Sunday, January 27, 2013

What's going to happen this week... and how to learn to drive in Spain

It’s another manic Monday, Readers! I have grand plans for this week here at the blog. T’n’T’s Confidential brings authors CR Moss and Susan Taylor to visit. Wednesday, I’ll be continuing my Wednesday Brief, Clare, which ended when the young girl fell into a puddle of blood. (Read it here). Since Six Sentence Sunday is officially over *sniff*, I’m going to start participating in Sexy Snippets. But today, Monday, I’m really nervous because I’m taking my first real driver’s lesson!!!!

Learning how to drive in Spain is no mean feat. It isn’t because people here only drive stick shift (automatic cars are a new thing that fortunately are slowly but surely kicking in) but because it costs one helluva’lot of money. Rumors abound about driving school mafias and under the table payments.

This is how things work here:

First of all, you must keep in mind that you must learn how to drive at an official driving school. No, your parents, godparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends…no one can teach you how to drive except a teacher from a driving school. Why is this? The reason for this is because driving school cars are special and they have two sets of pedals, one for the driver and another for the co-pilot, aka, the teacher.

With that in mind, you turn to look for the best driving school you can find that won’t cost you a fortune. Registration fees range from anywhere between 100 Euros to almost 500€. Usually, they include classes on the driving manual, the actual book, and access to old written tests. Sometimes, they’ll throw in a few driving lessons. In my case, my driving school included 10 driving lessons on a simulator and 10 lessons in a real car.

There’s two ways to pass the written test. One, you study the book on your own and go take the test (that’s another 80euros to pay). Two, you go to class and go take the test. On both instances, what they recommend you do is take all the old tests you can until you memorize the answers. I chose option one and passed the test with only 1 mistake.

The written test is the easy part and the cheap part. Driving lessons are priced anywhere from 26 to 35 or even 40 euros per lesson. I’m not sure if it’s by law, but most driving schools will not allow you to take the driver’s test without taking a minimum of 10 classes. Do your math… yep, 10 classes at say 28euros per class is 280 Euros. Normally, people take anything between 20 to 60 classes. Don’t do your math, the figure is just scary. *shiver*.

To take the driver’s test you have to pay another 80euros. This fee only allows you to take the test twice. If you fail both times, you have to pay again, and so on and so forth until you pass. I’ve known people that haven’t passed until the 5th or 6th time around.

The worst of all this is that even after investing all this money in learning how to drive, Spanish drivers aren’t good drivers. In 2010 there were about 500 more deaths in Spain than in Great Britain, just to cite an example.* Madrid is popularly known as “the jungle”, so imagine how that abodes.

Anyhow, I’m deviating from what I wanted to say…I have my first driving lesson today and I’m terrified. Ahhhhhhhhh!


  1. Suerte con el carnet de conducir, seguro que te sale genial y lo pasas a la primera.

    En cuanto a que Madrid es una jungla tienes mas razón que un santo. No solo por lo alterada que está la gente (mas de uno debería tomarse una tila) y que hay mas conductores malos que buenos, sino por lo dificil que es orientarse por Madrid centro, especialmente por las calles pequeñas.

    Suerte con el carnet, ya nos contarás que tal la clase ;).

    1. Gracias Fénix! Eso espero, aunque de momento aún me queda mucho que aprender! jejeje

      Qué tal todo? Espero que bien! :-)


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