Driving licences

Temporary Forum - Please keep it CIVIL and ON TOPIC regarding updates/ news / concerns on British living / travelling in the EU.
shamus
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2007 6:08 pm
Location: midlands, england

Driving licences

Postby shamus » Sat Apr 10, 2021 2:23 pm

I have the 10 year biometric card and a car here on Crete. I still use my UK licence. I will have to spend more time in UK soon and will need to drive and hire cars whilst there. Does anybody know, or have you any thoughts about taking a Greek Driving test while still retaining your UK licence? I know when we were in Europe is wasn't allowed, but now we are out, I wondered if this was possible. It seems an expensive way of doing it, I know, but I really don't want to give up my UK licence if I can avoid it.

Kilkis
Posts: 12823
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Driving licences

Postby Kilkis » Sat Apr 10, 2021 3:26 pm

I can't be absolutely certain but I think it is an international rule, not just an EU rule, that you are supposed to have a driving licence issued by the country where you live and countries are not supposed to issue licences to anybody who does not live there.

I also think that the EU has agreed to continue recognising UK licences, however, so anybody who was prepared to break the rules before and not transfer to a Greek licence even though they lived here could probably continue doing the same. By this I mean people who had to renew their UK licence after moving here and did so in the UK using a fake address, e.g. of a relative or friend. I have no idea if the risks of getting caught out are any higher now than they were before the UK left the EU.

Warwick

PS I have never had a problem hiring a car in the UK with a Greek licence. There could be a problem hiring something bigger because you don't automatically get van and minibus categories on a Greek licence like you do in the UK.

Phild
Posts: 219
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:01 pm
Location: Way out West

Re: Driving licences

Postby Phild » Sat Apr 10, 2021 5:02 pm

In our experience, it was getting more and more difficult to hire cars in the UK on our UK license - because they began to routinely check things like the electoral roll, credit checks of the UK address on your UK license, etc, etc. Since we're not there, none of those checks passed. (Although this was always at the bigger car hire companies)

In the end we just exchanged the UK license for the Greek one. We haven't tried to hire a car in the UK since then, but as Warwick says, it shouldn't be a problem.
----
Phil
----

Jean
Posts: 1115
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:39 pm
Location: West Crete
Contact:

Re: Driving licences

Postby Jean » Sat Apr 10, 2021 5:26 pm

Does anybody know, or have you any thoughts about taking a Greek Driving test while still retaining your UK licence?

Do you mean that you'd take a Greek driving test pretending that you have no driving license in order not to have to surrender your UK license when you get your Greek one? If so, that's probably illegal. Would anyone bother to check it? I doubt it.

Voni
Posts: 130
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 4:33 pm

Re: Driving licences

Postby Voni » Sat Apr 10, 2021 5:47 pm

Just a heads up...

The initial government advice pre BREXIT was that a uk driving licence with an IDP would be acceptable in Greece. This advice has now changed to say that an IDP is not required but this is in relation to visitors not those resident in Greece.

Uk nationals who are resident in Greece are now being advised to apply to exchange their uk licence to a Greek licence before the deadline of 2nd May.

For those who are reluctant to exchange licences bear in mind that in the case of an accident/spot check the first documents the police will ask for will be your driving licence and passport - they can immediately see if you are a resident if you don’t have a border control stamp in your passport.

How the police will deal with this practice remains to be seen, but it might be a factor that insurance companies look at if a claim is involved.

The whole situation around driving/vehicle ownership in Greece post Brexit is going to be interesting as thing develop. For example to purchase a car you have to have a residents permit (certainly new dealerships are now asking for a biometric permit). Having a biometric permit means you have declared yourself “resident” so that should follow that you have a Greek driving licence.
Last edited by Voni on Sat Apr 10, 2021 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

shamus
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2007 6:08 pm
Location: midlands, england

Re: Driving licences

Postby shamus » Sat Apr 10, 2021 6:20 pm

Interesting replies...thank you. I have only had a car here for 5 years, so I haven't renewed my licence whilst living here as it expires next year. When I insured my car here last year, my insurance man was quite happy with my UK licence. I do have a UK address where I am registered for Council tax etc. With a 10 year permit, I know that I can spend more time outside Greece legally with this Biometric permit. If I went for a licence here I am not sure I would want to 'pretend ' that I had not got a UK licence - rather, I would probably try not to mention it. I am waiting - as many are I imagine - to see what further announcements are made about this, but was just curious to see if anyone else in a similar position was thinking along the same lines.

Voni
Posts: 130
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 4:33 pm

Re: Driving licences

Postby Voni » Sat Apr 10, 2021 6:31 pm

It’s a difficult one I agree.....missing the 2nd May deadline means having to sit a Greek driving test...approximate cost 700 euros! Plus the fact that if you are over 65 you have to renew your Greek licence every three years and have an eye and medical exam, the fee is now 93 euros plus 20 euros for the medicals.

