The wearing of front and rear seatbelts is compulsory when fitted.
Children under 12yrs cannot travel in the front seat unless using an appropriate restraint. It is against the law to carry a child of less than three years in a motor vehicle without an EU approved child's seat correctly fitted in the rear of the vehicle
Drink Driving Limits
50mg/100ml (UK 80mg/100ml). New drivers are effectively forbidden to drink and drive, with a very low 20mg/100ml limit.
Minimum Driving Age
The minimum driving age using a full UK licence is 18
Urban kph (mph)
Open Road kph (mph)
Motorway kph (mph)
Dipped headlights should be used in poor daytime visibility.
All grades of unleaded petrol (gasoline), diesel (gasoleo) are available as well as lead substitute additive. Leaded no longer exists and LPG is not available. It is allowed to carry petrol in a can. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted, although they probably won't work at automatic pumps, which are often the only pumps open out-of-hours and at lunch-time (from noon to 3pm) away from the motorways (autopistas).
Spain's motorways (autopistas) are mostly toll roads and are identified by the letter A.
No parking in spaces painted yellow. A blue and white curb indicates that you can wait briefly with the driver in the vehicle. Parking spaces with meters are marked in blue where a ticket can be purchased from an attendant or machine. The machine may be some distance away; don’t assume that because there is no meter near the car that parking is free. These spaces are usually for a maximum of two hours. Fines vary between areas.
On-the-spot fines are issued. Ensure an official receipt is issued by the officer collecting the fine.
Fines must be paid in cash. If you do not have sufficient cash you will be escorted to the nearest cash machine or bank.
Using a hand-held mobile phone whilst behind the wheel of a vehicle is illegal; ‘behind the wheel’ includes stationary at the side of the road. Only true hands free systems where the speaker is not attached to the ear are allowed.
Dial 112 anywhere in the EU to reach the emergency services.
Other Useful Information
Give way to traffic approaching from the right where no priority is signposted.
Do not turn left across an unbroken white line in the centre of the road; continue on and find a suitable turning place.
You are not allowed to sound a horn at night in urban areas. Horns should only be used in an emergency
The law operating in Spain regarding the use of indicators on motorways is being strictly enforced. You will risk being fined for not indicating before overtaking and again before pulling back to the nearside lane after overtaking. Also, ensure you do not cross the solid white line as you enter the motorway from a slip road, but wait until the line is broken.
Spanish law allows the carriage of any loads (eg bicycles) on the back of cars, camper vans or caravans provided the load is securely fixed, does not touch the ground, compromise the stability of the carrying vehicle, create noise or block lights, reflectors, number plates or prevent signals made by the driver from being seen. There is currently no requirement for bicycle racks to be certified or pass a technical inspection.
Radar detectors are illegal in Spain whether in use or not. If you should be caught with such equipment in your vehicle, you are liable to a hefty fine. You should therefore ensure radar detectors are removed from your vehicle before commencing any journey to Spain.
It is expected and legal that in the event of traffic suddenly slowing you will use hazard warning lights to indicate the hazard to following drivers.
Cyclists have priority on roundabouts whichever direction they come from.
Useful Words and Phrases
aceite del auto
no puede aparcar
de direccion unica
Paseo de la Castellana 259D
Note 1: UK registered vehicles displaying Euro-plates (circle of 12 stars above the national identifier on blue background) no longer need a GB sticker when driving in European Union countries. Countries outside the EU still require national identification.
Note 2: Regardless of local requirements it is always a wise precaution to carry a spare set of vehicle bulbs and adjust headlamp beams for driving on the right. A spare bulb kit will not prevent a fine if you are travelling with faulty lights, but it may avoid the cost and inconvenience of a garage call out. On some cars it is inadvisable or impossible for anyone other than a qualified technician to change a headlamp bulb or lamp unit e.g. high intensity discharge (HID) headlamps and carrying spare bulbs is not an option. However, it is recommended that spare bulbs are carried for any lights which may be easily and/or safely replaced by the owner/driver. Do not forget to ensure that you also carry any tools that might be required to change the various bulbs.
Note 3: Spanish law requires that the reflective vest is carried in the passenger compartment of the vehicle in such a way as it can be seen from outside the vehicle. The vest must be donned before exiting the vehicle on all non-urban roads both day and night. Anyone who leaves the vehicle must be wearing a reflective jacket, which suggests that you should carry one for each passenger if you are to be safe and all leave the vehicle in the case of breakdown.
Disclaimer EUroadlegal has made every effort to ensure that the information contained on this page is accurate and up-to-date. In most instances the information has been collated from either an official document from the country concerned or from two or more reliable sources. EUroadlegal cannot be held responsible for any actions resulting from the adherence to or ignoring of the information contained on this page. If you would like to contribute by adding, removing or modifying the data on this page based on your own experience, please us.