Electric scooters in Spain

electric scooters in spain

People have mixed opinions about electric scooters in Spain since they hit our streets in numbers a few years ago. Their volume grew substantially when numerous companies appeared in the big cities. By downloading the company’s app on your mobile phone it became easy to obtain and use an electric scooter. 

There are obvious advantages in cities or large towns. A not insignificant part of a working days income could be swallowed up in car park charges. Finding and then buying a parking space or even renting one is often completely out of the question. Even more so if you are a low paid worker or studying at a university in the city.

Then there is the environmental impact. Low costs to manufacture, using electricity rather than high polluting fuels such as petrol and diesel vehicles. The electric scooter also enabled one to avoid cramped buses with inconvenient timetables or irritating routes.
 
In most of Spain at least, there is also the added benefit of some pretty good weather to enjoy.
 

However, like most things the explosion of electric scooters in Spain ran faster than the accompanying law. This has lead to some frustration amongst non-scooter users on both the road and pavement. Because of the grey area in the road traffic law, a minority of electric scooter users have felt it was OK to roar down the pavement and weave in and out of pedestrians. Other sights seen have included, more than one person on a scooter, riding at night with no lights and riding with headphones on.

The traffic law was reformed on Tuesday 9 November 2020 although the new rules take effect on 2nd January 2021.

  1. Electric scooters must circulate on the road. They cannot be ridden on pavement or pedestrianised areas including pedestrain and zebra crossings.
  2. You cannot ride an electric scooter in Spain on roads between urban areas. Not unsurprisingly you cannot ride an electric scooter on a motorway either. In addition, you cannot ride your electric scooter through any tunnel.
  3. The user of an electric scooter in Spain can be asked to take a breathalyser test by the road traffic authorities
  4. It is not permitted to use headphones will using an electric scooter.
  5. An electric scooter will need to have a certificate of circulation like other vehicles. The document must specify the technical characteristics of the electric scooter which in turn must be approved by the DGT. This will be a legal requirement within 24 months
electric scooters in spain

Traffic law reform in Spain sees six points for using a mobile phone and 30 kph max speed on urban streets

Traffic law reform in Spain

The penalty for driving whilst speaking with a mobile phone has been increased to 6 points. This was just one of several changes to the road traffic law in Spain.

On Tuesday this week, the Council of Ministers approved various reforms. These include an increase from three to four points the penalty issued for driving without a seat belt. This points penalty is also the same for not have appropriate child restraints or not wearing a crash helmet on a motorcycle.

Other changes include a fine of 500 euros and the loss of three points for having a device that detects speed cameras. This should not be confused with navigation devices that use a database and identify where fixed speed cameras are placed. Please see this article as to what is legal and illegal.

New speed limits

Additionally, urban streets have a new maximum speed limit of 30 kilometres per hour. This is when there is only one lane in each direction. Where there is no difference in the height of the pavement and the road the speed limit will be further reduced to 20 kph.  If there are two lanes in each direction the limit is 50 kilometres per hour.

One other important change is the withdrawal of the law that allowed you to increase your speed by up to 20 kph above the actual speed limit. This was only permitted when overtaking a vehicle, not driving at the speed limit, on a conventional road.

Electric scooters

The legal position was clarified regarding the use of electric scooters. From 2 of January 2021 you cannot use an electric scooter on the pavement or in a pedestrianised area. The maximum speed is 25 kph.

The riders of electric scooters can be subjected to alcohol testing and they must not use headphones whilst operating the scooter.

Vehicles used by people with reduced mobility such as mobility scooters are exempt from these new reforms.

Traffic law reform in Spain
Traffic law reform in Spain
electric scooters in spain

When does all this start?

The modifications related to the Traffic Regulations and Vehicles will enter into force on January 2, 2021. However, the amendment to article 50 of the General Traffic Regulations (speeds in urban areas) will enter into force six months after its publication in the Official State Gazette so that citizens know them adequately and so that public administrations have enough time to adapt the signage. The modifications related to the drivers regulation will come into force the day after the publication od the Royal Decree in the BOE.

