The salon de actos in Orihuela Costa town hall was packed to the rafters this week, as local residents gathered to learn more about driving in Spain.

The event had been organised by the councillor for international residents and the talk was presented by Mark Nolan, president of the N332 Road Traffic Association. The information had been compiled by Guardia Civil traffic officers in conjunction with Orihuela´s local police and covered such routine topics as the documents and equipment which must be carried in the car, the current status of UK licences, and driving on roundabouts, amongst other topics.

The process for exchanging a UK driving licence for the Spanish equivalent was explained to the attendees, as well as the fact that this is only applicable until 31 December, at which point the UK must form a bilateral agreement with Spain or the process will change and applicants would be required to follow the same procedure as those from countries such as Russia do at the moment.

The talk ended with information from the local police who wanted to explain that they are about to clampdown on foreign vehicles in the municipality, in particular those which are in the country longer than would qualify them as being for tourist use, and so they urged those residents who are still driving a foreign vehicle to start the process of registering them in Spain as soon as possible.

Given the success of the event, the town hall is now looking into arranging more seminars like this where the questions about all aspects of living in Spain can be answered.