British expats have blasted Spanish bureaucrats after they were banned from driving in Spain following a failure to reach an agreement on UK driving licences. Tens of thousands of Britons living in Spain are banned from using their UK driving licence on Spanish roads.
However, the change does not apply to holidaymakers who are exempt from the new rule and will still be able to use their licence.
Until now, Britons living in Spain have been able to use their DVLA-issued licences.
In response to the news, British expats have taken to social media to complain about the “backwards” policy, which has left some unable to travel to work or their local town.
Ward Priestman, who lives in Spain with his wife Ann-Marie, said the Covid pandemic “delayed Spanish residency permits being issued”.
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“It’s time they pull their finger out and do what they agreed.”
A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “An agreement to swap UK driving licences for Spanish licences has not yet been reached.
“From May 1, UK licence holders who have been resident in Spain for more than six months and did not exchange their licence during the transition period will no longer be able to drive legally in Spain.
“We have agreed to rapidly accelerate talks and are urging the Spanish Government to bring forward interim measures.”
Until a new deal is struck, UK expats will need to obtain a Spanish driving licence before getting back behind the wheel.
One driver, using the Twitter handle Tenerife Unlocked, said the new policy means they couldn’t go to work, nor could they continue their work with a dog charity.
They added that it was “absolutely ridiculous” as motorists were able to switch their driving licences prior to Brexit.