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So you want to live in Spain and bring your 80 with you.


Well-Known Member
Mar 26, 2010
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Bringing a RHD car into Spain is pretty straightforward....well it was before Brexit, so check out the maximum amount of time allowed before you MUST matriculate (import), it was around three months at one time but the rules change here based on direction of wind and other such things that no one understands.

So you bring your fully insured and taxed vehicle with a current MOT into Spain, and you want to keep it here. Well no problem, you will need your passport, an 'NIE' from one of the larger police stations or an office next door. The NIE is a document with a number that denotes you have some financial dealing in Spain, you need it for example to buy a TV , and of course tax and insure the car for example once your current insurance runs out, which it will do the moment you pay the import duty as you will be issued with a different set of number plates, or be given the documents to go and buy them yourself. Sounds easy enough right and to be fair it generally is, unless you own an 80, and of course choose the wrong province to ITV the car, and live in a different province. Don't get me wrong things are getting better but provincial rules that were never really sorted out many years ago still exist.

As some of what I am about to type (unable to drive presently so bored) is going to sound at best odd and at worst exaggerated, I will use my own experience with my own 80 going back around 10 years. So having lived here for a few years I decided to import an 80 I purchased from the UK, it had everything I wanted cloth seat, triple locked and it all worked! So once the 80 was here I drove it around for a month and after a thorough check I presented it for 'matriculation' that is start the import process. So as my Spanish language skills were at best crap (and not much better now), I took my American partner with me, she speaks English of course and was born to Spanish parents, her interest in languages soon had her speaking Spanish, Italian, French, German and just for good measure some Chinese and Russian, so translation is not going to be an issue. So the head honcho at the ITV station tells me he is very sorry but the rules have changed, I must keep the car legal in the country of origin for a minimum of six months. So I went back after the 80 had been in Spain six months, and was told by the same guy that the time before matriculation can occur had been extended to 1 year, so I duly went back with just one more week before my brief run out in the UK! I was told I need to have the car inspected in Alicante some 2 hours drive away and that is all motorway and it was going to cost a thousand euros plus fuel there and back just for an inspection to see if my 80 complied with Spanish road law, as he was telling me this I was watching cars being tested and passed that were so rusty you could get in the car without opening the doors!! ! So now I was getting into an argument about the 'goal posts' keep moving and back then I was not the most tolerant of people and my partner knew it would not be long before I gave the guy a good hiding as I got the feeling he did not like the English and felt he was taking the piss, and with my East End upbringing which shall we say was......... turbulent? My partner knew where this was going, so hauled me out and we decided to go around twenty miles into the neighbouring province to see if we faired any better? We entered the ITV station and once we obtained an CoEC or Certificate of European Conformity (80 euros) the car was given an ITV but herein starts other issues as we live in a different province to where the car was being inspected.

In Spain the Land Cruiser 80 regardless of model never had the third row of seats, the maximum amount of seats in a car is 7 so 80's only came into Spain new with 5 seats, and here I am with an 8 seater car! But there are contingency plans for this. Because the 8 is not allowed and you cannot remove one seat as the rearmost seat on the 80 are one and a half each, removing one will mean having only six and a half so is considered an illegal modification, so despite the rear seats being removable without tools if I took them all out for the inspection i.e. only five there would be less than that stated at the time of matriculation, so if I wanted to remove all the seats on a permanent basis I would have to go to a Toyota main dealer and have them release the clips and remove the seats, they then give me a document to say that the seats and brackets have been removed and this in no way alters the structural strength of the vehicle! Then the 80 has to go to the inspection station for them to confirm this and it is marked on the Ficha Technica (Vehicle data sheet), and then a copy is sent to the insurance company and that's that.........or is it? I use the 8 seats quite a lot, not drinking alcohol means I get to ferry friends about and get free soft drinks and lunch/dinner. :thumbup: So I left the 8 seats in place however it would fail the ITV unless I removed one of the rearmost seat belts indicating I would only carry seven Almeria. So I had the car inspected the following year in Murcia where I live and it failed, seat belt missing! In Murcia a belt must be fitted for every seat, fortunately I had not thrown away the belt and refitted it and now the car was passed. But I live in Murcia where the law states if there are 8 seats there must be 8 belts and the car is insured for 8 people! So that's no. My house is in the campo (countryside) on the Murcia/Almeria border which cuts across the path outside my house, which means to leave the house I have no choice to cross the border into Almeria and then cross back into Murcia as the mud track turns back on itself, and then I reach the tarmac road, if I turn right all is well as I am entering Murcia and I have an 8 seater car with 8 seat belts however, if I turn left into Almeria I have to pull over and remove one of the seat I am going to do that!! And the answer is apart from one year I only have the car inspected in Murcia and leave all the belts in, if stopped in Almeria I have a good argument....well at least I think I have?

