Getting an ITV vehicle inspection appointment for the next day in Malaga province sounded like a pipe dream at the start of the year.
A lack of personnel at the test stations, aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic, caused delays of up to four months forcing thousands of drivers to take their vehicles on the roads with an expired test certificate, exposing them to 200-euro fines.
However now appointments are available within 24 hours at most inspection facilities around the province.
The temporary hiring of 180 staff in several batches between January, May and June for the nine stations in Malaga province has made it possible to eliminate waiting times for the first time in three decades of history of the public company Verificaciones Industriales de Andalucía (Veiasa).
"I made an appointment and they gave me one for the next day," said José Cortés as he waited for his turn at the busy ITV station on the El Viso industrial estate in Malaga. It was one of the six stations (Mijas, Ronda, Marbella, Estepona and also on the Guadalhorce industrial estate in Malaga) in the province that had appointments for the following day, on Tuesday
The one in El Palo offered an appointment for Thursday, while in Antequera it was for next Monday and in Algarrobo, for Tuesday.
During the pandemic lockdown period (from 16 March to 18 May, 2020) some 150,000 vehicles should have taken an ITV test in Malaga, to which another 40,000 had to be added that had expired before the declaration of the first state of alarm and the 16,000 vehicles whose validity was expiring each week.