Karl McCartney, Parliamentary Under-secretary of State at the Department of Transport. / sur

New message from UK authorities about driving licence exchange in Spain

British residents who are desperate to be able to drive again have reacted in disappointment at the time the negotiations are taking

DEBBIE BARTLETT Malaga

The British authorities have issued an update about the negotiations with their counterparts in Spain over UK driving licences this morning, Friday 5 August, but the message was basically that there is nothing to report. It contains no new information for those who are anxiously awaiting the news that they can drive again without having to take a test.

Posted on the British Embassy's BritsinSpain Facebook page, the message from Karl McCartney, who is the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the UK Department for Transport is as follows:

"Working with the British Embassy in Spain and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, the Department for Transport has been negotiating with the Spanish Government regarding the exchange of UK driving licences.

Our aim is to secure a deal that allows UK licence holders resident in Spain to exchange their licence for a Spanish one without the need for a practical test, so they can return to the roads as soon as possible.

The UK Government has engaged in these negotiations in good faith and ensured that Spanish drivers in the UK have, as always, encountered no limitations nor inconvenience in their ability to drive.

We have similar arrangements in place with 24 other EU Member States already, but negotiations with Spain have been made more complicated on account of Spain requiring additional elements which no one else has asked for in relation to driving licence exchange arrangements. Nonetheless, we are working hard to come to an agreement with the Spanish Government.

We understand that some UK Nationals are currently unable to drive whilst we are negotiating with the Spanish. To those affected, we would reiterate that we understand your frustration and we are aware of the severe impact on your everyday lives. You remain in the ‘front of our minds’ for the Department for Transport’s negotiation team, and we want to have you back on the road as soon as possible.

The British Embassy in Spain will continue to keep you informed on the progress of negotiations."