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Interpretation of the law

Interpretation of the law

Old Apr 19th 2012, 7:16 am
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Default Interpretation of the law

Hi all,
I'm hoping someone can enlighten me on the law regarding non resident's right to drive a uk plated car in Spain.
I'm non resident, although I own a house here in Spain, up to now I've been keeping to the six month rule, not living in Spain or having my vehicle here for more than six months of the year.
Yesterday I was stopped by the Guardia Civil, and given thirty days in which to matriculate my vehicle.
They gave me a form which they had filled in with my details and the details of my vehicle, the form quoted "la Ley 38/1992, de 28 de deciembre, de impuestos especiales ( B.O.E. num. 312, de 29-12-1992).
The form seems to say that if you own a home here then resident or not you must matriculate your vehicle.
Any one else had this experience?
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Old Apr 19th 2012, 8:21 am
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Default Re: Interpretation of the law

Paul we had a discussion on this matter a few weeks ago you gen get temp registration number if I remember correctly seems a lot of hassle see this thread

http://britishexpats.com/forum/showt...es#post9971327
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Old Apr 19th 2012, 8:53 am
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Default Re: Interpretation of the law

http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens...s/index_en.htm has the correct information and is condensed from the relative EU directive http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/...L0182:en:HTMLA where article 3 states:

Temporary importation of certain means of transport for private use

Where a private vehicle, caravan, pleasure boat, private aircraft, tricycle or bicycle is imported temporarily, the item imported shall be exempt from the taxes specified in Article 1 for a period, continuous or otherwise, of not more than six months in any 12 months, provided that: (a) the individual importing such goods: (aa) has his normal residence in a Member State other than the Member State of temporary importation;


It should be remembered also that where ambiguity or doubt exists, not that there is any here, directives should be interpreted in the spirit of the union which is to enhance and facilitate free movement, not hinder it.

What the Spanish are doing then is clearly both illegal and against the spirit of the directive and needs raising with SOLVIT
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Old Apr 19th 2012, 9:07 am
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Default Re: Interpretation of the law

Originally Posted by paulven
The form seems to say that if you own a home here then resident or not you must matriculate your vehicle.
Any one else had this experience?
Once again the Guardia are setting their own interpretation of the rules.

If you are non resident (ie. spending less that 183 days in one calendar year in Spain) then you are not obliged to matriculate your foreign car which can stay in Spain as long as it is legal (in the UK ie. MOT tax etc.) and kept off the road in your absence.

Unfortunately you will find it difficult to contest this and they will probably come and "seal" your car with tape so that you cannot use it if you have not matriculated it. A visit to a lawyer might help but that won't be cheap.

Taking it back to the UK might prove the easiest option under the circumstances unless you are prepared to matriculate it.

It's sad that they are not taking the same approach to all the 1000's of UK reg cars used by residents.
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Old Apr 19th 2012, 4:36 pm
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Default Re: Interpretation of the law

.............. and then there's the interpretation of 'legal' in its home country... ie is the insurance valid and will it actually pay out in the event of a claim
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Old Apr 19th 2012, 6:34 pm
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Default Re: Interpretation of the law

Originally Posted by fionamw
.............. and then there's the interpretation of 'legal' in its home country... ie is the insurance valid and will it actually pay out in the event of a claim
I don't think that's an issue. If a policy has been issued on the car the insurance company is obliged by law to pay out any third party claims, even if they decide that the policy is no longer valid for whatever reason.

The often quoted statement " they won't pay out if you have a claim" only applies to damage to your own car or passengers - third party claims have to be paid. As a result it is very difficult for the police to claim that the car is not legal because the insurance is not valid. All that the law requires is that the car has third party cover - which it does.
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Old Apr 19th 2012, 11:17 pm
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Default Re: Interpretation of the law

Originally Posted by Fred James
I don't think that's an issue. If a policy has been issued on the car the insurance company is obliged by law to pay out any third party claims, even if they decide that the policy is no longer valid for whatever reason.

