UK motorists warned of major licence and road rule changes in Spain just weeks away

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The Driver and Vehicles Licensing Agency (DVLA) announced earlier this week that the deadline to exchange UK licences in Spain had been extended until April 30. This is the fourth grace period for the recognition of UK driving licences in Spain, with hopes that a resolution will come soon.

Hugh Elliott, the British Ambassador to Spain has been negotiating a long-term agreement with Spain to enable UK licence holders to exchange their licence without taking a test.

If a driver was living in Spain before January 1, 2021, they can continue driving with their UK licence until April 30, 2022.

However, if they moved to Spain after January 1 last year, the UK licence will be valid for six months after they became a resident or until April 30, whichever date is later.

This comes as Spain prepares to bring in a host of new driving laws set to take effect from March 21, 2022.

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Driver fines

Motorists can now receive hefty fines for throwing objects onto the roads that could cause fires or accidents, such as fire butts or coffee cups, with drivers risking a €500 (£417) fine.

The improper use of immobiliser breathalysers could also cost drivers €500 (£417) as part of the new rules, as could not following the rules on roadside assistance following an accident.

According to Spain’s Penal Code, failing to stop at an accident if a person is first on the scene is a crime and punishable by fines and even time in prison, depending on the severity of the incident.

Overtaking on roads

One of the most major changes is new guidance for overtaking on secondary roads, which up until now has been a 20km/h margin above the speed limit of 90km/h.

These high-capacity single-carriageway roads, or carreteras convencionales, are a step down from motorways.

Spain’s Directorate General of Traffic (DGT) has pushed for the Government to scrap overtaking on said roads, arguing that 77 percent of fatal road accidents in Spain take place on these roads.



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