Changing Spanish license to a UK one

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El Cid
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Re: Changing Spanish license to a UK one

Postby El Cid » Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:07 pm

You weren't ripped off - you chose to pay someone to do it for you. It would be no different if you were a foreigner in the UK and wanted complicated bureaucratic things sorted out - apart from the fact that you would pay even more.

Horses for courses. If you can't do it yourself it will cost you more. That will apply to almost anywhere.

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Re: Changing Spanish license to a UK one

Postby White Horse » Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:54 pm

Yes, Martin, I know what you mean.The main thing Spain has is sunshine, of course, no denying that, but we had nearly 2 decades of that.
Leaving Spain, we were ripped off big time by officialdom from town halls to the Hacienda. We had a list of 10 reasons we left Spain, but there were actually more!

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Re: Changing Spanish license to a UK one

Postby MartinEB » Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:01 am

White Horse wrote:Yes, Martin, I know what you mean.The main thing Spain has is sunshine, of course, no denying that, but we had nearly 2 decades of that.
Leaving Spain, we were ripped off big time by officialdom from town halls to the Hacienda. We had a list of 10 reasons we left Spain, but there were actually more!


Couldn't agree more. Sunshine is not the only thing.

People normally quote the sunshine and cost of living as two of the prime benefits of living in Spain. I've had enough sunshine to last me a lifetime and actually find many aspects of the cost of living (not council tax though!) cheaper here in the UK than in Spain. A weekly shop here was nearly £20 cheaper than the equivalent shop in Spain (and that is without taking into account the £/€ exchange rate.

El Cid wrote:You weren't ripped off - you chose to pay someone to do it for you. It would be no different if you were a foreigner in the UK and wanted complicated bureaucratic things sorted out - apart from the fact that you would pay even more.

Horses for courses. If you can't do it yourself it will cost you more. That will apply to almost anywhere.
Sid


You are of course correct Sid, I wasn't ripped off (I just felt it). But you have to question why a process (exchanging a driving licence) costs nothing in the UK (except for £5 for 4 photographs in a photo booth) and takes just 11 days, whilst here in "sunny" Spain it takes over 9 months and costs nearly 100€ even if I didn't fork out 50€ for a Gestor (medical 60€, photo's 13€, licence 26€ (times 2 for me and "er indoors")) - maybe the Spanish are actually indirectly taxing the sunshine?

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Re: Changing Spanish license to a UK one

Postby El Cid » Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:22 am

It's swings and roundabouts comparing the UK to Spain on things like this.

A Spanish passport costs €20 but I have to pay over £100 to renew a UK passport.

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Re: Changing Spanish license to a UK one

Postby Free at Last » Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:47 am

MartinEB wrote: £5 for 4 photographs in a photo booth) photo's 13€,


It also depends where you go - in both countries. I had to get new passport photographs done recently. On a trip back to the UK I got some done in a Max Spielman shop as I no longer know where there is a photo booth in Manchester - they cost 9.99 and were awful. I got some more done by a professional photographer when I got back to my home town in Spain - much better and cost €6 for six.

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Re: Changing Spanish license to a UK one

Postby MartinEB » Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:05 am

Free at Last wrote:
MartinEB wrote: £5 for 4 photographs in a photo booth) photo's 13€,


It also depends where you go - in both countries.


Of course, as Sid wold say "horses for courses".

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Re: Changing Spanish license to a UK one

Postby MartinEB » Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:17 am

El Cid wrote:It's swings and roundabouts comparing the UK to Spain on things like this.
Sid


Agreed, but 9 months to process it? Traffico blaming DVLA and DVLA saying they had never received anything from Traffico? My "English" neighbours took 13 months!


El Cid wrote:A Spanish passport costs €20 but I have to pay over £100 to renew a UK passport.Sid


I know which one is more valuable to me :silent:

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Re: Changing Spanish license to a UK one

Postby White Horse » Thu Oct 20, 2016 11:17 am

El Cid wrote:A Spanish passport costs €20 but I have to pay over £100 to renew a UK passport.

Sid

Not really relevant as, generally speaking, ex-pats cannot have Spanish passports.

It's so lovely being able to work out in the garden in Summer, without being roasted to death (in between rain showers of course!) :wink:

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Re: Changing Spanish license to a UK one

Postby El Cid » Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:01 pm

Of course they can't, but it demonstrates that it is not just Spain that makes excessive charges for some simple procedures.

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Re: Changing Spanish license to a UK one

Postby MartinEB » Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:23 am

But I would suggest that the "simple procedure" of producing a UK passport with its security printing, inks, watermarks, holograms and other security precautions is less simple than producing a plastic Spanish driving licence for roughly the same price (and in our case the driving licence taking about 20 times longer to produce) :silent:

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Re: Changing Spanish license to a UK one

Postby El Cid » Sat Oct 22, 2016 10:28 am

I was comparing the cost of a UK passport to a Spanish passport, not to a Spanish driving licence. Both passports will be almost identical.