The often quoted statement " they won't pay out if you have a claim" only applies to damage to your own car or passengers - third party claims have to be paid. As a result it is very difficult for the police to claim that the car is not legal because the insurance is not valid. All that the law requires is that the car has third party cover - which it does.
That's interesting Fred; all those times I read that phrase I made the wrong assumption.
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Old Apr 20th 2012, 12:43 am
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Default Re: Interpretation of the law

What Fred says is true however if 'irregularities' are found to exist which, had they known about them would have caused your insurance company to withdraw your cover, which BTW they can do at any time and for any reason by sending 7 days written notification to the last address they have for you, then it's possible for them to subsequently pursue you for their losses. What they cannot do is summarily cancel cover without giving notice or in the aftermath of an accident when 'irregularities' often come to light.

From this we can go on to debunk another popular myth, the one which has it that the lack of a valid MOT invalidates your insurance, it doesn't, and insurance companies are on even shakier ground here as they cannot just use the fact of no MOT itself to limit payouts to 3rd parties. To do that they must reasonably prove that actual defects found in a non MOT'd vehicle (if any) caused, or significantly contributed to, an incident.
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Old Apr 20th 2012, 3:32 am
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Default Re: Interpretation of the law

Originally Posted by Im_and_Er
What Fred says is true however if 'irregularities' are found to exist which, had they known about them would have caused your insurance company to withdraw your cover, which BTW they can do at any time and for any reason by sending 7 days written notification to the last address they have for you, then it's possible for them to subsequently pursue you for their losses. What they cannot do is summarily cancel cover without giving notice or in the aftermath of an accident when 'irregularities' often come to light.

From this we can go on to debunk another popular myth, the one which has it that the lack of a valid MOT invalidates your insurance, it doesn't, and insurance companies are on even shakier ground here as they cannot just use the fact of no MOT itself to limit payouts to 3rd parties. To do that they must reasonably prove that actual defects found in a non MOT'd vehicle (if any) caused, or significantly contributed to, an incident.
Another interesting one. You live and learn, eh!
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Old Apr 20th 2012, 4:24 am
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Default Re: Interpretation of the law

Originally Posted by Im_and_Er

From this we can go on to debunk another popular myth, the one which has it that the lack of a valid MOT invalidates your insurance, it doesn't,
I asked Linea Directa that precise question and they confirmed that a lack of ITV had no effect on the policy.

If you check the small print on your policy document you not find an MOT/ITV mentioned as a requirement - only that you must keep the vehicle in a roadworthy condition - which has nothing to do with a 10 minute, once a year test.

The arbiters of whether is was roadworthy at the time of an accident will be the Guardia technical people and the insurance company engineers. Even it is wasn't deemed to be roadworthy any third party claims would still be met.
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Old Apr 20th 2012, 7:21 am
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Default Re: Interpretation of the law

Thanks everyone for your helpful replies, it certainly seems that the Spanish authorities are acting contrary to E.U. law.
Also it looks like I wouldn't be able to matriculate my vehicle anyway, as it's a right hand drive pick-up truck, which would be classed as a commercial vehicle.
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Old Apr 20th 2012, 11:12 pm
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Default Re: Interpretation of the law

Originally Posted by paulven
Thanks everyone for your helpful replies, it certainly seems that the Spanish authorities are acting contrary to E.U. law.
Also it looks like I wouldn't be able to matriculate my vehicle anyway, as it's a right hand drive pick-up truck, which would be classed as a commercial vehicle.
Even the UK gets in on this, last year there wer a lot of reports stating that people were having the reg. numbers of non UK cars noted, if that car was then seen a month later, then the owner would have to prove that it was in the UK legally, ferry tickets, tunnel tickets etc. Your only hope is that you can prove it hasn't been in Spain for more than the 183 days.
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