Enough to drive you to distraction: Spanish driving test
Our expat blogger Sal de Traglia takes the Spanish driving test.
The Road to a Spanish Driver's License (Part 1 of 2)
There are few things in life as difficult or intimidating as getting a Spanish driver's license. It's a bit like trying to solve Fermat's last theoremwhile sitting on death row in a Texas prison. If you don't believe me, just ask anyone who has been through
For purposes of comparison, let me describe the process by which I obtained my driver's license in the US.
I sauntered into the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles facility two days after my sixteenth birthday. I took a short multiple choice exam in which a perfect score was assured by simply choosing the most conservative answer to each question.
I then proceeded to the behind-the-wheel exam, which entailed a ten minute drive through a parking lot with lines painted on it to simulate a real street.
The road test concluded with the ever-difficult manoeuvre of pulling up to a curb.
A hearty handshake and quick photograph later, I walked out with a warm driver's license tucked into my wallet; secure in the knowledge that the State of Pennsylvania deemed me fit to propel a 3,000 pound hunk of mechanized metal wherever and whenever I pleased.
The entire process took forty-five minutes and cost me $30.
With this benchmark in mind, let's turn our attention to the finer points of obtaining a driver's license in Spain.
THE DRIVING SCHOOL:
First, you must join a driving school. This is required whether you are a first time driver or, like me, had been driving in another country for nearly twenty years.
The reason is that you'll need their car. Spanish authorities require that examinees take the behind-the-wheel portion of the driving exam in a car that has a second brake, accelerator and clutch on the passenger side.
I don't know about you, but there's no vehicle fitting this description parked in my garage. Fortunately, for a fee of multiple hundreds of Euros, any driving school will be pleased to lend you its car and will toss in a study guide and some lessons (both theoretical and practical) to boot.
THE MEDICAL E