ITV’s Black Hole: Nine Million Vehicles Without Control

The condition of the tires is the main obstacle that prevents the car from overtaking Vehicle Technical Inspection (ITV). This characteristic of vehicles is behind 15 out of 100 unfavorable reports (19.2% of the total), which ban the affected vehicle from driving and force it to pass a new audit within a maximum of two months to prove that this serious defect has been resolved. But that is by no means the main problem at ITV, but another that goes unnoticed: nine million vehicles present in Spain have not been presented at authorized centers to pass inspection even though they are required to, according to data from 2021.

In the absence of official cifars because the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) does not provide them, the Spanish Association of Entities Collaborating for the Department in Technical Vehicle Inspection (AECA-ITV) denounces that 36.4% of the vehicles that had to pass ITV in 2021 did not even show up. This is a slightly lower percentage than the previous year, when a study by Carlos III University indicated that 4.7 million cars, 3.2 million trucks and 1.5 million motorcycles did not appear for mandatory inspection. A number that has not stopped growing in recent years.

Although the penalties imposed by the DGT are increasing year by year, this problem, which entails a greater risk of road accidents, has not been reduced. “The absentee who forgets to pass control when the time comes is not the problem, the serious problem is that the owner does not go to the center because he knows his car will not pass the inspection and he will have to face a repair that may be more expensive than the car itself,” explains Guillermo Magar, director of the Employers Association of ITV Operators.

Non-compliance is cheap

He says one of the reasons he doesn’t go through paperwork is how cheap non-compliance is. If the driver is stopped or detected by the police (while parked on the street or in a parking lot) He does not have the certificate in order, and the penalty is 200 euros, which is reduced by half in the case of Pay As You Go. At that moment, the driver can decide whether to go to the control centers or directly abandon the vehicle and cancel its registration. This way, you have gained time for a small amount of money. If the vehicle is detected to be used without repairing the defects, the fines can be 200 or 500 euros depending on the seriousness of the detected anomaly. Driving without an insurance policy is much more expensive: 1,500 euros. “It’s a paradox,” says Magar, “because insurance is important, but perhaps more important is the risk of a car in poor condition, which is a risk to the passengers themselves, but also to the rest of the vehicles dealing with all the papers in order.”

A report two years ago by the General Directorate of Labor, which did not respond to this newspaper’s requests, indicates the existence of A direct relationship between the age of the damaged vehicles and the condition of the vehicle’s technical examination. For example, 7% of passenger cars between the ages of 5 and 9 did not pass the ITV, while this percentage exceeded 15% when the vehicle was over 15 years old. In the case of trucks weighing up to 3,500 kg, the range of ITV not exceeded was between 7% and 33%. Study conducted by Carlos II University of Madrid at the request of AECA-ITV She indicated that the inspection process prevents 11,000 accidents, 11,000 injuries and 170 deaths.

In addition to those who don’t go to inspection stations, there are vehicles that do and don’t get a preferred report. “The six million vehicles that ITV does not pass each year is another symptom that our car park is so degraded. Why so many? Well, because, for sure, they will not pass inspection because they are old, inefficient and unsafe”, denounced Montsi Martinez, commercial director of the Faconauto car dealership association.

The number of penalties linked to expired ITV has increased by 55% since 2015, to 618,000 fines. These figures do not include those imposed in Catalonia and the Basque Country, which are communities with devolved traffic powers. But his employer considers them insufficient and calls for more robustness to reduce levels that are light years ahead of other countries. In Germany, with a model similar to the Spanish one, the proportion of cars that ignore control is 2%. In other countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands, the lack of control can be just over 5%, but it has nothing to do with the third part of the park that is forced each year to pass control. Controls enabled in some cities for access to low emission zones could be used, if there is political will, to detect vehicles without control.

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