Spanish Prangs - Welliesorter
I've been to Spain three times this year, having never set foot in the country before.

On my visits I've noticed that a huge proportion of cars have been in some sort of minor side collision, especially affecting the passenger side.

This raises the question: do the Spaniards have more prangs or do they just not bother gettting them repaired?

Maybe the insurance system works differently in Spain. I wondered whether the police turn a blind eye to slightly damaged vehicles (I'm sure in the UK they'd take a dim view of sharp edges and missing light covers) and then noticed that even some police cars and vans seem to have been somewhat battered.

The tendency is very marked in Barcelona, but even in the other Spanish cities I've visited (Girona and Palma) there were many, many dented cars.

I should point out that I'm not trying to start an anti-Spanish thread. I didn't witness any prangs (which makes me all the more curious) and saw no real examples of reckless driving.
Spanish Prangs - cleopatra
Not sure about Spain but think its the same as Italy which is - fully comp insurance doesnt exist so they have to pay for the damage to their own cars and so dont bother, cities especially are very congested with very little parking which means that they have more collisions including hitting parked cars, some families have a car for 'best' which they look after and dont bother about the runaround, MOT tests are only after four years and then every two so they can get away without doing repairs for longer - are you sure about the driving though - I dont think that's a trait that's shared with Italy!
Spanish Prangs - Welliesorter
they have
to pay for the damage to their own cars and so
dont bother...

I did wonder about that but I'd expect there to be laws about driving around in a car with smashed lights and sharpish edges.
...cities especially are very congested with very little parking
which means that they have more collisions including hitting parked cars...

Yes, I did notice a lot of very obvious parking scrapes, especially on painted bumpers.

The only things that really amazed me on my latest trip were two examples of cars not merely parked on corners but obstructing the entrance and exit to minor roads. This looked particularly odd as the cars were parked parallel to properly marked spaces that were diagonal to the edge of the kerb. The drivers had extended the parking area by adding an extra, unofficial, couple of spaces at the end.

Having said all this, I noticed far more old cars around than I'd expect to see in the UK. Seventies survivors I noticed this week included pristine Renaults 4, 12, and 18 and a Seat (similar to Fiat) 127. I haven't seen some of these since my childhood.
Spanish Prangs - martint123
They tend to use cars as transport over there rather than as status symbols - so the bumps don't matter to them.
The number of elderly cars points to the lack of road salt in 'winter' as much as anything I guess.
Spanish Prangs - Pugugly {P}
Having strong genetic links with the Country, I have an interest in this. What I have noted of late is that the average age of vehilces on the roads seem younger than the UK. Reference Barcalona I can only comment by asking - have you ever driven there ?! the question possibly explains why a large proportion of cars have dents !!!
Spanish Prangs - PhilW
Same in Paris! Last Easter we had a family "Short Break" there and one morning over a coffee outside a cafe on a busy boulevard we played "spot the undamaged car" and there were surprisingly few despite the fact that we could only see one side of each car that passed!
Spanish Prangs - Welliesorter
I've never driven in Barcelona and don't plan to. I'm a born coward. Besides, crossing the road safely in a foreign country is an achievement for me: I've subconsciously registered the fact that traffic will be coming from what I consider to be the wrong direction. Unfortunately I forget that I've already compensated for this and have to think about it. I then compensate for the fact that I've compensated by looking the wrong way. I sometimes remember that I'm likely to do this so compensate by... you get the idea. My mind ends up doing a series of double bluffs with itself. You can imagine how dangerous this sort of thing would be in a car.

Getting back to the prangs, I wonder whether the location of the bumps is a clue. As I said, they tend to be on the passenger side and usually nearer the front than the back.

Which side of the road were you on in Paris?
Spanish Prangs - THe Growler
Until about 2 years ago I owned a villa at Playa de Pals which is North of Gerona. My property agent always arranged for a National rental to be available for me at BCN airport. The girl would wander around it before handing over the keys noting down the existing dings and scrapes, presumably so she could identify any that I might have added when the car was given back. Since none of the damage ever seemed to get repaired anyway, the exercise seemed pointless.

Actually I always find it much less stressful driving a car with dings in it. None of that awful feeling of (a) maybe I'll scratch this pristine vehicle, and (b) yikes I just have.

