Driving in Spain: How to obtain a license

If you want to drive in Spain, you can use your foreign driving license for the first six months if you are from outside the European Union (EU) area, or for up to two years if you’re from the EU or an EEA area (European Economic Area).
After these periods have passed, most foreign residents driving in Spain must obtain a Spanish driver’s license, although some exceptions do apply. And if you are driving a car in Spain that has been registered abroad, you must register it with the Spanish authorities after six months.

Exchanging Your Current License for a Spanish One

The number of countries and situations that allow for you to be granted a Spanish driver’s license without having to start from zero include:

– Diplomats and international staff

– Schools, military, and police organisations 

– Citizens of the following countries who already have driver’s licenses in their home countries: Andorra, Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Japan, Korea, Macedonia, Morocco, Nicaragua, Peru, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, Tunisia, Ukraine, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

If you’re don’t fit any of the above, and you do not have a driver’s license from an EU or EEA area country, guess what? After six months of driving in Spain with an international driver’s permit, you will need to go through the process of getting a license!

Cómo sacar el permiso de conducir en España

The Process

In order to get a Spanish driver’s license, you will be required to take classes with a registered driving school. In most cases, you will need to take at least ten one-hour classes in order to cover every section of exam preparation. You will then sit for a written exam in-house. Once you have passed it, you will need to do anywhere from 3-15 lessons driving in the school’s car with an instructor before you are ready for the practical exam. The practical exam is also arranged by the school. Both exams are usually taken in Spanish, although an English version of the written theory exam is now available (we recommend it), and you can take a translator with you for the practical exam if you wish.

Once you’ve passed both exams, you’re ready to roll!

The Cost

At each step of this process, you will be charged for classes and/or exams. The whole process from start to finish can cost anywhere from €275 – 1,000+, depending upon how long you have been driving, the school you go to, and how quickly you learn the system here.

Schools in Ronda

In Ronda, we recommend that you check with a few of the following driving schools to compare prices and check the availability of classes:

Autoescuela Nueva Rilke, 952 87 50 34

Autoescuela Espinel, 952 87 41 29

Autoescuela Ronda

Autoescuela Las Palmeras, 671 07 55 88

Autoescuelas Moctezuma, 952 16 6016

For More Information…

For more details on the process of obtaining a Spanish driver’s license, do a Google search for “Driving in Spain,” and/or check the following links:

– Expatica

– Just Landed

– The Waggoners Abroad  

Translated to Spanish by @Harry Ellis

Jason Luban

Jason Luban

Hi! Im Jason and I live here in Ronda, Spain, since a few years already!

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