Below is an anonymous email that we received.
It makes interesting reading. Please let us know your thoughts on this….
A Tragedy Waiting To Happen?
Ten years ago in the UK it was not uncommon to see cars being driven around without tax, MOT or insurance. Thankfully this is now a thing of the past as with the development of number plate recognition software, used by the police, these vehicles are now quickly stopped, confiscated and ultimately scrapped.
As the days go by in Spain it appears that certain parts of the ex pat community have realised that currently the local police and Guardia Civil either do not have or can’t be bothered to use the equipment they have to prevent the same crimes happening here.
The most obvious, in the Camposol/Mazarron area, is white(sometimes other colours) van man who for years on end drive around in their UK registered, taxless, MOT less and un-insured vehicles ignoring the law. At the same time they expect everyone to believe that they are fully registered tradesmen paying their dues to the Spanish taxman. In reality all they do is undercut the legal tradesmen who do pay their way and eventually find it impossible to make ends meet. The term used is cowboy but I’m sure many could find a more appropriate description!
Running a close second to white van man is the ex pat who just finds it easier to either purchase a cheap (because they are illegal) UK registered car locally or even drive one from the UK and then over the years just run it in to the ground. Of course once the vehicle has been in Spain for 6 months or the MOT & Tax has expired the vehicle becomes illegal. This doesn’t seem to bother these owners. As long as they can get away with it, they will.
The real question is to how these people are able to get away for it for so long? Of course they do get stopped by the police now and again, but it appears that as long as they can see a live insurance document they are happy to let them go on their way.
Hold on. How can a vehicle without tax or MOT documents get insurance? In the UK it is impossible but here in Spain there are at least two local well known Insurance Brokers who will supply a live policy without asking for these documents. It would appear they will turn a blind eye as long as they earn their commission!
This is all well and good until these illegal vehicles are involved in an accident. Unfortunately in some cases this may well just be around the corner as the vast majority of these vehicles, have not had to undergo a MOT or ITV test, are not roadworthy.
I am personally aware of two cases locally where it has cost the illegal owners thousands of Euros to settle for the damage caused to the other vehicle involved when they had accidents. One, because the Guardia Civil were involved, also ended up with a hefty fine. Both had what they thought were full insurance documentation.
This is all well and good when it is just the vehicles that suffer damage. What happens when someone gets hurt in the accident?
There is no way in this day and age that Insurance companies are going to pay out on policies that are used to cover illegal vehicles. As many of those who are legally insured will testify these companies look for any excuse not to pay out. Not only are the owners going to be involved in lengthy, expensive litigation but also invariably they are going to end up in a Spanish prison. At least, thankfully, the Spanish police and legal system treat those who choose to drive without legal insurance and cause damage to others very harshly.
A tragedy waiting to happen for all concerned.
I could go on to write about other ex pats who drive around in UK registered cars but believe this is OK as they drive back to the UK every year to renew their MOT and tax disc. It’s not. UK registered cars are allowed in Spain for a maximum of 6 months in each 12 month period. This figure is cumulative.
Another cause for concern is the drink drivers. Every day you can find those who go to the bar and then find it OK to just jump in their car/van and drive home. After all they only live a couple of hundred meters down the road!
Another tragedy waiting to happen!!