The Spanish General Traffic Department have developed a system that allows them to tell whether or not a car is insured by reading its number plate.
And in an attempt to remove older cars off the road, with none aged over seven by the year 2016, a ‘repair history record’ of all vehicles registered in Spain will be launched.
The number-plate radar was instigated just after Easter, and is connected to a central database which immediately shows whether a vehicle has at least third party liability insurance cover, the minimum required by law for a car to be used on the road.
Without this insurance cover, damage to another driver’s vehicle, or injury or death to other road-users have to be compensated for out of the offending car-owner’s pocket, and as this can often run into tens of thousands or even millions, third party cover is essential.
Few details have as yet been given about the plans to reduce the age of cars on the roads, although the General Traffic DEpartment (DGT) says at present, around 50 per cent of vehicles are aged nine-and-a-half years or over and they want to reduce the age of this 50 per cent to a maximum of seven years by the year 2016.
The DGT says cars are getting older because due to the recession in Spain, few drivers can afford to replace theirs, meaning the number of new cars manufactured and registered in the country is falling considerably, causing serious losses in the motor industry.