Motoring in Spain Legal Requirements

Driving in Spain is not too different from driving in many other European countries in terms of rules and regulations. For example, drive on the right side of the road and overtake on the left. In particular, EU/EFTA citizens will be familiar with many road safety laws and vehicle equipment requirements. The driving culture is quite relaxed. Spain has one of the lowest fatality rates in the EU. If you are in Spain for a short period of time or want to use a car only occasionally, renting one may be a better option. The requirements for renting a car in Spain are slightly higher than for buying. For example, you usually need to be at least 21 years old and have held your driver`s license for at least one year. Many companies also charge additional fees to young drivers (ages 21-24). If you are a tourist without assets in Spain, all fines must be paid in cash « on the spot ».

The legal limit for drunk driving is currently 0.5 grams per liter of air with a breathalyzer test. The very high death rates in Spain (in the top 3 of the « old » EU) mean that if you are caught with an excess of alcohol or drugs in the body, you can expect to lose your license (in a special court, possibly on the same day) or, if you are a resident, you will have to attend a special school. Fines for traffic offences in Spain New fines have recently been published, and beyond the limits established in any place (autopista, city, etc.), you can be arrested on the spot. You should not have a radar speed sensor in your vehicle, let alone use it. Speed traps are becoming fairly common, but not as bad as in the UK with cameras (again; vendors are moving in). Fines for other offences are calculated based on the seriousness of the offence and there is a table to guide police and courts. Navigational aids and DVDs, etc. This is a grey area of the law. Some say these subsidies are illegal, but they are now commonplace.

Personally, I was one of the first in Spain to have such a device and I used it for 8 years without any problems. In fact, once the police arrested me and were fascinated by the device. The driver must not use a display navigation (or entertainment) aid while driving. You need to drive completely away from traffic. (It really makes sense; after all, you`re not allowed to drive on the road with a map on the steering wheel). DVD players and display devices that are not directly required to operate the vehicle must be positioned in such a way that the driver cannot see them. In reality, however, the police rarely have anything to do with this law. If you plan to drive across Spain, pay attention to the new environmental zones. The Spanish traffic authorities in Madrid and Barcelona require you to have an official sticker on the rear window of a vehicle indicating the emission values. For Spanish residents, a spare tire or breakdown repair kit must be carried in the vehicle, but if your car is registered outside of Spain, this is not mandatory. However, you should make sure to check all your tires before you leave.

The minimum legal tread depth is 1.6 mm for the entire circumference of the tyre. Illegally parked cars can be towed, and to retrieve them, drivers must go to the nearest police station and pay the fine and all associated costs for towing and storing the illegally parked vehicle. In addition, some municipalities use hose clamps (known locally as CEPOs) to enforce the fine, especially on rental vehicles. If the wheel of your car is stuck, you will have to go to the nearest police station to pay the fine and plan the distance. Driving age – To drive legally, you must be 18 years old and have a valid driver`s license. 9. All vehicle documents (certified copies are acceptable) In Spain, you can always use a GPS navigation system that tells you where the fixed speed cameras are. However, it is illegal to carry or use radar jammers while driving. First of all, let`s look at the essentials that you must legally take with you in the vehicle when driving in Spain: remember that it is mandatory by law to wear one when walking on the highway, so do not allow any of your passengers to walk around without one. If you park illegally, especially in a foreign car, you will almost certainly become a victim of the « Gura » – the local tow truck, and if you suffer from it, a sticker with the phone number/address of your car`s new location should remain on the sidewalk.

Retrieving your car will be tedious and will cost you dearly in fines and fees, not to mention the potential problem of not speaking Spanish. If possible, look for underground parking with security surveillance. It`s worth paying a little more. Picking up your car at the pit is not fun. You go to the site and pay the catering fee. Then you go to the police station and pay the fine.