Friday, April 18, 2014

Viva la diferencia

Looking further into the issue of driving licenses, it is interesting to make some comparisons between the UK and Spain.

When I first took my driving test, I was given a full paper license that would last me until I was 70. The only reason to change it would have been if I changed address or lost the original.

Things are different now that the UK issues card licenses. These have to be renewed every 10 years (or five years in some cases)  with a new photo at a cost of £20. Once you reach 70 though there is no fee.

To renew a UK license, you need a valid passport, your old license, your address or addresses for the last 3 years, your National Insurance number and the application can be made online using a credit or debit card. It is slightly different if you are over 70. There is no medical test nor aptitude test to be taken.

Here in Spain, if you speak to three different people, you will hear three different tales. Go online to research the topic on British forums and you will be equally confused.

The official line for licenses to drive a car is that, up to the age of 65 you get a ten year license. After that, you get a maximum of five years which can be reduced to three years if you get more than 17% fails in the test. If you have other classes of vehicles on your license, they will have different terms.

The cost of renewal up to the age of 70 is 23.20 euros plus the fee for the test which in my case was 35 euros. After 70 there is no fee but of course you will still be charged for the test.

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