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DRIVING LICENCES

UK – Spain driving licence deal: Britons urged to take medical exams

The British Embassy in Madrid has updated Brits in Spain on the latest UK driving licence negotiations, urging them to get a medical certificate in advance of an agreement.

UK - Spain driving licence deal: Britons urged to take medical exams
Britons in Spain urged to get medical exams ahead of licence deal. Photo: Paul Diaconu / Pixabay

The previous update came just before Christmas when British Ambassador Hugh Elliott posted a video on the British Embassy Facebook page. 

At that time, he confirmed that the deal on UK driving licences had been made and that they were waiting on a few changes to be made to the technical wording of the agreement before it could be passed on to the Spanish cabinet.

The new Facebook post on Monday followed on from this saying: “Work continued over the holidays and we are pleased to tell you that the legal checks have now been completed on both sides and the final processes required for an international treaty are now underway”. 

It also confirmed that the agreement was now ready to be passed on to the Spanish Cabinet for final approval, although still didn’t give an exact date on when drivers might be able to get back on the roads. 

“These [cabinet] meetings take place each week and, while we have no control over the scheduling, we hope it will be tabled very soon,” they added.  

The next step will be a formal exchange of notes before the final deal is published in the BOE or official state bulletin.

But, instead of just waiting for the deal to pass, the British Embassy has urged Brits without a valid licence to get their psicotécnico or medical tests done in anticipation. 

“We recommend you get your psicotécnico test in place, as you will need a certificate showing you have passed the test in order to exchange your licence,” the post stated. 

The psicotécnico test is a test approved by the Ministry of Health in compliance with world standards, which measures whether drivers are competent enough to use their physical and psychological abilities. 

It aims to test your visual, auditory, coordination and reaction skills. It may also require you to have a brief interview with a doctor. 

If you pass, you will be issued with a medical certificate confirming that there is no physical or mental problem to stop you from being able to drive. 

“Certificates are valid for three months and if you fail it you can retake as many times as you need,” the post added. 

The Directorate-General for Traffic or DGT has a list of centres where you can get these tests done here.

Those with UK driving licences, who were unable to exchange them in time, have been unable to drive in Spain since May 1st 2022, a total of 8.5 months. 

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DRIVING

EXPLAINED: What are the rules for parking in Spain?

If you plan on buying or renting a car, haven’t managed to switch over your UK licence yet or you’ve just moved here and are unfamiliar with the rules, here’s everything you need to know about parking in Spain.

EXPLAINED: What are the rules for parking in Spain?

If you’re planning on driving in Spain, it’s important you familiarise yourself with all the rules here, not only when moving, but while parked too. Here’s what all the different coloured lines mean for parking on the street. 

White lines

These are the easiest and simple to understand in Spain and mean that you can park anywhere within the lines, at any time for free.

READ ALSO – Driving in Spain: What changes in 2023?

Blue lines

Parking within blue lines means they are designed for visitors and you must pay to leave your vehicle there. You can make your payment at the nearest parking meter.

Be aware that each region in Spain has different rules on how long you can park your car somewhere without incurring a fine, find out what they are here.

In general, the rules apply Monday to Friday from 9am to 9pm, and on Saturdays from 9am to 3pm. Sundays and holidays, there are no restrictions. The schedule can vary in summer though in popular destinations, so always look on the signs and the parking meter to find out.

Green and orange lines

Parking within green and orange lines is reserved for residents of the area who are registered to park in those particular zones.

To obtain a permit to park within the orange and green lines, you must contact your local ayuntamiento or town hall and present the necessary documents such as your padrón certificate, driving licence and evidence you own a vehicle.

It will also be necessary to make a payment to use this service. Once you’re registered you can use both the orange and green zones without any restrictions.

Visitors can also use green and orange parking zones, but there are restrictions in place and they must pay. The price of parking within green or orange lines is always higher than the price of parking within the blue lines and you are only allowed to park for a limited time. 

The duration can vary from region to region, but it’s typically only 2 hours before you’ll have to move your car. You must remember to pay straight away and leave a ticket in your window to prove you’ve done so.

You can park freely within white lines in Spain. Photo: Anatolii Maks / Pixabay
 

Is there a difference between the green lines and the orange ones?

No, there is no difference whatsoever, you can treat them exactly the same. It may depend on the city you’re in. For example, in Madrid, Barcelona and Seville you’ll find more green lines and in Valencia and Alicante you’ll find more orange ones.

Area exclusively for residents  

Some cities also have special exclusive resident zones, these areas are depicted by showing a red circle with an X through it and a light blue background. It will also have either orange or green lines on the street, as well as this sign saying ‘Zona exclusiva de residentes’ (Area exclusively for residents) or ‘área residents‘ (residents’ area).

READ ALSO: How Spain’s new low-emission zones will affect drivers

Loading and unloading zone

These zones are marked with yellow zigzag lines, as well as a dark blue circle outlined in red and with a diagonal red slash through the middle. It is forbidden to park at any time in these areas and they’re only for loading and unloading. The maximum time for this is around 30 minutes. The sign will also indicate any additional rules, but they typically apply from Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm.

Blue-Orange lines

A dotted blue and orange line indicates one of two situations. It’s either for those visiting a health centre or hospital, where you can park for a maximum of 4 hours or it’s a long-stay area near to a train station for example. You must pay for long-stay parking spots, but they will be at a reduced rate and you can leave your car for up to 12 hours.

Yellow line

A yellow line means that parking is prohibited at all times. They are usually placed in front of garages, the entrance to car parks and areas reserved for service vehicles such as police cars or ambulances.

No parking, except for the library bus. Photo: Daniel Capilla / WikiCommons

A red circle with a blue background and an X through the middle

This sign indicates that stopping and parking are prohibited in this area.

A red circle with a blue background and one diagonal line through the middle

This means that parking is prohibited but you can stop if absolutely necessary for less than 2 minutes when the driver is in the car.

VADO

If you leave the vehicle in the regulated parking area, but do not pay for parking, you will be fined, but if you park in an area labelled VADO, your car will be towed away, as well as having to pay.  

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