Moving to Spain Permanently? Make Sure you are Entitled to Drive

By Peter Dodd


The consequences of Brexit continue to be felt in the whole of Europe. I was lucky enough to attend the recent launch of our Estepona office and was asked the question of whether you can still use your UK licence to drive in Spain.

Before the end of the year if you had moved to Spain permanently as we left the EU in January 2021 officially British residents were given until February 2022 to change their UK licences for a Spanish licence. If the date was missed you had to take a Spanish test and a Spanish theory test and a medical examinations and pass with flying colours or you could not drive in Spain. There was a deluge of applications and consequently the deadline was extended until the end of April 2022. Miss the date for applying and you could not drive.

Subsequently the UK government has now issued guidance to state that if you move to Spain on or after 16 March 2023 your licence is valid for 6 months or from the date you obtained residence (whichever is the later). If you are a UK or Gibraltar licence holder you can exchange your driving licence for a Spanish one without taking a practical or a theory test. After 6 months your UK licence will no longer be valid. The government states that if this is the case you can exchange it for a Spanish once. However if you can drive in the meantime legally is unclear. There is also the question of insurance. Our view for certainty is to make the application as soon as possible within the 6 months. We have bilingual teams in the UK and in Estepona who will be happy to guide you with the application as they are familiar with the process and the language.  

For further information on any matters raised in this article or any related queries, please contact us on 0345 646 0406 or fill in our online enquiry form and a member of our team will be in touch.