I’m pleased to announce I recently got my driving licence in Mallorca, Spain. After passing the driving theory exam in English, a few months earlier, I managed to pass my practical exam, first time!🤙The practical exam was completed in Spanish – however, all the practical lessons were in English with autoescuela express, a school which offers both Spanish and English practical driving lessons in Mallorca.
Practical driving lessons in Spain
First of all, you have to have completed the driving theory exam before being able to start any practical lessons – different from the UK setup as far as I know. Once you have the theory done, you can start with your driving lessons right away.🚗You’ll have to find a school in your local area and decide how many classes you want.
I was pretty happy with my teacher and I felt everything was explained well. He came to pick me up either close to my work or my home. Classes were around 27€ each for 45 mins, but if you bought a bundle of 10 or 20 or more you could get them for 25€ or even 22€ per class to make it cheaper.
I remember in my first lesson I was already driving on the roundabout and by the 3rd or 4th lesson I was on the motorway! I was surprised at how fast it went as after speaking to friends and family in the UK, I realised they don’t even go on the motorway during lessons.
Preparing for the driving exam in Spain
One thing I would definitely do differently if I could is to avoid having my exam in the summer/autumn. There was a driving instructor strike in the summer when I intended to have my exam and it meant I had to wait around 3 months to finally do it. Apparently this is very common and you should expect a driving strike in summer in Spain, also as you may know, Spain kind of closes down in August so there weren’t any exams available then either. There was a backlash of students waiting for their exams after the summer and mine just kept getting pushed back again and again. This meant I spent a lot of extra money and time than necessary having lessons, to make sure I was up to scratch when coming up to my exam date.🙄If I had known the date in the first place I wouldn’t have had the issue, however I only found out the final date about 1 week before the exam, which was in November in the end.
In total I had around 40 lessons of 45 mins each, however I think I could have passed with around 25-30 if I wasn’t waiting so long for the exam. If you can do some kind of fast track course, I’d recommend it, it’s always good to get into the habit of driving before the exam.
Just remember, it’s actually really easy to pass your driving exam, but it’s also really easy to fail, the smallest mistake can make you lose it so just keep your concentration up and focus.
Practical driving exam in Spain – how does it work?
My driving exam was the same price as a driving lesson – 27€. It took place at 7am from an easily accessible car park in Palma, Mallorca. I was informed of the ‘provisional exam date’ a couple of weeks before, but the final date was only given to me a few days before the exam.
Funnily enough I had another student in my car during my exam. As well as the examiner (in the back) and my teacher in the front seat next to me. I was lucky enough to decide who had the exam first out of me and the other student, and I decided to go first because I didn’t want to build up my nerves watching someone else do their exam first.
The exam lasted around 25 minutes and included driving on the motorway, parking, driving on roundabouts and following general directions in Spanish. No one was allowed to speak in the exam, although I found myself talking and asking questions (out of habit when driving with my teacher) before realising no one was going to respond to me! I actually thought I had failed the exam because I went over a continuous white line which I thought was a mistake but it was actually the edge of the road and doesn’t mean a fail. After I’d finished the exam, other student had theirs right after me, and I sat in the back of the car. At this point I still didn’t know if I had passed or failed.😮The other girl unfortunately failed after about 40 seconds because she pulled out at a roundabout when a car was coming, the teacher had to brake for her and the car made a really loud, off-putting buzzing noise.
Once we got back to the start point, my teacher told me I had passed and I was ecstatic! I couldn’t believe it and I was so happy!
Things to note when taking your driving test in Spain
- There are no provisional driving licences in Spain. The only person you can practice driving with is the teacher, so you’ll need to pay for lessons rather than practising alone.
- If you fail your test the first time, expect to wait a while for the next one, if I had failed, I was told I would have to wait around 2 months for the next one.
- Don’t plan your exam in august as the examiners are often on holiday/on strike.
- Think positively and you will do positively!
Good luck to all 🙂
Read more on how to get your theory driving exam in Spain.