Source: DGT.es

Notifications of fines in Spain

Traffic infringements are notified by normal post in Spain. If you are worried about receiving the notification, because the post service is not great in your area or you are out of the country a lot then we offer a special product for a flat annual fee. Once signed up you will receive an email or SMS text message to notify you if you have received a new fine.

How much is an ITV in Spain ?

How much is an ITV in Spain

The ITV is a regular road worthiness test that vehicles have to undergo in Spain. The frequency of the test depends on the vehicle type and its age. For more information on when your vehicle needs to be tested visit our page about the ITV in Spain.

The cost of the test is not uniform throughout Spain. Most autonomous communities set their own tariff. In some cases the ITV tests are carried out by the public authority, whereas in others the autonomous community has given the testing over to private companies. In the region of Murcia and Extremadura, a combination of public and private ITV stations exist.

For example, the private sector operate ITV tests in Andalucia (Veiasa), Asturias (Itvasa) or the Valencian Community (Ivace).

In Madrid, the ITV tests are even more liberalised. The public authority does not dictate the cost of the ITV test at all and leaves it to the private companies to decide an appropriate fee to charge.

How much is an ITV in Spain ?

How much is an ITV in Spain

Facua, the consumer organisation, recently researched this very question. This is what they found:

FACUA has detected differences of up to 167% in the fees of the mandatory Technical Inspection of Vehicles (ITV) for passenger cars with petrol engines and of 95.5% in diesel vehicles, depending on the autonomous community in which it is carried out. [ See table with rates].

The average price of the ITV in the seventeen autonomous communities is currently 34.52 euros for petrol cars and 41.23 euros for those equipped with a diesel engine.

The association’s analysis includes the ITV rates for passenger cars, both diesel and petrol with catalytic converters (the non-catalytic converter ones have less and less presence in the Spanish car fleet), as well as motorcycles. The prices collected include 21% VAT (or 7% of the Canarian IGIC, 9% of the IPSI of Ceuta and 4% of Melilla), but not the tax paid to Trafico, established at 4.1 euros for all inspections.

The most expensive and cheapest for cars fuelled by petrol.

Euskadi is the autonomous community with the highest ITV rate for petrol cars, 45.38 euros. It is followed by Cantabria, with 42 euros, and the Community of Madrid, where the average of the stations surveyed, which set rates without regional regulation, is 41.72 euros.

The cheapest rates for petrol passenger car inspections was Mallorca (in the Balearic Islands the management depends on each island council), 17 euros, Murcia (22.3 euros in the only station operated directly by the regional government, in the town of Alcantarilla) and Andalusia (26.19 euros for vehicles of less than 1,600 cubic centimeters and 35.4 euros for the rest).

The most expensive and the cheapest for cars fuelled by diesel

Regarding the ITV rates for diesel cars, the Community of Madrid is the most expensive, 56.04 euros on average. It is followed by the 48.26 euros that it costs to take the inspection in the private run ITV stations of Murcia (compared to 30.90 euros in the only public station in the region). In third place is Galicia, with 47.72 euros.

As for the lowest rates for the ITV of diesel cars, they are those of the public stations of Extremadura (28.67 euros), Navarra (29.4 euros) and those of Andalusia for cars of less than 1,600 cc. (30.79 euros).

Car Insurance Spain ITV

How much is a motorcycle ITV in Spain ?

The average cost of the ITV test for a motorcycle in the seventeen autonomous communities is 19.90 euros. In this category, the difference between the most expensive and the cheapest reaches 254%. Thus, the most expensive are in the Community of Madrid, where the average price of the stations compared by FACUA -they have liberalised rates- is no less than 36.17 euros. At the other extreme, Mallorca, where passing the ITV costs 10.21 euros.

Liberalised service in Madrid

The Community of Madrid, the most expensive in absolute terms in relation to the price of the ITV for diesel cars, has the service of Technical Inspection of Vehicles liberalised and therefore the rates are not regulated by the autonomous administration.

In this sense, each company charges the prices it deems appropriate. On the rates published in each ITV station, most companies apply different discounts to try to attract more customers, depending on the hours at which it is requested. For example, by prior appointment for the inspection or if it is contracted through telematic means. These discounts have not been taken into account by FACUA when carrying out this study, due to the array of offers.

