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This paper introduces an efficient and spontaneous privacy-preserving protocol for vehicular ad-hoc networks based on revocable ring signature. The proposed protocol has three appealing characteristics: First, it offers conditional privacy-preservation: while a receiver can verify that a message issuer is an authorized participant in the system only a trusted authority can reveal the true identity of a message sender. Second, it is spontaneous: safety messages can be authenticated locally, without support from the roadside units or contacting other vehicles. Third, it is efficient: it offers fast message authentication and verification, cost-effective identity tracking in case of a dispute, and has low storage requirements. We use extensive analysis to demonstrate the merits of the proposed protocol and to compare it with previously proposed solutions.