If we plan to move to London, we must take into account the exchange of our driving license if we want to have a car there and drive it, and not only for being able to drive, but for all the advantages that having a British license offers you. To make this change, you must follow a few simple bureaucratic steps and in three weeks you will have your new license at your disposal, which will be a short process that will give you more benefits than headaches.
Steps to follow:
Being Spanish and belonging to the EU, the truth is that we can drive in London with our Spanish driving license without any problem as long as it is not expired, as it happens in Spain. We’ll be able to drive with peace of mind until you’re 70 or for the first three years after becoming a UK resident, whichever is longer for you. If your card does not belong to the EU, then you will have to redeem it before 12 months of residing in the United Kingdom.
So, being able to drive with a Spanish license, we will ask ourselves what we have to exchange it for. Very easy: it is a way to renew it and it is cheaper than in Spain, so if we are clear that we are going to live in London, it is worth validating it to enjoy all the advantages. You can do it from the sixth month of residence in the United Kingdom, in the event that your Spanish driving license has expired, you do have to carry out this procedure to drive on a mandatory basis.
The price of the validation is 50 pounds, less money than the 90€ that it can cost you in Spain and you only have to request the Internet form on this page www.gov.uk/exchange-foreign-driving-licence/ and they send it home.
You will have to answer the questions that they ask you and attach the documentation that they require, such as your ID or passport along with a recent photograph. When you fill it out, you hand it in and pay the fees at a Post Office in London and they will take care of getting it to your home within about 3 weeks.
It is not necessary to take any exam or driving test to redeem your driving license in London, just submit the documentation. Even if they drive on the right side, you do not have to carry out any official practice, but we do recommend that you start driving on the streets of urbanizations with little traffic to adapt to their driving style and their signage. Remember that they drive on the right side and the steering wheel is also on the right, so adapt your skills to the new car first.
As we have said, in addition to enjoying your own driving license, you can obtain more advantages just by having a British driving license and these are the following:
- When renting a car, you have discounts.
- When buying a car, you can take advantage of paying less for your insurance.
- The driver’s license serves as a residence document in the country.
- With this license, you can drive in Spain also when you come for a few days. Of course, if you return to reside in our country, you have to exchange it again because your Spanish card will no longer be valid.
- You do not have to renew it; it serves you until you turn 70.