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

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.

3 Comments

  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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