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Spain Driving Laws

When driving in a foreign country you must make yourself aware of any laws or local driving regulations that apply. Breaking these laws or local rule could land you in a spot of trouble with the police, a fine or even points on your driving licence. Spain Driving Laws are not too dissimilar to other countries but you should always know the local laws before geting behind the wheel.

Below is the information you should be aware of when driving in mainland Spain.

Driving Regulations In Spain

  • When driving in Spain you must carry the following paperwork. Full, valid driving licence (with paper counterpart), Proof of insurance (third party or above), Proof of ID (Passport), Proof of ownership (V5C Certificate).
  • Warning triangles are compulsory in every vehicle with 4 wheels or more.
  • The use of radar detectors is prohibited, severe penalty for non compliance.
  • Don’t drive in flip-flops or open-backed sandals. Not only is this dangerous but the police have been known to fine people for this, especially in holiday areas.
  • Drive on the right-hand side of the road.
  • Always pass (overtake) on the outside (left) lane.
  • Do not block the middle lane if the inside lane is clear.
  • When approaching a roundabout, give priority to traffic approaching from the left, unless otherwise indicated.
  • You must always stop at a red traffic light.
  • At a junction there’s no general priority rule – priority is marked at most junctions.
  • All traffic signals and road signs must be obeyed.
  • All vehicles must give way to emergency services vehicles.
  • In urban areas it is prohibited to sound the horn at any time, except in an emergency. Lights may be flashed in place of using the horn.
  • Do not drive in bus lanes during restricted hours. See signs by the side of the road for times.
  • It’s illegal to use a mobile phone when driving. If you need to make a call, find a safe place to stop first.
  • The minimum driving age is 17. Most hire car companies require you to be over 25 years of age with some driving experience.

Speed Limits30mph

  • 50 KPH (31 MPH) in built up areas
  • 90 KPH (56 MPH) on single carriageways
  • 120 KPH (75 MPH) on dual carriageways and motorways

Speed cameras are very frequent but there are signs to warn you of their presence.

Useful Phrases

Diesel- gasoleo
Diversion – una desviacion
Entrance – entrada
Exit – salida
Forbidden – prohibido
Highway – carrera
Motor oil – aceite del auto
No parking – no puede aparcar
One way – de direccion unica
Petrol – gasolina
Petrol station – gasolineras
Police – policia
Unleaded – sin plomo

Seat Belt Regulations In Spain

The wearing of seat belts is compulsory on the front seats of all private vehicles. Vehicles manufactured after 15th June 1992 must also wear seatbelts in the rear of the vehicle.

Travelling with children:

Children up to the age of 12 and measuring less than 135cm travelling on the front seat of a car must be seated in a child restraint system adapted to their size and weight. Children measuring more than 135cm may use an adult seat belt.

Children fewer than 135cm travelling on the rear seat must also be placed in a child restraint system adapted to their size and weight, except when travelling in a taxi in an urban area.

Fuel Costs

Typical Fuel Costs in mainland Spain (August 14)

Unleaded: 1.474 EUR per litre
Diesel: 1.369 EUR per litre

Automatic petrol pumps are found in some large towns but on the whole they work in the same way as the UK.

Alcohol & Driving

The alcohol limit is 0.05%. A driver (or cyclist) suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or who has committed a traffic offence must undergo a breath test for alcohol or a saliva test for drugs. If he/she refuses, the vehicle may be immobilised by the police, a 1 to 4 year suspension of the driving permit may be imposed, and he/she may receive a prison sentence of 6 months to 1 year.

Our advice if you are driving or plan to do so within 24 hours is, DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL.

Toll Roads

Tolls are levied on most Spanish motorways and are identified by the letter A. Toll booths are staggered at certain intervals and you are charged to travel between each one. The typical cost is about 1.20 EUR per toll. For those in the country for a prolonged period of time it maybe worth looking at a “Telepeaje” or “Via T”. Drivers can buy a small transmitter from banks or some petrol companies and fix it on the windscreen of the vehicle and pay tolls automatically