Motoring in Spain

Information about driving British registered vehicles.
Driving licences and associated matters.
These matters have been discussed ad infinitum, and there is a lot of misinformation elsewhere.
Here are the FACTS:

VEHICLES
Using a British or other European registered vehicle in Spain:
As a visitor you may use your foreign registered vehicle in Spain, provided that it is fully legal in the country of origin. For the UK that means:
Insurance
Current Vehicle Excise licence (Tax disc)
MOT certificate in date (if the car is more than 3 years old)

UK registered vehicles being driven in Spain must comply with all UK requirements for Road Tax, M.O.T. and third party insurance covering the full time period the vehicle is used in Spain, up to the six month limit.

If you wish to remain in Spain with your vehicle:
If you spend longer than six months of the year in Spain with your UK registered car, Spanish law says you must register your vehicle with the Spanish authorities. For information on how to do this (including how to change your licence plate) consult with the Dirección General de Trafico . The RACE (Real Automóvil Club de España) also provides useful guidance about all aspects of importing your vehicle.

Please note that it is unlikely that you will be able to register right hand drive vehicles such as vans and commercial vehicles. If you are resident in Spain and want to import a vehicle, you must register it with the local authorities in the Spanish province where you live.
(Information from the www.gov.uk/government/world/spain website)

DRIVING LICENCES:
The minimum age required to drive is 18 years
UK driving licences issued from 1990 and the photocard licence issued from 1997 are accepted in Spain. Licences issued before 1990 are only accepted if accompanied by an official translation into Spanish (available from the Spanish Embassy in London and the Real Automóvil Club de España if the licence holder is already in Spain).
UK Provisional Licences are not valid for use in Spain

You should bear in mind that once your UK photocard licence expires you will not be able to renew this with the DVLA if you are residing in Spain so you may wish to convert you licence over to a Spanish before it expires. Similarly, if your licence is lost or stolen you will not be able to replace it through the DVLA if you reside in Spain.

Information, blog and forum – life in Almería, Spain