After the UK and Spain failed to reach a post-Brexit agreement on UK driving licences thousands of British expats are no longer legally allowed to drive on Spanish streets.
Thousands of British expats are no longer allowed to use their UK driving licences from 1 May and if they are caught they will be banned from driving, tourists are exempt from the driving ban.
Tory MP Sir Iain Duncan Smith told the Mail on Sunday, “It’s a case of ‘mañana, mañana [tomorrow, tomorrow].’
“It’s time they pull their finger out and do what they agreed.”
A UK government source said, “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 spokesperson added, “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.”
British expats who are affected by the ban have been advised to take immediate steps to apply for a Spanish licence.
The UK government’s website official guidance for British expats in Spain says:
“If you have a valid UK driving licence:
- From 1st May 2022, if you were living in Spain before 1st January 2021, your valid UK driving licence will no longer be valid for driving in Spain.
- If you moved to Spain after 1st January 2021, your valid UK licence will be recognised for 6 months from the date you obtained residence.”