Driving in Spain: all you need to know

Driving in Spain offers travellers a convenient and flexible way to explore the country’s diverse landscapes, from bustling cities to picturesque rural areas. However, it is important to be aware of certain rules and tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience on the road.

Road Network

Spain boasts a well-maintained and extensive road network, including highways (autovías) and secondary roads (carreteras comarcales). Major cities are connected by high-speed motorways, making it easy to cover long distances efficiently.

Traffic Regulations
  • Drive on the Right: In Spain, as in most countries in Europe, you drive on the right-hand side of the road.
  • Seatbelts: All passengers in a vehicle must wear seatbelts at all times.
  • Speed Limits: Speed limits vary depending on the type of road. In urban areas, it’s typically 50 km/h, on secondary roads it’s 90 km/h, and on highways, it’s 120-130 km/h.
  • Alcohol Limit: The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.05% (approximately one and a half glasses of beer or two glasses of wine).
  • Mobile Phones: It is illegal to use a hand held mobile phone while driving in Spain. Drivers are allowed to follow navigation directions from a mobile phone as long as they don’t touch it.
  • In cities, finding parking can be challenging. Look for public parking garages or designated parking areas.
  • Many towns and cities have blue zone parking, where you need to display a parking disc indicating your arrival time.
  • Spain has an extensive network of toll highways. Payment can be made in cash, by credit card, or via electronic toll systems.
  • Road signs in Spain follow European standards and are generally clear and easy to understand.
  • Roundabouts are common in Spain. Vehicles already inside the roundabout have the right of way.
Filling/Charging Stations:
  • Petrol/gas stations  (gasolineras) are widely available, with both full-service and self-service options.
  • There are twenty EV charging stations in the Costa Tropical area, including seven in Motril and five in Almuñecar. New charging stations are being added all the time.
Language Barrier:
  • While many road signs are in Spanish, major highways and tourist areas often have signs in English and other languages.
Emergency Services:
  • In case of an emergency, dial 112 for assistance.

Overall, driving in Spain is a convenient and enjoyable way to explore the country. Familiarizing yourself with the local traffic rules and road signs will ensure a safe and smooth journey through Spain’s stunning landscapes and vibrant cities.

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