Our new Driving Tips series gives you the need-to-know advice for driving abroad!
If you’re taking a trip that involves driving in Spain, it’s always a good idea to know some of the rules and regulations before you go. Many of the regulations are similar to other European countries, but speed limits and other information can be quite different than the UK. Don’t worry, though, you will be ready to hit the road after reading our driving guide for Spain!
We will say now as it is a common question after Brexit: your UK licence will be accepted as normal in Spain.
Speed Limits in Spain
The following speed limits are generally valid unless marked differently by signs. If there is fog, snow, or rain that make visibility less than 50 metres, a speed limit of 50 kph (30 mph) applies.
|Within city limits:||50 kph (30 mph)|
|Outside city limits:||70-100 kph (43-62 mph)|
|Highway/Freeway:||90-120 kph (56-75 mph)|
Spanish Rules and Regulations
General & Safety
- If you have a full EU driving license and are over the age of 18, then you are eligible to drive in Spain. UK licences remain valid for travellers to Spain after Brexit.
- The Spanish motorways or ‘autopistas’ are toll roads, so ensure you have money to hand when driving a route that includes motorways.
- On the spot fines are common if you break the rules, so firstly ensure you get a receipt if issued with one. If you are not carrying cash then you will be escorted to the nearest cash machine to draw out money.
- The drink driving laws are more strict than in the UK with an allowance of 50mg/100ml (in the UK this is 80mg/100ml). However, they also have a stricter rule for new drivers that only allows them a legal limit of 20mg/100ml. Do not get caught out, the consequences are similar to the UK and in some circumstances you could expect more than a fine so when you’re cruising around the Spanish towns remember SIXT’s driving tips or you could be out of pocket!
- The use of mobile phones is prohibited at any point behind the wheel. This includes being parked up beside the road, so to use your phone you must leave the vehicle or be sat in the passenger seat.
Overtaking & Turns
- There are fines for not indicating on Spanish motorways, ensure that you bear this in mind when changing lanes.
- When merging onto a motorway do not cross over the solid white line, wait until you have reached the point where the line is broken. Also, it is expected that when traffic suddenly slows, you apply your hazard lights to warn those driving behind you.
- Passing in the right lane is prohibited. Use the left lane and return to the right lane as soon as it is safely possible.
- Turning right on red is not allowed unless otherwise marked by a sign.
- In general, parking is prohibited 5 metres from to a bend or intersection.
- Paid parking areas are highlighted with specific road signs.
- Pay attention to the colors in the parking zones. Some areas may require payment of a fee.
- A blue and white curb indicates that you can wait briefly, as long as the driver is still inside the vehicle.
- Blue spaces indicate a parking charge (you may have to walk a short distance to find a ticket machine), there are charges for not paying or overstaying.
- Overnight stays in public parking areas are allowed but camping is not. Please note any additional parking regulations.
Emergency Phone Numbers
- 091 for police
- 112 for an ambulance
- 092 for the local police department
Things to Bring Along
You should always carry the following when driving a hire car in Spain:
- A full UK or EU driving licence that you’ve held for at least one year. Drivers must be at least 18 years old to hire a car in Spain.
- Proof of ID – usually a passport
- Insurance and registration documents as well as your rental agreement
Some tips on what to have in your vehicle when driving in Spain:
- 2 reflective warning triangles.
- Spare bulbs
- Reflective vest
- Spare wheel
- Spare fan belt
In addition, it is recommended that you also carry:
- Fire extinguisher
- First aid kit
Choose SIXT for the Perfect Drive in Spain
You can find the vehicle you need in our extensive fleet of premium rental cars in Spain. We’re in all major tourist destinations, including Barcelona, Malaga, and Madrid. Choose from luxury vehicles made by top manufacturers like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche. With our affordable prices, you can drive the car of your dreams and stay within your budget. Unfamiliar with foreign roads? Our branch staff will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have on driving in Spain.