Driving in Spain … Keep up-to-date!

Here on the Costa Blanca South the roads are generally very good and relatively jam free. As for the driving and parking here, well, that’s a common topic of (heated) debate, even if the debaters are bad drivers. There certainly are some eye-opening moments, especially at major roundabouts and junctions.

Guardia Trafico. Driving in Spain

Spain, especially on the Costas, have a myriad of foreign drivers and tourists who with the best will in the world will not know how to drive properly in Spain or understand the local laws or road system. Apparently the Spanish “Highway Code” is nearly 1000 pages long !!! Who can remember all that?

It can be said that sometimes even the Spanish drivers ignore or don’t know the rules! So the roads here can be a dangerous place or at least one fraught with problems and possible on-the-spot fines if you slip-up.

Of course. if you are from the UK you will have the added complication of driving on the right and if you hire or buy a Spanish plated car then you’ll also need to get used to the left-hand drive controls.

Know the Spanish Driving Rules & Legal Expectations

The laws, rules of the road and general driving etiquette might be foreign to you too. So, of course you’ll want to be prepared and up-to-date in terms of your vehicle road worthiness (MOT/ITV), importation of foreign cars, driving license requirements, speed restrictions, drink-driving, what to carry in your car and all the related laws. Note: Poor language skills, confusion or ignorance are rarely a defence if you are stopped by the police (Trafico).

To make matters worse the rules and laws change quite frequently here and the “bar-room Johnnies” and social media chit-chat will give you conflicting advice.

Thankfully there is lots of help points on-line for guidance and you can always go to your local Trafico Station for advice (take an interpretor just in case). And it’s BEST DONE as soon as possible.

On-line Help / Guides to Driving in Spain

  • DGT (Direccon de Gereral Trafico) : This is the official government site (in Spanish) on all things driving and laws. You can get up-to-date info’ on laws, traffic flow and speed cameras for your route.
  • N332 Road Website : The N332 is main coast road here on the Costa Blanca. The N332 has it’s own English language website with up-to-date road news, traffic forecasts and help. They also have a discussion page on Facebook if you need to ask a question.
  • RAC (UK): You can check the RAC’s website for helpful information on driving in Spain such as insurance, age groups, speed limits and important driving etiquette.
  • AutoExpress: A general help and support site for drivers with a handy check list when coming to Spain
  • Anglo Info: An expat help site that covers many things “living in Spain” as well as a large driving section.
  • Citizens Advice Bureau ES : Just like the same organisation in the UK this can help with and covers many topics, including driving in Spain. Their Facebook page acts as a bulletin board and a Q&A for members. You should join.

Get expert Legal Advice when buying or selling your property

Real Estate Code of ConductAs an AIPP registered agent, Hondon Villas would not be doing our job correctly if we didn’t advise our clients to seek proper legal advice when buying or selling a property in the Hondon Valley areas.

We have experienced many people “going it alone”,  doing a “black money” deal or bypassing some of the legal paths to save money but WITH DRASTIC and COSTLY RESULTS, including one deal with counterfeit cash (person got caught when trying to put a large sum into a Spanish bank !!)… another where a house purchased verbally as “fully furnished” found there was no furniture at all when they got the keys to open their new home!

These and many other problems of variable severity can be avoided with proper checks and contracts. So we think it is vital to seek independent professional legal advice for a property sale/purchase in Spain to avoid making costly mistakes. Your lawyer should undertake all the necessary due diligence / paper work on the purchase and, if granted power of attorney, will be able to act on your behalf and save you having to make numerous trips to Spain to open a bank account, obtain an NIE number and other necessary procedures.

If you don’t already have a Lawyer, ask others for recommendations as not all offer the same service or fees. At Hondon Villas we do use several Lawyers in the general area, preferring not to have all our eggs in one basket and to reduce dependency or allegiance to just one company.

If we feel a Lawyer (or collaborating agent for that matter) is not acting in the interests of the clients, simply we ditch them! (and we have).

Spanish Property Prices Index

+++ PROPERTY MARKET DATA ALICANTE REGION +++

AUGUST 2016: We use various property market indicators as a guide to the current status of Spanish Real Estate. Here are some interesting stat’s based on real Notary data since 2007.

