Legal requirements for driving in Spain. As a service to foreign visitors to Spain the following is a brief resume of the current legal requirements for drivers and vehicles.
We hope your stay, whether short or long term, is both pleasant and accident free.
Note: Although every effort is taken to ensure the accuracy of this information, Dragon Insurance cannot be held responsible for any errors or inaccuracies.
To operate a vehicle in Spain, you must possess a current driver's license with an official translation, an International Drivers License, or a license from an European Community country. The Spanish Police will periodically stop traffic to check for insurance, proper driver's license, and condition of vehicle.
The speed limit on conventional two-way highways with a 1.5 meter wide shoulder is 100 kph (60 mph) for cars and motorcycles and 90 kph (55 mph) for buses and trucks. Road conditions are usually good.
The speed limit in towns and cities is 50 kph (30 mph). The speed limit at school crossings, markets, and other areas that are congested with people is "no faster than a person can walk". Many of these roads are narrow and have a cobblestone surface, the cobblestones are slick when wet. In addition, you must be on the lookout for mopeds, pedestrians, bicycles, and farm animals (country).
Liability insurance is required as a minimum for every car driven in Spain. If a car is not insured, the vehicle may be impounded and a large fine imposed.
If you are involved in an accident and there are injuries, you must remain at the scene until given permission to leave by the police. Failure to do so could result in serious consequences.
Obtain a copy of the accident report from the police. If the accident is minor, get all the information from the other driver if possible.
Simple negligence while driving a vehicle can be a criminal misdemeanour under Spanish law.
Processing time in Spanish courts can vary from 8 to 24 months according to the severity of the mishap.
Right of way:
In Spain, normally, "the vehicle to the right has the right-of-way" at all intersections, except for vehicles inside a traffic circle and where signs indicate a different right-of-way.
A vehicle is considered to be parked when the driver leaves their vehicle or when the vehicle has been stopped for longer than two minutes. Parking is always prohibited in the following situations, regardless of whether it is posted or not:
Street curb marking is also used to indicate types of parking, as follows: Red and yellow curb markings mean no parking.
Blue and white curb markings mean limited parking. There should be a sign indicating the limitations.
Yellow curb markings mean a loading zone.
Authorised parking areas off the autopista are marked with an "Area De Servicio" or "Parking" sign.
Emergency telephones are located at intervals and connections can be made by lifting the receiver. If the operator does not speak English, the Spanish Police will be notified. Your exact location will be indicated when you lift up the receiver.
If a vehicle is disabled to the extent that it cannot be moved, it must be moved (pushed) completely off the road and shoulder of the highway.
Horns and lights:
It is against the law to use the horn except in an emergency. All lights must be operational.
Safety equipment and warning devices
Spanish road traffic laws require automobiles to have two portable reflective warning triangles. When the vehicle breaks down, the triangles should be placed as follows:
A reflective jacket must be kept in the vehicle and in the event of a roadside breakdown or accident, this must be worn when you leave the car at all times.
Seat-belt use is mandatory at all times. Children up to four years of age or weighing 40 lbs, are required to be in an approved child restraint.
Vehicle operators must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians at all times. The law states that pedestrians will not stand in the roadway. Pedestrians must walk against the traffic and off the pavement.
Driving & alcohol rules
Driving while intoxicated:
In Spain, if you are presumed to be in control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or any illegal substance or if you are involved in an accident, you may be asked to be breathalysed or submit a blood alcohol test (BAT).
You are presumed to be under the influence of alcohol if you have a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or higher.
Be sure to check for changes and/or modifications to this list.
Drive in Spain with care and attention.