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How to get a moped or motorbike licence in Spain

The Local Spain
The Local Spain - [email protected]
How to get a moped or motorbike licence in Spain
If you have a B driving license, in most cases you can drive mopeds and motorcycles up to 125cc in Spain if it says so on your driving license. Photo: Pixabay.

Having a two-wheel drive can be handy is Spain's busy and narrow streets. But what's the process to get a licence for a motorbike or moped in Spain, how much will it cost you, what do the tests involve and in which cases do car drivers not need to get one?

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If you're living in Spain and fancy getting yourself a little moped to run errands or pop to the beach, you're probably wondering what you need to do to get the right licence and onto the road.

What if you already drive a car and have a licence? Do you need to start from scratch, jump through all the administrative hoops and tick all the bureaucratic boxes?

Fortunately not. If you're already an experienced driver, you'll be relieved to learn that you won't be required to take classes or theory and practical tests along with the eager 15-year-old Spaniards desperate for their first taste of the road.

Article 5.7 of Spain's Reglamento General de Conductores states that most people who have a valid B car licence and more than three years' experience on the road can drive AM and A1 motorcycles (more on the different types below) and don't need to apply for licences.

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Put simply, this means if you have a B driving licence, in most cases you can drive mopeds and motorcycles up to 125cc if it says so on your driving licence.

However, if you don't have any kind of licence and want a moped or motorcycle, you'll need to understand how the system works in Spain and their requirements.

There are several types of licences for mopeds and motorcycles in Spain. Each gives you different rights on the road, have different costs, and entail different exams.

 

1. AM Licence 

The AM licence is the most basic type you can get in Spain and the one you'd need to drive the kind of small mopeds you see zipping around in Spanish cities and towns. It allows you to drive mopeds up to 50cc, regardless of whether they are two or three wheelers, or even light quad bikes. The minimum age to qualify for an AM license is 15 years old and, unlike in the past, there is no age limit on the passengers you can take on the back.

Tests

In order to get the AM, you must pass:

  • A psychometric test (including motor skills and eyesight)
  • A theory exam - 20 questions, of which you must get 18 correct.
  • A practical exam on a closed circuit that includes basic tests of control and spacial awareness. 

Costs

You must pay €30 to the Dirección General de Tráfico (known as the DGT, like the Spanish equivalent of the DMV in the United States and DVLA in the UK) for the theory exam and €92.20 for the practical, plus fees and any lessons you need. All in all, getting the AM licence should cost at least €200 as long as you pass both tests first time.

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2. A1 Licence

The A1 motorcycle licence allows you to drive motorcycles (with sidecars) up to a maximum of 125cc. The A1 permit also allows you to drive motor tricycles, two- and three-wheeled mopeds, and light quad bikes and vehicles for people with reduced mobility. You can also take 125cc motorbikes on Spanish motorways, which may be convenient for you.

As we said above, if you have already have a B licence you are likely able to drive A1 motorbikes, although you may want to get some practice lessons before hitting the road. If you don't, you must be at least 16 years old and will also have to pass a series of tests.

Tests

In order to get the A1, you must pass:

  • A psychometric test.
  • A general theory exam (the same for as a car driving licence)
  • Another specific theory motorcycle exam with 30 questions of which you must answer 27 correctly.
  • A practical exam on a closed circuit.
  • Another practical exam on the open road in traffic.

Note that for the A1 licence, the exams are both longer and more complicated than the AM. If you pass the first part of the practical exam (on the closed circuit) but fail the traffic section, you will have to redo both parts. You are allowed to redo the exam twice, but will have to pay again for the third attempt.

Costs

As with the AM licence, you must pay €30 for the theory exam, plus €90.20 in fees to the DGT. If you pass everything first time, with around ten classes plus the exams you should be able to get the A1 license for around €500.

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3. A2 licence

If you want to ride a motorcycle that is more powerful than the 125cc limit set by the A1 motorcycle licence, you will want the A2 licence. You must be 18 to qualify for the A2, and can ride motorcycles (including a sidecar) with a maximum power of 47.2 horsepower, which is around 700cc. 

To get the A2 licence, the process is the same as with the A1. It is worth noting however, that even if you have a B driving licence driver's you must still do the specific theory exam, the closed circuit practical and the traffic section of the practical exam. You may be able to skip the general theory part of the exam, depending on your licence.

Tests

  • General theory exam (You will not need to do this if you already hold a B or A1 licence).
  • Specific motorcycle theory exam (If you already have an A1 licence you will not have to take this exam, but if you only have a B licence you will).
  • Practical on a closed circuit, including an exercise with the engine off, a low-speed test and a high-speed test. (If you were issued an A1 licence more than two years before the date of the test you will be exempt).
  • Practical exam on the open road in traffic. 

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