Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Fit to drive?

Our next door neighbours, Gail and Gerry, had read in one of the English language newspapers that Brits, driving on the European style GB licences, needed to pass the same medical tests as Spanish drivers.

I was sure that was wrong, after all if my licence is issued by Swansea then it's DVLA rules I follow isn't it? So I checked a few websites, wrote to DVLA, asked in a few internet forums and even went to talk to the local Guardia Civil. It soon became obvious that if you had a Spanish licence you needed the medical but nobody seemed sure about the rules for driving in Spain on a GB licence. So I sent a fax to the local traffic authorities and asked them.

The reply was not good news. Anyone RESIDENT in Spain and driving on an EU licence is subject to the same medical requirements as Spaniards. For standard cars that means people under 45 years old need to take the medical tests every ten years, from 45 to 70 years old it's every five years and when you're past 70 it's every two years. For anything over 3,500kgs, minibuses and most things with trailers its a medical every five years up to 45, every three years between 45 and 60 and every two years from then on. The exam is a sort of mixed physical and aptitude test.

And, of course, if you haven't passed the exam and you go out and slaughter someone on the road or destroy lots of property just watch the insurance companies wash their hands of you.

I'm going to get myself checked out at one of the authorised centres very, very soon.

If you'd like to check the appropriate legislation articles 22 and 16 are the relevant ones

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