For the prize for ultimate contempt in vehicle treatment I'd nominate Egypt. Quite normal to see two dilapidated black and white Fiat 124 taxis go for the same space at high speed round Ramses Square in Cairo, collide with each other, then carry on without a backward glance.
Spanish Prangs - No Do$h
After driving through Northern Italy (including several days of buzzing around Verona and Central Milan) this summer I have to say that Italian driving is a darn site better than anything I've experienced on the M25 or in central London! I accept that Barcelona does seem to take the biscuit, usually on any junctions with Avenida Diagonal. Paris is hideous, simply hideous. Best left to the French.
Spanish Prangs - WipeOut
I've got Spanish family (Madrid) and a flat (near Girona) in Spain and so we regularly travel to Spain.

Yes, the Spanish have more prangs, and yes they don't bother getting them repaired.

I've also lived on the continent (Brussels) for two years. England 12 (averaging around 30k a year) years of driving only one car accident, 3rd party at fault. Continent, two yeas of driving four accidents, 3rd party always at fault! The Belgians have a joke about buying new car wings at the supermarket in packs of twelve because they can get a discount! My neighbour in the flat downstairs in Brussels had 12, yes 12 accidents in one year!

My Spanish relatives are all mad drivers! There is not one good one. Driving in Madrid and Barcelona is only for the niave or very brave Brit.

However I like the fact that the Spanish are more relaxed about minor scrapes, and see bumpers for what they are bumpers. Stupid idea to paint them anyway. Minor scratch here in Britian and it's sure to be an expensive insurance claim.

The Brit's idolise there cars far too much, but the Spanish are too careless!

Spanish Prangs - El Hacko
right on, WipeOut
the Spanish, sensibly, treat cars as a means of transport, not posing. Away from the major cities, they look after their vehicles (in a maintenance sense) and they seem to last. Remember, Spain doesn't have a huge second hand car market like UK, probably cos there are so few company cars.
And what on earth IS the point of having painted bumpers? Just to help keep bodyshops in work, I guess.
Spanish Prangs - Hawesy1982
Brussels is by far the worst city i've driven in - lanes onto, on, and leaving roundabouts rarely add up the same, for example
Spanish Prangs - Welliesorter
Brussels is by far the most frightening city in which I've crossed the road. That's even if you're not aware of the reputation of Belgian drivers. Fortunately it has excellent public transport. Having said that, most of the cars there seem to be in a far better state than in Spain. (I should also point out that I've found to be one of the friendliest big cities I've visited.)

All these posts are confirming my determination never to drive in a foreign country. Maybe I'd make an exception for Australia or New Zealand for obvious reasons.
Spanish Prangs - THe Growler
IIRC AU and NZ are a good bit farther along the scale for traffic fatalities as a percent of the population than UK.
Spanish Prangs - THe Growler
Just look at that dumb censor thing....

Sorted. ND
Spanish Prangs - DieselBoy
Antwerp is hell to drive in.

If you're not being tailgating by a Belgian guy, you're being chased down the street by a tram which appears to have rapid acceleration!

Turin is also interesting. A friend who works there invited me to take a drive through the centre of the city. I politely declined his kind offer, having already taken my life in hands just crossing the road. A week later, someone wrote off his Lancia as they ignored the 'optional' traffic lights that were showing red and ploughed into the side of him.

Italians seem to have more scrapes per square foot of car bodywork than any other country, possibly with the exception of Greece. They're bonkers.
Spanish Prangs - ShereKhan
I have to agree with you about the Italians. I have limited driving experiece of driving in europe. But I have driven

Faro > Lisbon
Faro > Seville
Barcelona > Valencia
Rome > Naples > Foggia > Ancona

I drove on the motorways and straight into the heart of the cities in question.

I found that the Portugueese were crazy drivers, they overtook on blind corners. They did however stick to speed limits as the police is very strict there.

Driving into the heart of Naples was a nightmare. All I could see were battered cars left right and centre. It was a battle to stay in lane. If you drove fast you were ok. I ended up parking the car in the airport for fear of the rental company charging me for damage! This theory was blown out of the water when I seen a Fiat Coupe Turbo parked up at the airport with yards of duct tape holding it all together.

At one point I was blocked in traffic by seven vehicles all beeping their horns and assuming it was their right of way! My chum in the passenger\'s seat was absolutely petrified. I just thought it was hilarious...I can only credit the Italians art of lane discpline on the motorway. They didn\'t hog lanes - If you did you would have a very angry Alfa/Lancia?BMW driver within inches of your tail!! I learnt this whilst being in a Lancia Y10 1.2 (Luxury Fiat Uno)at 110mph The best part on the motorways was flashing lorry drivers out of the way (an illegal practice - or so i\'m told). The lorry drivers always gave the cars priority.

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