Driving Rules and Top Tips – Spain
The road network in Spain is one of the best and most developed in Europe with more than 16,000 km of High Capacity Roads, as they are called locally. This includes national roads, motorways and express ways. The majority of roads are free of charge, but there are also roads with tolls (called Peaje). They use a ticket based system that calculates the distance you drove on the motorway.
The state of the roads is good to very good in most parts of the country, especially in the centre and the east. Driving on the right hand side of the road is the rule in Spain, and so is the right hand side has priority. Always pay attention to crossroads, even when you strongly believe you have priority.
Speed limits range from 50 km/h inside urban areas, 90 in province and state roads, 100 on national roads and 120 on motorways. Observing the speed limits is a general rule in Spain as fines are quite high and you will be required you to pay on the spot if you are speeding and stopped by the police. If you are unable to pay they are allowed to impound your car.So it is a good idea to carry a bank card or cash on you at all times when driving.
Wearing the seatbelts is mandatory for all passengers and using the mobile phone without a hands free is strictly forbidden. A thing they go crazy about in Spain is anti-radar or radar warning equipment – pack them up and put them in your trunk when you enter Spanish territory.
Parking can be a major issue in Spain , especially in big cities during the Summer months. Parking is paid, most of the time, so always carry a bit of change with you in case of need (some parking meters are old and may not accept bank cards). The meter will issue a ticket that you’ll have to display visibly on the front side of your car.
You’ll need to be at least 18 years old to drive in Spain. European driver’s licences are accepted. For those outside Europe, your license needs to be written in Latin characters or, otherwise, you should be in possession of an official document containing a translation. When you rent a car in Spain insurance will be included in your rental, but in most cases it will have an excess or deductible. This can range from €100 to €1,500 depending on the car hire company and location. It is a good idea to take out excess reimbursement insurance which will refund the excess cost in full to you. You can take a daily or multi trip annual policy.
In the event of an accident, you along with the other driver must fill in, a special accident form provided by the insurance company. If there are injured passengers or pedestrians, inform the authorities immediately by phoning the national emergency number 112.
For more information regarding Spanish roads and traffic rules, access the website of the General Traffic Direction of the Spanish Government – www.dgt.es