Driving in Spain
If you are going to hire a car when in Spain it is a great way of getting around and visiting other places on the Costa Blanca. The following points are by no means an “infinitive guide”, just some that can catch anyone out and land them with a fine.
A Current driving licence, preferably the EU type with the ring of stars.
Approved reflective jackets that must be worn by all outside the car at anytime, day or night, outside the vehicle at the side of any highway not in an urban (street lights) area. The jackets must be kept inside the car so they can be put on before getting out (if you have to get them out of the boot before you can put them on then it defeats the object) and also must be visible from outside the car.
Apart from a spare wheel in good condition and tools to replace a wheel, you will also need to have in the vehicle a set of the appropriate spare light bulbs and any tools needed to replace them.
Two ministry approved emergency triangles.
If you wear glasses to correct your sight, a spare pair must be carried in the car, this is unlikely to arise but still it is the law and if the police want to they could fine you.
If You are driving your own car and not a spanish plated hire car, your number plate should be an EU one with the ring of stars containing your country code, or a small plate/sticker with your country code (GB, etc) should be secured to the rear of the car.
All vehicle documents relating to the car and of course valid insurance.
Children under 12 years of age are not allowed in the front seats.
Mobile telephones other than a true hands-free, whilst driving is now banned in Spain.
Spaniards drive on the right and overtake on the left. Right of way is given to any vehicle coming from your right. Where a minor road intersects a major road you should see a sign reading "Stop" or "Ceda el Paso" (give way); Even if the sign is not there, the traffic on the major road will still have priority.
If you are a visitor/tourist without assets in Spain, fines are payable in cash "on the spot".
you can be arrested on the spot for certain offences like drinking & driving, or bad cases of speeding and driving without care (This is hard to believe because the way some Spanish drive!)
You are not allowed to use a radar speed detector, infact you are not allowed one in your vehicle.
Speed traps are becoming quite frequent but not as bad as in the UK with cameras (More have just been announced).
Fines for other offences are calculated on the severity of the offence and there is a table for the guidance of the police and Courts. Illegal parking carries a fine of around 70 euros.
Speed limits (In general)
Autopistas/autovias. (motorways) 120kph
Dual carriageways. 100kph
Country roads. 90kph
Urban roads. 50kph
Residential areas as signed or if no pavements. 20kph
What is the conversion for kph to mph?
1 mile=1.6 km 1 U.S.
Spain has over 2,000 km of toll roads and more are planned. They are of excellent standard and all have service stations with a good standard of café’s about every 40km or so. The tolls can be expensive. Some toll roads, for long distance travelling allow you to collect a ticket at the start and then pay the total when you exit the road. They do however mean that you can drive relaxed and safer over long distances as the locals usually avoid them.
As you approach the toll booths (peaje), you will be confronted with rows of them. The telepago lane is for cars fitted with a special chip on the windscreen. Automatico is for paying by credit card or the exact change and the manual has an attendant who collects your fee. All useable lanes will have a green arrow, un-usable lanes display a red cross.
What are the seat belt regulations in Spain?
Whilst driving in Spain it is obligatory to wear a seatbelt, both in the front and rear seats (if fitted).
Some useful driving terms when driving in Spain?
Aparcamiento - Parking ramp
Ceda el Paso - Give Way
Centro - Town Centre
Comisaria - Police Station
Cuidado - Drive with care
Desvío - Detour
Dirrección Única - One-way street
Obras - Roadworks
Peligro - Danger
Todas Direcciones - All directions
el tanque de gasolina - gas tank
la matrícula - license plate
el acumulador - battery
el radiador - radiator
Autopista - Motorway
Despacio - Slow
Prohibido el paso - Road Closed
Mantenga su izquierda - Keep left
Mantenga su derecha - keep right
Prioridad a la izquierda - Priority to left
Prioridad a la derecha - Priority to right
Enciendense sus luces - Switch on lights
Salida - Motorway Exit
What number do I call for the emergency services in Spain?
Police Service - 091
Ambulance service - 092
Fire Service - 080