According to the rates published by each ITV dealer in the Community of Madrid, the average price of the inspection is 41.72 euros for gasoline cars (3.3% more than in 2019), a figure that is 21% above the Spanish average, and 56.04 euros for cars with diesel engines, which represents 34.3% more than the national average.

Different Tariff systems

Andalusia offers a more complex tariff system. It makes a distinction between vehicles not only based on whether they are powered by petrol or diesel engines, but also on their engine size. It sets a rate of 26.19 euros for petrol passenger cars with engines of less than 1,600 cubic centimeters and 35.40 euros for those with a larger cylinder capacity. In the case of diesel cars, something similar happens. The Junta de Andalucía sets a rate of 30.79 euros for cars of less than 1,600 cubic centimetres and 40.00 euros for the rest.

At the opposite extreme is Extremadura, where there is a single rate for all vehicles, regardless of their cylinder capacity and whether they are petrol or diesel. In the ITV stations of the Extremadura community, the rate is 28.67 euros (if it is a station operated directly by the regional administration) or 34.69 euros (in the case of stations under the concession regime).

In general, there is enormous diverseness with respect to the way in which each autonomous community sets its own ITV rates. And this, despite the fact that the inspections are regulated by state regulations. In all of them the procedure for the ITV is exactly the same as that set out in Royal Decree 920/2017 of October 23, which regulates the Inspection Technical of Vehicles throughout Spain.

In this sense, the prices vary from one community to another. Additionally, the rates are also broken down into different concepts in each autonomous community. There are those that include all the revisions, and those that break down the cost of each section (gas emission, noise control, etc.), even if it is included in the mandatory inspection.

Source: Facua

100 most dangerous sections of road in Spain

100-most-dangerous-sections-of-road-in-spain

The Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska, accompanied by four time World Champion motorcycle rider Jorge Martinez Aspar, gave a presentation last week in which he told the audience that new signage would be displayed in the 100 most dangerous sections of road in Spain for motorcyclists. The idea is to give greater warning to motorists driving along these segments of the road network.

Averaging around 2 kilometres each in length the dangerous sections of road reach across the whole Spanish territory. A study of the sinuosity of the road and the mortality rate over the last five years helped identify the dangerous stretches.

Referring to the data held on the accident rates for motorcyclists he focused on the magnitude of the problem faced. Grande-Marlaska said, “When faced with a problem in road safety, the first thing to do is to inform and educate the user and then monitor and control compliance with the regulations that affect them.”

A list of the 100 most dangerous sections of road in Spain

The DGT website has a complete list of the 100 most dangerous sections of road in Spain.

These chunks of the road network will now feature new signage. The new high-visibility road signs warn you that your speed may monitored. In addition, the authorities have added the mortality rate over the last few years in an attempt to force home the seriousness of the message.

More surveillance

The first sign has already appeared on the M131 at kilometre 4.3. The full roll-out is expected to be completed before Easter 2021. The plan is for further studies to try and improve the design of these sections. In the meantime, those responsible for monitoring road safety will intensify their efforts on these particular sections of the road network. Expect more surveillance and control by the road traffic authorities. This includes the use of police helicopters and drones to monitor traffic speed and illegal road maneuvers.

Part of the drive behind these latest efforts is that 2019 saw 466 motorcyclists die on Spanish roads, 45 more than the previous year. Motorcycles comprise a significant percentage of the fleet of vehicles on Spanish roads. In fact, 5.5 million two-wheeled vehicles exist in the country, which represents 19% of total vehicles but 27% of those killed in traffic accidents.

The majority of deaths were riders between the ages of 35 and 44. Most deaths occurred at the weekend on secondary roads.

Source: DGT.es

Image: ©Miguel Berrocal

You are under surveillance

DGT under surveillance

From today and until 20 September there will be extra surveillance under the management of the Traffic Authorities (DGT) on Spain’s road network. It is part of an annual programme of special events and is extra significant as distractions are the one of the biggest cause of fatalities on the roads. In 2019 and for the fourth year running distraction was the main factor in 28% of road fatalities.

This year the municipal police will also be involved in order to further strengthen the campaign. One of the main results of distraction is a head on collision with another vehicle travelling in the opposite direction.

