An ITV station.

These are the latest changes made to Spain's ITV vehicle inspection tests, with effect from 1 July

A number of checks have been restored which had been modified or eliminated due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, in order to minimise the risk of contagion

SUSANA ZAMORA Madrid

The latest version of the ITV Stations Inspection Procedure Manual has just been come into force in Spain and, in addition to clarifying certain procedures, it mainly eliminates the restrictions put into force because of the Covid-19 pandemic in order to minimise the risk of contagion.

For example, while the restrictions were applied the mechanic carrying out the ITV technical inspection test was not permitted to get inside the vehicle. This meant the driver had to fasten and unfasten the seatbelts while the mechanic watched from outside to make sure they worked correctly, but that has now changed.

While the restrictions were in force, the checks on the chassis stamp and On Board Diagnostics reader were also affected, for the same reason.

A vehicle’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) is a unique combination of 17 alphanumeric digits, a type of identity number for all the vehicles sold in Europe.

When checking the chassis number, the mechanic has to ensure that it is there, whether it is in good condition and has not been manipulated and that the number matches that on the documentation. Generally, these are in one of three places: engraved on a metal plate on the dashboard and visible through the front window; on the manufacturer’s plate or on the chassis itself.

The OBD is a system that allows an external computer to connect to the vehicle’s electronic control unit. This is to find any fault or manipulation of the safety and anti-contamination systems, and is an essential part of the ITV inspections of the most modern vehicles. It could not be done while the restrictions were in place, but is now to be resumed again.

Since 20 May 2018, ITV inspections have had to include an OBD port diagnostic test. This applies to M1 and N1 vehicles (cars with up to nine seats and vehicles which cannot carry more than 3.5 tonnes) approved under Euro V emissions regulations or higher. In other words, this test now has to be carried out on all cars or vans registered after January 2011.