Love-Hate Relationship With Spain


OVER the last couple of weeks we have had a “situation” with our car, that in many ways sums up perfectly what living in Spain can be like. First the accident: a guy reversed into the car while Sands was driving. She had pulled out of a parking space and was driving away when the guy just reversed out without looking behind him. Crunch!

Second the attitude: having not damaged his own car the Spanish guy seemed less than interested in exchanging details, but Sands got his car license details and he reluctantly wrote down his phone number.


Can’t say this filled us with much hope, and after four days of phoning and texting, and receiving no responses had started to assume the worst.

Went in search of the car, and found it, so left a note in Spanish on the windscreen, but then as luck would have it a friend we were having a beer with recognised the description, so he and I went round for a chat.

Over the next 10 minutes I got three different versions of events, none of which correlated with Sands description so… I suggested we had a beer! This calmed the chap down, I explained that all I needed was for him to sign the insurance form, and we would let the insurance company sort it all out. Sorted, we had a few more beers… best of mates for the afternoon!

Next, the quote: went to our local garage that we have used over the years and they gave us what I thought was a very reasonable quote. Tony, our insurance broker though suggested we went to the Toyota Garage for a quote which we did. Arrived at 1pm, to be told that they closed at 2pm so could we go back the next day, earlier, so they could sort out the quote. Arrived the following day at 11.30am, and left at 11.45am… with the quote! All they did was ring the Paint Shop Garage, chat over the phone, then write up a quote. I have absolutely no idea why they couldn’t do that the day before.

Next up, getting the work done: quote approved, was then told that they wouldn’t be able to do the work in August as the Paint Shop Garage was shut (I know, you thinking the same as me …. the same one that they spoke to a few days ago ….), although as this was August I was expecting that, and didn’t have a problem. Arranged to drop it up at the garage on the September 2 and pick it up on the 7th as we needed it to pick up family on the 8th.

Rang on the 7th to be told… will be ready on the 10th!!! Had a bit of a “chat” and they said they would try and speed things up and would call me back, which they did… on the 8th around 5pm to say the car was ready.

As I write this I am still waiting for the insurance company to pay the excess, the body strip on the door that they didn’t bother to replace but “fixed” instead needs replacing, but everyone seems happy enough.

Living in Spain can be a real “love hate” relationship for sure, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Costa Almeria Living: by Chris Marshall



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