24 Feb, 2013 @ 08:30
1 min read

Expat ‘going round in circles’ to become road legal

itv station

A BRITISH expat has spent almost €1,500 trying to get his motor home roadworthy through a system he accuses of lacking ‘common sense’.

Michael Roach, 70, from Casares, has faced a string of problems since bringing the Bambi motor home from Britain last August.

Soon after the vehicle arrived in Spain, Roach went to his local ITV station in Estepona to register it and pay import tax.

Required to pay for the motor-home to be inspected, Roach was told he would need to buy new tyres even though the vehicle had passed its MOT in the UK.

“They said that mine were commercial ones and I had to change the front to 77T, and the rear to 78T, but they no longer make 78T.

“Then the tester said it should have a vehicle identification number (VIN) stamp on the chassis, even though there are stamps elsewhere on the vehicle.

“But he said we could stamp it ourselves with the correct tools,” added Roach.

However, after the expat stamped the vehicle and returned to the ITV station for a final inspection he claims the same inspector told him stamping a chassis yourself was ‘illegal’.

“He said it was illegal and it was not there when they first inspected it and refused to sign it off. We are going round in circles.

“I understand they’ve got set rules but they don’t seem to use any common sense,” said Roach.

“It is so totally unfair… can anyone help me?”

After shelling out for new tyres, two ITV tests, paying import tax and facing several other minor problems, Roach is still not allowed to take it on the road.


  1. Not surprised had a similar sort of thing with an Audi Tow Bar,Fitted in UK by Audi dealership,but not accepted,as they exolained that it was Not Spanish european,even though it had correct id,stamps. TOTAL B*LL*CKS!

  2. First of all you should have said that you had been here for less than 3 months and you wouldn’t have had to pay import tax,second you should of have gone to another ITV station if they were giving you hassle 9x out of 10 it would have passed with no problems, and third for you Michael the ITV stations now will add or take away any modification that are on your vehicles paperwork FREE OF CHARGE and all done within 15 mins.
    You cannot knock the ITV stations here as much easier and much more cheaper and quicker than in the UK.

  3. I have tried several times to get my Land Rover 110 CSW transferred to Spanish plates – even tried with a gestoria, only to be told it is not possible as it is not classed as a ‘Vehiculo Familiar’.

  4. You have to pay import tax, unless you can show that you have owned the vehicle for at least 6 months in the old country (& you have to sign & pay for a declaration at the british embassy, or consulate) – if you can do this, i beleive you pay a lower import tax. Regarding whether it is legal, i had a similar problem with a car i bought in – it had a towbar that was fitted in manaufacture when new and the fittings were actually part of the chassis > but not only did i have to remove the tow-bar, i also had to use an angle-grinder to remove the fitting plate from the chassis, which seemed a bit odd at the time. These rules do stop dangerous vehicles being allowed to enter Spain, but they do go to far in the checks. They also stop most of the vehicle alterations that are common in other countries that, although maybe safe, have not been checked to EU standards. The normal ITV itself is not a bad thing, is relatively cheap & is easy to do yourself if you choose. Did mine recently, costing about €40 and took about 10 minutes to pass > but with a couple of hours waiting in the que beforehand.
    I think if the motorhome were mine, i would try a different ITV centre and see if it has the same result (perhaps the malaga test centre, as i have always found them very reasonable)……….

  5. It took us 2 years to get our Transit (crew cab) pick-up (with tipper body)onto Spanish plates. It was a total nightmare. Everyone said it couldn’t be done, as it was a left-hand-drive commercial vehicle, but we did it.

    Why there isn’t a simple, organised process is beyond me. (Oh, wait – it is Spain, after all!)

  6. It beats me why people want to bring their old UK vehicle here. It’s more hassle than it’s worth. Just sell it there and buy new here, you get a good discount, loads of incentives and above all, no hassle at the ITV when it’s due. The dealer usually does a free pre ITV check, you book a date AND time on line. Sorted!.

  7. Sounds more sensible to buy your vehicle in Spain, but is there an equivalent Spanish camper to the tidgy “Bambi”? Can understand why Mr. Roach wants to hang on to his.

  8. To Paul,
    We used a Gestoria in Simat de la Valldigna (we live near Xativa). Two people in there speak excellent English and they were very helpful. They explained all of the charges, and only took money from us at the end of the (lengthy) process.

    As soon as they had completed everything, we began the process with my car. (A left hand drive Rover, bought in the UK, new for £3,500 – Amparro – tell me where in Spain I could have got a better deal.) To do my car took just a short while and cost less than £600 as I recall.

  9. Seems totally crazy that Spain can have such a load of trivial rules regarding cars passing or not passing the ITV test. It is way too skewed towards compliance rather than road worthiness. I have had my cars fail more times than I care to mention as I have modified them – sometimes only slightly using uprated parts from the same manufacturer (eg suspension or exhausts). In other countries this would not be looked at, but as it is Spain you need to provide all sorts of “homologation papers” which I do not have. The infuriating thing is that you see all kinds off smoky polluting death traps sailing through the test.

  10. Have to agree the system here is complete hit and miss my car is modified it passed 2 years ago in Malaga but in fuengirola no chance
    Even down to the silliest things the centre pipe of my exhaust needed replacing so I replaced with stainless steel fail not original give in they were passing old Junkers falling apart in 15 mins they spent 2 hours on my highly maintained car and failed it

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Story

Spanish fiesta heads to Britain

Potholes e
Next Story

Bumpy ride in Andalucia

Go toTop

More From The Olive Press