One year I could not get my car in for an inspection in Murcia, unlike the UK in Spain you are lucky if you live within an hours drive from the nearest ITV station although that has changed over the last couple of years and even small towns are getting a station, so the one year I took the car to be tested once more in Almeria and it was about to be failed because I had fitted a sunroof! When the 80 went on sale in many parts of Europe they either had a sunroof or AC and never both. I had to argue like hell to get the tester to understand that in the UK you can have both!! I now have a Ficha Technica that is amended to state that fact that my car was produced for the UK market as is! So I have a legal....ish car in Spain so everything from now on will be plain sailing right...wrong!

So in the UK if you go into say Fords, or Toyota or any other dealer or even a corner car spares shop the person who will serve you will be a someone who knows it is a spark plug you just put on the counter and give you however many you ask for, or you might say "Can I have a set of plugs for my Escort please?" And the guy will hand you a set of BP6ES plugs, or N9Y's for the over head valve model. Now this man at the counter (I am not being sexist here, just pointing out it is more likely to be a man), but he will be either an ex mechanic or some spotty kid who has just got his first car and is all over it like a bad fitting coat! He will be savvy and keen to please and will be in 'car learning' mode. In Spain it is different, here like most other countries plumbing is a trade, as of course is an electrician, and here so is 'office worker'. That is invariably a woman again no sexist slant here, it's just how it is. She will be brilliant at working the computer, making the printer work, and having filing skills beyond anything you would expect.....most of the time. As an office worker and being able to operate a computer and sort invoices she can get a job anywhere that those skills might be needed....including behind a car spares counter! So in you go with your 'bujia' or spark plug and she has no idea what it is! And no parts are given out unless you present your Ficha Technica or log book come data sheet and this goes without saying whether it is a woman or man behind the counter. So I go into the dealer or spares shop and tell them what I want and more often than not there will be a female trained 'office worker', and when they get to know you they turn the screen around and slip the keyboard over to you so you can order your own parts, of course I leave them to do the paperwork! :icon-rolleyes:

I mentioned the office worker being good most of the time, in a lot of official buildings there are quite a few male office workers and like the women they are generally competent in their job. Now you rarely get a reminder for your vehicles yearly inspection but this is improving, road tax on the other hand they simply just take if from your bank and you rarely get a warning. There is no incremental road tax, that is it is billed from the 1st of January until the 31st of December this is in all provinces as far as I know however, you do not get billed for it until around April because it takes awhile for them to work out what they are going to charge based on the income from the government, that is each province makes it's own decision on road tax cost, it is not unusual for someone living in Murcia to tax their car from their friends house in another province where the tax could be as much as 40% cheaper. As an aside it is the car that is insured and not the driver, assuming you have a full licence you can get in any insured car and legally drive it, although recently they have increased the age you can hire a car, and some insurance companies have put age limits for example no under 21's without permission, which rarely costs more if it is for example a son or daughter over for a couple of weeks holiday.

