How to Drive in Spain
Taking a trip to Spain? Anyone who plans to drive a vehicle in Spain for the first time should be aware of rules and regulations in place in Spain.
Documentation to Drive in Spain
Driving privileges in Spain are afforded to foreign tourists as long as they hold an International Drivers License. However, the maximum amount of time foreign travelers can drive in Spain without obtaining a license specific to the country is six months out of each year. International licenses can be obtained in the tourist’s country of origin prior to taking a trip to Spain.
European citizens must have an unexpired European Union drivers license.
International licenses should include a picture of the driver, but it is possible to use a passport for photo identification if the drivers license does not have a photo. Drivers are advised to keep documentation of their permission to drive a vehicle that is not registered to them.
Spain Driving Safety Requirements
Everyone in the motor vehicle must be wearing a seat belt while the vehicle is in motion. Children must have proper restraints according to their size, and children under the age of 12 should not be in the front seat.
Child restraints are required for any child under 53 inches.
In case of a breakdown, laws in Spain require drivers to keep warning triangles, highly-visible vests, a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher and replacement headlight and taillight bulbs in the vehicle. For More information about Traveling to Spain check here.
Fees Associated with Driving in Spain
There are toll roads in Spain that require drivers to stop and pay a fee for the privilege of utilizing certain motorways. Double tolls are charged during the summer months.
Fines given for speeding and other violations are issued on the spot. Drivers should be aware that the legal limit for drunk driving in Spain is 0.05 percent, and heavy fines are given for drivers caught operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
Rules of the Road in Spain
The minimum driving age in Spain is 18. Even if a younger tourist holds a valid driver license in their country, drivers under the age of 18 are not permitted to drive in Spain.
Police in Spain utilize radar to monitor vehicle speed, so it is important to be aware of the speed limit. Speed limits are posted in kilometers per hour (KPH). The standard speed limits are listed below with a conversion to miles per hour, but remember to look for signs in case the speed limit varies in some areas.
• Highways – KPH: 120 – Approximate Converted MPH: 75
• Rural Roads – KPH: 90 – Approximate Converted MPH: 55
• City Roads – KPH: 50 – Approximate Converted MPH: 30
• Residential Roads – KPH: 20 – Approximate Converted MPH: 12
Vehicles are driven on the right side of the road. Double red lights on a traffic light indicate that the road is closed. Laws require drivers to signal other vehicles if they intend to pass the vehicle. Use of the horn is expected during the day, and drivers must flash their headlights when passing a vehicle at night.
Maps of Spain should be kept in the vehicle because the use of a GPS system is illegal. Use of a cell phone without a hands-free device is also illegal.
Travelers who are not fluent in Spanish should familiarize themselves with the meaning of traffic signs. Some common phrases used on traffic signs are listed below with a translation.
• Carretera Cortada – Translation: Road Closed
• Direccion Unica – Translation: One-Way Street
Many of the road signs in Spain can be interpreted according to the pictures used on the sign and the shape of the sign itself.
Sixt Car Rental in Spain
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