Thursday, June 13, 2024

English cars targeted in Spanish seaside city because there’s ‘too many Brits’

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British expats living in Spain have claimed vehicles are being vandalised purely because they have UK number plates, amid growing ‘anti-British’ sentiment among some locals.

The couple at the heart of the claims, who moved from Horsham in West Sussex to the sun-kissed surroundings of Marbella four years ago, said they initially felt embraced by the “very friendly” local residents.  But their story turns sour, with an unpleasant incident during a breakfast outing at the posh Nobu restaurant in June 2023.

Much to their shock and dismay, their Volvo XC40 car – which carries UK plates – was vandalised using pink spray paint.   Adding salt to the wound, they say staff confirmed to them that this was not an isolated incident, with similar inexcusable acts having been committed against another car bearing British plates.

They suspect this act of vandalism has a troubling undercurrent of ‘anti-British’ motives.  The pair, who want to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals, decided to voice their concerns now due to what they say is a palpable surge in anti-British attitudes in the country.

Citing the backlash against budget holidays, worsening visitor behaviour and stricter tourist rules, they warn of increasing bitterness towards British tourists and expats.  Reflecting on the disturbing ordeal, the woman said: “It seems to be that English reg cars are being targeted as part of feeling that there are too many Brits in Spain.”

“I think it’s quite sad there is so much building happening now and housing is being sold to tourists but mainly where we are it has been to Russians, not Brits.”

“I just think it’s sad Marbella is a lovely place to live and the Spanish are normally very friendly.”

 “I never expected that someone would do something like this to us just because we’re British.” 

The couple, who run a business consultancy, moved to Spain four years ago.  Fortunately, the couple had a friend who managed to clean up the car for €250. They said the repair work would have cost them nearly €1,000 if they had taken it elsewhere. 

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