So, back to office workers, I noticed the car tax payment had been taken from via my statement (never the easiest to understand by the way), and then it was taken a second time and before I could get to the new tax office which was opened (because the town hall was deemed to be a little lax at collecting local taxes and road tax being one of them), a third payment was taken each one IIRC 230.00 euros, cheap by UK standards but not the point, so I quickly notified the bank that no more road tax payments to be made until I had sorted this out. Of course making an appointment is like pulling teeth, in the meantime I get an 'Aviso' which is a note to say the post office is holding a document for me. So collecting the document it advises that I have not paid the road tax and was being fined 20.00 euros so now owed 250.00! So I gets to the tax office and the trained office worker explained that the bank has stopped the payments so I am to be fined. I assured her I had paid the road tax and as I get 5% of my cars running costs (not 21% as for my work van), my documents were with the accountant (in Spain you hand in business document every three months although the 'Asseroria' (accountant) prefers them monthly for which they charge me 60.00 euros per month at the same time! With bank statements in hand and documents from the accountant I head back to the tax office, and in case I am getting my Spanglish wrong I take my partner, and hand all the documentation over and insist on a refund of not only the 460.00 euros but also the 20.00 euro fine. She takes the papers and points at the computer screen and says it is all correct and it is my fault for being 'Muy rico' or very rich and should not own so many cars! She turns the screen around so Ana and I can see it and sure enough there is my Land Cruiser,,,,and there is another....and another ..and...yes there were EIGHT Land Cruiser's listed under my name and address and NIE number.........and all had the same registration number!! It was only when I pointed that out that she realised the data base had the data columns with the wrong parameters, for example it should be impossible to have two cars with the same registration number. It took another three months to get my money back....oh and as I had stopped payments to the tax office my income tax rebate was withheld, they recognised the error at the tax office, but no problem they would correct it the following tax year! Now you know why the NIE number is so important, it is used to monitor all income and outgoings and pretty much everything that happens around your life that has to do with money.

And steering away from cars for the moment, if you need a document from say the town hall to register with a doctor or whatever, always ask if there is just the one document you need or you might find yourself in a queue the following day waiting for another document because you did not ask and they certainly would not offer. You would think a country that is dripping in bureaucracy they would be good at it!

Spain is an easy country to fall in love with and I have, but if you are an impatient person then readjust before you get here as much as you can, I have been here around sixteen years and still find I have to walk away from certain situations before my blood starts to boil, you really must learn to chill, and never ever throw away any piece of paper you are given, write when and where you got it and file it away, I guarantee you will need it in a year or two!!


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Dave I too saw such bureaucratic delays. Can’t we bribe someone and get it sorted?
Wow and I thought that I have brain farts spose walking in Spain is just as difficult as registering a vehicle nice read though thanks Dave
You don't have a travel blog do you Dave? More information there than on a government website! This is quite interesting for us at the moment. We used to have a place in Portugal (Silves), still regretting selling! But for a change, have been considering Jerez, as we love that area. So.... I've now copied and pasted your post for future reference. Thanks.
Dave I too saw such bureaucratic delays. Can’t we bribe someone and get it sorted?
Just in case Chris the moderator is watching this thread, I have an excuse for copying quotes...I have a bit of brain missing, so can't be told off. :lol:

Of course Raj. the problem is the bribe rates have gone up since Brexit! :lol:


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@Tractionman Now it's more about making sure you fit in with the locals, it took me two years to get my feet under the workbench so's to speak.


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Some more on moving to Spain.

Having stayed at my ex's for a few days in town I remember why I moved out and headed to the campo. If you wish to live in town where the 'action' is then it is going to almost certainly in an apartment, my ex's apartment is on the main road through town but just 500 metres from the sea, so quite busy. Her apartment has four bedrooms a bathroom with shower, bath, toilet and sink and a second toilet. The balcony and small terrace looks over the main road and is quite noisy, more of that later.

So what should you know if you are going to live in town?

First, unless you are as fit as a butchers dog and will remain so as you move into your......shall we say less able years? Don't get an apartment without a lift, yes there a four and five floors apartment blocks with no lift!

