British woman caught by police in Palm Mar driving on UK provisional licence

Arona Policía Local say that sanctions have been imposed on a British woman whose car was stopped last Sunday in Palm Mar. Police say that she was not able to show a licence valid for driving outside of the UK since she only had a UK provisional licence.

The law here is very straightforward: EU law requires residents to take a medical for their driving licence; this can either be done by changing to the Spanish licence system or by inscribing a UK licence plus the relevant medical certificate with Tráfico. Non-residents can drive for up to six months on a UK licence without problem (or at least with being able to issue a probably successful appeal against any fine imposed by police not up to speed on the regulations.)

Those who drive on a UK licence, however, whether as visitors or residents with an inscribed UK licence, must have a valid UK licence. It seems obvious, but clearly it isn’t, at least it wasn’t in this case. A valid British licence is one that can be used by a qualified driver to drive legally in the UK. A provisional licence is for learner drivers only, and learners are not qualified to drive abroad on the UK’s learner system even if accompanied by a qualified driver. In Spain, learners must be accompanied by a qualified registered driving instructor. Needless to say, anyone driving without the correct licence for Spain will not be covered by insurance even if they think they are.


  1. I cant believe she wasnt aware of this…

  2. I have been told that if you apply for a Spanish driving licence, your UK licence will be taken in exchange. If so, how do you produce a valid UK licence if you are on holiday in the UK ?

  3. Author

    you don’t, you produce your Spanish one.

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