Spain holiday warning after UK couple stranded with their motorhome over change in driving license rules

A British couple have been stranded in Spain after police officers claimed their UK driving license was invalid and their motorhome was stuck on the side of the road.

Dave Kenny and his wife Debra, 60, were left in shock after local police told them they could end up in jail if they tried to drive to the border.

Dave and Debra Kenny are stranded in Spain


Dave and Debra Kenny are stranded in SpainCredit: Dave Kenny
The couple were told they could go to jail if they drive to the border


The couple were told they could go to jail if they drive to the borderCredit: Dave Kenny

The couple, from Swansea, South Wales, have a ferry to return to the UK next week – but they have been warned they would be breaking the law if they tried to drive their van.

Despite the warnings, they want to dash to the border with their three dogs under cover of darkness.

The couple arrived in Spain on March 16 after deciding to take a six-week road trip across Europe following a break-in at their home.

They were involved in a minor accident last week when Dave tried to park the vehicle.

He told The Sun Online: “There was no problem at all, I’ve exchanged details with the person concerned but as we are British they didn’t know how the insurance worked so they called the local police.

“When the police came I presented my papers and they said everything was fine with my insurance – no problem with the accident.

“But when I was about to leave, they stopped me and said, ‘You’re not going anywhere.’

“They told me my driver’s license was invalid – I asked them what they meant as I had my driver’s license replaced two years ago.

“It’s a full UK licence, it still has the EU symbol in the corner.

“They said: ‘No, it’s not valid since Brexit’.”

The couple were then escorted by the police car to the local police station, where their motorhome was pinned down and they were fined €500.

Eventually, her vehicle was driven back to her villa for her.

And when they asked the British Embassy and Consulate for help, both confirmed that Dave’s driving license was valid in Spain.

They were told that there was a change in the law in Spain just a week ago – which means residents now have to convert their driving license to a Spanish driving licence.

However, tourists coming to Spain from the UK will not be affected – Britons can drive in the country for up to 90 days if they are not residents.

“We’re told there’s some confusion on the Spanish side and they just think all Brits driving here can’t drive on a UK licence,” said Dave.

But the couple are now stranded at the holiday home and unable to return to the UK or even drive to the village a few miles away to buy groceries.

To avoid the local cops, they hopped on a pair of electric bikes to get groceries.

“We struggle every day with the amount of food and water we can bring home,” Dave said.


Dave, who works as a security guard, said they are now planning to rush to the border.

He said: “We have to catch a ferry next week and at the moment it’s illegal for me to drive according to the police – who have actually told me if I’m driving my vehicle I can be stopped, arrested and even thrown in jail .

“I have been threatened that if I drive my vehicle there will be serious consequences.

“But I will risk driving. We’ll have to run to the border – despite all the help we’ve had from Hugh Elliot and Kirsten Garry at the British Consulate.”

Dave said he and his wife felt “victimized” by Spanish police – and wanted to warn other British tourists about the situation.

He said: “We had no choice. We’ve looked at trains or flown someone here, but we’ve got the dogs, so we don’t have a choice.

“We are literally stranded. We were placed under house arrest by the Spanish police for misinterpreting the law.

“It’s not like we’re showing up in a crowd in a motorhome with British number plates.

“You can imagine the stress and worry that comes with that. I was just like, ‘How is this happening?’

“I thought maybe the government website wasn’t updated or something. But we were told that we are right about the license and they are wrong. We feel stressed, bullied.”

Dave added: “I was banned from driving in Spain for no apparent reason.

“I think the Brits need to be made aware that this can happen to others, theoretically even in a rental car.” Spain holiday warning after UK couple stranded with their motorhome over change in driving license rules


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