This article will look at why there is now a question mark over the UK Blue Badge use in Spain as well as real experiences from disabled holidaymakers who have visited Mallorca and other areas of Spain in Summer 2022.
So please read the background behind this issue and real-life experiences.
Why is UK Blue Badge use an issue in Spain?
Before Brexit, disabled holidaymakers from the UK to Spain have been able to bring their Blue Badge on holiday to use when parking a car in disabled parking spaces in Spain.
In fact pre-Brexit, throughout the European Union, the UK Blue Badge was widely recognised and therefore widely used by holidaymakers visiting any country within the European block.
However, on the 1st January 2021 when the UK officially exited the European Union, the rights towards UK Blue Badge use in Spain became uncertain.
This uncertainty has not been widespread throughout Europe with many countries including Sweeden, Malta, the Netherlands and Germany pledging to continue accepting disabled visitors’ rights to access disabled parking spaces using the UK Blue badge.
What are the rules surrounding UK Blue badge use in Spain?
The rules surrounding whether or not the UK Blue Badge in Spain can be used has yet to be decided, and since Brexit, the issue has been left off the negotiating table.
As a result, UK Blue Badge holders have been left in limbo as to whether they will be able to access disabled parking spaces without fear of being fined when travelling to Spain on holiday.
This issue has been confirmed by the UK Government website, and you can read about it here.
And it’s not just Spain that is leaving disabled visitors in limbo.
France, Portugal and Greece have also not made a decision on the use of the Blue Badge by UK visitors.
Can I use a UK Blue Badge in Spain? Real experiences in Summer 2022
Although a firm decision regarding their use hasn’t been made, the reality of UK Blue Badge use in Spain has been entirely different for many disabled holidaymakers visiting Mallorca.
As reported on the Mallorca Under the Sun Facebook Group, these comments are from disabled holidaymakers visiting Mallorca in Summer 2022, about their experience of using a UK Blue Badge in Spain.
Caroline Arnold posted,
“I asked a little while ago about using a UK blue badge in Mallorca just to say we have just returned and used it as normal Alex suggested with no issues. “
Also commenting on a post asking about this issue, Facebook member Rachel Gabril commented,
“I use mine. I’m using it now as we speak and I’ve not had any issues. They accepted it on the ferry last week and in the airport in May. They don’t look too dissimilar to Spanish ones. I have read the article about issues since leaving the EU but I’ve used it in France and Spain.”
Another Facebook member Tony Cornwall has said that he has been able to use the UK Blue Badge in Menorca and Tenerife and suggests going to the local police station to check its use,
Not sure about Mallorca but you could use then in Minorca and Tenerife I know because I went to police station and asked only takes a few minutes to check”
In addition, Mallorca Under the Sun Facebook member Owen O’Neil stated, that he has “been using our UK one without any incident so far.”
Another Mallorca Under the Sun Facebook member commented,
“Still used the blue badge when parents came over last week and it was fine no problems. I think a lot of people are still using it as well (and) seen (them on) a few cars.”
So while bureaucrats have not been able to hammer out an agreement regarding UK Blue Badge use in Spain, the reality is that these UK Blue Badges are still being widely accepted without issue.
To see these comments on the Mallorca Under the Sun Facebook Group, use the magnifying search tool and search for “UK Blue Badge.”
This is not to say that you cannot pick up a fine, however, it would seem that parking inspectors are continuing to allow UK Blue Badge use in disabled parking spaces.
According to the Citizens Advice Bureau in Spain, the recommendation is to take a copy of a communication from the British Embassy in Madrid, illustrating how to recognise the new look UK Blue Badge (the design is similar but with the European “stars” removed from the design), and advise keeping a copy of this with the badge.
You can find a copy of this communication here.
Disclaimer: While there is no firm agreement with regards to the use of a UK Blue Badge in Spain, it is possible that fines can be given for UK disabled holidaymakers using this badge in parking spaces.
If you do pick up a fine using your UK Blue Badge, please make a post in the Mallorca Under the Sun Facebook Group with proof of this so we can raise awareness and try and work towards getting UK disability Blue Badge status officially recognised again for holidaymakers in Spain.
This is another ongoing uncertainty that needs to be URGENTLY removed for UK travellers.
In the meantime, it’s great news to hear that Spanish parking inspectors are continuing to recognise the UK Blue Badge on cars parked in disabled spaces.
And with all the travel restrictions and entry requirements in place for UK and third country holidaymakers, there are no reports of fines by disabled travellers displaying the UK Blue Badge when parking in disabled parking spaces.
Let’s hope it stays that way.
Blue Badge use in Spain for visitors from other countries outside the EU
Agreements have been made for Blue Badge use for visitors outside the European Union visiting Spain from Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and the United States.
You can read about this agreement here.
The only requirement is to display the Blue badge displaying the international wheelchair symbol on the dashboard in full view.
How to apply for a Blue Badge in Spain?
If you have a disability and are recognised as disabled, you can apply for a Spanish Blue Badge if you are legally resident in Spain, and “empadroned” or registered at the Town Hall where you live.
If you already have a parking permit from another EU country, then this is valid in Spain.
Otherwise, I would recommend contacting a local lawyer to organise the paperwork to apply for your Spanish Blue Badge.
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