Driving Rules & Regulations in Spain
Whether you are in Spain for business or pleasure, driving a hire car is a great way to get around. Nonetheless, if you are unaccustomed to driving in Spain, there are some rules and regulations you should bear in mind, particularly if you are accustomed to driving on the left-hand side of the road.
Driving a rental car in Spain is a pleasure when you know what you are doing. Here are the main factors to bear in mind when using the roads and motorways of Spain:
You should have your driving licence and a valid passport with you at all times
You must be 18 to drive in Spain.
Indicate when overtaking. This law is strictly enforced in Spain, and on-the-spot fines are common.
Be careful when accessing motorways from slip roads. Do not cross the continuous white line until the line is broken in appearance.
Never use your mobile when driving. You could receive a hefty on-the-spot fine if caught.
Speed limits are vigorously policed, and radar traps are quite common.
Note the following types of roads and their speed limits:
– Motorways (Autopistas): Indicated by an A or E prefix before the number of the road. The speed limit on these roads is 120 km/h.
– Dual Carriageways (Autovia): Speed limit ranges from 80-120 km/h.
– National Roads (Carretera Nacional): Indicated by an N or C prefix. Speed limit ranges from 60- 100 km/h.
– Highways (Carretera Local) – highway. Speed limits cannot exceed 100 km/h.
You should also have two warning triangles in the boot of your vehicle.
If you wear glasses whilst driving, make sure to have a spare pair in your rental car.
A first-aid kit is recommended.
Replacement light bulbs must be stored in the vehicle.
If travelling by road in the mountainous regions of Spain (for example the Pyrenees), you must carry snow chains and winter tyres.
You are not allowed to use the vehicle’s horn at night – especially in urban locations (except for emergency situations, such as accidents).
Do not drive in designated bus lanes.
A single or double white line in the road’s centre means overtaking is forbidden. If you are caught, you could face a heavy on-the-spot fine.
If you are driving a motorcycle or scooter, both drivers and passengers must wear helmets.
Some visitors believe they are exempt from traffic fines whilst driving in Spain, but this is not true. Even if you avoid an on-the-spot fine for a traffic offence you have committed, the fine will be fowarded to the car rental company, which will then pass the charge onto you. Beware that the rental company could impose an additional charge for administrative expenses – leaving you with a possible extra €20 to €30 to pay on top of your fine.
The best way to explore the wonders of Spain is to hire a car. For the very best in vehicle rental, check out our Cheap Car Hire in Spain page.
Have you driven in Spain in the past, or are you planning to head there in the near future? If you have experience of road travel in Spain and have any additional driving tips our readers would appreciate, we would be delighted to see them.