For Spanish residents/EU citizens: Your driving licence from your original country remains acceptable until its normal expiry date then you must renew it with a Spanish one. This is as per the EU rules agreed in 2006 and now in force. Residents, aged under 60 and holding a UK ID type licence can fill out the appropriate forms including supplying a passport type photo, in the local Traffico, pay the money, hand in your UK licence and that's all there is to it. Suggest you take a good Spanish speaker if you are not fluent and ALL of your papers, passport etc with photocopies.
To get a Spanish driver's license the long way...you must: i) join a driving school ii) pass a medical exam, iii) pass a written exam, and iv) pass a behind-the-wheel test.
Is that all? Yes, but like E=mc2, it's not as easy as it sounds. It can be a long, treacherous road fraught with pitfalls.
Getting a Spanish driver's license can be expensive because you have to join a driving school and take classes. It doesn't matter how many years of experience you have driving in your own country. Driving in Spain is considered a different animal, and of course, you'll need the driving school's car to take the behind-the-wheel test.
Then you'll need to pass a medical and eye exam. Fortunately, this part won't be too difficult. Quote: "The doctor certified me as fit because I was able to open the door to his office," "and as having good eyesight because I was able to grasp the doorknob without first feeling around for it with my fingertips."
Next, the written exam. The good news is that it's multiple choice and you can choose to take the exam in English or watered-down Spanish if you don't feel up to the full-blown Spanish deal. The bad news is that the scope of the exam "goes well beyond the standard rules of the road," "Questions pertaining to automobile mechanics, first aid, and technical specifications for vehicles ranging from scooters to quads to automobiles to delivery trucks are not only fair game, but are fairly common.
Probably taking 'A' level Latin or Physics would be less daunting than the Spanish written driver's exam.
Finally, you must take a behind-the-wheel exam. Your instructor will sit in the passenger seat and the examiner in the back. "The exam lasts for thirty minutes and takes place in live traffic," "Drivers can expect to face such delights as city streets, winding alleys, roundabouts, construction zones, hills, and the universally-despised parallel parking maneuver. If you're unlucky (and many are), the latter two will be co-mingled." You'll receive your results from your instructor once the examiner has gone. Like the written exam, if you fail, you can take it again.