Seal of approval – the MOT

With a pretty mint Defender TD5 we didn’t expect any problems at the annual MOT.

In Gibraltar, they are every two years, unless you have a commercial vehicle, and as ours is a van body, sadly it’s an annual MOT for us.

Last year, the inspector just glanced over it and said how impressed he was with the condition.

At the time of this year’s MOT it was around seven years old with less than 20,000 kms on the clock.

‘Fuck it,’ said Partner when he walked in and threw the keys on the table.

Failed on one oil seal on the front axle.

Now, had we been in Spain at the finca with our ramps life might have been easier. But catch 22, without the MOT we shouldn’t be driving in Spain, and we didn’t feel like having the vehicle impounded by the Guardia Civil. Plus we didn’t have four fancy tools that you needed (having looked at the manual). Plus brake pipe clamps. Tool bill mounting up a bit here.

See, this is why Simple Series are Superior.

Anyways, we bite the bullet and ring up the local main stealer. The ones who mis-sold us the vehicle in the first place. But that’s another story.

Luckily, we’ve always got on with the office staff and mechanics. And because we bought the vehicle there, it whizzed up on the system straight away. Now, rumour has it, that they have long waiting lists for repairs and servicing. We could take it in the following day for a looky by the mechanics.

We did. They checked out their stocks and discovered they had the required oil seals in stock – we’d decided to have both done, as a bit like master and slave cylinders, pretty obvious the other one would go soon. Might as well just have one expensive garage bill than two.

In we went the next day. Felt like VIP treatment. I held my breath for the bill. A hundred and thirty quid or so. Not so bad after all. Good job, fast and efficient, one mechanic changed both seals in two hours. Reading around it seems to take DIY people two hours to do one seal. It’s the first job we’ve paid for since we bought her. First time we have used a garage or a main stealer for years, but it was a good result.

Off we went to collect the coveted MOT. Cost of MOT – £40.



The road to recovery

Here we have a simple Land Rover project.

Well, that says it all really doesn’t it?

Simple and Land Rover don’t even belong in the same dictionary, let alone sentence.

The theory was to take off the perished tyres, BF Goodrich Trac Edge which had been on there for 20 years or so, not huge mileage, been off-road, snow, mud, the usual, and brought us safely down from the north of England to the south of Spain towing a Sankey trailer, and through snow around Madrid and mud in Andalucía. A lot of mud in Andalucía in fact.

Trac Edge were incredibly popular years ago, but then seemed to fall out of favour. They never let us down.

Then get some new tyres to put on the (Disco) rims. That’s as much of the plot that’s necessary for now, as after some considerable time had been spent with the hacksaw and grinder it was obviously not the anticipated simple little project after all. Well, there’s a surprise.

A quick five minute job ……

And given that we were setting off back for Gib around noon, the simple little project had to be abandoned for another day.

Question. Continue with the not so simple little project or take the wheels to the tyre place? When we have more time than a couple of hours on Sunday morning, I may be able to give the answer.

Meanwhile on the way back, having finally hit the road, it was warm. We’ve never had a vehicle with air-conditioning – but who needs air-con when you have vents? Sometimes they are really loud but they were perfect on this warm hot journey.

Last of the Defender vents

We like to stop in classy locations for a quick drink, for all three of us, and a leg stretch for all of us too. Here are the boys chilling out at Marbella service station on the peaje (toll road). Los Altos de Marbella.


Just before Marbella we hit the toll booth and there was a huge queue on the other side. But not for the toll. The Guardia Civil were stopping everyone. I was so stunned, I forgot to pick up the camera to take a pic of the nice man with a machine gun. Or maybe it was just as well I did forget.

Incidentally toll prices on the Fuengirola to Marbella section are currently 6.95€, and 4.70€ on the San Pedro section. We don’t use the one from Estepona to Sotogrande. Unless there is a bush fire of course and we get redirected.

If you don’t want to queue at the toll both there is an automated payment lane headed ‘turismos’ ie private cars and not commercial. You can get a Disco through the roof barrier, but a vehicle with extra lift, a roof rack and a load of clart on top might have a problem. If you don’t have euros you can pay by debit card at both the booth and the turismo lane.

Remember the bush fire from a couple of posts back? Can’t believe how quickly the vegetation and trees are recovering. Look at the amount of growth on these trees.

Green shoots of recovery – let’s hope Spain’s economy gets some too

That’s not just to justify bush fires by any stretch of the imagination, but the recovery time has been so quick. Luckily.

And, this is not the fogblog, but I couldn’t resist this mist swirling around the Rock as we drove through the frontier and across the Gib airport runway into home.

Swirling around

130 double cabs

It’s not often that Land Rovers come up for auction by the MOD in Gib.  And if they do, they are usually basket cases for spares.

But the last one this month had three, a 110 single cab for spares, and two D130 double cabs.

Saw this the other day in one of the Gib car parks. Wonder if it was one of the auctioned ones?? We didn’t get to go, sadly.

The new Málaga by-pass, A7 – east to west

And the flip side – east to west. I don’t think any text is necessary if you have read the previous post.

Except to say head for Algeciras all the way and you can’t go wrong.

A nice peaceful start to the journey

One of those adorable ruins ‘para reformar’?

Spanish love their bridges

By-passing Málaga and looking towards Alhaurin

Entrance to the tunnel

Spectacular views on the other side of the tunnel

And rejoining the old road again around the hills above Torremolinos

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Import duty into Gib – update

We had a query about importing a vehicle into Gibraltar so I thought I would answer it in a main post so everyone gets to see the answer. (Original post here).

Here were the questions:

What is the accurate duty fee to pay? Is it 30%, 40%, 12%?

