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Going to Spain- Shall we fly or drive?

Going to Spain- Shall we fly or drive?

Old Nov 28th 2004, 12:35 am
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Thumbs up Going to Spain- Shall we fly or drive?

We are a married couple in our fiftys.... twenty at heart! We are going to look at properties in Spain to live. Initially we are going to rent in Costa Blanca for three to six months, as we think this is where we would like to settle. We were thinking about our travelling arrangements and cannot decide if we should fly over and rent an apartment and a car to drive around the area. This may work out to be quite expensive! Would anyone recommend driving over in our own car via the Channel tunnel driving through France soaking in the sights and then to rent a place when we get there. We think this sounds a great idea as we will be able to enjoy the travelling and travel in our own car. Can anyone see and disadvantages in travelling along this route?
Also, we will need a few thousand Euro spending money, does anyone know if it is best to change them here in England or when we get over to Spain?

Thanks for any help or any other advice you think would be helpful x
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Old Nov 28th 2004, 12:55 am
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Default Re: Going to Spain- Shall we fly or drive?

personally l would fly, it will work out cheaper using budget airlines. When you add up the cost of petrol, tolls (loads of these in France and a few in Spain), hotel for the night, possible changes to your motor insurance (some only give you third party fire and theft outside the UK) etc.... its expensive.

plus l have driven a british car in Spain! Not easy trying to overtake!!!
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Old Nov 28th 2004, 7:00 am
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Default Re: Going to Spain- Shall we fly or drive?

Drive down the views are worth the extra €€€€.

And there ain`t many French or Spanish drivers you will want to overtake
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Old Nov 28th 2004, 9:34 am
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Default Re: Going to Spain- Shall we fly or drive?

You can get very good deals for both air fares and car rental using the internet. However, if you are searching for somewhere to live then it's best to take your time and rent a place for a few weeks/months. Make sure you like the area and avoid hasty decisions. If you are determined to live in the 'campo' away from convenient shops etc then it could be worth driving over, but bear in mind that if you are moving permanently, then it's usually best to obtain residency and buy a local car. Saves hassles about getting your UK car re registered and right hand drive. Not sure what rental costs are like at Alicante, but in Andalucia and for a basic car I expect to pay about Euros 100 or under per week with no excess and unlimited mileage. This is very good compared to travelling costs from UK ! For obtaining Euros in Spain, it may be sensible to use a Nationwide Debit Card. If you have a Nationwide account in UK then cash withdrawals from a hole in the wall in Spain are free of any extra commission which the high street banks charge. So every time you need some Euros it's like using the hole in the wall at your home branch. It also makes sense to carrying wads of notes around. but take care of those plastic cards !

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Old Nov 28th 2004, 4:56 pm
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Default Re: Going to Spain- Shall we fly or drive?

Originally Posted by kinghoc
We are a married couple in our fiftys.... twenty at heart! We are going to look at properties in Spain to live. Initially we are going to rent in Costa Blanca for three to six months, as we think this is where we would like to settle. We were thinking about our travelling arrangements and cannot decide if we should fly over and rent an apartment and a car to drive around the area. This may work out to be quite expensive! Would anyone recommend driving over in our own car via the Channel tunnel driving through France soaking in the sights and then to rent a place when we get there. We think this sounds a great idea as we will be able to enjoy the travelling and travel in our own car. Can anyone see and disadvantages in travelling along this route?
Also, we will need a few thousand Euro spending money, does anyone know if it is best to change them here in England or when we get over to Spain?

Thanks for any help or any other advice you think would be helpful x
I think the plan to drive over and enjoy France on the way is an excellent idea. No need to book ahead - in all months except July & Aug you can readily find good, cheap (vs UK) hotels virtually anywhere.

You will soon get used to driving on the wrong side in a Brit car, just take it easy. I did the France & Spain car tour from the UK once in my new Audi 80 back then (about 1999!) and really enjoyed it.

