The Law for Transporting passengers in Spain (Taxis and Similar)

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Posted and filed under Legal Issues in Spain, Motoring in Spain, Newsletters.

We had an enquiry from a gentleman last year who said that he wanted to do a similar business in Spain as in the UK, which was tennis holidays. Initially, he would still be based in the UK and would fly in with his clients. We looked into the matter and advised him the following:

We have the information about the requirements regarding vehicles for use in developing a tennis activity holiday. It is good news because the vehicles do not need any special licence, or steps at the Traffic office nor the Ministry of Industry.  The most important point is to be aware in case that the police stop you, that when transporting people in the car, that you must show the police something to prove that people are clients of your company.

You must have a contract with their names and document number as a proof that they are not only passengers, but they are the clients of your business. And that business cannot be an airport transfer business as that is a taxi and not permitted, as there are strict rules about licences for taxis. Fines for airport transports and taxiing can be very expensive.

So it is essential to always have your company set- up documentation in your car, and the client paperwork with you at any time you are transporting passengers,  to prove that you are transporting them for free, as a courtesy car, as part of another main service. Then the car has to be classified as a “Tourism” of maximum nine seats. It can not be a van. It is highly recommended to be a labelled car with the company logo.

The police do most of the controls at airports, so you must take care that your clients do not pay any money to you when they are getting out of the car at the airport, as that would then appear as if you were merely acting as a taxi when you are a proper business.

If you are registered as a legal company or self-employed in Spain then you are permitted to transport passengers as long as it is part of the service of another main business (such as the tennis holidays).  To be legal the new business must be registered in Spain. If not, then a client can register the home country company in Spain to trade, but this option is expensive and may have implications in the home country.

To be fully legal our customer can set up an SL company in Spain, being resident back home, to trade or he can sign an agreement with a registered company/sole trader here in Spain to provide to him the service to take people around.

So in summary, someone has to be registered legally as a business in Spain, and have the transport of people included with his main business activity  (for example of tennis holidays). They must be clients and the driver to be able to show he is the owner of the company or employed by it and have all relevant documentation on them if stopped to avoid a fine, showing that a service or product has been contracted (not an airport run)

We also spoke to an officer in the N332 Group of Guardia Civil who said the following:

” I just read the text about the person who would like to do tennis holidays legally.  It is similar to the situation that there are many apart-hotels or apartments paying someone to go to pick up people from airports, who are then paid by the clients.  When we stop cars or vans doing this, we ask if the car is in the name of the aparthotel, and are they doing a free courtesy service of airport pickups etc.. The person/entity that is invoicing the client has to be the apart-hotel (no one can invoice the client for this service, it must be included in the package and must be free) or the proprietor of the apart-hotel or apartment. If it is not in the name of the apart-hotel, then the person driving has to have worked for the apart-hotel for more than 30 months. ( The driver must prove his employment relationship with the company which the apart-hotel, it does not matter how many days or months is working for it) or it is sanc­tion­able of­fence.

Then the car has to be clas­si­fied as a “Tour­ism” of max­imum nine seats- (It can be a van or a car, depending on the needs of the client. For example, a van with 5 seats goes to the airport to pick up clients to play golf and all their material, so on this particular case, a van is required- it does not matter the car used provided that is into the business name and the worker works for it.

So in this case, the vehicle, say up to 9 seats, has to be in the name of the tennis company or the name of the owner of the tennis company and the best advice is that when a client hires the package or service the voucher or bill should clearly say to play tennis. You absolutely can not charge to pick up and take someone to the airport, it can only be a free courtesy service, like estate agents do for their clients, and not paid for as this is not permitted. Taxiing would be a public service (remember public liability and what insurance will cover in the event of an accident), strictly regulated, and can only be done by taxis and they have a special plaque that says SP, which costs a lot of money. Breaking this rule can lead to fines of up to 3,000€.

If you wish to set up a business or need tax help, please contact our colleague Ana to set up an appointment: office@spanishsolutions.net

 

22 Comments

  • Jason Hurst

    Hi

    Can you please advise what steps nd licenses would be needed to operate a minibus from Costa Blanc to Alicante and Murcia airports? It would be a disabled adapted mini bus

    I have a full bus license and CPC card and also. Digital Tachograph Card

    These are all English but can be exchanged if needed I’m looking at setting up in February 2020
    Thanks

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Jason,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      This kind of business is not easy at all, to get a transport licence SP (Servicio Publico) is very expensive and it takes a long time. It is also possible there are no licence available in the area and there is no way to get one. It would be best to contact a Fiscal Advisor who will assist with the relevent permits and if successful ensure the buisness has been legally set up for you. Should you need assistance with the Fiscal Advisor, please do not hesitate to contact us, we would be more than happy to help.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Paul meek

    Hi i have a nine seater mini bus and i work private hire in england i am looking to start a buisness in murcia transporting pre booked and paid customers who will be booking through a registered ticket excursions office i am in the process of applying for a private hire license in mjurcia could you tell me what insurance i would need I.E. would chauufer insurance cover this or ordinary mini bus insurance with public liability along side it thank you

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Paul,

      Thank you for your enquiry. Initially you need to register the van as “buisness use”, then have insurance for all seats. You would also need public liability to cover your buisness activities and employees. We hope this helps.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • Gillian Pisirayi

    What are the procedures to set a company of taxis

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Gillian,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      To open a taxi company, you will need a fiscal advisor, here in Spain.

