British Expats are no longer allowed to use their UK driving licence

uk driving license

Failed post-Brexit talks between the UK and Spain have left thousands of British Expats unable to drive in Spain. They had previously been able to drive using their UK driving licence and it was hoped that an agreement to swap it for a Spanish licence would be reached, without the need to retake a driving test.

The changes came into force on 01 May 2022 and mean that UK licence holders who failed to exchange their licence within 6 months of residing in Spain will no longer be legally allowed to drive. Whilst the Spanish Government is being urged to implement interim measures to assist those affected, anyone who has not exchanged their licence should take immediate steps to apply for a Spanish licence. This would involve the need to take both a theory and practical test.

The website has issued the following guidance:

If you have a valid UK driving licence

From 1 May 2022:

  • if you were living in Spain before 1 January 2021, your valid UK driving licence will no longer be valid for driving in Spain
  • if you moved to Spain after 1 January 2021, your valid UK licence will be recognised for 6 months from the date you obtained residence

The changes do not affect British holidaymakers who remain able to drive, provided they hold a valid driving licence that was issued in the UK.

Britons driving abroad on a UK driving licence should always check the oversees driving rules to ensure they do not break the specific laws in place for any particular Country.

Need advice about a motoring offence? Call our expert motoring lawyers on 0330 33 22 770 for free initial legal advice from a specialist driving offence solicitor. Lines are open round the clock. We look forward to assisting you.