NOW Spain has entered lockdown in a bid to slow down the advance of coronavirus, ITV centres across the country have been ordered to close or have opted to operate on reduced hours.
Thousands of drivers who have had their appointments cancelled to update Spain’s equivalent of an MOT are now questioning the repercussions of driving without one.
Although the royal state of emergency decree details that there will be a ‘suspension of administrative deadlines,’ meaning that fines will not be issued as per the Road Safety Law, you could be stung by your insurance company.
Local businessman Martin Whyte who is now self-isolating after returning from Andorra and runs the Alcudia-based Hot Spring franchise, has told the Olive Press that the information currently out there is very misleading.
Martin points out that although drivers may not be hit with a €200 penalty during the lockdown, not having an up-to-date ITV could mean that your insurance is void and if you have an accident, you will be made liable.
Simply put, car insurance is only valid with a road worthiness certificate and policies explicitly state that without this, you will not be covered.
“Without a valid ITV your insurance is invalid regardless of the reason for not having your car road legal.
“So whilst the ITV may not be a problem for the Guardia Civil, if you have any form of accident, insurers will most likely refuse to pay out and you could be prosecuted for driving without insurance.”
In fact, Martin was put in a tricky situation last year when he could not get an ITV appointment for two months, a nightmare predicament many have faced.
“We were told by our insurers that under no circumstances could we drive our company van whilst awaiting a two month ITV backlog, which meant we had to rent another van.
“Driving without insurance is far worse than not having an ITV for a few weeks.
“We may be in desperate times, but from my experience, insurers won’t care, and will use any excuse not to pay out.”
It is advisable that before stepping your foot on the gas, to speak to your insurance provider who may adjust its cover to reflect the current COVID-19 health crisis.