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The law on expat driving licences

There has been a growing amount of confusion recently regarding expat driving licences and their validity in Spain. This week’s Sur in English newspaper tells us the full facts on the matter, but in case you haven’t seen it, here is a quick update on the requirements.

The law currently states that, driving licences issued by any EU member state or countries that are part of the European Economic Area are valid in Spain and they remain valid under the terms of the country in which they were issued. However, when someone becomes a resident in Spain, they then become subject to the Spanish regulations.

If you are living in Spain and have an expiry date on your driving licence, it needs to be renewed before that date. If you don’t have an expiry date, you must renew within two years of becoming a Spanish resident. Drivers who became a Spanish resident before 19th January 2013 however, do not have to do anything until 19th January 2015. A foreign resident who doesn’t renew their driving licence when required will be treated the same as Spanish nationals and given a €200 fine.

From the 19th January 2015, all foreign residents and Spanish drivers are going to have to renew their driving licence whether it has an expiry date or not. The original licence will be replaced by a European version after a medical test at an authorised centre. Validity period for the new licences (either five or 10 years) will depend on the age of the driver and whether he or she has any illness or physical disability. You can find more information on the AEA’s website.

You can read more about driving in Spain, buying second hand cars, and lots of other road and travel related information on our blog.

Driving in Spain

If you’re moving to Spain or looking at Long-term rental property in Spain you need to consider how you will get around once you’re here. Public transport is good in the major cities, but even in tourist areas such as the Costa del Sol, you can be stuck if you’re relying on public transport alone.

The easiest way to get around is to drive, but make sure that your driving licence is valid here before you arrive. EU citizens are fine, but those who are from outside the EU should check before they arrive. AngloInfo has an excellent page all about Foreign driving licences in Spain which is a good start. Continue reading “Driving in Spain”

Costa del Sol Information – Getting Around

If you’re planning to move to the Costa del Sol and deciding where to live, you need to think about the practicalities of getting around.

The area stretches from Malaga in the East to Sotogrande to the West and spans around 100km of coastline. Malaga is the regional capital and contains nearly half of the area’s population, with many people living on urbanisations, towns and villages running along the Coast.

If you live and work in one of the larger towns, such as Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Fuengirola, Marbella and Estepona, a popular choice is going by moped, perfect for zipping about and travelling short distances and no problem parking! However, if you need to travel along the motorways, I wouldn’t recommend this method.

Some places are particularly well connected, such as Fuengirola and Malaga with train and bus services and San Pedro, Marbella and Puerto Banus which are served by several bus services. However, the buses are not very regular; usually twice an hour and tend to only serve the main areas, so they can be hard to rely on for your regular commute. Website AngloInfo has a good section on public transport on the Costa del Sol with lots of useful numbers click here for more. 

Everything is linked by the N340 road, so the most convenient way to get around is by car. To start with it’s probably best to hire a car until you know your way around, click here for cheap car hire on our sister site HolidayRentalontheWeb.

Please do take care on this road, it’s busy and the drivers can be unpredictable! There are very few sliproads onto this road, so make sure you respect the stop signs when joining and expect cars going very slowly to pull out in front of you. There’s an excellent piece on driving in Spain on website AngloInfo, with all the rules of the road and things to watch out for.

To look for long-term rentals on the Costa del Sol please visit our website or contact us today by emailing and let us help you find your ideal long-term rental property.