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Re: Changing Spanish license to a UK one

Postby MartinEB » Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:46 am

OK, as you say swings and roundabouts, a UK passport (£100) and a UK driving licence free. A Spanish driving licence near to 100€ and a Spanish passport 20€ = about the same cost!

Costings aside, I still don't get why it takes (or at least took us) over 9 months to obtain a Spanish driving licence and only 11 days to get our UK ones back? Somebody has it right and somebody has it wrong - answers on a postcard :silent:

Footnote:
UK passport operations (both in the UK and overseas) are self-financing. Most countries subsidise through taxation.

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Re: Changing Spanish license to a UK one

Postby El Cid » Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:57 am

MartinEB wrote:
Costings aside, I still don't get why it takes (or at least took us) over 9 months to obtain a Spanish driving licence and only 11 days to get our UK ones back?


As I understand it, delays are often caused by the fact that the application also has to be passed back through the DVLA and that is where the problems arise. Why this creates such long delays is unclear, but to be fair, not everyone waits 9 months.

When you exchange your Spanish licence for your old UK licence, they are essentially giving you back your old licence and there is no need to check with anyone and it is a much simpler process as it is handled entirely in house by the DVLA.

It could be entirely different if you were exchanging a "native" Spanish licence for a totally new UK licence as the DVLA would presumably have to do similar checks with Spain. It is worth remembering that your Spanish licence even has the number (or part of it) of your original UK licence printed on it

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Re: Changing Spanish license to a UK one

Postby elusive » Sat Oct 22, 2016 6:56 pm

You will always get situations where paperwork gets lost etc. That happens everywhere. 9 months isnt normal,mine took around one. so something went wrong somewhere. Just had to wait four months for HMRC to send back a tax return cause even though they got it in may it wasnt even looked at for three months.

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Re: Changing Spanish license to a UK one

Postby elusive » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:59 pm

For those who changed spanish back to uk licence where you able to do it as soon as you moved back as the dvla site implies you have to wait 6 months.did they want to know how long you had been back?

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Re: Changing Spanish license to a UK one

Postby Miro » Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:00 pm

No, you can do it straight away. If you are looking at this start page: https://www.gov.uk/exchange-foreign-driving-licence/y then it does seem to imply that you are not a resident until you have been in the UK at least 185 days. But that's misleading - I think it means that if you've been in the UK at a permanent address for 185 days, you are now a resident whether you want to be or not. But you can effectively declare yourself resident from the day you arrive if you choose to. I posted off my Spanish licence along with photos and a completed D1 application form almost as soon as we arrived back in the UK. You can order the form online here:
https://forms.dft.gov.uk/order-dvla-forms/
There's no fee (Section G of the accompanying instructions: "Previous GB licence held - now hold full valid EU/EEA or other valid non-GB licence - FREE")
If you have a valid UK passport, you don't need to supply any other proof of ID either (they know who you are!)
My UK licence arrived in the post a few days later.

Edit: not relevant to this thread (sorry, Mods), but in case anyone for whom it is relevant missed where I posted it previously - ignore anybody who tells you that you have to be back in the UK for 6 months before you can register with the NHS, too. Pure myth. In fact, speaking from very recent personal experience - everything to do with bureaucracy / officialdom is an absolute breeze when you get back to the UK - especially if comparing to Spain, but I mean everything - from registering with a GP, exchanging your licence back to a UK one, getting utilities changed into your name, registering a car, changing addresses with banks, DWP, HMRC etc., joining the local library - it's so un-challenging as to be almost boring!

But the coffee's expensive :evil:
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Re: Changing Spanish license to a UK one

Postby El Cid » Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:47 pm

Miro wrote:ignore anybody who tells you that you have to be back in the UK for 6 months before you can register with the NHS, too. Pure myth.


You don't even need to be back in the UK to use the NHS. Under the new rules, if you are an S1 pensioners you can jump on a plane and go to the UK with full NHS cover and then fly back to Spain when the treatment is over

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Re: Changing Spanish license to a UK one

Postby Miro » Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:55 pm

I think the same applies to pregnant Nigerian women as well - and yet...the myth persists, for some reason, around the expat bars & hangouts!
Don't worry about what people think, they don't do it very often

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Re: Changing Spanish license to a UK one

Postby elusive » Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:15 pm

Thanks miro. Out of intrest after uk news on car insurance i got a quote from my old company.with a euro licence (does it make a difference if you tell them over the phone that your original licence was from the uk?) Anyway 300 quid more with a eu licence than a uk one. For intrest sake my quote was vertually double what i was paying before i left the uk. Yikes!

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Re: Changing Spanish license to a UK one

Postby Paulinmalaga » Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:22 pm

Miro wrote:I think the same applies to pregnant Nigerian women as well - and yet...the myth persists, for some reason, around the expat bars & hangouts!


Yes the myth does persist, usually spread as you say by expats who think they know everything but sadly in reality know sweet FA..... every ex pat community has a couple.


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