El Desperados, French Flocking to the Last Chance Saloon in Barcelona
El Desperados is what a young Barcelona entrepreneur calls his clients, the dozens of desperate French job seekers needing a driving license and unable to wait the many months it takes to get one in France.
Mickael Mistri set up his francophone Stop N’Drive driving school, in Barcelona eight months ago and confesses he never anticipated such a rush of French clientele.
The cost of the driving lessons and road code classes is just 800 euros in Spain compared to some 1800 on average in, say Paris, (less in smaller towns and centres) news reports claim. The biggest advantage is that the time it takes to obtain the licence is reduced from as much as a year in France (if you fail the theory — and everyone fails the theory first time round) to around 4 weeks in Barcelona. Add in the cost of a month’s rent in a furnished apartment and you still come out on the winning side according to some of his customers interviewed by BFMTV.
What’s more, Mickael told BFMTV, he tailors his lessons to the French road code and market. By way of bonus his Facebook page says he also offers the course in English for English-speaking residents in France struggling to learn the code.
The license is a Spanish one of course but under EU regulations this can be exchanged at your local prefecture for a French one. The fee for this varies from 25 to 33 euros but the process is subject to a delay of as much as six months depending on which prefecture is involved.
This French government website gives details about exchange the cost varies around the country.
Story: Ken Pottinger
- Taking a French Driving License? Consider Barcelona, Cheaper, Faster and Still French (french-news-online.com)