AS The Olive Press launches its campaign to allow Brits back on the road, our inbox is inundated with people whose lives are being torn apart.
Since May 1, Brits who have lived in Spain for more than six months and do not have a Spanish licence can no longer legally drive using their British licence.
Deb Lee, 63, moved to Spain in September 2020 and immediately tried to get her residency and licence sorted via a British woman who styled herself as an ‘independent advisor’.
However, her advisor turned out to be a charlatan and had no idea of the rules in place.
Astonishingly, Deb was told that the deadline had passed, when in fact the DGT allowed Brits to register their intention to exchange their licence before 30 December 2020.
This left Deb stranded in the small town of Crevillente on the Costa Blanca.
“I was so isolated. I had no one to get me anything and the shops for food were too far away.”
Her situation was such that Deb, whose husband works in England as a lorry driver, has had to move to a campsite in Catral just so she has a food supply nearby.
“If it hadn’t been for the support I have got from the ladies group, I honestly think I would have done myself in,” she told the Olive Press.
“We are pawns in a political game. They keep saying it’s a matter of weeks, but they have been saying that for months now. At least in the midst of Covid we could go and get food.”
Deb has a heart condition and has at times been unable to get hold of her medication for days on end.
“Thank you for taking up this fight,” she said.
It should also not be forgotten that the licence saga impacts those on motorbikes too.
Ruth Baldasera, 57, has lived in Spain for eight months
“We just want to know if it is going to be days, weeks, months or years?”
If you take a motorcycle test, you are bound by law to ride a low horsepower bike for two years.
This means accomplished motorcyclists who have more powerful motorbikes would be unable to use their own bike.
But with an agreement allegedly in sight, you could also wait and not have to fork out thousands of euros on a smaller bike.
“The worst case is you could spend all the money and take the test, then a week later we could be told we are now allowed to swap our licences again.”
“I know people are in much worse situations but it’s affecting us severely,” she said.
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