Having second thoughts

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18 Feb 2017 12:18 AM by srs Star rating. 136 posts Send private message


Hopefully someone can give us a few pointers.

I have booked the ferry for my wife and I to drive from Bilbao to Malaga and back later in the year.  We have booked to stay overnight south of Madrid on the way down and two stop nights on the way back.  We were planning on using mainly non motorway roads such as N502 type roads etc.

My issue is that we will be travelling in a very open top classic car on UK plates and will stick out like a sore thumb with the case strapped to the luggage rack on the back etc.  Since booking I have been told by friends in Spain that we are unwise to do this and will be exposing ourselves to car jackings, muggings etc, plus the internet seems to be full of horror stories.

I'm beginning to think that it isn't worth it. 

Am I/they over reacting? Does anyone have any advice on what we should/should not be doing and looking out for?



This message was last edited by srs on 18/02/2017.

This message was last edited by srs on 18/02/2017.

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18 Feb 2017 5:15 AM by Jontym Star rating. 17 posts Send private message

Yes there is crime like all places, I have been driving in Europe, firstly with caravan and kids, then for the last 8 years back and to my apartment in Orihuela Costa. I use Calais all the time and drive througe France and Spain staying in secure hotels for over night stays as the belonging in the car, on English and the last two years on Spanish plates, and when using you common sense I have never had a problem, open top and baggage strapped is a new one to me, but, you would do nothing if fear was the overriding thing, make sure you have the right insurance, don't leave or carry expensive things, park in service station right near the front doors, don't use rest areas to sleep in, and be aware of the surroundings!


have a great trip!



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18 Feb 2017 8:27 AM by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5255 posts Send private message

** EDITED **


This message was last edited by johnzx on 18/02/2017.

This message was last edited by eos_moderators on 2/20/2017 6:03:00 PM.

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20 Feb 2017 2:36 PM by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4552 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar

** EDITED **


This message was last edited by eos_moderators on 2/20/2017 6:02:00 PM.



"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please"

Mark Twain




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20 Feb 2017 5:22 PM by baz1946 Star rating. 2265 posts Send private message

This is getting a bit like Old McDonalds farm....

With a PM here and and a PM their....Here a PM, their a PM,  Old McDonald had a forum....

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20 Feb 2017 5:54 PM by ads Star rating. 4049 posts Send private message

How do the local Police react to instances of theft of this nature? Are they sufficiently protective of the "tourist" under these circumstances to act as reassurance?

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20 Feb 2017 6:06 PM by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5255 posts Send private message

1 Ads. How do the local Police react to instances of theft......

The Policía Local do not deal with crimes, albeit that they have the power to arrest.  It is either the Guardia Civil or Policía Nacional (or I believe in the Basque Country and Cataluña the equivalent)

If one is the victim of a crime they should try to report it to police who have jurisdiction for the place where the crime was committed.  However, both the Guardia and Policía Nacional are required to take a crime report (denuncia) if one goes to their office.  Information about some crimes can be given in Engish and other languages on 902 101 112  but the actual crime report is not made until one attends the National police station they have nominated, not at a Guardia Barracks.   If one does not attend and sign then no report exists.

Care should be taken when signing a crime report, which of course will be in Spanish, where the info was given on the telephone, as the translations can be quite poor.

NB   Very few  Spanish police stations have a translator service and few officers speak English,  so one may need to take a translator . 

Ads,  There are very more police officers at police stations in Spain than at an equivalent police station in UK.  They can often appear unsympathic to victims



This message was last edited by johnzx on 20/02/2017.

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20 Feb 2017 7:30 PM by acer Star rating. 1464 posts Send private message

SRS, There is a problem and you need to be very aware, but it's not that bad.  I'm sure I'll be corrected if wrong, but I was under the impression that the real risk surrounded the motorways in southern France.  I had an incident there after stopping for a snack, a few miles down the road I had two punctures - not good with only one spare tyre.

I was oblivious to the risk at the time, but was told subsequently that the tyres were punctured on purpose.  The fact there were 3 large males in the car may have been a deterrent.

But there is a minor risk where ever you go in Spain and they seem to target Brits with hire cars.  Sometimes as soon as you arrive whilst putting suit cases in the boot.  These tend to be distraction thefts - I believe they are a lot more common than anything involving violence, which I believe are a rarity.

Don't argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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20 Feb 2017 8:51 PM by ads Star rating. 4049 posts Send private message

Thanks as ever for your informative post Johnzx.

I wonder, given the large number of British that come to Spain as tourists, is there not a national citizens advice organisation existing in Spain, that could act as referral to regional contact points for translators and advice, perhaps serviced by volunteers whose intent is to assist the Policia National/ Guardia Civil as well as the British tourists?

Just a thought.

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20 Feb 2017 9:19 PM by srs Star rating. 136 posts Send private message

Thanks everyone for your advice, I think I should just be alert and careful.

It is mainly the drive down and back I am concerned about.

I have driven round Andalucia in a hire car without problem but as my car is very open and very low it stands out like a sore thumb. That is why I though it better to take N roads rather than motorway.


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