Brit expats banned from using UK driving licence in Spain

UK expats living in Spain could be facing a driving ban after the two countries failed to reach a post-Brexit agreement on British driving licences. From 1 May, Britons who reside in Spain will be unable to use their UK driving licences. Holidaymakers are exempt from the ban. The new restrictions are set to take effect after the British and Spanish governments failed to reach consensus on DVLA-issued licences by the 30 April cut-off date. Previously, British expats were able to use their UK licences to drive, but could “now face weeks of chaos as alternative measures to reach a deal are pursued,” according to The Independent. All other EU nations have agreed a post-Brexit deal on British driving licences. According to USwitch, passing a driving test in Spain is almost double the cost in the UK and averages £1,100. Although the driving lessons are slightly cheaper, taking a theory test is £50 more expensive than the UK, and Spanish tests also require registration fees alongside a copy of health documents.

What are the people saying?

Conservative MP Sir Iain Duncan Smith criticised the Spanish authorities, saying: ‘It’s a case of mañana, mañana. It’s time they pull their finger out and do what they agreed.’ A UK Government source told the Daily Mail: ‘This could go on for a week or it could be longer. It should be temporary but we don’t know how temporary. In the meantime, British residents living in Spanish hill villages won’t be able to drive a car.” A Foreign Office spokesman said: “An agreement to swap UK driving licences for Spanish licences has not yet been reached. From May 1, UK licence holders who have been resident in Spain for more than six months and did not exchange their licence during the transition period will no longer be able to drive legally in Spain. We have agreed to rapidly accelerate talks and are urging the Spanish Government to bring forward interim measures.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.