Driving Regulations


Spain uses some international traffic regulations and road signs, and some additional local regulations.

  Speed Limits  
Autopistas/autovias 120kph
Dual carriageways 100kph
Country roads 90kph
Urban roads 50kph
Residential areas 20kph
  Basic Rule

Give way to traffic from the left, especially at roundabouts. Do not pull into the middle of the road to turn left if there is a solid line in the road. There are often special lanes for this, signposted cambio de sentido. Always wear seatbelts and don't drink and drive - the limits are very low and the penalties very high, as are on-the-spot fines for traffic offences.

Driver's license

Non-Residents can drive in Spain on a foreign driving license for a maximum of 6 months in the calendar year.

EU residents can drive on their existing EU license until it runs outs. When it does run out you must apply for a Spanish driving license.

Non-EU residents must obtain a Spanish driving license after one year.

Road Tax

Road tax in Spain is paid to the local government. The fee is related to the individual vehicle and the area. All vehicles are required to undertake an annual inspection (called an ITV), to check the condition of the vehicle. Major towns and cities have several ITV stations to which you can take your car.


As with most other European countries third party insurance is compulsory.

If you give proof of at least 5 years no claims from your earlier insurer you can reduce your insurance premiums.


No parking in spaces painted yellow or (obviously) in areas with "No Parking" signs. Parking spaces with meters are marked in blue where a ticket can be purchased from an attendant or machine. The machine may be halfway down the block; don't assume that because there is no meters near the car that parking is free. These spaces are usually for two hours maximum. Fines vary between areas but can be substantial.


Fines for speeding are paid on the spot and are calculated at 1,000 pts per kilometer over the limit. The legal drink-drive limit is 50mg per milliliter with breath test a frequent occurrence. Fines for this are very high.


It is compulsory on all roads to wear seatbelts both front and rear where fitted.

New laws and mobile phone

The use of a mobile telephone whilst driving is now banned in Spain, although you can pull over to the side of the road to take an emergency call. Those who break the law face fines of up to 300€. Motorists are required to use hands-free kits, which doesn't include earphone connections. It must be equipment fitted to the power supply of the car.



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