Driving in Spain
- >How should children travel?
- >How can you find out about the road conditions?
- >How can you pay a fine?
- >What fuels are sold in Spain?
- >What documentation is required to drive in Spain?
- >What are the safety measures you should know about in Spain?
- >Are you thinking of travelling to Spain in your car?
- >Are the highways in Spain toll roads?
- How should children travel?
There are certain considerations to be taken into account when travelling with children in a tourism car: It is prohibited to carry children in your arms.
No one less than 12 years of age can sit in the front, unless they use a device approved for this purpose.
Children under three years must use an approved restraint system suitable for their height and weight and must always be placed in the back seat.
Any person over three years of age with a height less than one and a half metres must use a restraint system adapted to their size and weight. These instructions also apply to taxis, so if you want to travel with a baby in a taxi, you must carry an approved restraint system.
- How can you find out about the road conditions?
In Spain you can find out real-time road conditions through the website of the Department of Transportation (http://infocar.dgt.es/etraffic/Home?idioma=en_GB). The information about roads is available in Spanish, English, and French. Also, radio stations provide information about roads in their news programmes.
- How can you pay a fine?
The traffic violations sanctioned in the Road Safety Act must always be paid. The competent national sanctioning body is the Department of Transportation, through its authority officers. When paying these fines there are a few options: Immediate: at the time the traffic violation fine is given. Payment is given to the security officer and can be made by credit card or cash in Euros. In the case of an outstanding fine, the officer may order the immobilisation of the vehicle.
By telephone number 060 (from Spain): the service is only in Spanish. Payment is made by credit card.
Online: through the Virtual Management website of the Department of Transportation of Spain (https://apls.dgt.es/WEB_Sanciones/jsp/sincertificado/identificacionPagador.jsf)
In any Banco Santander branch.
In the postal service offices in Spain. In all cases you will need the file number of the fine. If the fine is paid within 20 calendar days there is a 50% reduction on the amount of the fine. In case the penalty is filed by a local authority on an urban road, it is recommended to refer directly to the traffic department of the City Council of that town.
- What fuels are sold in Spain?
Spain's gas stations mainly dispense the following fuels: Unleaded gasoline 95
Unleaded gasoline 98
Biodiesel On the website of the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade (http://geoportal.mityc.es/hidrocarburos/eess/), you can find all the stations in Spain, the type of fuel supplied and the price.
- What documentation is required to drive in Spain?
You must be 18 year old:
To drive in Spain you must be aged 18 or over. To rent a vehicle you must be 21 or over. Many companies also require you to have held your driver’s license for a minimum of one or two years. Remember that you will also require a credit card to rent a vehicle.
A valid driver’s license:
If you are the citizen of an EU member state, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein: you only require your valid driver’s license. If you are from another country you will require an International Driver’s License.
Given that conditions may vary, we suggest that you contact the Spanish Embassy or Consulate to verify these requirements before you start your trip.
- What are the safety measures you should know about in Spain?
Road safety regulations: there are a series of road safety regulations you must be aware of when driving in Spain. They are as follows: - Talking on a mobile phone is prohibited while driving, unless you use a hands-free system. - Car radios and mobile phones must be switched off while re-fuelling. - A reflective jacket must be used when getting out of the car on the road or the hard shoulder. - Warning triangles must be deployed if the vehicle has stopped on the road or hard shoulder. - The installation and use of devices designed to elude surveillance by traffic police is strictly prohibited. - Overtaking can only be done on the left side of the car which you wish to pass. - It is advisable to use your lights during the day in order to improve your visibility.
Furthermore: - Established speed limits must be obeyed: 120 km/h on dual carriageways and motorways, 100 km/h on conventional roads, 90 km/h on all other roads and 50 km/h in built-up areas. - Alcohol levels in the bloodstream must not exceed 0.5 g/l (0.25 mg/l in exhaled air). - Seatbelts must be worn by driver and all passengers, in front and back seats. - Helmets must be worn on motorbikes, mopeds and bicycles. - Parking in public thoroughfares is not always permitted or free. In many cities the parking areas are regulated and subject to payment. Normally these can be identified by the presence of parking meters in the vicinity.
- Are you thinking of travelling to Spain in your car?
Tourists travelling in their own vehicles should be aware that the following documentation is required:
Driver's license: see section on "What documentation is required to drive in Spain?" Temporary registration certificate: this is valid for six months and you can request it at customs.
If you are a citizen of an EU member state, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra or Croatia, you need only carry your insurance policy along with a payment receipt showing the validity of the policy.
If you are from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Byelorussia, Israel, Iran, Morocco, Moldavia, Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Tunisia, Turkey, Russian or the Ukraine, you will need to have a Green Card –the International Motor Insurance Certificate.
If you are from a country not mentioned above, you should take out a Frontier Insurance policy (an obligatory temporary third-party policy for motor vehicles).
Given that conditions may vary, we suggest you contact the Spanish Embassy or Consulate to verify these requirements before you start your trip.
- Are the highways in Spain toll roads?
In Spain, the vast majority of roads in the national network are free to use. These include motorways (independent roads in each direction and with no intersections at the same level). Nevertheless, there are a series of highways that may require the payment of a toll. They are the toll roads. The amount to pay varies depending on each case, but there are alternative routes that are generally free to use. You can check the highways that require toll payment on this website. (http://www.aseta.es/index.php?Seccion=mapa) Tolls may be paid in cash, by credit card or using electronic toll services (requires installation of a device in the car) Remember that there are S.O.S. posts along the toll roads every two miles or so.