Up until today our family means of transport has been an English registered car. We bought our Mitsubishi Galant in the UK almost seven years ago and it has spent a lot of time over here in Spain. The Spanish law says that the maximum amount of time a car can spend over here is six months. After six months your English registered car is supposed to be re-registered on to spanish plates.
Spain being Spain with its lackadaisical attitude to everything, means that it’s possible to “get away” it for an indefinite period of time – as I have proved. Having said that, I have always been slightly nervous that one day the luck would run out. The price of re-registering is around 600 Euros – it would have been well over 200 Euros just to change the headlights over – “beam-benders” are not allowed for permanent residents. This daunting sum of money sort of steered us in the direction of selling the old car and buying a Spanish one.
This then lead on to us realising that second-hand cars are utterly and ridiculously expensive over here so our sights had to be lowered. Part one of the plan was simply accomplished – our car moved next door. Our neighbour is only a part-timer and is prepared to risk running a “slightly illegal” car. Fabulous though it is – it’s fairly bland looking and silver to boot which means it doesn’t really stand out in a crowd so hopefully it will continue to remain anonymous.
Part two of the plan – buying a second-hand or as PC speak would have it – previously-owned vehicle. This has been no easy task but we have finally managed it. Almost.
Dealing with Spanish people can be very frustrating if you’re in a hurry. I should have had the car tonight but it failed its ITV (Spanish MoT) this afternoon, so it might be tomorrow or manana. Manana literally means tomorrow but the correct interpretation refers to some distant point in the future.
Watch this space. If I have it before Tuesday I’ll be lucky.
It’s a Fiat Brava by the way. I never thought I’d buy a Fiat, but it’s fairly tidy for a car that’s been to Venus and back. It’s LHD and has a Spanish registration which makes me finally have the feeling that I’m here permanently.