For those thinking about getting a ciclomotor (motor scooter), there are some good reasons for doing so quickly. As of September 1st, 2008 it will become more difficult to get a Licencia de Conducción de Ciclomotores (LCC), which is what permits a person to legally drive a scooter of 50CCs or less.
At the moment, the only requirement is that you complete a theory exam of 30 questions with three mistakes or less. When the new law takes effect in September, applicants will have to complete a road test on a closed-circuit system, as well as a new type of theory exam. The questions will have between one and four correct answers, and the maximum number of errors will rise to six out of 30 questions. In addition, the minimum age for obtaining a license will be raised from 14 to 15 years old and the minimum age for carrying a passenger will be 18, as opposed to the current 16.
In order to take the examination, applicants must first pay €18 and sign up for an exam date—which may be as much as two months down the road. Before registering, applicants must complete a psicofísica examination. This tests coordination, eyesight and hearing and costs between €50 and €60. It can be done at any private medical clinic, and there are at least a dozen such clinics lining the road on either side of the Dirección General de Tráfico (DGT) at Gran Via 184, where Barcelona residents must go for all things related to automotive bureaucracy.
It used to be that there was a convenio between some schools and the government, which offered people a fast-track, allowing them to take their licensing exam at the same school upon completion of four-day, two-hour classes. However, that convenio becomes null after the 27th of this month and all who aspire to an LCC will have to take their exam at the DGT.
Once you have your LCC, the next step is to get yourself a motor scooter. The average cost of a new one is over €2,000, and all registration requirements are taken care of by the shop that sells it. For those with less to spend, a second-hand vehicle may cost as little €700, but the buyer will have to take care of some of the bureaucratic details. So when buying a ciclomotor second-hand, it’s important to make sure the previous owner hands over certain essential papers: the Licencia de Caracteristicas, sometimes called the Inspección Técnica de Vehículos (ITV), which is essentially a vehicle inspection guaranteeing road-worthiness that must be renewed every two years, and the permiso de regulación (registration). The latter needs to be presented by the buyer to the DGT along with proof that the vehicle taxes have been paid, proof of insurance, ITV with photocopies, and DNI/residency card/passport with photocopies.
Along with your LCC, the ITV and permiso de regulación must then be carried at all times while operating a scooter.
Aside from having to do less paperwork, there is another important advantage to buying a new ciclomotor—a two-year warranty, with service provided. If you buy secondhand from an individual, there is no guarantee how long it will function. In general, it’s best to buy from a taller (garage) that will offer a guarantee of between six months and a year. The downside of this is that most talleres sell second-hand bikes for only a few hundred euros less than a new one.
It’s not as easy to own and operate a scooter as it might appear judging from the sheer numbers of them on the roads here, but then again with the price of fuel rising and traffic growing worse it might be wise to join that swarm of idling scooters waiting for the light to turn green.
Dirección General de Tráfico: tel. 93 298 6539 or www.dgt.es