Second, NEVER choose an apartment on the first floor......that is...NEVER....did I say NEVER? Apart from the aforementioned noise there are things you don't think about, for example traffic film, most vehicles in Spain are diesel and as they tick over in traffic outside or speeding through it makes no difference, you WILL get a thin layer of traffic film on your furniture, belongings, and anywhere else this stuff can settle, this is not just dust but a thin black layer which means a thorough clean through very week if not every two or three days!

Another reason to not live on the first floor, sewerage, yes I am afraid so. The drains (street and sewerage) are not particularly good! OK the streets are not too bad but remember being near the coast is where the water will run downhill to the sea, so flooded streets that stay that way for two or three days after a 'Gota Frier' (Not sure about the spelling but means Cold drop), and jeez when it rains rains! Most parking in towns is in underground garages, so yes they often DO get filled to the ceiling with water, your pride and joy ruined in a few hours, it happens!

So what's this about sewerage? Well if one of the underground sewers gets blocked, and starts to 'back up' and you are on the first floor.........need I say more? So second floor allows the occupants on the first floor to deal with the 'issue' before occupants on the subsequent floors have too. So it seems the top floor away from the dust and noise is the way to go right? Well no, Seagulls nest on the roofs and often on your balcony unless you put up nets, they even nest on top of the air conditioning units, and these things are nasty...really nasty. And forget that BS about birds other than owls do not fly at night, seagulls fly at night and make horrendous noises as they do. So you want something about second floor up or second floor down from the top if that makes sense?

So to the parking assuming you purchase the apartment and forgot to ensure the underground garage was included in the deal, the original owner will rent it out at a premium and you have lost your chance to park your car in reasonable safety except for the rainy season. So where do you park? Of course parking spaces in town are limited, you can get a residence permit which you would think you can get a choice of parking spaces...nope afraid not, many people without the permit still park there and will get fined 15 euros...unless you pay the fine at the machine instead of the town hall, so around five euros! Well there is always the road by the beach, there are often parking spaces there with no charges, but they will only be there during the winter months. As the weather warms many people drive their car to the beach road with all there brolly's, blankets, and other beach 'stuff' in the boot and leave their car there, this means just carrying a couple of drinks and sandwich's to the beach, during the summer it is not unusual to see the same cars parked there for weeks and even months!

Many people park in the 'Rambla's or 'Rio's, they are run offs for the rain water or dry river beds and can often be five or more feet deep flowing at 40+ MPH, cars (and sadly people) do get washed out to sea, they (the cars) are rarely recovered and become 'unknown navigation hazards', those that are recovered are jet washed off inside and out and made to run, and then are put up for sale to an unsuspecting buyer...caveat emptor! Note it is illegal to park in such places and insurance will not cover you if you do!

Earlier I mentioned noise, well first the Spanish tend to have an evening meal around eight or nine at night, then get ready and go to out to the bars and get merry, presently there is a curfew (all closed at honest! So the party goers will be singing and generally making a nuisance of themselves but hey you chose to live in town right? Around 03.00 the car and motorbikes will head towards the port, these are the fisher men and women about to board the vessels to go and get the fresh fish in for the local fish market. By 03.30 the town quietens down again until 04.30 when the dustmen come along, some of the dustbins are underground, to the dust cart pulls up and connects an airline to a plug ion the floor and then rev the fecking arse off there truck to 'pump' the bins up from underground and there are normally a pair of them, the whole process taking around twenty minutes? So now you are going back to sleep and around 06.00 a road sweeper comes through, this in itself is not a problem, not particularly noisy however, there will be a guy with a petrol driven garden leaf blower, he will be walking just in front of the road sweeper pointing his blower from the pavement and under cars to blow rubbish out into the middle of the road for the road sweeper to hoover up, revving the arse out of that as well! And I think you know where this is going.....yes he will be back as the road sweeper come around again so the guy can use the blower on the other side of the the pavement! And that is the end of your 'nights' sleep , the small bins outside the shops and banks need opening and emptying, then along come the dustbin lorry to empty the above ground bins, and then the truck that empties the bottle banks.

