Eight months ago I began the process of swapping my UK driving licence for a Spanish one. I used a local driving school as the intermediary. Three weeks ago the school phoned to say they needed my UK driving licence in a hurry. Yesterday they telephoned me again. "Is my licence ready?" I asked. "Pop by the office to pick it up" was the answer.
As I drove to their office today I became wistful. I've had a UK driving licence since I was 16*, well over 40 years. From red covered booklets to the current plastic cards. Not having a UK licence would be odd. I also knew the Spanish would have taken away my right to drive minibuses. We old Brits got to drive minibuses as a Brussels concession. It's not that I'm keen to drive minibuses but losing rights is never a good thing.
In the end I was mightily disappointed. All I got was a piece of card. A temporary substitute for my UK licence. The real one, the new Spanish one, should be available by mid April.
*When I was 16 it was possible to get a licence to drive a three wheeler. My father was keen that I didn't die on a motorbike so I became the proud owner of a Reliant Regal similar to the one in the photo.