Spanish driving test

Enough to drive you to distraction: Spanish driving test

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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.


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.


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3 Comments To This Article

  • Andy Short posted:

    on 28th July 2009, 18:08:20 - Reply

    Just passed my theory test first time after three weeks study. The new tests now have 30 not 40 questions (pass mark 27) and while they still have some questions that are confusing or in the 'choose the most correct answer' category, on the whole they are not too bad.
    The driving school I went to has lots of test questions in english on computer.
    I clicked on the wrong icon at first and did several of the old style tests (1pass out of 13 tests) then realized my mistake and tried the new tests (passed 7 before failing 1)
    Just the practical to go now,then I have to have the green L plate in the back window to show I'm an inexperienced driver (only been driving cars for 34 years)
  • lee pretorius posted:

    on 1st December 2008, 23:36:51 - Reply

    I bought the theory book in Madrid from Pons Editorial, they also stock the practice book.
  • Brendan Byrne posted:

    on 18th September 2008, 09:21:35 - Reply

    Any luck trying to track down english practice tests. I'm looking for them myself?