Do you get used to it........sort of.

Next installment the other side of the coin, living in the campo or countryside.


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I'd say enjoy your convalescence by writing a book "Spain through the eyes of an Englishman" but i suppose blogs replaced books some time ago .

You have a talent for it though :thumbup:
I was looking at some house prices and they dosent seem to be expensive for the size and facilities and yet there are couple of houses with prices reduced.
I rarely see any house prices reduced back in Reading surrounding. Is Spain real estate going down hill?
The place looks like a paradise (flats are not for me. I never liked concept of flats). but I might ve to look deep.
The cab driver who dropped me here is from Scotland. He settled here 20 years ago. He is all praises for Spain
I have to agree the houses are cheap but you have to be fact very careful!

A lot of the cheaper houses do not have an Escritura (deeds), so they may be illegal, for example you buy a small piece of land and build a house, and then wait for someone who is not savvy when they see the 'cheap' house and they buy it. It is very possible it has been built without the correct style of footings. remember lots of areas of Spain are in earthquake zones. The builder/owner will have been fined but he knows some poor soul will take it off his hands and he will not lose money, there is less of this now but it still goes on.

Assuming the house was legally built, before it can be connected to the mains water and electricity it has to have a letter of habitation, without it you may not get electricity but you may get water as water companies cannot refuse because water comes under the human rights system in Europe, typical connection fee...circa euro 8,000.00! Of course if the building was illegal it cannot have a letter of habitation, now you are stuck with a generator (frowned on for obvious reasons) or install a solar system, a DECENT system might be 25,000?

Both of the above examples may not be connected to the mains sewerage, it is not uncommon to find there is a 'Pozo Negra' (a hole with a lid) somewhere in the back garden.....or even in the neighbours! An old trick is to connect to the neighbours Pozo Negra (with his agreement) when building the house, when the neighbour see's it becoming due to be emptied he will either give you the bill (around 150 - 250 euros) and if you kick up a stink (meant that) he will simply slide the shutter down on your pipe and wait until your toilets back up! And depending on his attitude and of course yours you may be charged more because the truck has to access his garden. Of course you could always install your own pozo, and depending where the original pipes run it could cost you a lot of money, and of course if you have room in the garden. It is not uncommon for a land owner to 'give' part or lots of the land the new house is to be built on to the neighbours so they will not create when the house is being built, that land is now the neighbours and it will have been written into his/their deeds.

If access to the house is in the campo or countryside you may find (after moving in) that there is an 'access fee', this again is completely legal. It is because a farmer or local land owner has given permission for access and will charge a yearly fee. I cannot remember the exact figures but it can start for new owners around 500.00 per year and has to stay the same for three years, after that he can charge what he wants. Please be aware this is stuff that I know about although numbers may be different?

So you say. "I know, I will buy a house that is on an urbanisation." Now that does sound like a safe bet right? Wrong! A short distance from where I live a new (15 years back) set of houses were built, and the builder applied for all the permissions and so forth, the permission was granted for 40 houses with 'X' plot of land. The builder thinking he would make some extra money he reduced the 'fire gap' between the houses. I cannot remember what the gap is but it is obviously there to stop one house fire catching light to the next. So he reduced the fire gap by whatever it was......say six sorry 15 centimeters? By doing this he would end up with enough space on the land to build another house or two and of course benefit financialy when they were sold, someone in the town hall waited until he finished the entire plot of houses and then turned up with a tape measure, and then condemned the entire 40+ houses, and what made it worse was he had already sold many of them to people 'off plan', they lost their money but the off plan purchases were enough to cover his building costs and still leave him with profit!! Some people had even moved in as the paint dried, of course they all had eviction notices because of the fire risk.

