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Spanish Driving Laws

This is not "hot off the press” news – in fact it concerns law that came into effect some time ago.. However, since it relates to your driving license (licencia de conduccion), a reminder was thought to be a worthwhile topic.

The rules for driving licenses in Spain, concern your country of origin. Drivers from some countries are allowed to keep their own or simply exchange it for a Spanish one. Some are required to exchange it, and some cannot be exchanged. This latter group of drivers need to take a Spanish driving test, which has both theoretical and practical sections.

People with an EU License are allowed to drive using that license in Spain – providing the holder is at least 18 years of age. There is no need for a license exchange unless the holder wishes it. However, those that choose to keep their EU License should not forget that Spanish conditions apply while they are in Spain. This covers the period of validity, the need for medical examinations, tax payments and any penalties that have been incurred. If penalties have been incurred, the authorities may insist that the holder obtains a Spanish license to make the process easier.

Although there is no legal requirement for EU license holders to change their license, there is a requirement to register with the traffic authorities within 6 months of arrival in Spain. This should be done at the Central Register of Drivers at their local traffic office. This registration involves a medical examination which can be done at authorized centres. The test will be for both mental and physical fitness.

Despite it being legal to drive in Spain on an EU license, the issuing country will not allow a change of address to another country, Spanish authorities recognize that a license may not carry the actual address of the holder and are happy to take this into account.

If the driver feels that a change of license is the best option, then it’s necessary to go to the local traffic office and make an application. ID proof needs to be presented – a passport for example, along with proof of residency status, a written declaration confirming no suspension from driving, a declaration confirming the holder has no license in another country and finally 2 recent passport-sized photographs.

The Spanish driving license is plastic and the size of a credit card, and bears a list of the vehicles the holder is entitled to drive. Included too is the holder’s date of birth, name and NIE number plus the holder’s photograph. All in all, since it has to be carried when driving, it’s a useful piece of ID. For holders under 45 years of age, license renewal needs to occur every 10 years – every 5 years for those between 45 and 70 years – and every 2 years for those over 70.

People from countries outside the EU are able to drive on their original license for up to 6 months after they have obtained Spanish residency status. While driving on this original license, it is a legal requirement to carry a Spanish translation at all times.

The documentation for exchanging a license from a non-EU country is similar to that for an EU license, but also includes a certificate of psychological aptitude which has been issued following medical examination, and written confirmation that the original license is authentic.

Every driver starts off with an allocation of 12 points and with no offences this can be raised to 15 points. Points are deducted for any driving transgression. A list of offences and the points penalty involved can be obtained from the local traffic office. Their website also allows drivers to check their points tally at any time.

Those who are not officially resident in Spain will simply be fined for traffic offences, with an expectation that these will be paid on the spot.

Other related articles   Getting from Alicante Airport to your Villa

 

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Posted by on Monday 25th November 2013

Getting from Alicante Airport to your Villa

Most people seem to hire a car for collection at the airport, and that makes sense if you need transport during your stay. On the other hand, lots of people have holiday homes on the Costa Blanca North, and may well have a vehicle awaiting them at that holiday home. For those people, car hire is not a sensible option.

Then, for people like me, who hate the hassle of the car hire desk queue and the drive on unfamiliar roads in an unfamiliar car, having been awake since the crack of dawn – the following option may appeal.

There is an organisation called Beni Connect, It’s a Benidorm based and family run operation, and is fully licenced and insured. It provides a shuttle service from the airport with drop offs at Calpe, Benissa, Moraira, Benitachell and Javea. The prices are 18 euros, 22, 22, 22 and 25 euros respectively.

If there’s a large family to get to Costa Blanca North, then this published service may not be cost effective. In their fleet, though, they have vehicles with 14 to 54 seats, so there’s nothing to lose by getting a price from them. However, for individual travelers and couples, the normal service is surely worth consideration, especially when you take into account the toll charges on the motorway and fuel costs when driving.

How safe is your money when you’ve pre-booked and pre-paid? Well, the organisation is part of the well respected Autocares Grupo Benidorm. It’s been operating since 2005, and in that year, with just 3 vehicles and 4 employees, moved almost 48000 people from the airport to drop off points on Costa Blanca North. Then, by the end of 2009, nearly 182000 passengers were safely collected and delivered. Look at some of the passenger reviews on their website, and you’ll realise they’ve grown because their customers have rated their value for money service very highly.

Today the team is 25 strong, operating 15 vehicles. These are not the blueprints for a cowboy outfit!

You can reach them by telephone on 0034 965 850 790 (9am to 7pm)

or by email at reservas@beniconnect.com

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Posted by on Tuesday 17th September 2013
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