The authorities have 12 helicopters, drones, 216 fixed cameras and fifteen unmarked vans at their disposal.

In order to avoid distractions, the traffic authorities recommend the following:

• Before taking the wheel: Sleep well, do not ingest alcohol and other drugs, do not eat large meals, take care of the intake of certain medications.
• On the way: Better not to smoke, and if you feel drowsy, stop.
• Maintain a comfortable temperature: 21 or 22 degrees is an advisable temperature.
• Careful with the mobile: It is an important cause of distractions. Use only for emergencies and with the car stopped. It is recommended to activate the ” car mode ” in those devices that have it.
• Radio / MP3: Handling them distracts us, systems that are controlled directly from the wheel are advisable. Programming stations and CDs before the trip is a good option.
• Traveling with GPS: Trying to program a route while traveling is very dangerous. It must be done before.

 THE MOBILE: THE KING OF DISTRACTIONS

One of the main reasons for driver distraction is the use of a mobile phone while driving. Its use multiplies by four the risk of suffering an accident and the risk is comparable to driving with excess alcohol.

Using the mobile phone while driving means taking your eyes off the road for a certain time in which you travel a series of metres without the driver having control of the vehicle, since the attention is focused on the mobile.

According to the latest Distractions report prepared by RACE, 96% of the surveyed users confessed to having seen someone talking on their mobile while driving (80% on a regular basis) and 76% said they used it without speaking, only manipulating or looking at it. The report details that in the case of social networks, 18% of drivers admit to having used social networks while driving, of which 12% do so regularly. This percentage increases to 17% among young people between 18 and 24 years old. 

OTHER FACTORS THAT CAUSE DISTRACTION 

• Sleep and fatigue are two risk factors that are very unknown and at the same time highly implicated in road accidents: rear ending, leaving the road, or invading the opposite lane are very frequent types of accidents due to these factors.

• Smoking and driving: lighting a cigarette takes an average of 4 seconds. At a speed of 100 km / h, in that time we will have traveled 113 metres. According to the conclusions of various research studies, smoking while driving multiplies the risk of an accident by 1.5.

WHAT DOES THE LAW SAY?

The Road Safety Law considers it a serious offense to drive using mobile phone devices, Sat Navs or any other communication system manually, as well as driving using headphones or other devices that reduce the mandatory permanent attention to driving.

These infractions involve a fine of 200 euros and the loss of 3 points.

Source: DGT

Car accident caused by an animal in Spain

Car accident caused by an animal in Spain

Wild animals, escaped farm or pet animals can be a real danger to road users as well as the animal. As drivers you should be vigilant, especially if you see road signage that warns you that wild animals might be in the area and potentially crossing the road.

Car accident caused by an animal in Spain

Animals are not always alone either so if you see one near the road others may well be nearby. You should adjust your speed and remain vigilant. Despite our best efforts animals are unpredictable and accidents do occur.

What should you do if you suddenly come across an animal in your way on the road?

Avoid using the car horn.

If driving at night switch the lights to dipped so as not to dazzle the animal.

Try and avoid swerving. This could cause you to involve other vehicles coming the other way.

Push down on the brake firmly or progressively depending on your speed and the road conditions.

Just before impact lift off the brake to raise the front of the car. This should reduce the chances of the animal hitting the windscreen.

Do not look at the animal and focus on where you can stop your car safely.

Who is responsible if I hit an animal?

If you are involved in an accident with a wild animal, then the responsibility for the accident nearly always is yours. If not a wild animal and the animal is on the road because of a poorly maintained fence, for example, or the animal is a pet then the owner of the animal may be responsible.

Car accident caused by an animal in Spain

Does my car insurance in Spain cover me for accidents with animals?

That depends on which company and what actions you take after the incident. Some Spanish insurance companies include the cover as standard. With other companies it is an optional extra. The additional cost is often minimal. The protection against accidents with animals is not only available to people taking fully comprehensive insurance in Spain. It can often be included or added to third party fire and theft policies as well.

It is important to remember that insurance companies will need you to provide a police report. So make sure you call the Police/Guardia Civil out to the incident.

You may need to call roadside assistance if your car is badly damaged to have it taken to a local garage. Do not forget to report the accident to your insurance company and get a copy of the police report at the time if possible.

