Posted Feb 11th 2013 1:30PM
A group of American auto writers found themselves on the wrong side of the Spanish police recently while driving the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG through Catalonia. According to Motoramic, officers stopped around 18 writers, though not for disobeying any local traffic laws. Instead, the members of the group were detained for not being able to produce an international driver's licence despite the fact that an IDL isn't a legal document, requires no test and simply states in several languages that the holder possess a valid US licence. The writers were held on the side of the road before being moved to a parking lot for around two hours.
And what of their high-performance sedans? Police impounded six of the cars, each worth over $100,000. A representative from Mercedes-Benz eventually arrived to help free the writers, though Motoramic says the cars themselves remained in Spanish custody. Mercedes-Benz spokesperson Christian Bokich said, "No fines were paid, no charges were brought and no bribes were given."
A quick FYI for any of our readers planning a trip to Spain that includes a rental car: you can quickly and inexpensively obtain your International Driver's Licence from any CAA office location at a cost of $25. Bring 2 passport sized photos and valid drivers licence with you and they'll prepare it for you on the spot - this may save you some unwanted seat time with the local police.