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Can’t get a DGT appointment to exchange driving licence in Spain? Don’t panic

For those struggling to secure an appointment at Spain’s DGT in order to exchange their British driving licence for a Spanish one, there is finally some good news.

Can’t get a DGT appointment to exchange driving licence in Spain? Don’t panic
Photo by takahiro taguchi on Unsplash

One of the key tasks for those living in Spain ahead of Brexit was to ensure that they had exchanged their DVLA British licence for a Spanish one before the end of the transition period.

Although this has long been a legal required for anyone who has lived in Spain for at least six months, the issue took on an urgency with Brexit when authorities warned that those with British licences would no longer be entitled to simply swap their licence for a Spanish once the UK left Europe and the transition period came to end.

The problem was, it became very difficult to book a cita previa at DGT offices in those areas where lots of Brits live even before coronavirus struck and forced the closure of administrative offices.

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So as the December 31st deadline approached many of our readers reported becoming increasing desperate and frustrated at the failure to secure the DGT appointment.

“I’ve been trying at all hours of the day from very early in the morning to late at night for weeks now,” Madrid resident David Mathieson told The Local.

“And not just in offices in Madrid but at DGTs all across Spain, but you just can’t find them. It’s been impossible.”

But this week, the British Embassy in Madrid has the welcome news that they have been in discussion with the Spanish transport authorities and plans are afoot to revise the system.

“The DGT are aware that there are difficulties getting appointments ot exchange licence and are looking to open up more appointments soon, although we don’t have exact date for that,” said Lorna Geddie, consular policy advisor in Madrid said in a recent Facebook Live Q&A session.

But she reported a development this week that will come as very welcome news to those who have yet to exchange their licence.

“(The DGT) are going to be setting up a process to streamline the application process for UK nationals because they are aware that there are lot of UK licence holders trying to get through the system.”

She went on to explain that what they are planning is something very similar that was put in place for a short time ahead of the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement as a No Deal contingency plan, which saw Brits registering their intent to exchange a driving licence ahead of being able to secure an appointment.

“They will set up a form that UK licence holders can complete and submit to the DGT by December 25th that will be pre-registration or a first step in the exchange process. What the DGT will be able to do is on basis of information on that form then verify your licence. You will need to get an appointment to finish the process but that appointment can be from January 1st onwards.”

This will help UK nationals who have been trying to do this by December 31st and are worried that they will run out of time.

“The new process to be introduced by DGT will allow people to do this first step via this form to register details and provide licence details so as long as that is done by the end of the year then the actual appointment for the exchange can happen from next year onwards as and when they are able to get an appointment through the online system,” Geddie said.

There are no details yet of when this new system will come into force, Geddie confirmed or exactly how it work and where online it can be processed but the message is a reassuring one.

More information:

  • Spain's government has a dedicated Brexit page for UK nationals HERE
  • Check out the UK Foreign Office latest advice on Living In Spain HERE 
  • Follow the British Embassy Facebook page for updates as well as Live Q&A sessions HERE
  • Check The Local Spain Brexit section for all the latest news and updates: HERE

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TRAVEL

Spanish fuel prices fall but can’t stop most expensive August ever

Although the cost of filling up in Spain has been falling in recent weeks, petrol and diesel prices in August make it the most expensive on record despite government discounts softening the blow.

Spanish fuel prices fall but can't stop most expensive August ever

Filling up a tank of petrol or diesel in Spain costs between €16 and €23 more than a year ago, making it the most expensive August on record – despite the government’s 20 cents per litre discount on fuel.

Filling an average 55 litre tank with either petrol or diesel now costs around €93, which is equivalent to €16 more than a year ago for petrol, and €23 more for diesel.

READ ALSO: REMINDER: How drivers in Spain can get 20 euro cents off every litre of fuel

Until this week, peak prices for the first week of August were back in 2013, when petrol cost €1.472 a litre and diesel €1.376, 16 percent and 19 percent less than current costs.

Prices have also already exceed the average monthly costs in August 2021, by 17 percent and 25 percent respectively, when fuel reached €1.416 and €1.29.

Falling prices

Despite these record breaking prices, fuel prices in Spain have actually been falling in recent weeks, reaching their lowest values since May.

As of Thursday 4th August, petrol in Spain is sold on average at €1.702 per litre, and diesel €1.693, including the government discount. 

Without the discount, the price of petrol is €1.902 per litre and diesel €1,893 on average, according to figures from the European Union Oil Bulletin.

The government’s reduction on fuel costs, introduced as part of an ongoing raft of measures to help Spaniards amidst the cost of living crisis, means consumers save around €11 every time they fill up the tank.

The 20 cent reduction on the litre was introduced in March of this year, when fuel prices jumped and crossed the €2 per litre threshold.

READ ALSO: Where to get the cheapest fuel in Spain

Below European averages

Fortunately for Spaniards, the combination of falling prices and the government taking 20 cents off the litre mean that Spanish fuel prices are below the European average, where petrol costs €1.856 and diesel €1.878 across the member states.

The most expensive EU countries for petrol are Denmark (€2.218) and Finland (€2.19), while for diesel Sweden (€2.37) and Finland (€2.153) are the priciest places to fill up.

On the other hand, although Spanish prices are falling they are not the cheapest in Europe. The cheapest places for petrol prices are Hungary (€1.29) and Malta (€1.34), and also for diesel: Malta (€1.21) and Hungary (€1.558).

Of surrounding western European nations, Spaniards are paying the least for their fuel. In Germany, for example, petrol costs on average €1.814 a litre and diesel €1.943. In France, the costs are €1.844 and €1.878 respectively; in Italy €1.877 and €1.851; and across the border in Portugal, the prices are €1.889 and €1.83.

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