Source: www.dgt.es

MiDGT mobile application

MiDGT mobile application

MiDGT mobile application is the official name of the android application from the Dirección General de Tráfico (DGT) in Spain.

MiDGT mobile application 1

Launched in March this year it gives the user access to their driving licence, the number of points they retain on their driving licence as well as details about Spanish vehicles registered in their name.

You can update your mobile phone and email address held by the DGT and authorise the receipt of notifications from the DGT.

When you log in you will see your photo, your points summary and the vehicles you own listed further down.

In the top left corner are the three lines which opens up a menu. From here you can add your mobile phone number and email to the records that the DGT hold and also switch on or off a button to receive notifications.

Next to the welcome message and photo of the registered user is the option “Ver mi carnet”. Click here and this takes you to a copy of your Spanish driving licence.

Copy of your Spanish driving licence

MiDGT mobile application 3

Once you click “Ver mi carnet” on the DGT mobile application your driving licence appears. It will show all the details of the original plastic card that you probably have in your wallet. Your date of birth, DNI/NIE etcetera. You can click to turn the card on the MiDGT mobile application around. This shows you the list of vehicle categories you have permission to drive. The dates of when you were authorised to drive each category of vehicle and the expiry date for each category is also shown in the same format as it is on the original pink plastic card licence.

This image explains the front of the driving licence as it appears on the MiDGT mobile application. The letters and numbers next to row headed 9) are the categories of vehicles you have permission to drive.

MiDGT mobile application 4

In the top right corner you will see a blue arrow forming almost a circle. Click this icon and you are presented with the reverse side of your driving licence.

Here you have more details about the category of vehicles you have permission to drive. When you were authorised to drive them and when the category expires.

If you return to the first page we looked at, the one when you access the application then lower down you will see the list of vehicles registered in your name.

Here you can click on each one to find out more information about each one.

MiDGT mobile application

List of your Spanish vehicles

There is information on the make and model of the vehicle, what fuel it uses and the engine size (cilindrada).

You will also find the VIN / Bastidor number and the date the vehicle was first registered. Now of course, it also has the environmental rating shown.

Further down the individual vehicle page you have confirmation of whether it passed the last ITV and very usefully the date the current ITV expires.

Lower down the page are the insurance records of the vehicle and the insurance renewal date.

For each vehicle registered in your name there is a record. You can access them one by one from the front page of the MiDGT mobile application.

The DGT plan to expand the use of the application. The idea is you will be able to carry out various administrative tasks from your mobile phone. In the future, you should be able to pay relevant fees using the MiDGT mobile application, pay traffic fines, identify the driver who caused the traffic infraction if it was not you that was driving.

In a later stage they intend to enable users to include matriculation and transfer of vehicle ownership using the MiDGT mobile application.

How to download the application

The application can be downloaded using your android phone’s play store or if you are an apple user from the App Store.

To access the application you will either have to have a digital signature installed on your mobile phone or have access to the Cl@ve PIN application as part of the security measures to access the information.

To log in the first time I used the Cla@ve PIN application I already have installed on my phone. It makes it a bit cumbersome the first time but then the next time I wanted to log in I just had to use my finger print and went smoothly straight into the application.

Although the MiDGT mobile application has limited functionality at the moment, the promised further developments will make dealing with Tráfico a lot easier in the future.

One final point, for the time being we still recommend you have possession of your physical driving licence on you whilst driving.

He hit me from a side road on my right. How is that my fault?

There are several common misunderstandings related to car insurance claims in Spain and this is one of them.

“I was driving along near where I live, when someone pulled out from a road to the right and hit my car.  I checked the other driver was OK. Then we looked at the damage to each other’s vehicles. Finally, as we began to complete the accident report form details and talk about what had happened and I was astonished when he said to me that the accident was my fault!”

“So we rang the local police who came to attend the incident and I said that I was travelling along the road and he pulled out from a side road to my right.”

car hit me from the right

“The policeman had a look at the exit of the side road and then advised me that the other driver was in fact correct. I couldn’t believe it and thought the policeman must have had it in for me!”