And how does it vary depending on engine size?

How is the value determined and is it worth using an online evaluation of the plates to get an idea of how much will be required to pay?

thx for the usefull article!

My article referred to importing a second hand vehicle. The duty for these is as follows:

Up to 1500cc – 25%
From 1500 – 2000cc – 30%
More than 2000cc – 35%

For new vehicles the duty is less (ie half the second hand duty):

Up to 1500cc – 12.5%
From 1500-2000cc – 15%
More than 2000cc – 17.5%

That answers the first two questions.

The value of the vehicle is determined by the customs officer who examines it. Bear in mind this is part of their daily job and they are experienced at it. We considered we were given a fair valuation.

So, no, I don’t think an online evaluation of plates would help because at the end of the day it is the custom officer’s decision.

If anyone is bringing their vehicle in from Spain – or elsewhere – don’t forget to take it off the other system first BEFORE you import it into Gibraltar. If you import into Gibraltar, without taking it off another system, it will just cost you money to run on two systems.

I should add that different rules apply for the military who can get a bond and avoid paying duty as they are ‘temporary residents’ and intend to take their vehicle back home.

Although there were changes made in the 2010 budget, they did not affect duty on private imports that I cited above.

I include the quote from the budget below:

Import duty on pedal cycles, which is currently 12%, is reduced to zero;
Import duty on electric cars is reduced to zero;
Import duty on hybrid cars is halved for dealers to 6.25%,7.5% and 8.5% for cars of less than1500cc, 1500 to 2000cc and above 2000cc respectively (12.5%, 15% and 17% respectively, for private
Mr Speaker, 2 stroke engines create more pollution than 4 stroke engines, yet the duty on two stroke under 50cc is 6%, while the duty on 125cc 4 stroke is 30%. We need to discourage, not encourage the use of 2 stroke engines. Accordingly the duty on a 2 stroke under 50 cc motorcycle rises to 30% for dealers (it is already 30% for private imports) and all 2 stroke engines, regardless of cubic capacity will have a duty rate of 30%. In contrast, the duty on a four stroke motorcycle of any cubic capacity is cut from 30% to 15% for dealers (private imports will remain at 30%, except 4 stroke under 50cc which will remains as it is at present, namely at 6% for dealers and 12% for private imports.
Import duties on motor vehicles is increased for dealers as follows:
– Less than 1500cc by 2.5% from 12.5% to 15%
– 1500cc to 2000cc by 3% from 15% to 18%
– Over 2000cc by 4.5% from 17.5% to 22%
They remain unchanged for private imports

Don’t forget, to import a vehicle onto Gib plates, you need to be a Gib resident or have a business registered in Gibraltar.

Hope that helps. But it’s always advisable to ring customs and check. Or walk in, depending on where you are.

Gib mil vehicles

Couldn’t resist these two RN Landies parked outside John Mack Hall when there was a parade this weekend.

And, when we went down to the dockyard to watch the 21gun salute for the accession to the throne of HMQEII, we checked out the Reynolds Boughton that is being done up very nicely.

Had a query about importing into Gib, so that will be the next post.

Random photos sequel

And to complete the random photos ..

Here is a brill exped vehicle. We were very impressed with the security plating over the rear windows. Totally different to the usual grilles but very effective and clever. Interesting roof conversion too, adds height, don’t know whether it lifts, guessing not. We did leave a contact email on the windscreen of this one as we thought it was such a good and practical job but never heard from them. Oh well.

Both rear and middle windows covered by plates. Not sure what the purpose of those holes above the headlamps is?

One rear window plated including a grille, and the middle one darkened out.

Saw this one on the N340, can’t remember what it was – but looking back now, maybe a jeep?

Hello 🙂

Another exped vehicle outside the Bristol Hotel.

Closer look at the Hannibal roof tent.

Another new Landy in Gib. Very new.

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MOT in Gib

This is an easy one.

£20 for the test. Valid for two years. Only catch? This is for Gib residents and people with Gib businesses, ie registered in Gibraltar, only.

So no, you can’t bring your GB reg coche for an updated MOT when you have been living in Spain or anywhere else and out of the UK for longer than your MOT lasts. Nor can you buy some cheap Brit vehicle that has been kicking around on the Iberian peninsula for years and suddenly think you will get an MOT in Gib. Let me repeat, this is a non-starter.

So back to the beginning. If you have a Gib registered vehicle that you are legally entitled to drive – this is how to get your MOT roadworthy certificate renewed.

Go to the MOT station in Eastern Beach at the far end of Devil’s Tower Road.

Take your log book, last MOT cert, and ID to be on the safe side.

Pay your money in advance and you will then get an appointment.

Note, you can not do this over the telephone. You have to turn up in person to make an appointment, with the papers.

If you already have a certificate you will probably get a helpful reminder that your MOT is due to run out, we did.

On the due date of the test, you turn up and you are allocated to Lane 1 or Lane 2 depending on your vehicle.

Sadly we failed, but not on anything mechanical.

We had a broken window that had been shattered one Friday night, some time ago, by someone.

After a while we sourced the glass and put it in. All ready to go again in a few weeks, and it went straight through the test. Good to go for another two years.

Total time to replace glass – three and a half hours.

1) take out the complete frame with the existing good piece of glass

2) split frame

3) insert new glass

4) replace grub screws that hold frame together

5) Haynes would say – complete in reverse order – in other words, lift the frame with complete glass and insert into panel. Note two pairs of hands are helpful at this point.

6) Pop rivet the frame into the panel. On the Santana, some of this also needed two pairs of hands because it was very fiddly.

7) Refit rubber seal.

And – off to the MOT station for new certificate.

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