British driving licenses useless in Europe after no-deal Brexit

Published:  15 Jan at 6 PM
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The UK government is warning Brit expats in Spain to immediately get Spanish driving licenses in case a no-deal Brexit is the final result.

In yet another stunning example of ‘too little, too late’, the warning from the British government means British expats in Spain are now risking not being allowed to drive should there be an unmanageable rush of people applying for Spanish licenses. Those who’ve been unable to exchange their licenses will be faced with having to take the extensive written Spanish language driving test as well as the practical test.

In addition, UK citizens wishing to drive on a visit to Spain are being advised to get international driving permits. The British-based Automobile Association estimates as many as 500,000 British national expats living in Spain and France will need to take a new driving test if they haven’t been able to exchange their British licenses due to high demand. The government’s guidance notices were only issued last Monday, although angry expat drivers in both countries are convinced officials were fully aware of the problem at a much earlier date, and the warning applies to all Brit expats living in all EU member states.

For those eventually returning to the UK, renewing their British drivers’ licenses will be compulsory, and tourists planning fly-drive holidays in Europe will need to get international driving permits at a cost of €6. The permits can be had over-the-counter at selected UK post offices, but those living elsewhere will need to apply by post, a process which can take some time.
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