Uber started operations in Mallorca in June 2023. | Pilar Pellicer


The Supreme Court in Madrid has upheld a ruling by the high court in the Basque Country, which annulled articles under regulations for VTC licensed vehicles* that had been introduced by the regional government.

The Basque government had operators like Uber in mind when establishing advance booking of a minimum of thirty minutes for VTC services. Other Spanish regions then adopted the same system of prior reservation, including the Balearics.

The Supreme Court's decision states: "This constitutes a very notable limitation on the exercise of this business activity ... . Cancelling the immediacy of the service deters the user to the point where there is a serious risk of expulsion from the market of companies that operate under this type of licence."

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Business associations, Feneval and Unauto VTC, point out that the Basque arrangement was adopted in Aragon, Catalonia and Valencia as well as in the Balearics.

"The most striking case is that of the Balearics. On February 6, the parliament, with the consensus and mutual congratulations of all political groups, approved a limitation identical to the one now annulled twice by the Supreme Court." The associations applaud other regions such as Andalusia and Madrid for being "clearly aligned with competition between modes of transport and respect for the rights of users and their freedom of choice".

* VTC = vehicle transport with driver; VTC licences are ones with which services such as Uber operate.