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Client Testimonials

"We used Paul to help us organise a wedding in Ronda for my English daughter and Scottish son-in-law. It was a very tricky matter, because it is not normal for foreigners to marry in the town. Nevertheless, we persevered and Paul did all the interpreting, talking to officials and making phone calls on our behalf. Needless to say, the wedding went perfectly, with a large part of the thanks going to Paul."
Mary Jackson, Colwyn Bay, Wales, May 2006

Friday, 27 August 2010 00:00

I was on the ITV today.  No, not the British telly channel, but the Spanish equivalent of the British MOT test for vehicles. I say “on”, because, as those of you who’ve had to get an ITV for your car will know, you’re a major participant in the process!


It was my first time at the ITV, pronounced ee-tay-oo-vay, and I didn’t know what to expect.  We’d turned up on spec to be told we had to ring a premium 902 number to make an appointment.  Not masking our disappointment, as our test was three weeks overdue – we’d forgotten all about it in the hectic run-up to our nuptials and had been out of the country – we were delighted when the nice señora suddenly announced there’d been a “no-show” and that we could have a slot in the next few minutes.

She took our details, we paid the 35 euro fee, and were told to wait till we were called.  Suddenly the tannoy went off.  We didn’t catch what it said, but assumed it could be us, so we drove round to Line 2 anyway.  Sure enough, after a few moments a técnico beckoned us forward, took our paperwork and began barking orders at me.

First, open the bonnet.  He had a brief look – I haven’t a clue what at – and then told me to shut it again.  Next I had to operate all the lights so he could check they were all working.  Then I had to roll forward so he could stick a wand up my exhaust pipe to measure my emissions, before moving forward yet again onto a machine that checked the brakes.  We’d recently had new brake pads so we assumed they would be OK.  Finally I had to position the car over an inspection pit, so he could check the steering.

He thrust the paperwork back at me, said we’d passed and sent us back into the office to get our red sticker for the windscreen.

As we drove off, legal once again, I reflected on how different yet quick and efficient the process had been.  For the UK MOT you make an appointment, drop your vehicle off and you’re lucky if you see it again within half a day. However, I suspect the British version is a tad more rigorous than what I experienced yesterday on the ITV.

© Paul Whitelock 



Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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