Guide to Driving in Spain

All across Spain the traffic is on the right side of the road while overtakes are on the left. Don’t expect that local drivers will make your life easier; in fact, in some regions, drivers are known for their total disrespect when it comes to speed limits. That’s why at this point there are numerous speed cameras mounted on undercover police cars and on the road infrastructure. One major difference is that you have to give way to vehicles coming from your left in unmarked intersections. Remember that official vehicles like police cars or ambulance cars which use their beacons have the right of way.

Parking in cities is allowed where a blue marking is painted on the ground. Don’t park in the areas with yellow markings; your car might be towed. The road will be extremely easy to understand since they respect the ‘Vienna Convention on road signs and signals’; basically they look the same like all the other European signs.

Police cars in Spain are painted in white with blue vinyl on the doors. Look for the ‘POLICIA’ word to confirm your suspicions. Because some locals have a reckless style of driving, police often pulls cars over for routine controls, like checking the documents or seeing if the driver is under the influence of alcohol. When it comes to winter regulations, things are quite simple. It’s a must to equip your car with winter tires. Snow chains are not compulsory, but if you’re planning to get in the mountain areas of Spain you should mount them. Also, keep in mind that headlamp converters are mandatory, as well as the reflecting triangle and a spare pair of light bulbs.

Essential Driving Information

  • The seatbelts are compulsory both for front and rear seats.
  • Most of the motorways require a toll fee in order to use the motorway. It can be paid at any tollbooth.
  • You are required to have an international driver’s permit with you, alongside your national license and the car’s insurance policy.
  • Dipped beam should be used only when visibility conditions are reduced.
  • It’s considered illegal to wear sunglasses while driving through a tunnel.
Speed Limits
Town/City: 50kmh (30mph)
Main Road: 90kmh (55mph) or 110kmh (68mph)
Motorway: 120kmh (75mph)
Emergency Phone Numbers
Police: 091
Ambulance: 061
Firefighters: 080
Other: 112
General Information (as of 2014)
Min Driving Age: 18
Alcohol Limit: 0.05%
Petrol Price: €1.41/litre
Diesel Price: €1.32/litre
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