A live situation that I am dealing with at the moment has reinforced the reason why anyone contemplating buying a Spanish registered vehicle should have a background or history check on the vehicle

Coupled with this are the arbitrary decisions made by the authorities here over two cars that had been registered in Spain, then in the UK and wanted to come home with new owners

Why have a background check? Cars cost a lot of money and are said to be the biggest capital outlay that most of us will make apart from our homes. The sad history of expats of all nationalities buying homes in Spain that have turned out to be illegal will have focussed a few minds. For different reasons similar caution needs to be used when buying vehicles.

Informe de Cargas

The background check “Informe de Cargas” will supply the date of first registration, name and address of the registered keeper, vehicle details, number of previous transfers of ownership including the date of the last change, date of last and next ITV plus any outstanding debts. To apply for a check, you will need to supply your identity and a reason why you are enquiring. Specialist gestorias or people in my profession can do this for you in a very short time

Mostly the checks prove that all is in order, so you can go ahead and buy with peace of mind, but the live case has thrown up an interesting situation in that a very attractive looking car is for sale on eBay at the right price. Pictures included the registration document in the name of the seller. The background check showed that all seemed in order except that the name of the seller does not coincide with the name of the registered keeper

The seller seems to have owned the car at some time but no longer, so the mind starts wondering. Is the log book a forgery? Has she stolen the car back after selling it and hidden the new owner in the boot? Are she and the registered keeper undertaking some sort of scam? After all if the sale is legit’ why not advertise with the new log book? We are on the trail and await the outcome with interest

Car “clocking”

The recent scandal of the seemingly respectable second hand dealership having branches in several provinces spurned headlines such as “Missing Miles Make Motorists Mad” and “Shady dealer clocked off” after it was revealed that the time-honoured dodge of turning back the recorded kilometres is alive and well.

The ITV card is an excellent document for recording ITV passes and failures but it does not show the kilometres covered as this is only shown on the ITV report of the inspection. I once tried to find the “mileage” for a client but was advised that this could only be obtained by the registered keeper going to the ITV station that undertook the last inspection and asking for a copy of the report- very practical

Former Spanish cars

Background checks are vital if you are buying a Spanish vehicle from outside of Spain. Believe it or not, the fact that a vehicle was once registered here does not mean that it can be again! Different procedures and the ubiquitous paperwork mountain apply depending upon whether the car was declared exported from Spain or not when it went to the colder climes of Northern Europe. To be frank it is simpler if the vehicles had never driven on our lovely highways. In two recent such cases, one new owner had to pay 3 years of road tax unpaid by the previous owner before the car could be registered again, whist another buyer had to pay registration tax despite this having been paid when the car was purchased new in this country. Taxmen eh? Heads they win; tails they can’t lose!

Be cautious and stay happy