Young Adults in Spain Can Now Drive from the Age of Sixteen

For young adults in Spain who are eager to get behind the wheel of a car, there is good news. Spanish authorities have agreed to the introduction of a new B-1 driving licence which will enable 16-year-olds to drive on the country's roads.

This will allow 16-year-olds all over the country to drive vehicles of a certain classification.

Whilst anyone will be able to take advantage of this new rule change, this plan was intended particularly to improve the mobility of those younger people living in rural areas where access to public transport can be a concern.

Here’s everything you need to know about this new driving rule:

The Official Announcement

This new transport decree was introduced by the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska. When introducing the new rules he said “In accordance with the provisions of the European Driving License Directive, we will regulate a new B1 driving licence from the age of 16 for electric vehicles with a maximum speed of 90 km/h and a maximum weight of 400 kg.

“It is already in use in countries like France with good results and will favour the mobility of the youngest in rural areas where, even with all possible efforts, public transport obviously does not arrive in the same conditions as in more urban environments.

“And it also means guaranteeing equality in the exercise of the rights of our young people in rural areas.”

How Will This Change Driving for Young People in Spain?

In short, this new rule will enable young people in Spain to drive a vehicle two years earlier that they can currently. The existing rules are that only individuals over the age of 18 are able to obtain a driving licence allowing them to drive vehicles of up to 3,500 kg, driving at a maximum of 120 km/h. If anyone under the age of 18 needed a vehicle for any reason then their options were incredibly limited: individuals over the age of 15 were able to secure an AM license, but this license only gave access  to drive two or three-wheeled mopeds and quadricycles with a maximum speed of 45 km/h.

When Will the Change Take Place?

This will not be an immediate policy change. The proposal is being laid out under the 2030 Road Safety Strategy: a conference which was also attended by the General Director of Traffic, Pere Navarro. It has not been confirmed how or when these changes will take place, nor do we know how 16 year olds will obtain their licence or whether they will need to take a written or practical test (or both). What we do know is that this is not a new policy, with other European countries already allowing 16 year olds to drive, with success. The minister used France as an example of this. 

 In addition to the new B-1 licence, the minister also mapped out other aspects of the new 2030 Road Safety Strategy. One such plan is to introduce training as a part of the school curriculum educating youngsters on safe and sustainable mobility. Fostering a new generation of safe and responsible drivers with the aim of cutting the number of fatalities on Spain’s roads is incredibly important to the Spanish authorities, and will be vital if 16 years old are allowed to take to the roads.

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