MADRID – An estimated 40% of vehicles in Spain that have to pass technical inspection (ITV) do not have it up to date, and are therefore, not valid. This means that almost 9 million vehicles are driving around with an expired permit and therefore uninsured.
This concerns 8,949,519 vehicles, divided into 4,171,227 cars, 3,242,570 trucks and vans and 1,535,722 motorcycles. According to Aeca-ITV, this means that the absenteeism figures in vehicle inspections will not be reduced. The data on this has been registered since 2021.
Risk of driving with no ITV
The association states that there are always drivers who do not have their vehicle inspected. Sometimes, this is because they simply do not think about it. However, a large number of them decide not to go to one of the inspection stations. This is, no doubt, because they know their vehicle will not pass the inspected due to its poor condition. Or because they are unwilling or unable to pay the repair costs. For example, they consciously run the risk of driving a vehicle that is in poor condition, is not safe and thus increases the risk of getting into a traffic accident.
The above facts also coincide with a period in which the number of road accidents and the severity of the consequences increased. According to figures from the Spanish traffic service DGT, there were 14% more fatal road accidents in the first half of 2022 than in the same period of the previous year.
In total, 487 fatal accidents were recorded on Spanish roads from January 1 to June 30. In the same period of 2021, there were 418. Although, last year during that period travel restrictions were still in place due to the coronavirus. In addition, the measures in the ITV have been tightened from 1 June.
Safety standards not met
All these unapproved vehicles drive around on the Spanish roads without meeting the safety standards. Often these will be minor defects, but they can also be serious or very serious. According to DGT statistics (with data from 2020), 33% of vans and lorries under 3,500kg involved in road accidents with casualties had not passed the ITV. For passenger cars, this was 17%.
The fines that DGTITV imposes on drivers who do not comply with the inspection rules include four possible situations:
- Expired ITV. The fine for having a vehicle without a valid ITV (in circulation or parked either on the street or in a garage) is €200.
- Circulate in the defective vehicle. If you drive around in a vehicle that has serious defects that can only be taken to a garage, you will be fined €200. The owner of the vehicle is obliged to have it repaired and re-inspected within a maximum period of two months.
- Driving around with a rejected vehicle (negative ITV): Continuing to circulate with very serious defects can result in a fine of €500. In this case, the vehicle can only leave the ITV station with a towing company. The maximum term for the second assessment is two months.
- Driving without an ITV decal: Based on the General Vehicle Regulations, the ITV decal must be placed in the top right corner of the windscreen -seen from the inside-. This confirms that the technical assessment has been passed and complements the ITV inspection card. Failure to do so will result in a penalty of €80 to €100, without deduction of points.
Deadlines for vehicle inspection in Spain
The first technical inspection must take place four years after the registration of a car. From then on, passenger cars between the ages of four and ten must pass the inspection every two years and then annually.
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In the case of motorcycles, after four years (three in the case of mopeds) the inspection becomes every two years for an indefinite period. After the first check, the inspection card will indicate on which day the next check must take place.
The inspection can be done 30 days before the expiry date.
Certified vehicle saves lives
Another figure that emerged during the presentation of the study is that 5% of accidents in Spain are caused by the condition of the vehicle in question. For example, thanks to the ITV, 15,641 traffic accidents, 13,110 injuries and 148 deaths were avoided. These figures also represent a saving of €395 million.
And, taking into account the involvement of cars without passing this inspection, if they had passed it, 13,517 accidents, 11,643 injuries and 146 deaths would have been saved. Everything, with an economic impact of €370 million.
Are you insured if you drive around without ITV?
Driving without an ITV or with an expired ITV is not only irresponsible and can endanger our safety and that of other drivers and pedestrians and you can be fined if you are ‘caught’. But what about insurance?
The ITV is the only formula that determines whether your vehicle meets the correct technical conditions to hit the road. So it makes sense that your insurance coverage changes if you drive around without this document. If you also have an accident, the problems pile up. Especially if you are to blame for the accident.
In that case, the insurer exercises its civil liability and compensates the other parties involved who have suffered damage. However, you are not covered for damage to your vehicle. In addition, your insurer can claim from you the amount of the compensation it has paid to other parties involved.
If you are circulating without a valid ITV and you are not at fault for the accident, the insurer of the person who caused the accident can cover the damage. Likely, your insurer does not apply statutory cover and you are therefore without this cover.
In either case, you will be fined for driving without ITV.