It will work out a lot cheaper & more convenient than car hire over 3-6 months.
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Old Nov 29th 2004, 3:38 am
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Thumbs up Re: Going to Spain- Shall we fly or drive?

we bought a left hand drive car in UK before moving, and to be honest the roads are not that condusive to overtaking, anyway at least not here,
we have no regrets re driving over, we travelled in two cars, one bought the dogs and a trailor, this car was driven back to UK by our son and I came via Bilbao,
we arrived in port at 08:15 and I drove all the way down through Madrid, yes I did stop for breaks and photo shoots, we arrived in the south near La Mamola in 10 hours I thouroughly enjoyed the drive, second hand cars are expensive here and you need an NIE number to buy a car anyway.
We have no regrets driving either of us, was all part of the fun, and to rent for some months I fear would be quite costly.
our cars, we have since bought another British registered left hand drive over here and the insurance for both was under 500 euro's and one of them is a convertable.
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Old Nov 30th 2004, 2:22 am
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Default Re: Going to Spain- Shall we fly or drive?

Originally Posted by pwwm
we bought a left hand drive car in UK before moving, and to be honest the roads are not that condusive to overtaking, anyway at least not here,
we have no regrets re driving over, we travelled in two cars, one bought the dogs and a trailor, this car was driven back to UK by our son and I came via Bilbao,
we arrived in port at 08:15 and I drove all the way down through Madrid, yes I did stop for breaks and photo shoots, we arrived in the south near La Mamola in 10 hours I thouroughly enjoyed the drive, second hand cars are expensive here and you need an NIE number to buy a car anyway.
We have no regrets driving either of us, was all part of the fun, and to rent for some months I fear would be quite costly.
our cars, we have since bought another British registered left hand drive over here and the insurance for both was under 500 euro's and one of them is a convertable.
We came over with our Brit car by ferry from Plymouth to Santander and then drove down to Costa de Luz through the centre of Spain. I wouldn't have missed it, the scenery is so different from the North of Spain to the South, we even travelled through mountains which had snow on with eagles and storks circling over our heads (quite a way over). No problem driving with RHD car. We have also re-registered our Brit car now onto Spanish plates which was a lot cheaper than selling it in a hurry at home and then having to buy a new one over here which is always a risk if you buy something you don't know unless it is new of course. I would also advise you to check out different areas, depending on what you want for your future life in Spain.
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Old Nov 30th 2004, 3:22 am
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Default Re: Going to Spain- Shall we fly or drive?

Originally Posted by glynis
We came over with our Brit car by ferry from Plymouth to Santander and then drove down to Costa de Luz through the centre of Spain. I wouldn't have missed it, the scenery is so different from the North of Spain to the South, we even travelled through mountains which had snow on with eagles and storks circling over our heads (quite a way over). No problem driving with RHD car. We have also re-registered our Brit car now onto Spanish plates which was a lot cheaper than selling it in a hurry at home and then having to buy a new one over here which is always a risk if you buy something you don't know unless it is new of course. I would also advise you to check out different areas, depending on what you want for your future life in Spain.
are you trying to fool the taxman with your location then ???¿¿¿¿
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Old Nov 30th 2004, 4:10 pm
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Default Re: Going to Spain- Shall we fly or drive?

"you need an NIE number to buy a car anyway..........."

Why not get your NIE anyway ?
By driving a UK registered car in Spain for extended periods you are only inviting potential Guardia attention anyway.


A quote from 'Spainlawyer.com'

"You may bring into Spain your EU registered car without further formality but you may not use it in Spain for more than 6 months in a calendar year. If you spend more than 6 months in any year in Spain, you will be considered resident and consequently you must obtain full national plates and pay the special vehicle registration tax (impuesto municipal sobre circulación de vehículos).

You may also matriculate your foreign car on Spanish plates, you shall do it within 2 months from the time of entry. You should present all original documents as it is a complicated procedure."

I just can't see any advantage or attraction in purchasing a UK reg car in Spain !

If you live here, buy a Spanish car, get an NIE etc !!!

Last edited by meseta; Nov 30th 2004 at 4:19 pm.
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Old Nov 30th 2004, 7:51 pm
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Default Re: Going to Spain- Shall we fly or drive?

