British expats living in Spain unable to drive after failure to reach Brexit agreement

British expats living in Spain unable to drive after failure to reach Brexit agreement

Credit: Brits in Spain Facebook

Drivers licence update for Brits in Spain. Taking to Facebook HMA Hugh Elliott issued an update on the driving licence exchange process in Spain.

On the Brits in Spain consulate and embassy page, on April 29, Hugh commented: “The UK and Spanish Governments are still negotiating. UK and Spanish Ministers spoke today and agreed to rapidly accelerating talks next week in the hope of reaching an agreement soon – as we already have in almost every other EU Member State.

“But we’re not there just yet. And we will not have reached an agreement in time for the end of the current grace period (30 April).

“What does this mean for you? It means that if you have been resident in Spain for longer than six months, your UK-issued licence will no longer be valid to drive here from 1 May.

Driving a vehicle without a valid licence is illegal in Spain. If you are affected by this change and need to drive, you should not wait for the outcome of the negotiations and should take immediate steps to apply for a Spanish licence – as we have been advising for some time now.

“This does not affect visiting motorists from the UK or Gibraltar or UK licence holders who have recently moved to Spain. You have six months from the date you get your residence document to take a Spanish test.

“We know this will cause significant difficulties for those who have not yet been able to exchange their licence. I am relieved that most of you were able to exchange your licence as advised before the end of the transition period.

“Negotiations will continue early next week and we will provide you with further news when we have it.

“We are doing all we can to secure a long-term solution swiftly.”

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Written by

Alex Glenn

Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at