“Yes madam, how can I help?” “I’m thinking of re-registering my car”

“May I ask you some questions please?” “Yes, go ahead”

“What car is it?” “Er a Ford”

“Engine size?” Er, Fred what is the car’s engine size?”

(shout from the back ground, repeated by wife) “1600”

“Diesel or petrol? “ “Is it diesel or petrol Fred?”


“Colour?” “Oh I know that one it’s blue!”

Later on

“Spanish Number Plates?” “Yes sir, how can I help?”

“Gotta car to put onto Spanish plates”

“Good, may I ask you some questions please? “ “Why? “(belligerently)

“I need to see if you have to pay import tax or can gain exemption.” “I don’t need to pay the tax as I brought the car over with me”

“I see; are you on the Padron?” “Yes, been on it for years”

“In that case I’m afraid that you will be liable for the tax.” “That’s not what my mate down the pub told me”

And so on, you get the gist

I’ve had a few conversations like this and dealt with one or two people who in retrospect I wish had called some one else. Still people are people and 98 % of the customers that I have dealt with are nice, easy going and a pleasure to work for.

My business involves dealing with people and constantly reassuring them by words and deeds that they are in good hands. Challenges or as some people see them, problems can and do occur with vehicles, but more often than not with paperwork; well what do you expect in a country where the bureaucrats rule?

Occasional hurdles

The vehicle chassis number can be a tricky area. This has to be clean and clear so that a rubbing can be made of it. First you have to find it!

Tyres. Now these can be fun! Most people are aware that they have to be the same on the same axle. Most people are completely unaware that each tyre has a maximum speed rating. Such ratings may be for speeds that only a Ferrari can achieve, but any tyre below the minimum for the car will entail the car failing the ITV. In the UK the rating seems to be ignored by the fast fit brigade and MOT stations, but not so here. If you are unsure, check the car manual or ask a main dealer

“Yes mate I’ve adjusted my headlights, they are OK” has been confidently said to me, then later at the ITV station I say “excuse me sir, but your lights are English; please come and have a look” “Well I adjusted them down, thought that it would be OK”. Did you get them checked out on a beam setter at a garage after adjusting them? No, well that would have been the best thing to do

Oh no, not again!

DVLA. Now I am in almost constant touch with DVLA in Swansea, but never with the licensing authorities in other countries despite re-registering cars from all over the world. This is because they make so many mistakes it beggars belief and for me as a Brit, somewhat embarrassing when the boys at the ITV say “yet another mistake here Graham”. Such mistakes can be hard to spot until it is too late. This ranges from simple spelling mistakes to the chassis number being jumbled up

Very taxing

However, these problems pale into insignificance when trying to overcome obstacles with the tax office and even worse with Trafico who seem to wield extraordinary power. Yeah I know that the county needs more money, but any excuse to get their hands on mine and yours is getting to extreme lengths. One of the worse scams is that background checks on former Spanish cars do not show outstanding road tax, even though Trafico know it is there, so the new owner gets clobbered for this.

Good job that my head finds a way through the brick walls!