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I will be visiting Ibiza soon. I found that scooters there are available for tourists on a daily basis. I do not have a driving licence of any kind. I could not find any information whether driving licences are necessary (looking at the pictures it seems possible that low cc scooters may be operated without).

Does any one have some information on this?

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You Need a Permit

Whilst renting a vehicle of any kind will require you to be at least older than 18, or 21, depending on the rental company, the Spanish road code states that driving any two wheeler in Spain, regardless of engine size, requires a driver to hold a valid drivers licence for that class of vehicle. Turns out this statement applies to the entirety of the EEA seeing as the classes of driving licences have been standardised, with a few variations. See the wikipedia page on the topic, and Article 4 of the corresponding European directive (2006/126/EC).

Below is a breakdown of the existing European driving permits calsses by engine size. For all the Spanish quotes below, see here for a google-translated version of the quoted website in English.

Engine Size < 50cc

Since 2009 the minimum age required to drive a scooter with an engine size up to 50cc is 15 years old. Moreover, a driving licence (the Permiso de Conducir AM) is indeed required for scooter up to 50cc engine size. Quoting from this website (in Spanish):

Con el nuevo reglamento, la licencia de ciclomotor (vehículos de hasta 50cc de cilindrada) pasó a denominarse Permiso de Conducir AM. La edad mínima para sacarse este permiso es de 15 años, a diferencia del antiguo reglamento, que fijaba una edad mínima de 14 años.

Engine Size < 125cc

Whereas 16 years old are required to pass the permit allowing the holder to drive two-wheelers with an engine size up to 125cc. Quoting from this website (in Spanish):

Quienes conduzcan o pretendan conducir motos de hasta 125cc requieren tener 16 años para poder sacarse el carné (A1), siendo necesario aprobar una prueba teórica, una prueba práctica en circuito cerrado y otra en la vía pública.

Engine Size ≥ 125cc and < 500cc

Two-wheelers with an engine size between 125cc and 500cc require the driver to be 18 years or older, and require the A2 permit. Quoting from this website (in Spanish):

Para motos de potencia media -de 125cc a 500cc. -el permiso, llamado A2, se puede obtener de forma directa si el aspirante tiene 18 años cumplidos y supera las pruebas de conocimiento y aptitud: un examen teórico, una prueba en circuito cerrado y otra en la vía pública. Este permiso también se puede obtener de forma gradual y progresiva si el aspirante ya cuenta con la licencia de tipo A1 con dos años de anigüedad y supera las pruebas prácticas pertinentes.

Engine Size ≥ 500cc

Two-wheelers with an engine size greater than 500cc require the driver to be 20 years or older, and for them to have passed the A permit. Quoting from this website (in Spanish):

El permiso A, para motos de más de 500cc: la edad mínima se fija en 20 años y será necesario haber estado en posesión del carné A2 (al ser un carnet más nuevo, se tendrá en cuenta por ahora el A1) durante, al menos, dos años, y pasar una prueba de formación específica. Aquellos aspirantes que no estén en posesión del carné A1 y quieran aspirar a sacarse el permiso A de forma directa deberán superar, además de esta prueba de formación específica, una prueba teórica y otra práctica.

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    (+1) That won't help the OP but interestingly, B licenses typically include the AM category and even, in some cases, the A1 category. So if you can drive a car, you are probably allowed to drive the less powerful motorcycles without any extra formalities. – Relaxed Mar 10 '15 at 19:02
  • @Relaxed Yes. Moreover some old permits even include the full A category, whilst newer EU permits can include the A1 category (this is the case in France and Italy that I know of). – JoErNanO Mar 10 '15 at 19:07
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    @pnuts This is indeed possible. Say you were a 14-year-old Italian driving a 50cc scooter on an AM permit in Finland where the minimum required age is 15 years old. I would assume that the local (Finnish) road code would apply, and that therefore you would get fined. Should have tried this when I had the chance. I'm fully road legal now. :) – JoErNanO Mar 10 '15 at 19:23
  • @pnuts Those are most probably rental-agency-specific requirements aimed at a home-made standardisation of driving licences. They are most probably a result of being fed up of all the young tourist crashing in the sand dunes on their way home from after-parties. :) Note that in no case are they more lenient than the official Spanish road code. – JoErNanO Mar 10 '15 at 19:33

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