23 Feb, 2013 @ 08:30
1 min read

Mercedes has six €75,000 cars impounded after Cataluna press trip blunder


IT was a press trip with something of a difference.

What should have been a motoring journalist’s dream quickly turned into a nightmare thanks to some overzealous police in Cataluna.

A party of 20 American journalists were testing the Mercedes-Benz E36 AMG in the region before Guardia Civil officers decided to check them out.

Held at the roadside for two hours, not one of the excited petrol-heads could produce an International Driving Permit allowing them to legally drive in Spain.

Mercedes staff eventually managed to persuade police to free the journalists, but the six €75,000 vehicles were not so lucky.

The 550-horse-power cars were impounded while the hacks were banned from driving for the remainder of their trip.


  1. Any holder of a US driving licence is required BY SPANISH LAW to carry an International Drivers Permit which is issued by their local AAA. It’s used in conjunction with their own driver license.

    The reason behind that is very simple. US driving licences are issued by individual states and therefore, for a non-American, it would be impossible to verify if a driver had the right to drive whatever vehicle s/he was driving.

    In this particular case, the police were simply enforcing the law and cannot be accused of being “overzealous”.

  2. Of course, the police did their job.
    If you’re flying across the ocean to test drive a 500 HP car in open roads, you ought to make shure you have a valid driver’s license in the country. What were those people thinking!
    I’d say the morons were the journalists, not the policemen.

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