GB expats ‘victimised’ by Spain with ongoing driving licence chaos

Martin Lewis issues warning for driving licence scams

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The British authorities are currently locked in negotiations with Spanish officials to deal with the recognition of UK-issued driving licences. Since May, Britons living in Spain have been banned from using their UK driving licences on Spanish roads.

Most other European countries have now agreed on a post-Brexit deal, with Spain still not having a deal.

The “Brits in Spain” Facebook page has been updated to provide more information about the driving licence negotiations.

In a Facebook video posted earlier today, Hugh Elliott, the ambassador of the UK to Spain, explained what progress had been made with the driving licence situation.

He wanted to give a “personal update” about the ongoing negotiations, saying it is having a “serious impact” on those looking to drive.

The Department for Transport in the United Kingdom and the Spanish interior ministry have been leading the negotiations.

It was believed by many that negotiations would have been concluded by the summer.

Despite this, Mr Elliott highlighted how there were “complex issues” which had to be resolved first.

He added: “I hear and understand your frustrations. I too am frustrated by the pace.”

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“In summary, I’d say we’re genuinely still making progress. I get how frustrating it is to hear that, but we are making progress.

“We’re in discussions almost daily about the outstanding issues. 

“I remain very optimistic that we will reach an agreement and hope it will be soon. But as I say, I can’t give you a definitive timetable.

“And so the advice that we have been giving all along, which is that you should consider taking the Spanish test if you need to drive urgently, remains valid.

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“I’ll be in touch as soon as I have any further details.”

Mr Elliott acknowledged that it may be difficult for Britons to access Spanish tests.

It is estimated that more than 260,000 British nationals live in Spain, with the number of expats declining after Brexit.

Holidaymakers visiting Spain are not affected by the driving licence issues.

British expats have been frustrated by the lack of progress around driving licences, with some blaming the Government, whilst others have pointed the finger at Spanish authorities.

One commenter, Julie Wilkinson, said: “People would like to take the Spanish test but I understand that there is at least a six month waiting list even if you’ve taken all your lessons.”

Another frustrated driver, Jason Anthony, claimed: “Is it a couple of issues which means two or couple hundred, couple thousand, couple million issues? Answers on a postage stamp. 

“No wonder expats are either going back to the UK or other EU countries as it feels like Spain does not need British expats, the way we are treated and victimised.”

David Wren, a third user, said: “People are judged by the outcomes they deliver. What a monumental failure. It’s lucky Spanish in the UK aren’t affected given the post Covid delays in booking a driving test.”

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