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What is the ‘psicotécnico’ medical test drivers might need to take in Spain?

The 'psicotécnico' is a medical exam in Spain that tests both your physical and mental abilities to assess whether you can safely carry out certain tasks, such as driving a car. Find out when you might need to get one.

What is the 'psicotécnico' medical test drivers might need to take in Spain?
What is the psicotécnico medical test you might need to take in Spain. Photo: National Cancer Institute / Unsplash

The British Embassy in Spain has recently recommended that Britons waiting for the agreement on UK driving licences to be approved should take their psicotécnico exams in preparation. But what is this test and what does it consist of?

What is it? 

There are various types of psicotécnico exams in Spain, which test both your mental and physical abilities for a variety of different reasons. They may be needed for a particular profession such as a policeman or a fireman, however, a common reason that the majority of people in Spain need to take one is when they want to be able to drive.

When do you need one?

You will need to take a psicotécnico exam when you renew your driver’s licence, exchange your licence or you are getting your licence for the first time. 

In Spain, you must renew your licence every ten years and each time you do this you will need to do a new medical test to assess your abilities, even if you’re still safe to drive on the road. 

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

What does the psicotécnico test for driving consist of? 

According to the RACC Start driving schools, the test is divided into several parts, so that it can assess different abilities necessary to be able to drive safely. The main categories are a health questionnaire, a psychomotor test and an eye exam. 

The health questionnaire will include questions on any illnesses or ailments you suffer from, as well as any medications you take that may affect your driving ability. Some of the illnesses that may affect your driving include heart arrhythmias, aneurysms, epilepsy, dementia, sleep disorders and anxiety, among many others. 

The second part of the test will assess your psychomotor abilities to determine your ability to coordinate movements. One of the tests consists of a short game that will test the reaction and balance skills of both hands. 

The third part is a simple eye test, which is similar to the type of eye test you take at the optician. 

You may also need to do a short interview with a doctor in case they need to assess you further. Some testing centres say that they will also check that your respiratory and cardiovascular systems are working normally. 

READ ALSO – Driving in Spain: Can I take my theory and practical tests in English?

Where can I get one done? 

You can take these tests at various Driver Recognition Centres or Centros de Reconocimiento de Conductores around the country. These are listed on the Directorate-General for Traffic (DGT) website and can be found here

Do I have to pay for it? 

Yes, you will have to pay to take the psicotécnico test, but the cost will entirely depend on where you get it done and different medical centres can set their own prices. According to the DGT, it will typically be between €30 and €80. 

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Spain is one of the cheapest countries in Europe to own a car: study

A recent study has revealed that Spain is one of the ten cheapest countries in Europe to own a car.

Spain is one of the cheapest countries in Europe to own a car: study

LeasePlan, a car leasing company from the Netherlands, has evaluated 22 European car markets and has released its ‘2022 Car Cost Index’ study, ranking the countries where it costs the most and the least to own a car.

Comparing markets across the continent, the study took into consideration several factors that determine monthly budgets for car owners, including the cost of fuel, taxes, insurance, maintenance and repairs, and even the depreciation of vehicles.

So, how did Spain rank compared to its European neighbours?

The rankings

According to the study, Spain ranked as the seventh cheapest country in Europe to own a car, where the average car owner spends €1,044 on their car per month.

Taking a look around Europe, generally speaking, the costs of having and driving a car were higher in northern Europe than in Eastern Europe, with countries in the southern continent generally somewhere in the middle to the cheaper end of the spectrum, with the exception of Portugal, which placed fourth in the rankings.

Most expensive countries (average price/month)

  • Switzerland (€1,313)
  • Norway (€1,249)
  • Netherlands (€1,166)
  • Portugal (€1,160)
  • Czech Republic (€1,144)
  • Germany (€1,130)
  • Belgium (€1,103)
  • Austria (€1,092)
  • United Kingdom (€1,081)
  • Hungary (€1,077)

Cheapest countries

  • Greece (905)
  • Poland (€927)
  • Romania (€975)
  • Slovakia (€979)
  • France (€999)
  • Ireland (€1,044)
  • Spain (€1,044)

Electric cars

The study also concluded that despite increases in energy prices and the upfront cost of the initial investment, electric car ownership is equal to or cheaper than having a petrol or diesel car.

READ ALSO: Is it worth getting an electric car in Spain?

“Despite the inflation of energy prices, the costs of recharging a battery are still significantly lower for electric cars than for gasoline and diesel cars,” the study stated.

“Fuel costs represent 15 percent of the total cost of ownership of an electric vehicle, while this percentage is between 23 percent and 28 percent for gasoline and diesel costs”, it added. 

“Electric vehicles are the best way to protect drivers from skyrocketing fuel costs,” LeasePlan CEO Tex Gunning said.

“Unfortunately, governments are withdrawing incentives for electric vehicles too soon, even in countries with ambitious zero-emission targets. This attitude of prohibition without a plan will have disastrous consequences for the fight against climate change”.