British Drivers Forced To Take Tests In Spain. New driving tests will be introduced for expat drivers and British tourists in Andalucia.
British Drivers Forced To Take Tests In Spain
The Junta De Andalucia are set to introduce mandatory driving tests for all British drivers in the province, as they work to increase road safety and reduce the number of crashes on the Costa Del Sol. The announcement today has already been met by harsh criticisms from expats and businesses which rely on tourism.
The new measures will mean that every British expat or holiday maker who wishes to drive in Andalucia will have no option but to sit an independent driving test in Spain. Upon passing the test, a temporary license will be issued by the Andalucian Road Safety Executive. This license will remain valid for a period of 12 months.
Increasing Road Safety
Senor Marco Aletas De Barro is the chief executive of the regional governments British Expat Drivers Persecution Committee. He says “We have had no choice but to introduce mandatory tests for British drivers here on the Costa Del Sol. There are too many accidents every year on our roads, and nearly all of them involve British drivers”.
“Everyone knows that Spanish drivers are the safest in Europe” Sr. Aletas De Batto continued. “We don’t blame the Brits for their dreadful driving, the fault lies with the DVLA and their terribly low standards. By introducing these tests, we can teach British drivers how to behave on our roads, and increase safety for everyone”.
Driving Test For Expats And Tourists
The new test for British drivers can be taken at any town hall in the province, by appointment only. It will comprise a theory element which covers everything from traffic light systems, driving on the right side of the road, local speed limits, and vehicle maintenance. The practical part of the test will include motorway driving, roundabout navigation, and town centre driving skills.
Roundabouts In Spain
Fernando Tablero from the Fuengirola Andalucian Road Testers says that roundabouts are a huge problem for British drivers. “Last year the Spanish government issued advice to explain how roundabouts work, but it hasn’t sunk in With these tests we will be able to ensure that British drivers are as capable as Spanish drivers.”
Prices For The New Tests
The mandatory tests will be introduced on the 1st of September 2018. Residents will need to make an appointment at their local town hall to sit the theory test, which will cost €199. Upon completion of this, an appointment can be made to sit the practical test. This will cost between €321 and €329 depending upon the location. When this has been successfully completed, the driver will be issued with a license which will permit driving in Spain. This annual license will cost €30.
Tourists who wish to hire a car will have to follow a different procedure. Upon arrival at Malaga Airport or the new Malaga Merida Airport, visitors must present themselves at the driving test registration desk where they will be able to sit the theory test followed by a fast track practical test. The total cost for this, including the license, will be €520.
National Police and the Guardia Civil will be on the lookout for British drivers who haven’t passed the new tests. They will have the power to seize vehicles and impose on the spot fines to anyone caught without the correct license. Car hire firms will also be subject to fines if they are found to be leasing vehicles to unlicensed drivers.
The news of these tests has been met by fierce opposition from British expats on the Costa Del Sol. Anne Fernandez represents a Facebook group of expats who express their outrage on everything from standardised European carrot sizes to Brexit. She told Costa Del Sol Update “My members will be outraged, of course. This is a disgrace. It’s a rip off, lining the pockets of the local government at the expense of hard working expats who rely on benefits being sent over from the UK. This is clearly a response to Brexit, and we will fight it. If we get enough likes and shares”.
Nigel Mainsail lives in Estepona but is originally from Birmingham. He told us “I’m from Upton On Severn actually, not Birmingham. This is a disgrace, there is nothing wrong with British drivers. It’s the Spanish who should be taking more tests. Are you still listening to me? Are you awake? It’s my accent, it sends people to sleep”.
Are you happy to be taking the new driving tests? Have your say in the comments section below.
Written by Justin Sider, Costa Del Sol Update, 06.06.2018