The uk are now saying you can drive on a Greek licence for 12 months in the uk before having to exchange it back to a uk licence. My uk insurance company have told me that they will accept a Greek licence but there will be an increase in my car premium.

Kilkis
Posts: 12823
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Driving licences

Postby Kilkis » Sat Apr 10, 2021 8:23 pm

Voni wrote:...The initial government advice pre BREXIT was that a uk driving licence with an IDP would be acceptable in Greece. This advice has now changed to say that an IDP is not required but this is in relation to visitors not those resident in Greece...


This is correct but be careful. Some EU countries require you to have an IDP if you hold a UK paper licence rather than a photo card licence. Anybody driving to/from Greece with a UK paper licence needs to check with each country they will be driving through.

Warwick

PS It's good to see that UK ex-pats have become fully integrated and thinking like Greeks. Typically Greeks differentiate between what they regard as laws against serious crimes and rules telling you what you are supposed to do. The former are generally obeyed, so serious crime rates tend to be low. The latter are entirely optional. Things like paying taxes and having the correct driving licence fit in the second category.

bobscott
Posts: 2926
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:36 pm
Location: Kokkino Horio

Re: Driving licences

Postby bobscott » Sun Apr 11, 2021 8:56 am

Just a quickie in response to a comment above. I have just bought a new car and although the salesman's first ploy was to ask for a biometric residency permit, he was happy enough to accept the blue permit when I explained that my appointment for the new permit isn't until next month! Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Mixos
Posts: 523
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:26 am
Location: North East Crete or S.W.England

Re: Driving licences

Postby Mixos » Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:02 am

Things might have changed with Brexit, or will do so with the introduction of biometric permits, but it is NOT true that you needed a residence card to buy a car up to now. As a 'part timer' I bought my car six years ago by simply signing a declaration at the tax office that I would not be in Crete for longer than two months at a time. There was nothing to say I couldn't return almost immediately, but of course that has now been superseded by the 90/180 rule anyway.

Kilkis
Posts: 12823
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Driving licences

Postby Kilkis » Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:41 am

I don't think that 2 months was enshrined in any specific rule, although I could be wrong. When the UK was in the EU anybody who was in Greece for more than 3 months was legally obliged to have a residence permit, although it wasn't rigorously enforced. I suspect that they asked you to sign a legal declaration that you wouldn't be in Greece for more than 2 months because then you wouldn't need a residence permit. I suppose they could have phrased it as "less than 3 months" but the use of 2 months seems quite common. I know many accountants keep their clients registered as non-tax resident, including permanent residents, by stating that they are only in Greece for 2 months in a year.

With respect to Bob's situation, the rules are that the EU residence certificate is supposed to act as a substitute for the biometric residence card until the process of converting them is complete or, at the minimum, until the end of June so the blue certificate should have been accepted whether you had an appointment yet or not.

Warwick

solitude1
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:29 am
Location: panormo

Re: Driving licences

Postby solitude1 » Sun Apr 11, 2021 11:10 am

I have kept my UK licence as i have C1+E LGV, as i may need it again as things are not
certain in this world. I do not think a Greek licence would qualify in the UK as they obtain
theirs through grandfather rights and may not have to take a test.

Kilkis
Posts: 12823
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Driving licences

Postby Kilkis » Sun Apr 11, 2021 12:13 pm

solitude1 wrote:... I do not think a Greek licence would qualify in the UK as they obtain
theirs through grandfather rights and may not have to take a test.


I am not quite sure what that means. A Greek licence is recognised in the UK but you are only entitled to drive whatever it says on your licence. Greece uses the concept of a "professional licence" which has additional requirements, such as more frequent renewal with medicals and extra practical tests, and is required to drive any commercial vehicle. It is also required to drive a company car for business purposes unless you are the owner of the business. Greece does not automatically include any commercial categories like they do, or at least used to, in the UK. When you swap from a UK licence to a Greek licence the additional classes such as C1, D1, B+E,C1+E, D1+E, that might be on your UK licence are not transferred unless you opt to satisfy the additional conditions for those classes.

Warwick

solitude1
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:29 am
Location: panormo

Re: Driving licences

Postby solitude1 » Sun Apr 11, 2021 7:45 pm

When i went to the KEP office the man behind the desk said UK LGV may not
be put on Greek licence, only permit to drive a car, albeit he was not 100% sure,
so i thought best not chance it until absolutely sure.

P&B
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:52 pm

Re: Driving licences

Postby P&B » Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:01 am

I am trying to find out the exact size and spec of the photos needed to exchange a UK driving license to a Greek one but am getting conflicting advice.

Is anyone able to confirm?


Return to “Brexit and Living in Greece”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests