Good news if you want to trade in your old car!

Plan Moves 2020

If you are thinking of replacing your old car, then the Spanish government have got some good news for you.

Plan Moves 2020

The average age of vehicles in Spain is 12.7 years and the government wants to promote electric and low emission replacements.

Plan Moves 2020 forms just part of a huge 3,750 million euro plan the Spanish government announced today. For this element of the scheme 100 million euros has been set aside.

Plan Moves 2020

If you buy a new car and your old one is over ten years old and subsequently scrapped, then the government will give you money to help with the switch. Your old car cannot subsequently be sold on. In addition, the new vehicle you buy cannot be a gas guzzling environment wrecker. It must slip into category A or B in the emissions table meaning no more than 120gCO2/km.

The specifics for each vehicle have yet to be firmed up but the maximum limits are as follows:

Do not forget to get a car insurance quote for your potential new car.

New ITV dates following state of alarm

The ITV testing stations were closed on the 14 March 2020 when the state of alarm was announced in Spain.

ITV certificate expiry dates were extended under a previous decree and set to expire after the end of the state of alarm plus 30 days. With the last of the Spanish provinces coming out of phase ‘0’ on Monday 18th May an official bulletin from the state of Spain was realeased. For those whose ITV certificates have expired, whilst the ITV stations have been closed, it provides clarity as to when you need to get your ITV renewals completed.

The state of alarm for calculating new ITV tests finishes at 00:00 on 24 May 2020.

Initial inspection dateExtension period once state of alarm finishes (calendar days)
Week 1: March 14-20 March30 days plus 15 additional days
Week 2: March 21-27 March30 days plus 2 periods of 15 days
Week 3: March 28 – 3 April30 days plus 3 periods of 15 days
Week n.30 days plus n 15-day periods.

For example, if your ITV expired on the Monday 21 March 2020 then the validity of your ITV certificate has been extended until 23 July 2020. The state of alarm, as far as ITV tests goes, expires 24 May 2020. So it is 24 May + 30 days + 2 periods of 15 days = 23rd July. You must complete your ITV test before that date.

You will need to book for the re-test with an ITV centre.

Note, that once your vehicle has passed the ITV test the renewal date will be based on when the original test expired this year. The period will not start from the date of the revised test.

Speeding and failure to wear a seatbelt increase during State of Alarm

Speeding and failure to wear a seatbelt increase during State of Alarm

39% increase in speeding offences during the state of alarm.

Increase in failure to wear seatbelts

The General Directorate of Traffic reminded drivers of the need to respect the established speed limits, in a period such as the state of alarm in which we are still in and in which vehicle mobility continues to be restricted.

A report confirms an increase in the speed of movement of light vehicles as they pass through speed control points. Specifically, during the state of alarm, the percentage of drivers who were traveling with excessive speed has increased by 39%.

Speed ​​is one of the main risk factors both in the occurrence of accidents and in the consequences thereof. It is essential that drivers respect the established limits. A safe speed protects not only the driver and the passengers who accompany him, but also the other people on the road.

This call for attention was made in the days before the Monday May 11th. Many territories pass into phase 1 in the Plan for the transition to a new normality and that will involve the incorporation of workers into their jobs. A lot of them will opt for the private vehicle for their commute to work at a time when there are  low levels of road intensities.

ACCIDENTS IN THE CORONAVIRUS PERIOD

The number of fatal accidents has reduced as a result of the reduction in traffic. Between March 15 and May 7, the number of fatal accidents has decreased by 71%, and that of deceased persons has decreased by 69%. Thus, 49 people have died during the state of alarm, compared to 159 people who died in 2019.

The state of alarm has also produced an impact on the distribution of fatal accidents between different types of roads. Highways and expressways have registered 19 of the 49 people who died, 39% of the total, when this percentage is usually around 25%.

The most frequent accident during the state of alarm has been the departure from the road, which represents 31 of the 49 deaths, 65% of the total, compared to 35% in the same period of 2019. Distractions and speeding are the most common reason. Two risk factors which the low intensities of traffic that many roads present today may encourage.

Worry data shows that the use of seat belts in occupants of cars and vans has reduced during this period. Ten of the twenty-four people who died did not use a seat belt at the time of the accident.

Therefore, in order for the mobility during the Plan for the transition to a “New Normality” to be developed in a safe way, the General Directorate of Traffic reminded people of the importance of respecting speed limits, avoiding the use of mobile phones while driving and the use of safety accessories. These tips are equally important for driving within cities, whose streets are beginning to circulate an increasing number of pedestrians and cyclists.

ROAD CONTROLS CONTINUE

Although it is true that you can leave homes to walk and do sports at established times, you cannot take the car to travel to second homes. Neither can you travel to beauty spots to walk or play sports.

As a result, the authorities continue to to have road checkpoints throughout Spain. The Guardia Civil continue to verify that the journey is legitimate under the Royal Decree of the state of alarm.

Whilst it might not be your intention to speed or commit any type of traffic infraction, it can happen. You can contract a service to ensure you receive automatic notification of fines by SMS text message or email. This will ensure you can take advantage of the discount of paying the fine early or to dispute it in case of an error.

Source: www.DGT.es

Reale Seguros to provide 2.7 million to help mitigate the impact of Coronavirus in the most vulnerable groups

One of the many insurance companies we work with is doing its bit to help battle the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic in Spain.

Reale has launched a package of urgent measures, in collaboration with hospitals, nursing homes and NGOs, to help alleviate, in all phases of the crisis, those groups most affected. A series of projects and initiatives have been selected that aim to prevent, alleviate and help society psychologically and socially in the territories in which the insurer operates.

In total, the resources contributed by Reale Seguros and the Reale Group’s corporate foundation in Spain, the Reale Foundation, amount to 2.7 million euros.

As the first group of measures, 4 major initiatives have been launched with specific projects and will be launched throughout the week:

· PREVENTION AGAINST COVID-19

· Disinfection project and provision of material for Nursing Homes. A total of 6 nursing homes in Madrid and Guadalajara will receive material for healthcare personnel, and Reale Seguros will also pay for the disinfection of some of them:

  • San Celedonio Residence (Madrid)
  • Guindalera Residence (Madrid)
  • Princesa Residence (Madrid)
  • Amavir Arganzuela Residence (Madrid)
  • Amavir Usera Residence (Madrid)
  • Guadalajara Residence

· PALIATING THE EFFECTS OF DISEASE

Research Project with the Fundación Hospital La Paz. Establish a classification of COVID patients on admission that allows predicting their evolution in the first moments and effective treatment for those with a worse prognosis. In collaboration with the “Research Institute of the Hospital La Paz” together with the Emergency Service.

· PERSONAL PSYCHOLOGICAL AID AND SICK UCI

Project of Psychological Support in UCI´S. Hiring of 10 professionals for psychological support in intensive care units for murses, doctors and patients, generated by the COVID-19 crisis in hospitals in the Community of Madrid. There will be psychological and tele-psychological intervention through telephone, tablets and ad-hoc platform. With the HU-CI Project and the Official College of Psychology of Madrid (COPM).

·         SOCIAL HELP. VULNERABLE GROUPS

Project “Home delivery of medicines for chronic patients”. Reale will participate by financing a program of Banco Farmacéutico volunteers for the home delivery of medications to people with chronic treatments, to patients with psychological / psychiatric treatment. It will be carried out in collaboration with DHL and the delivery area will be Vallecas (South of Madrid), which has also been affected by the slowdown in economic activity.

According to Ignacio Mariscal, CEO of Reale Seguros and Patron Delegate of the Reale Foundation, “within our commitment to society and through our corporate foundation, the Reale Foundation, we work to identify initiatives that help the entire population, and especially those groups with greater risk, relying, today more than ever, on our values ​​of cohesion and centrality of people at a time when society needs it. ”

Reale’s team «is already working on the identification and implementation of another package of measures that will have the same objective: #Now more than ever, the trust and closeness that the insurer wants to transfer is summarized in its slogan #TogetherMore that , together with #YoMeQuedoenCasa and # TodoSalaráBien, makes them participants in the Society as a whole.

Driving licences extended 60 days if they expire during the State of Alarm

Driving licences extended 60 days if they expire during the State of Alarm

The Interior Ministry has issued an order extending the validity of driving licenses that expire during the state of alarm for 60 days. 

The order, published this Saturday in the Official State Gazette (BOE), states that “driving permits and licenses, as well as other administrative authorizations to drive, whose period of validity expires during the state of alarm, will be automatically extended while it lasts the same and up to sixty calendar days after its completion ”. 

The resolution, signed by the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, also affects valid foreign driving licenses to drive in Spain. The law establishes that these permits are valid for six months from arrival in Spain and that, after that period, foreign drivers must exchange their country’s permit for a Spanish one. 

The order published today in the BOE establishes that the computation of those six months is paralysed during the state of alarm, and will resume once that period has ended. Therefore, foreign driving licenses for which the legal six months have not expired remain valid during the state of alarm. 

Essential vehicles exempt from some traffic restrictions

The resolution also affects certain vehicles that provide essential services such as the distribution of medicines, medical supplies or food. The Royal Decree, by which the state of alarm was established, indicates that the Minister of the Interior “may agree to close the circulation of roads or sections of them for reasons of public health, safety or fluidity of traffic or the restriction on access of certain vehicles for the same reasons. ” The order issued this Saturday indicates that these restrictions that may be established will not affect: 

a) Roadside assistance vehicles. 

b) Vehicles and road maintenance and maintenance services. 

c) Vehicles for the distribution of medicines and medical supplies. 

d) Urban solid waste collection vehicles. 

e) Vehicles destined for food distribution. 

f) The transportation of flux materials. 

g) Vehicles destined to transport fuels. 

h) Live livestock transport vehicles. 

i) The transport of perishable goods (fruits, fresh vegetables and others), provided that the perishable goods account for at least half of the vehicle’s payload capacity or occupy half of the vehicle’s payload volume. 

j) The vehicles of the State Society of Posts and Telegraphs. 

The restrictions will also not affect other vehicles “that help guarantee the supply of goods or the provision of essential services for the population.” The Royal Decree on the state of alarm already indicated that these restrictions did not affect emergency vehicles or police vehicles. The order signed by the Interior Minister has been issued, like the rest of the resolutions established under the Royal Decree on the state of alarm, in order to protect the health and safety of citizens, contain the progression of the disease and reinforce the public health system. The objective is to guarantee the supply of basic necessities and the provision of essential services for our society. 

To make this measure effective and guarantee unity and coordination in its execution, the order establishes that the General Director of Traffic, Pere Navarro, report the same “to those responsible for traffic in the Autonomous Communities, or, where appropriate, of the local entities that have assumed competences in the matter of traffic ”. 

How to change your UK or other EU driving licence to a Spanish driving licence yourself?

DGT and Guardia Civil to control roads preventing travel to second homes

The General Directorate of Traffic and the Traffic Group of the Civil Guard will establish controls on the exit roads of large cities to prevent displacement to second homes due to the proximity of the weekend.

DGT and Guardia Civil to control roads preventing travel to second homes

The Civil Guard since yesterday is carrying out 30,000 roadblocks and will be reinforced throughout the weekend in order to monitor compliance with the imposed traffic restrictions.

Since the declaration of the State of Alarm last Saturday, March 14, the freedom of movement of people is limited and it is not possible to circulate on the roads for public use, except for the activities contained in article 7 of RD 463 / 2020.

This limitation of circulation is an essential measure to face the public health emergency situation caused by COVID-19 in which we find ourselves.

ITV Campaign January 2020

ITV Campaign January 2020

The General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) has just finished a campaign using 30 licence plate readers. The campaign ran for a week finishing on Sunday 26th January.

Statistics indicate that the risk of death or serious injury is double when vehicles of 10 to 15 years old are involved compared with cars under five years of age. Clearly the continual improvement in driver and passenger safety measures will play its part. However, maintenance of older vehicles is also an important factor.

30 cameras used to check valid ITVs

The Guardia Civil used the cameras along with local and regional police to read number plates and check the vehicle had a valid ITV certificate in place, similar to an MOT in the UK. The authorities then reproted vehciles without an uptodate ITV. The frequency of ITV tests depends on the age and type of vehicle you are using.

Importance of tyre tread

One of the important features of safety is the tyres. These are after all what helps keep the vehicle on the road. The recommended minimum of tread is 3mm although the legal minimum amount of tyre tread is 1.6mm. Incorrect tyre pressure, damaged or faulty suspension and bad wheel alignment can cause additional tyre wear.

Headlights

Other important elements that are regularly left for another day are vehicle lights. Not only do the lights help us see in poor conditions and at night they also help other drivers see us.

Over time lights lose their intensity. It is suggested they be changed every 40 kilometres or two years, whichever is the sooner. You should change both headlights at the same time is also the recommended advice. In a lot of cases their use is symmetrical.

Windscreen damage is usually repaired for free

It is also advisable to check your windscreen. With most insurers now offering a fast and free windscreen replacement service there really is little excuse not to get a crack repaired or replaced. You can often drive into a place like CarGlass or CristalBox and give them your insurance details and they will check with the insurer for you.

Remember if you have paid for your ITV to keep the sticker in the front windscreen. This is a legal requirement.

Source: DGT.es

9000 drivers caught driving unsafe vehicles in a week

9000 drivers caught driving unsafe vehicles in a week

A vehicle in poor condition not only increases the risk of accident to its occupants but it is also an added danger to other road users.

In just one week 9,471 drivers have been denounced by the Guardia Civil agents for driving with their vehicle in an inadequate condition.

180,000 vehicles checked in 7 days

During the seven days of campaign, 183,838 vehicles of all types have been checked (cars, motorcycles, vans, trucks, buses …) and 10,121 offences were identified.

The purpose of the latest campaign was to check that vehicles were in a safe condition to be circulating on Spain’s roads. Specific focus was on safety measures such as tyres and vehicle lights and up to date ITV.

The proper maintenance of the vehicle is essential in road safety, especially when the average age of the vehicles in which the fatalities of interurban road accidents were traveling in 2018 was 13 years for cars, motorcycles 9.7 years and 14 , 6 years in the case of trucks up to 3,500 kg.

Immobilized

During the seven days, 169 vehicles were immobilized at the time of carrying out the control, among them, 52 trucks, 49 vans and 58 cars, because the conditions of the vehicles with which they circulated did not meet the minimum guarantees for them to do so safely.

Among the most important deficiencies that the agents have found on the road is vehicles circulating with an expired, unfavourable or negative ITV. This resulted in 4,457 offences.

tyre car insurance spain

Tyre pressure

Another of the essential safety elements are the tyres. 539 drivers were identified to have been driving with tread depth below the legal minimum of 1.6 mm; having irregular wear due to bad suspension or incorrect alignment or circulating with the wrong tyre pressure.

414 drivers have been sanctioned for faulty lights. 211 received fines for a damaged or visually impeded registration plate. In addition, another 773 drivers have been denounced for not carrying the mandatory documentation of the vehicle (driving licence, driving license and ITV card).

Excess weight

In respect of larger vehicles, 277 trucks and vans were found to be circulating with a weight greater than that allowed for the vehicle in question and another 216 circulated with an incorrect load conditioning.

Source: DGT

Noise radars. Will they become a feature in Spain?

Noise radars Spain

When I was six or seven, like a lot of children, my friends and I used to fold cardboard from cereal packets and attach them to the frame of our push bikes with a clothes peg. We would then peddle really hard and try and make our bike sound like a motorbike as the cardboard flicked across the spokes of the rear wheel.

It didn’t make us go any faster but it sounded great. It was fun and we were only six or seven years old. Like most people I grew out of it.

A peaceful coffee interrupted

However, we have all been there haven’t we? Sat on the terrace of your local bar sipping a delicious cup of Spanish coffee when some idiot rides by on a scooter or quad bike with an exhaust system that wouldn’t sound out of place at a MotoGP event.

I understand if you like your vehicle but not the exhaust shape or to some extent if you want to change the sound that comes from it. But if you want to change it so it makes my ears bleed or irritates everyone within a 1 kilometre radius then I think the problem is more yours than mine.

I see this need to fettle with your exhaust as an extension of my bicycle with its folded cereal packet. However, it is no longer being done by children and furthermore the result annoys people.

All bikes in Spain must adhere to a European wide sound limit, the level of which depends on the displacement of the machine. Once sold some owners then decide to customize their scooter, quad, motorbike by removing the muffler or fixing an exhaust system that sounds like it should be on a race bike or even a space rocket. Although it is mainly scooters and motorcyclists that seem to be the main culprits there are some car drivers that feel a need to change the sound that their vehicle generates.

I am a motorcycle rider and I love to attend motorcycle races but I have never understood the need to make my road bike sound like a bike that races on a circuit. It is also often the case, these customised exhaust systems are added to low performance bikes with no significant performance benefit.

So why do people do it? I do not have the answer but a solution to this problem could be coming our way.

Noise radar in Spain

Well, for those of us that want a quiet cup of coffee in our local bar there may be a solution on the horizon. Noise radar.

Switzerland and France already have noise radars implemented. These devices are able to pick up noise from the street and using triangulation can identify if it is coming from a particular source. The vehicle can then be identified and if necessary a fine issued to the owner of the vehicle.

Clearly the current legislation is not policed as I have lived in Spain for over fifteen years and have never heard of anyone being stopped for a noisy bike although it may have happened on rare occasions.

With the possible introduction of noise radar in Spain perhaps people will think twice before roaring down the road. There is no need for extra police officers, just a machine in the street that will issue tickets to noisy offenders.

Find cheap petrol in Spain 2019

The price of petrol in Spain has risen by more than 12% since the beginning of 2019 whilst diesel has risen by just over 7%.

With the summer season upon us, we are entering one of the biggest periods of the year, as far as vehicle displacements are concerned.

The increase in fuel prices, however, has only seen them return to the same levels they were at this time last year and are some way off the highest prices on record of 1.52 for a litre of petrol recorded in early September 2012.

Where to find cheap petrol in Spain

There are ways to find bargains when it comes to fuel. Firstly, the government kindly provides a mechanism of searching for cheap petrol prices in your area. Secondly, apart from the supermarket petrol stations, there has been a number of low-cost chains of petrol stations opening. Some are totally automated. Others have attendants to assist in normal business hours.

After the introduction of new legislation in 2013, there has been a significant increase in the number of low-cost service stations. It is thought that the low-cost petrol stations in Spain now make up nearly 25% of the market.

Is low-cost fuel in Spain worse quality than the main brands?

There are rumours of course that the quality of the fuel in these low-cost petrol stations is somehow inferior to those of the likes of Repsol, BP and Cepsa. However, all fuel is distributed from the refinery to the petrol stations by the same intermediary, a company called Centro Logístico de Hidrocarburos (CLH).

That means that CLH delivers the same product to everyone. Having said that there could be some differences. CLH delivers the legal specification of fuel to the petrol station companies storage facilities. Those companies may then add supplements. Perhaps these additives will improve one companies fuel at the pump over another. The larger brands will tell you their additives will prolong the life of your engine or your engine will use the fuel more efficiently. However, the origin of the fuel has come from the same place.