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DRIVING

Brexit: New licence needed to bring vans and trailers from UK to Spain

Another Brexit-related driving change is on the way in 2022, with an extra licence required to bring a van or large car trailer from the UK into an EU country. Here's how the new rule works and who it will affect.

vans parked in UK
If you're using any moving or courier services to transport goods to Spain, expect prices to increase to cover the operator’s costs. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP)

Aside from the uncertainty regarding a long-awaited Spain-UK exchange agreement for regular driving licences, there is another driving change is on the horizon in 2022 which has been confirmed, and it concerns vans or car trailers. 

What

From next year, an international goods vehicle operator licence will be required for people based in the UK who want to bring a van over to the EU or Schengen zone.

It costs £257 (€301) to apply for a goods vehicle operator licence plus an extra £401 (€470) for the licence. It needs to be renewed every five years at a further cost of £401.

When

The change comes into force in May 21st, 2022.

Who

The changes do not affect everyone and depend first of all on the size of your van or trailer and secondly on the reason for your trip.

The rules apply to;

  • vans with a maximum authorised mass (MAM) over 2,500kg (2.5 tonnes) and up to and including 3,500kg (3.5 tonnes)
  • vans towing a trailer with a gross train weight (GTW) over 2.5 tonnes and up to and including 3.5 tonnes
  • cars towing a trailer with a GTW over 2.5 tonnes and up to and including 3.5 tonnes

The smallest Ford Transit-type vans are generally less than 2.5 tonnes MAM, but a long-wheel base van is likely to be covered by this regulation.

Then there is the purpose of your trip.

The licence is not required if you are “transporting goods on a non-commercial basis (not for ‘hire or reward’)”, the UK government website states.

So if for example you have loaded up your own van to bring furniture over to your Spanish house, then the licence is not required because you are not being paid for this service – although you may have to pay duty on the items you bring in.

But the regulation will cover removal firms or couriers – so if you are using any of these services to transport goods to Spain, expect prices to increase to cover the operator’s costs.

The regulations apply only to those based in the UK, so if you want to take a van over from Spain to the UK then there is no need for the extra licence.

Find full details of the changes on the UK government’s page HERE

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TRAVEL

Spanish fuel prices fall but can’t stop most expensive August ever

Although the cost of filling up in Spain has been falling in recent weeks, petrol and diesel prices in August make it the most expensive on record despite government discounts softening the blow.

Spanish fuel prices fall but can't stop most expensive August ever

Filling up a tank of petrol or diesel in Spain costs between €16 and €23 more than a year ago, making it the most expensive August on record – despite the government’s 20 cents per litre discount on fuel.

Filling an average 55 litre tank with either petrol or diesel now costs around €93, which is equivalent to €16 more than a year ago for petrol, and €23 more for diesel.

READ ALSO: REMINDER: How drivers in Spain can get 20 euro cents off every litre of fuel

Until this week, peak prices for the first week of August were back in 2013, when petrol cost €1.472 a litre and diesel €1.376, 16 percent and 19 percent less than current costs.

Prices have also already exceed the average monthly costs in August 2021, by 17 percent and 25 percent respectively, when fuel reached €1.416 and €1.29.

Falling prices

Despite these record breaking prices, fuel prices in Spain have actually been falling in recent weeks, reaching their lowest values since May.

As of Thursday 4th August, petrol in Spain is sold on average at €1.702 per litre, and diesel €1.693, including the government discount. 

Without the discount, the price of petrol is €1.902 per litre and diesel €1,893 on average, according to figures from the European Union Oil Bulletin.

The government’s reduction on fuel costs, introduced as part of an ongoing raft of measures to help Spaniards amidst the cost of living crisis, means consumers save around €11 every time they fill up the tank.

The 20 cent reduction on the litre was introduced in March of this year, when fuel prices jumped and crossed the €2 per litre threshold.

READ ALSO: Where to get the cheapest fuel in Spain

Below European averages

Fortunately for Spaniards, the combination of falling prices and the government taking 20 cents off the litre mean that Spanish fuel prices are below the European average, where petrol costs €1.856 and diesel €1.878 across the member states.

The most expensive EU countries for petrol are Denmark (€2.218) and Finland (€2.19), while for diesel Sweden (€2.37) and Finland (€2.153) are the priciest places to fill up.

On the other hand, although Spanish prices are falling they are not the cheapest in Europe. The cheapest places for petrol prices are Hungary (€1.29) and Malta (€1.34), and also for diesel: Malta (€1.21) and Hungary (€1.558).

Of surrounding western European nations, Spaniards are paying the least for their fuel. In Germany, for example, petrol costs on average €1.814 a litre and diesel €1.943. In France, the costs are €1.844 and €1.878 respectively; in Italy €1.877 and €1.851; and across the border in Portugal, the prices are €1.889 and €1.83.

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