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Washing, repairing and spraying cars 

Can you wash, repair or spray your car on the public road?


The law is clear and the answer is no. Article 4.2 of the Reglamento General de Circulación, states that it is prohibited to throw, deposit or abandon on the road objects or materials that can cause an issue with the circulation of the traffic, stopping or parking; make using the road dangerous or deteriorate it or the installations.
The issue isn’t with the dirt itself rather with the products used to clean, tools used to repair and noxious chemicals used to spray. It is assumed that all road water will eventually end up in either the sea or rivers which so any product or noxious chemical is mixed with the water will end up harming the environment.
The law distinguishes three types of fines: very severe, severe and not severe. It depends on each town hall as to what fine would be applied, however the fines can range between very severe 500 euros to 3.000 euros, severe 750 euros to 1.500 euros and not severe from 30 euros to 120 euros.  Another thing to remember is that it is the owners who would be fined NOT the person carrying out the work.
Repairing and spraying cars on the side of the road has a whole load of other issues attached to is. All oil and liquids from vehicles HAVE to be disposed of correctly, it cannot by law, be put in the bin or allowed to drain into the road. Spraying cars without the use of proper equipment and purification has major environmental impacts and major health impacts as the pollutants are being inhaled by passers-by and the chemicals are going straight into the atmosphere without being purified.

Can you wash, repair or spray your car in a communal garage?

Here the law is a bit more ambiguous. It could be considered a miss-use of communal areas, more so if you use communal water or electric. Article 394 of the civil code states that each member of a community has the right to use communal areas, so long as the use is appropriate and so that its use doesn’t hinder or harm the interest of the community or other community members.
Again, here with regards to repairing and spraying the law is clear all liquids have to be disposed of and spraying has to be carried out with the correct purification equipment it can’t be allowed to be absorbed directly into the air.

Can you wash, repair or spray your car in your own private garage?

Yes, you can wash, repair or spray in your own private garage. However, all applicable laws and rules regarding safety, disposal and environment must be followed.