Driving in Spain


If you go on vacation to another country and wish to drive a car while there, one must know the main rules for driving.

When visiting another country by car, whether for business or holiday, the first thing we have to consider are the traffic laws in said country. If you’re travelling to Spain, it is useful to review in advance the most important rules of the road.

What do I need to drive a car in Spain?

  • As in most European countries you will be driving on the right hand side.
  • To drive it is necessary that you have a valid driving license in the EU. All those who are not EU or do not have special agreements with Spain should apply for a special driving license that allows you to drive in the EU for up to 6 months. Once expired you will need to apply for a Spanish license. 
  • EU citizens can drive for an unlimited time, and if the license expires you could opt for by a Spanish license. 
  • Seat belts are compulsory both for front and rear passengers. 
  • The use of a baby seat or a booster is mandatory depending on the age and size of the child. Children under the age of 12 years are not allowed to go in the front seat. 
  • You may not use mobile phones at the wheel, unless they are connected to an approved hands-free device. 
  • Before you start driving you must make sure you have all the correct documents such as driver’s license, personal identification and the car documents. 
  • You should have a reflective vest, a first aid kit and, although not mandatory, it is advised you carry a small fire extinguisher. Likewise, you must ensure that all the lights work properly. 
  • It is illegal to drive under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol (maximum rate allowed 0.25mg / l) 

How fast I can go?
Speed limits in Spain generally are located in highly visible locations. These limits are:

  •  Motorways; 120km / h
  •  National roads; 100km / h
  •  Country roads; 90km / h
  •  In most populated areas; 40-50km / h, depending on the town. 
Recently in some provinces the limit on the motorways has dropped, in Barcelona for example, the limit has been reduced to 80km / h.

  
Other tips … 
If you are not a resident in Spain, and should you commit any offense you will have to pay an on the spot fine. Otherwise, the enforcement officer will block/remove the car until the fine is paid.

Make sure that your vehicle doesn’t get towed, for the removal and subsequent payment of the fine has a fairly high cost.

Respecting the rules of the road is the safest way to happily finish your trip as planned.

Do you think these laws are too strict compared to other countries?

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