Driving in Spain

 

 

Driving in Spain can prove to be a pleasurable experience. Respect for speed limits and adhering to other traffic regulations is all you need to cruise along the roads in this beautiful country.

Roads

The country has a good network of roads and highways. The roads in and around major cities and urban areas are well maintained. In rural areas and suburbs, many "roads" are little more than dirt tracks. Be alert and cautious while driving in these parts. 

Traffic Police

Traffic police are empowered to collect on-the spot fines. In order to enforce traffic regulations fine rates have been increased and are calculated in accordance with severity of the offence. Be prepared to pay if you have been stopped by the police. Be polite, do not argue or attempt to negotiate.

Driving License

If you are over 18 years of age you are allowed to drive in Spain.

Driving license holders are permitted to drive with their national driving license only if it is written in Roman letters. If you do not hold such a license you will be required to produce an International Driving License. If your driver's license does not carry a photograph, other photo ID such as a passport will be necessary.

Other important documentation is vehicle registration certificate and third party insurance cover. 

Basics

According to Spanish Law, it is mandatory for every car to have at least 2 warning triangles, reflective jacket and replacement bulbs in addition to important documents like driving license, vehicle registration and motor vehicle insurance certificate. 

Seatbelts are mandatory for all passengers.

Prescribed speed limits depend on the area you are driving in; the limit for residential areas is 19 kph and a motorway is 120 kph.

During the day, use the horn to indicate that you want to pass. At night, use the headlights instead of the horn.   

Warnings

Speed limit violations are taken very seriously. Sensors have been installed outside towns to detect anyone exceeding limits. In the event that anyone is exceeding the speed limit, the traffic light turns red and one has to come to a halt. 

The use of mobile phones while driving is banned in Spain.

Pedestrian crossing laws are very strict and every car must come to a halt if a pedestrian puts his hand out. Any driver who fails to do so will be in the wrong. 

Overtaking on the right is prohibited on all highways unless there is a road on the right.  

In Case of an Accident

If you are involved in an accident dial 112 (the general emergency number) and ask for an ambulance. Some emergency service providers in Spain are manned by English speaking staff while others are not. Here is the terminology that you can memorize and use to call an ambulance:

Necesito una ambulancia. /Necesito que me envíen una ambulancia. = I need you to send me an ambulance.

Refer to the yellow pages and prepare a list of the nearest hospitals with an emergency section for use during an emergency.