If anyone remembers the old 80,s TV show "Chips" with to the two guys on motorcycles well that should give you an idea about how the Gaurdia Civil look out here in Spain. Most people I have spoken to agree that their appearance and seemingly no nonsense approach put the fear of God into newly arrived expats! We were no different either, the first time they stopped us they checked everything and checked it again, the terminator sunglasses accompanied by the face that never smiles doesnt help put you at ease.
The second time was just a routine check as was the third by this time the local Gaurdia knew who we were, were we lived etc etc. One Sunday morning though I had just nipped back into the cave when I heard a car coming, after I came back out I found 2 of the Gaurdia Civil parked right outside our cave with one of them walking around my car having a REAL good look.... After returning back into the cave to get my other half and have a heart attack it was established that one of the Gaurdia was interested in buying the car! So after a good 20 minutes of examination, lifting bonnets and starting engines the whole experience came to an end - until the next Sunday...
To cut a long story short the guy who was interested decided not to buy the car (if it had been LHD then he would have) But him and his buddy spent over an hour the following Sunday explaining to us the process of changing number plates/Traffico etc. He even filled in the forms for us on our patio! Great stuff. They gave us emergency contact numbers and heaps of advice which was very very good to hear.
The Guardia Civil in my opinion do seem at first glance a little unapproachable but maybe this is because we expats are used to a completely different police system? However, we have had several conversations with our local guardia since the car sale escapade and have found them to be the most helpfull, cooperative and genuine Spaniards out there. Ultimatly, stay within the law and you have no problems, try to bend it even slighty and your done!
* Paying fines, if you live in rural andalucia and didnt have the euros to pay "on the spot" tell us the process and the costs envolved, all posts are welcomed in the forum. Cave Renovator.