How can it by my fault when he came out of the road to my right as I was driving straight ahead?

According to Article 57 Unmarked intersections, you must give way to vehicles that are approaching from your right. The exceptions to this are:

  1. Vehicles on a paved road will have priority over those on a non-paved road.
  2. Vehicles on rails have a priority over other road users.
  3. Roundabouts. Those already on the roundabout have priority over those intending to enter the roundabout.
  4. Vehicles travelling on a motorway have priority over those intending to enter the motorway.

Violations of these rules are a serious traffic offence. You may receive a fine.

Be careful if hit by a car coming from a side road on your right. The default position of your insurance company in Spain and that of the company of the other driver will be it is your fault. The insurance companies have certain agreements between them (convenios) that are in place to speed up claims so that victims are dealt with swiftly.

All the same, the default position may not always be correct. Look for road markings and signage. Take photos of the cars positions (if safe to do so) and the road you are on and the one the other car came out of. If there is a sign saying that the other driver should give way or stop then take a photo of it. The people who deal with your and the other driver’s claim are in an office possible 1,000s of kilometres away they won’t know the street or perhaps even the town.

Without this proof your insurance company will almost certainly have to accept responsibility.

Can you overtake on the right in Spain?

Can you overtake on the right in Spain?

How often have you been travelling on a motorway and seen another driving sitting in the middle lane or even circulating in the left most lane whilst there is no traffic in the right hand lane?

These “left lane syndrome” suffers, as they are known in Spain, cause traffic queues, sudden braking and sometimes accidents.   

The regulations

The driving regulations on Spanish roads do not allow you to overtake using a right hand lane, except in special circumstances mentioned below. Therefore, a vehicle in the middle lane is taking up two lanes and one in the left hand lane is blocking three lanes of traffic. Under normal traffic conditions in Spain, you should always be circulating in the lane furthest to the right-hand side. If there is a second and/or third lane to the left then these are used for overtaking. Once an overtaking manoeuvre is complete, you should return to the right-hand lane once more.

We have probably all come across a driver, travelling below the speed limit and using the left hand lane whilst there is no traffic to the right. This can cause the driver behind to brake suddenly causing a ripple effect with the vehicles behind or even more serious consequences.

Fines and loss of points

The driver continuing to drive in the left lane whilst not overtaking traffic is breaking the road traffic laws. If caught they could be fined 200 euros. However, before you decide to pass on the right you should be aware it is also a serious infraction of article 82 of the Road Traffic regulations. Overtaking on the right may result in a fine of several hundred euros and the loss of four points from your driving licence.

Exceptions

One of the few occasions you can pass on the right hand side of another vehicle is if you are in a traffic jam. If the lanes of traffic are moving slowly, it might be that at some stage the right hand lane moves slightly faster than the left hand lane. This results in you overtaking traffic using the lane on the right hand side of a motorway, for example. This is not an infraction of article 82 but does depend on the density of traffic and speed.

Another example might be on a slip road when entering the motorway or when a certain lane is designated for a particular type of vehicle to circulate.

Remember, you should circulate in the right hand lane unless you are overtaking another vehicle. Additionally, overtaking on the right is a serious traffic offence that can result in a fine and loss of points on your licence.

What documents must I have in my car in Spain?

What documents must I have in my car in Spain

There are several documents you must be able to provide to the authorities on request when driving a car in Spain. The title of the documents may depend on the country your vehicle is from but in general the paperwork will be the same for everyone.

You must be able to provide:

  • your original full driving licence.
  • Proof of identification (Passport, National Identity Card).
  • Proof of vehicle ownership. In Spain that would be the permiso de circulacion and the ficha tecnica. If the vehicle is from the UK, for example, you should have the original V5C certificate.
  • If you are driving a non-Spanish plated vehicle, then you should also have proof of insurance.

For Spanish registered vehicles the police have a computer system called FIVA (Fichero informativo de Vehiculos Asegurados) where they can check the vehicle is insured. There is no legal requirement to keep the original documents for your car insurance in Spain any longer, for a Spanish registered vehicle.

It would be sensible of course to keep the insurance accident and breakdown recovery numbers in the car as well as the DAA (Declaración Amistosa de Accidente) the Accident Statement.