In this months regular article I’ll be discussing three main concerns I’ve heard from clients recently:
- Changes to UK driving licenses in Spain
- Living in Spain after Brexit, managing your personal finances
- 18 months on from Brexit in Spain – What has changed / what do you need to do to move here?
Changes to UK Driving Licenses (When Living in Spain)
Up until the end of 2020, British driving licenses were valid in Spain. Furthermore, Brits were able to exchange their British Driving License for a Spanish one up until 31/12/20. From this date onwards, Brits residing in Spain prior to this have not been able to exchange their British driving licenses for a Spanish one.
For those residents who failed to meet the Spanish deadline to exchange their licences for a Spanish one, they currently (as of 08/07/22) cannot drive on their UK licence – this does not apply to holidaymakers hiring a car. The Spanish Government has already issued four extensions to the ‘grace period’, allowing Brits to still drive using their UK license. The grace period ended on 30/04/22.
Hugh Elliot, the British Ambassador to Spain and Andorra, issued an update on Twitter stating that they were working on a resolution to this. The belief is that they are hoping to secure a deal, similar to the UK’s deal with France, Sweden and many other European countries, in which UK Driving Licenses can be swapped for the license of that country (providing that the individual is resident).
According to SpanishNewsToday, the proposed deal would allow Brits living in Spain to swap their UK driving licenses for a Spanish one for an additional period of six months. The deal would also see UK Driving Licenses valid for a further six months. If this proves to be the case and you have not yet exchanged your license, I would recommend that you seize this opportunity.
Spain and Italy are the only EU countries in which Driving License exchange conversations are ongoing.