There are so many cons here, I lived in a house for a couple of years and went to the UK to spend some time with family, upon returning I had a huge electric bill! How could that happen I was in the UK a month? So I goes out to read my meter (there are 6 in a large box) with my power tripped out from within the house, the wheel inside was still spinning so fast the markings on the wheel were sliding off! A careful inspection showed that one of my neighbours had tapped into my supply, they were a mixture of German, English, Austrian....oh and a Spaniard. The ground around the various houses had been turned over by a tractor (why I did the time) and it was going to be difficult to find out who it was, so I disconnected the supply during the working day and then reconnected it but running the wires not through the back of the box, but through the front door of it. I then called the emergency department from the elctricity company in the evening of a Friday and when they turned up (complete with flashing orange lights) I pointed out that kids were playing football near the wires and would they (the electric people) be so kind to tuck the wires know for safety? One of the electric guys started dressing up in a heavy rubber not that kind......pfft, and complete with a flash shield pulled down he cut though the wires and there certainly was a flash, the first person out of his house to find out why his free (to him) electricity had been cut off was..............and he had NO electricy for around a week!

So, as you can see making a purchase of a house and in fact any form of property can turn to quicksand at a moments notice. If you decide you want to purchase here get a good Abogado or lawyer they will be worth their weight in gold, and unless you are fluent in Spanish and I mean FLUENT, then find a spanish person who speaks good English, pretty much every English person here who claims to speak Spanish actually means they can go and ask for stuff in a shop, or perhaps make their dinner order sound pretty good. Me yeh of course I can speak Spanish......well I can order my dinner and chat to the guys in the spares shops, and of course the 'mechanics barbaque'! Now I just know you are impressed but, if I want something sorted out in the bank, at the hospital or anything legal I take my ex, and whilst she is not Spanish, she was born in America to Spanish parents, so that makes her fluent in Spanish, English....well the dodgy American English (glad she won't be reading this), oh and did I mention she owns her own language school where she has degrees in 'Our' English, German, Italian, French...oh and throw in some Chinese and Russian...not so sure I should have said Russian given the current climate, either way I am well covered.

In closing, you CAN buy yourself a beautiful property here but the Spanish have a way of telling you what you want to hear, again up the road one of the ugliest buildings ever, I find it burning my iris's eveytime I look at it but, LOADS of people from the UK bought there, the building was up and there were tractors moving around the land around what is known as 'The Pyramide' (other than having a top and a bottom it looks nothing like Pyramide), because the lucky owners were going to be in the middle of a huge golf course.....WOW! I hear you say..........and twenty years on there is no golf course and does not look like there ever will be, the residents outlook is fields of weeds.

I have lived here for around sixteen years, built a business here during that time, most of the people are friendly enough and as I have mentioned the health system is beyond reproach, but if the phrase 'Caveat Emptor' was ever inteneded to warn people, then it must be used here.


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Wow that’s very informative Dave. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. After work, yesterday evening I took a cab and went around the town. All the apartment blocks are almost empty. Felt like at some point properties were overbuilt. I will have to come back again with fluent Spanish to understand life in Spain more.
If you are planning on living in Alicante then depending on the location then fluent Spanish will not be fully understood. There is a lot of Valencian spoke in Alicante and also Catalan. The Valencian will be difficult enough however a person who speaks Catalan will not have a clue what you are saying....and neither will you? There are around four or five different lanaguges spoken in Spain and Spanish is the most common, but many huge areas speak the Basque language and as I said the Catalan, and they are not even close to Spainsh, in fact as you enter Alicante you will see the road signs being displayed in TWO differetn langauges. As I understand it (sort of) the more South you are the more chance your Spanish will work. But even then there is local dialects to deal with and of course pronounciation (I am looking at that and the spelling seems sort of off) anyway, I live in Aguilas, the letter 'S' is pretty much never used, so I live in 'Aguila'.