Originally Posted by pwwm
we bought a left hand drive car in UK before moving, and to be honest the roads are not that condusive to overtaking, anyway at least not here,
we have no regrets re driving over, we travelled in two cars, one bought the dogs and a trailor, this car was driven back to UK by our son and I came via Bilbao,
we arrived in port at 08:15 and I drove all the way down through Madrid, yes I did stop for breaks and photo shoots, we arrived in the south near La Mamola in 10 hours I thouroughly enjoyed the drive, second hand cars are expensive here and you need an NIE number to buy a car anyway.
We have no regrets driving either of us, was all part of the fun, and to rent for some months I fear would be quite costly.
our cars, we have since bought another British registered left hand drive over here and the insurance for both was under 500 euro's and one of them is a convertable.
I think you will find UK reg cars must have UK MOT to be properly insured ????
Try a claim...
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Old Dec 1st 2004, 3:13 am
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Default Re: Going to Spain- Shall we fly or drive?

Originally Posted by jdr
I think you will find UK reg cars must have UK MOT to be properly insured ????
Try a claim...
For JDR
Didnt understand your comment about fooling the taxman re location! We did everything legally to get Spanish plates, although I know a lot of Brits who have been running around in UK registered cars for years, how they don't get caught I'll never know.
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Old Dec 1st 2004, 4:00 am
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Default Re: Going to Spain- Shall we fly or drive?

Originally Posted by glynis
For JDR
Didnt understand your comment about fooling the taxman re location! We did everything legally to get Spanish plates, although I know a lot of Brits who have been running around in UK registered cars for years, how they don't get caught I'll never know.
Look to the left......LOCATION......Devon UK
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Old Dec 1st 2004, 4:35 am
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Default Re: Going to Spain- Shall we fly or drive?

For JDR who seems to dislike everyone, what makes YOU think that we are not fully covered, my business not yours. For me to know and you to think what you like, also why the comment re Glynis and her driving, bet she drives better than you anyday!!!!!!
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Old Dec 1st 2004, 4:46 am
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Default Re: Going to Spain- Shall we fly or drive?

driving UK reg cars long term in Spain

The minute I drove a UK reg car here, I'd have the Guardia drop on me from a great height ! I don't know how so many of these chancers get away with it ! I've been stopped a couple of times and asked for my paperwork for my legal Spanish plated car, but no doubt the chap behind me, been here for years with the '84 Ford Escort or similar, UK plates, would just sail past unchallenged ! Doesn't seem fair somehow.

Does anyone know how these ancient machines stay on the road ? Surely they can't be legal ? What would happen in the event of an accident with one of these folks ?

Has anyone out there had experience of this ?

Out of interest, I use Linea Directa for my car insurance. No claims during the last year but the premium has gone up about 30% . What's your experience of this ?
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Old Dec 1st 2004, 8:07 pm
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Default Re: Going to Spain- Shall we fly or drive?

Originally Posted by pwwm
For JDR who seems to dislike everyone, what makes YOU think that we are not fully covered, my business not yours. For me to know and you to think what you like, also why the comment re Glynis and her driving, bet she drives better than you anyday!!!!!!
Errrrrrrrrrrr what ???

What makes you think i dislike everyone ????

I know you are not fully covered, as i said a Brit reg car has to have an MOT to be insured and road taxed to be driven in Spain, has yours ?, and like the other post says can only be driven in Spain for 6 months.

An ITV is no good for a Brit car, and all insurances are void if no Mot or ITV, so even if you took it to UK for an MOT every year, you are still only legally allowed to use it for 6 months. A woman up the road had her car impounded till she changed it to Spanish plates cos the police knew it had been here more than 6 months, and you know how Spanish paperwork takes its time, worked out very expensive.

Where do i question Glynis`s ability to drive ??? clarify please.

P. S. sorry to deviate from you question kinghoc, but i cant understand pwwm`s attitude

Last edited by jdr; Dec 1st 2004 at 8:11 pm.
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