MIGUE FERNÁNDEZ

What's the average age of vehicles in each town or village in Malaga province?

In larger towns on the Costa del Sol the average age of vehicles is 11 years, compared with 14 to 15 years in rural areas

FRANCISCO JIMÉNEZ MALAGA

The average age of vehicles in Malaga province may be 13.6 years but in reality it depends on the type of vehicle and, even more so, where it is.

Statistics from the Directorate-General for Traffic(DGT) shows that small and medium-sized municipalities inland have the oldest cars, while in those with a bigger population more people have higher incomes and are likely to travel longer distances.

The list of places with the oldest cars is topped by Alfarnatejo, with an average age of 15.3 years, followed by Benadalid (14.8), Alpandeire (14.5) and Carratraca (14.4).

Meanwhile, in large towns on the Costa del Sol - Malaga city, Marbella, Fuengirola, Mijas and Estepona, for example - the average age of vehicles is 11 years.

Montejaque, newest?

That is the general situation, but there are two striking exceptions: Montejaque and Macharaviaya, tiny municipalities where the average age of vehicles is just 3.8 years. But the figures are misleading.

Why? It's simple. The rate of road tax (IVTM) is so low in these villages that companies with large fleets of cars, such as hire car businesses and transport companies, register them here to reduce their costs, even though the vehicles are hardly, if ever, in those areas.

All they need to do is use a building in the village as their company address. This way, everyone wins: the businesses pay less for road tax than they would elsewhere, and the town halls receive money which helps them to provide their services.

Montejaque is the best example, as its road tax rate is the lowest permissible by law. As a result, this tiny municipality in the Serranía de Ronda, with a population of just 938, appears to be the home of 16,078 vehicles, of which 11,164 are cars. If this were truly the case, it would amount to 17 vehicles per inhabitant.

The number of cars registered in Montejaque is similar to those in Coín, but the difference is that the town in the Guadalhorce valley has 23,375 residents and the vehicles have an average age of 12.2 years.

Continuing with the comparisons, in Nerja there are 9,921 cars and 21,018 inhabitants, while 18,937 people live in Torrox and there are 9,150 cars.