Blog: Brexit revenge! British van and trailer drivers braced for £660 charge to enter EU – Express

Post-Brexit rules for entering the EU from the UK will mean an extra licence is required to bring a van or a large car trailer across the border to the bloc.

From May 2022, an international goods vehicle operator licence will be required for UK-based van drivers.

The rule will only apply to those who are transporting goods for commercial purposes in a van or trailer with an authorised mass of over 2,500 kg (2.5 tonnes) and up to 3,500 kg (3.5 tonnes).

It will cost drivers £401 to apply for the goods operator licence and an additional £257 to receive it.

The licence will also have to be renewed every five years at a further cost of £401.

Brexit has already been forcing Britons living in the EU to exchange their UK driving licences for one of their country of residence.

The UK Government was forced to advise British expats they would no longer be able to renew their licences in the UK and should “consider exchanging your UK driving licence for an EU licence”.

But as driving licences were not covered in the Withdrawal Agreement guaranteeing citizens’ rights, this resulted in a mash-mash of different rules and exchange deadlines in each EU country.

Earlier this week, the British Embassy in Madrid confirmed authorities in Spain extended the period of validity of UK driving licences – for a third time.

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Talks over a licence exchange are to “conclude as soon as possible” but are “not there yet”.

The UK Embassy in Madrid wrote in a Facebook post: “We are pleased to let you know that the Spanish Government has today confirmed the extension of the grace period during which you can drive in Spain using a valid UK licence until the end of February 2022.”

This is the latest extension Spain has provided UK licence holders since Britain formally left the European Union on January 1, 2021. At that time, it meant their UK-issued documents became unrecognised by the common EU framework.

But in another post-Brexit blow, the new two-month grace period does not apply to UK licence holders who reside in Spain and have registered their intent to exchange more time to do so at Spain’s DGT traffic authority, with that deadline still standing at December 31, 2021.

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It does however apply to those who failed to register their intent more time to drive legally in Spain and potentially take their Spanish driving test as a safeguard.

The Embassy headed by Hugh Elliott, UK Ambassador to Spain, warned: “We recognise that the extension is relatively short, and therefore it is important that – if it is imperative for you to drive – you consider all your options, which may include looking into taking a driving test now.”

An update was also provided on the latest talks between British and Spanish authorities, which the embassy are hopeful will be concluded as “soon as possible” but stressed they are not there yet.

It wrote: “As you know, the UK Government is committed to reaching a long-term agreement with Spain so that residents can exchange their UK driving licences without taking a test.

“Negotiations are continuing and we stand ready to conclude that agreement as soon as possible.

“But unfortunately we are not there yet.”

UK Ambassador to Spain Mr Elliott had earlier admitted in a video posted to Facebook that “many of you have also rightly pointed out that Spaniards resident in the UK are able to exchange their Spanish licence for a UK one without taking a practical test”.

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