish Highway law.
Keith settled in to his new way of life in Alicante very well.
There is a great deal of form filling required when moving to Spain to live, work or retire and Keith wished to comply with the laws of his newly chosen country. He was not advised however by his agent, lawyer or his friends of the new law. Indeed it is doubtful that they would have known. Within 6 weeks of living there he was stopped by a special traffic police unit at a checkpoint near Quesada. Even though he had a spattering of Spanish learnt before he came he was not ready for this! He had all his documents with him and his new Spanish National Insurance number (NIE) documentation which of course showed his new address. Oh dear, the date on the Spanish documents proved he had been in Spain for more than 30 days and that he had a home there. The car was impounded.

He had thought, like many others that he had at least 6 months running on his English plates, but the new change in the law caught him out. After a few weeks of discussion it became apparent that he had to pay Spanish VAT on the current value of his car, before they would release it from the pound.

The British Consulate told me to look on their website under the section living in Spain. It states quite clearly that as a non-resident you have the right to bring your car from the UK or Ireland and use it on the road for 6 months in any one year.

This would have helped Fred had he been made aware of it and he might have taken with him a document in Spanish explaining that he was only touring for three months and was not therefore to be treated as a resident in Spain. The Spanish Police would probably have been more accommodating.

Further the British Consulate website explains that as a Resident in Spain you may import your car from the UK free of tax, but you first need to make several declarations, pass a Spanish MOT test which will involve fitting new headlights, and obtain forms from the taxation department locally and from the Department de Traffico. This has to be achieved within 30 days.

Quite correctly Keith really thought Spain was a full member of the EU. Reading this you would presume not. EU membership policy clearly states that it allows for the "Free movement of people and goods within the frontiers of Member States." Your own personal car is your own possession and is not or should not be considered a tradable commodity. Even then a car purchased with VAT paid in one Member State should be allowed to be imported freely into another Member State under the Treaty of Rome.

In reality you might extend the 30 days by being a little economical with the truth as to exactly when you imported the vehicle, but once you make the first declaration the clock starts to tick. Keith was far too late in starting the paperwork trail so he had to pay 5000 Euros in import tax.

In part two I will tell you about unscrupulous Ex-Pats who take advantage of this new law to mislead unsuspecting non-residents.

Article by Hugo Raymond, founder of .

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Teaching English in Mexico City: The Zona Rosa Part 2

We’ll keep up our search in the Zona Rosa while we’re still here. There are quite a number of institutes in the area, so chances are good you’ll get a couple of offers or so within a matter of hours. Here are more doors to knock on.

ANGLOAMERICANO Instituto Superior

Phone: 524 – 5949, 658 – 6700

Contact: Gabriela Evadista or Pablo Rendon at 611 – -9243

Contact: Laura Ayala or Luis Dominguez at 524 – 5612 for Business English positions


website: []

Offers English courses, Teacher’s diploma courses and language certification courses. They actively recruit qualified native English speakers when available. There are six locations in Mexico City, so applicants can e-mail or contact them through their website before arrival. Some English is spoken depending on the location, however they are very desirous of interviewing interested native speakers willing to give a one year or longer commitment to teach high-level professional and Business English courses.


Address: Genova No. 33 6th (sixth) floor

Phone: 208 – 1919 general information

Phone: 533 – 6706, 533 – 6707 Zona Rosa only

Fax: 207 – 4157

Fax: 533 – 6706 Zona Rosa only


This is a well-known language institute with 10 locations in Mexico City that hires native speaker English teachers year-round. The Zona Rosa site is particularly busy and may interview applicants on the spot if need mandates. So be sure to take a resume with photo and certificate / diploma copies and be presentably dressed (no jeans, sneakers, t-shirts or tank tops, please) when you visit!


Address: Parroquia No. 830 Col. Del Valle

Phone: 534 – 1623, 524 – 0720, 524 – 0733

Fax: 534 – 7747


This is another institute that seeks English teachers on a year-round basis. Classes are for all age levels with some business English classes as well. Interested teachers can e-mail their particulars shortly in advance of arrival for best results and a quickly-scheduled interview appointment. Experienced teachers with EFL certification are preferred, but there is some flexibility with this especially during peak periods. Some fluency in Spanish would also be very helpful.

Colegio de Asesoria Educativa, S.C.

Address: Cozumel No. 12 Col. Roma (near metro station Sevilla)

Phone: 553 – 4521, 553 – 3536

Fax: 553 – 7403

An institute that needs English teachers year-round. Classes are at various levels with some business English classes. Interested teachers should fax their resumes and call upon arrival for an interview appointment. Experienced teachers with EFL certification are also preferred here and fluency in Spanish is essential. Pay is usually commensurate with background.

Centro Educativo Norteamericano

Address: Motolinia No. 41 (between 16 de Septiembre and Madero)

Phone: 512 – 1650, 512 – 1670

This small, officially registered institute on the second floor currently has no native-English speaking teachers of English. They would interview applicants with a time commitment of 6 months to one year but their pay scale is low which may account for their lack of native speakers. The location is a good one across from the Hotel Lafayette and the Casa del Pavo. It can’t hurt to chat with them briefly about existing requirements while you’re in the area but interviews may well be conducted in Spanish!

If you’re still not satisfied and haven’t signed an English teaching contract offered, there are yet more options to come in part 3. Be sure to check out my other articles in the two continuing series: Teaching English in Mexico and Traveling in Mexico. If you would like more information, have questions or comments, the author can be e-mailed; see address below.


Scott McTominay caps Man United's derby victory against Man City | Premier League | NBC Sports

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GW29: FPL TEAM SELECTION | Double Gameweek 29 | Fantasy Premier League Tips 2019/20


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