The property price index for the Alicante region is up by 5.1 over last year with a 25% increase in sales. [ Hondón Villas have many reduced priced properties here » ]

You can see that houses prices in 2016 are about 69% average of what they were in 2007.
CLICK TO ENLARGE: You can see that houses prices in 2016 are about 69% average of what they were in 2007.

The average price of a 3 bed property in this wider Alicante region is €136K with Murcia being cheaper at €109K.

Foreign buyers of Spanish property are still on the increase (albeit a lot slower than the boom years).

Mortgage lending on house sales is up by 19% in the area but rentals are down by nearly 7%. The population is roughly the same so no mass migration from Spain as yet.

And sadly unemployment is still a problem for Spain and the Alicante region but down by nearly 3% (although we are in the main tourist season).
Overall Spain has seen prices increases across all its regions from just 1.6% up to about 9% in the Madrid area. Overall Valencia has seen a 5.1% increase in house prices, where as Murcia 2.9%.

You can see that houses prices in 2016 are about 69% average of what they were in 2007.  [Source: Kyero Data, Notaries]

Related Links:

» Albatera property for Sale
» Hondon Valley Homes for Sale
» Hondon Vallei Onroerend Goed te Koop
» Long Tern Rentals in Hondón

Proud! We are a Finalist in the Pride of Spain awards

Thank you to our clients for nominating Maureen and Hondon Villas for the “Business of the Year” award in the annual Costa Blanca “Pride of Spain” awards. Which is sponsored and run by the excellent Expat’ newspaper “Costa Blanca People” (formerly The CoastRider).

We reached the final!

We are honoured to be part of this. A few years a go Hondon Villas help sponsor this eventthat celebrates people, community groups, organisations or businesses that go above and beyond for others.

The ceremony and winners are announced on 28th Sept’ at The Clubhouse, la Marquesa, Quesada . Tickets are available at just €12 to include hot/cold tapas and I think there is some entertainment too. Please some along and support the local people who make a difference, a great newspaper and promote community services.

And thank you for your lovely comments and support on our the Hondon Villas Facebook Page.

Victoria Hext Grogan says: “Huge congratulations to Mo and Hondon Villas, for reaching the finals of Pride of Spain! It’s no surprise to us because you really deserve it. While I was in spain and renting from Hondon Villas, you and the rest of the HV team always made any problems a matter of urgency and nothing was ever to much trouble for you. Your help was always available even if it wasn’t linked to the rental villa and you made my Spanish Property experience so much easier for me especially when my husband was away working so thank you! Good luck xxx”

Congratulations Maureen, Gina and Sapphire. We really hope you win. We had been on two previous property buying trips with two different real estate companies, neither of which was really helpful. We tried 4 more agencies, one of which tried to push us into buying something so opposite to our criteria it was dreadful.  Thank goodness we found you Hondon Villas. I can’t remember the chaps name in Frailes outside the cafe, but he told us all about Maureen and how she would look after us and boy was he right!  Mo and team, not only do you have our thanks for helping find our lovely home, but also our respect. – Sue Savage

Andrea Campbell-Jackson says:  My Mom and Dad, Ann and Dave, who are arriving at their new home in Hondon tonight had nothing but wonderful things to say about you (Maureen) and the fabulous service you and your company Hondon Villas have provided. Thank you so much for looking after them both in their big move to Spain. You really put my Mom’s mind at ease knowing she had you to help and guide them. I look forward to visiting soon and maybe I’ll see you in the village. Well done on making it to the finals.

Kathryn Green Says: “Well done! That is fantastic but of course no shock to me as you have always given outstanding customer service and have always gone above and beyond for all your customers over the years. So lovely to read all these positive comments. xxx”

» More information at Costa Blanca People website (formerly CoastRider).

 

Official opening of the new Auditorium in Frailes

Opening Frailes Auditorium15th March 2015. The president of the Alicante Council, Luisa Pastor with Mayor Eleuterio Jover, officially opened the new Auditorium Theatre in Hondon de los Frailes. This infrastructure cost €415,000 euros which was 95% funded by a provincial Institution Aid programme.

The modern building that houses the theatre and cultural center is 407 square meters, consists of a main access via the street through glazed entrance doors. The floor of the building is divided into two sections; one consisting of access, toilets and storage and the other with stalls and scenery.

Also, the Frailes Council are currently implementing improvement works to several streets of Frailes with an investment of over 306,576 euros. Within this aid package also includes the supply of electric power to the Auditorium.