LAST week I couldn’t get into the public car park with my pass. The barrier wouldn’t open so I had to take a ticket and then go to the office to get them to open the barrier to let me out. I thought it strange but no more of it until the same thing happened the next day. It was only then, once parked and taking a look to see if something was covering the number plate that I saw that the front one was missing.

I had no idea if it had just fallen off or had been stolen or how long I’d been driving around like that. I feel that I should have perhaps gone to the police to notify that this had happened, although in this instance I rather favour the idea that it just fell off rather than be taken for some illicit pursuit.

After all, let’s face it, everyone seems to ‘touch’ park in Marbella, bumping the cars in front and behind when trying to fit in a space with very little, if any, thought for the property they’re destroying in the process. My car has so many bangs and scratches – some even intentional, that I now prefer to park in a car park rather than street park, particularly in the summer months, whenever I can, but it’s not always possible. Not knowing what to do and fearing that I probably shouldn’t be driving around without a licence plate I called Linea Directa.

They immediately organised a tow truck to pick me up and take me to a garage. I rode in the cabin with the driver and had a lovely conversation about how he grew up with all us foreigners living in his city. His comments reflected what most Spanish locals say – “we’re good for businesses and that they don’t mind having us around, we don’t really get in their way.”

As it turns out I could have driven there myself as it’s the rear licence plate which is obligatory, but it was a nice ride there getting to know more about the Spanish side of Marbella and to know that I hadn’t actually been breaking the law driving around until I realised that the registration was missing. I have to say my car looked very cool without the plate and if it weren’t for the fact that without one I won’t be able to drive easily in and out of car parks, I’d have left it off. The consolation is that the replacement was ready and on my car in under an hour, it only cost €15 and I met some really nice people! The downside is that I still have to ‘find the time’ to go to notify the police that I lost my plate. • • •

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