      The fiscal advisor will apply to the town hall for the taxi licences and also assist with the opening of the company and tax returns ect. Please note some town halls have a limited number of licences and once they have been taken no more will be released.

      Should you need any assistance with this, Mari Carmen, our fiscal advisor would be delighted to help you.

      Kind regards
      Nicola

  • David Ingman

    What is ‘PrivateHire” in Spain ? Is it Hire with driver? Does it not need an SP and blue number plate at back ? If you carry fare paying passengers even if they pay prior to journey is this not Alquiler conductor?

    • Jane

      Hi David

      There does not seem to mention of private hire in the article can you give us more information on your question?

      Kind Regards

      Jane

  • David Ingman

    The comment by Paul Meek mentions he is applying for “private hire” I know alquiler publico but never heard of alquiler privado. Any airport transfer business needs VT for Taxi or VTC for hire with driver.Blue plate and SP and of course a bus company autocares .Is this not correct ?

    • Ian C.

      Hi David

      Yes you are correct.

      Kind Regards

      Jane

  • Chris O’Brien

    hello, i am interested in working either with an established Chauffeur company or doing it myself, I am told i need a VTC for hire with driver licence.. could you possibly tell me if this is something you could help me with please?

    • Jane

      Hi Chris

      One of our team will be in touch with you direct to gather more details from you.

      Kind Regards

      Jane

  • tom

    hi im looking on opening a beer bike excursion in Spain but it has a capacity of 16 people 2 being staff. is there government restrictions of having one of these vehicles on the roads of Spain.

    • Jane

      Hi Tom

      We are unable to confirm on this at this point. If you would you like us to refer you to an external advisor please give us a call.

      Kind Regards

      Jane

  • Jayanth

    hi

    I wanted to start transport business here in spain. Details are explained below…
    1. if i have a 9 seated car can i do pickup school children door to door service??? if yes please let me know the documentation ….

    2. if i have car can i drive or hire a driver to attaching company like uber and cabifiy?? if yes please let me know the documentation ….

    3. if i , plan to purchase a truck or a big size of van (goods transportation ) to attaching amazon relay then what is the staring process like, getting a licence , EU transport licence from spain, and other complete documentation required???

    Please provide me this three details as im planning to do this business in spain.
    i hold B licence and im working with uber now … im in autonoma and Social security is active…

    thanks in advance
    jayanth

    • Jane

      Hi Jayanth

      As this is quite a detailed enquiry Ana will be in touch with you direct by e mail.

      Kind Regards

      Jane

  • carl owens

    Hi Can you help please. My wife has a small car hire company and has been asked if she can collect people from the airport and take them to the hire car at their destination in stead of delivering the car to the airport, if yes what licence is required to do this please? Also if I would be able to do that to help out, I do not get paid from the business. Thank you for your help.

    • Jane

      Hi Carl

      If you get paid for collecting people from the airport you require to be registered as a Taxi or Uber, but if this service is included in the car hire contract then it should be okay and no licence is required. You would need to speak to your insurer re liability insurance if it was you rather than your wife driving.

      Kind Regards

      Jane

  • Selena Hunter

    Hi there.
    I was wandering if someone could advice me on setting up a small chauffeur company here in Alicante and Benidorm.
    My friends and myself have properties that we rent out for holiday rentals and have tourist licences but do we need a license for picking the guests up.
    Also I have ppl wanting to be taken on shopping trips or day trips but if I was going to get paid for this do I need a special license ..
    Noone seems to know and it’s something I want to do now because of this pandemic and want passengers to feel safe and in a specially sanitized car but want to know the correct procedure is to go down .
    I also have a lot of friends who are disabled and want someone they know to get them.
    I do alot of this but dont get paid and now things are hard I’m thinking instead of waiting for my work to open up I could do this instead.
    I want to do everything legal and was told you were the best people to speak to..
    TIA
    Selena

    • Jane

      Hi Selena

      Ana will be in touch with you directly to answer your questions.

      Kind Regards

      Jane

  • Gary

    What license do I need to transport household removals ( furniture and personal belongings) for my clients in Malaga? What is the cost and how do I apply. I have heard that if I buy a new van they give you the license? Thanks.

    • Tracie Miles

      Good afternoon Gary
      I have emailed you under separate cover.
      Regards
      Tracie

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