During 2021, the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) has been issuing letters to owners of ‘zombie cars’. A new ruling around decommissioned cars, i.e. those that are not in use, requires action by the owner.
Throughout this 2021, the General Directorate of Traffic has been sending letters that have surprised many drivers with a decommissioned car. The same will happen in 2022.
The reason for this letter is decommissioned vehicles, the so-called zombie cars, which are very common in Spain. Driving with a car that has been classified as not in use can result in a fine of €3,000.
Decommissioning a car limited to a year
Until now, any driver could decommission their vehicle for as long as they wanted. But a modification in the General Vehicle Regulations has changed this. From now on, temporary withdrawals are limited to one year.
Drivers must request an extension. If this is not done, the DGT will recover all taxes and charges derived from their registration. That is why the owner of the vehicle could find claims for non-payments in these procedures of which he is not aware.
In other words, if you have a car, motorcycle or van decommissioned for more than a year, you either request an extension, or it will be automatically carried out. This allows the authorities to collect the road tax and other tax obligations of the vehicle.
The insurer Línea Directa estimates the number of zombie cars in Spain at 2.6 million. Although these cars do not usually circulate, when they do, they can be a danger for other users.
In addition, all vehicles declared a “write-off” by the insurer, need to pass a new ITV in order to be used on the roads.
Finally, the period for which a vehicle is automatically decommissioned has also changed. If in 10 years a car has not passed the ITV or had insurance, it will be permanently decommissioned.
In short, if you have a vehicle written off or stored in a garage for more than 10 years, keep an eye on the mailbox.