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Driving & Public Transport

Malaga - Driving & Public Transport


All holders of European photocard driving licences are legally able to drive in Spain indefinitely, along with holders of driving licences from a number of other countries. However, even if valid, they still need to be stamped at the local Trafico office, which in Malaga is situated at Calle Max Estrella 12, in the industrial zone just off the main A-7 motorway. A list of valid driving licences can be found at the Spanish Department of Transport site here (PDF file).

Holders of driving licences that don't appear on this list have up to 6 months to exchange their licence for a Spanish one. The application for a Spanish driving licence can be made at the same office on Calle Max Estrella, and it may mean taking either a written or practical driving test, or both.

Many EU citizens do, however, choose to exchange their licences for Spanish ones, without the need for retaking a test, to avoid problems with traffic police who sometimes are not aware of the reciprocal agreement, and can and do issue on the spot fines for driving on what they believe is an invalid licence.

Although used cars do not depreciate in price as quickly as in other countries, new cars are relatively cheap in Spain. Some expats, however, still choose to import their car into the country. Owners of foreign cars have 6 months to register the car and have it issued with Spanish licence plates. Import taxes and a registration fee need to be paid. This can be done at the Delegacion de Economia y Hacienda office at Calle Compositor Lehmberg Ruiz, 22. The forms and bureacracy can seem overwhelming and many people choose to a hire a gestor, or bureacratic middleman, who oversees the form filling, documentation gathering, and queue waiting. English speaking gestors can be found at www.surinenglish.com, or in the Yellow Pages.

Along with all major Spanish cities, driving and more specifically parking in Malaga can be a stressful experience. Even car owners prefer to travel through the city by bus as the service is cheap and plentiful. The main bus station is situated at the Paseo de los Tilos, alongside the city's main train station. Details of lines and destinations can be found at www.estabus.emtsam.es.

Taxis are popularly used in Spain as they are also not cost prohibitive. Taxi ranks can be found on most major streets and outside bus and train stations; a full list can be found here (PDF file). Taxis are easily identifiable and increasingly take debit and credit cards.

An extension to the public transport network in Malaga is currently under construction the new Malaga Metro. Scheduled to begin operating in 2012, two lines will operate, the first travelling down the coastal areas and the second linking the coast through the old town, major hospitals and the university.


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