The empty apartments in particular near airports/beaches are purchased by the Spanish to rent out to holiday makers, often the 'president' of the urbaniasation will not spend the money he collects from residents does not go on repairs or lift maintenance for example. I know I paint Spain as a 'dodgy' place to live....and it can be, you simply need to talk to the right people. If you chat to someone in the UK who has lived here and then returned to the UK and seems to have all the answers you have to wonder why they went back? Missing the family is often cited as the reason, the truth may not really be in that answer!


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Everything that Dave has said is right.Our experience of moving permanently to Spain started with five years of research and several trips to different areas. The art is to know what you want and where you want it. But after 'the gift that keeps on giving' some things have changed - e.g. if you are retaining your house in the UK you can only stay here for 3 months at a time (UK rules) but if you are looking to move completely and are not of retirement age then you would need to be able to show an annual income of 27,000 euros to get your TIE card which is an updated NIE without which you cannot buy a property. If you are fully retired then the income requirements are proven by your pension/s and the limits are different.
Many people want to live here after a couple of weeks fabulous holiday and we were probably no exception but take a trip to the area you think you want to live in out of season - we did our first out-of-season trip in February - and not surprisingly we live nearly a thousand kilometres from that area. When budgeting remember that aside from the lawyers and estate agents fees that there will be land registry fees and a small tax based on the purchase price due. When you sell you are taxed on the sale price less the declared purchase price.
We have noticed that more Brits, Dutch and Germans are renting a place in the area they have chosen for a few months and in that time can get to know some of the local expats, learn who the good gestors (professionals dedicated to helping with the Spanish bureaucracy but who are not quite lawyers and are therefore cheaper) are and it gives them time to hear of properties that are coming on the market etc.. They also find out if that is the place for them. Social life in Spain happens in the bars and they are the source of information.

Moving abroad, to whatever country, is an adventure and things will be different but that is part of the experience.


Thanks Dave, Rodger,
I am always in search…don’t know what I am looking for but I ll know when I find it. Like the way I entered in this club. I didn’t knew what a forum is but felt this is for me n m here.
From now my Landcruiser will be my companion in my soul search. LC is already preparing me for that. I am lazy, never handled any tools etc. now I spoiled my hands with DIY works. If the LC was all good, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to kick that Lazy me out of me.
Next time, where ever I go, I go with LC. Currently not driving my beast as it’s not upto my expectations.
The dream overland I have in mind is way of exploring societies, happiness, core human values, self content society etc etc.. Spain could be that..don’t know but I ll visit Spain couple of times with my LC.
I've been in Mediterranean France permanently for 14 odd years. The pitfalls are different to Spain but it's all about avoiding the mindset that says "it'll be like Britain but they speak a different language". Virtually all administrative suff is now done online her and you can import/register your car from the comfort of your house (which was a lot cheaper than an English equivalent). Having said that, you can't easily register a JDM car - it's simply not worth the expense. As Dave and Roger point out, it's not like living a 52 week holiday.

"MOT" is every two years and there's no "road tax" here.
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The ITV or MOT for inspection for registering here in Spain starts via you entering the inspection station with your car, your registered address in Spain, an NIE, a sort of tracking document for property, you also need a Certificate of European Conformity get from vehicle manufacture or the ITV station will supply for a cost, depending on the vehicles age, type.weight decides on the inspections. The inspections are 4 yearly from new, 2 yearly after the first four years and then yearly after the vehicle is 10 years old. I am unsure how the 'utility' vehicle rule applies here to imported vehicles, in Spain, it is a bit of a minefield, you could end up with six monthly inspections, but that would need to be checked up on.

Re the JDM import the main reason I have found for the increase in cost is due to the chassis number, the standard 17 digit used in Europe is not used in Japan, or America either, so the issue is the computers basically don't work so a lot of manual inputting has to be done, and trying to get a COEC can can be difficult.

Road tax is yearly from the 1st of January until the 31st December however, you do not get the bill for the road tax until around April or may, if it is not paid by the 20th of June you get fined, could be as much as 20 euros!


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