We have all read the reports in the press about some dealer or other selling cars with the clocks wound back to show less mileage or kilometres, tsk, tsk, not just in the UK then! Well Trafico are trying to minimise this problem by having the distance covered shown on the registration document when cars are imported, but what about those that have always been registered in Spain?

A reputable seller whether trade or private will have kept previous ITV reports that show the KM’s at the time of inspection, or a service history which also shows this information. If neither are available, then think twice about buying. Also, save the information regarding your car in case you ever want to sell it. I was talking to a dealer only last week who regaled me with tales of one of his dodgy competitors (only one?!) who flogged a car with understated KM’s only for the buyer to find documentary evidence to the contrary under the spare wheel- oops

Stories abound of cars knocked off in other countries ending up here and being re-registered. These guys are either very clever or are greasing many palms. What in Spain Graham??

Perish the thought

Overzealous Clampdown?

So, a clampdown has begun and as with all changes in this both blessed and accursed country, we find out about these after the event, so that a well-trodden path that can be followed by a blind drunkard who has staggered along it many times before suddenly finds a new obstacle that some bugger has devised. I take the role of blind drunkard, but without the accompanying stupefying effect of the booze, which at times would come in handy

As is the custom, problems, obstacles or just bloody-mindedness come along in bunches and this week has been no exception. The prize goes to this one. A client bought a car in Belgium, took it to their native Holland and registered it in his name in temporary export plates to get around paying the high levels of road tax in the Netherlands and brought it to Spain Subsequently I presented the documents which included authorised copies of the previous Belgian docs. Well Trafico were not satisfied with this and have demanded to see the  purchase invoice which in itself is not a problem. But, I pointed out, here in Spain in order to register a car, the owner has to provide all sorts of papers including identification and proof  of ownership, the same will apply in Holland and other countries, so why doubt the word of your fellow EU colleagues?

Another client has a German car on temporary export plates purchased through a VAT registered dealer who has supplied an invoice, but as the car is registered to an employee of the company and not the company itself, more proof of ownership is required

Another one has bought a car from a private individual who sold it to another person who sold it to my client. I am advised that unless the middleman is a dealer re-registration will not take place despite us providing passport copies of all involved

Yet another, a Swede, has bought a UK registered car from someone who may or may not be the owner who has “lost” the paperwork. The HPI check is sound so it has not been stolen, but I am not getting involved with this one without proof of valid ownership from the Brit who sold it, I have a reputation to protect!

So, how does this affect you?

Well, firstly put aside emotions when buying. OK it may drive like a dream, be just what you are looking for and the wife loves the colour which is the vital clincher in any sale, but can the seller verify its history, does he have all of the car’s papers including copies of passport, NIE or DNI? If in doubt, walk away, there is no shortage of cars for sale