The figure is higher in many provinces. / sur

Almost three million vehicles on Spain's roads are not insured

It is illegal to drive without insurance and can result in hefty fines and the vehicle being seized

S.M. Madrid

Nearly three million vehicles on Spanish roads have no insurance. That is nine per cent: in other words nine out of every 100 are uninsured, according to government figures, although in fact the number rises to 23% in the case of Melilla and 18% in Ceuta.

This is illegal and can result in fines of between 601 and 3,005 euros being issued, depending on whether the vehicle is being driven or not, its type, what it is used for, the seriousness of the offence, how long it has been uninsured and whether this is a first offence

Almeria province and the Balearic islands have the highest number of uninsured vehicles, at 13% of all those on the roads, followed closely by Girona, Granada and Santa Cruz de Tenerife (12%). The figure is 11% in Cadiz, Ciudad Real, Huelva, Lleida, Malaga, Murcia, Las Palmas and Tarragona.

Law abiding

At the other end of the list are Guipúzcoa, Madrid and Navarra, the provinces where motorists appear to be more law-abiding as 6% of their vehicles have no insurance.

According to the law, if a vehicle is not insured it must not be driven and if discovered by the authorities it will be seized or sealed for a certain amount of time and will not be released until the owner can show that they have taken out insurance.

The owner of the vehicle will also have to pay the costs of the vehicle being impounded or sealed, and it will not be released until he or she does so.