A trip to Spain makes for a fantastic European vacation. However, when in Spain, should you drive? Are there special rules you have to follow? How safe is it for non-local drivers?

Let’s find out in this article.

Requirements for Driving in Spain

Similar to other EU countries, you must be at least 18 years old to drive.

If you’re a British citizen, you can use your UK driving license.

If you have an international driving permit, bring it with you at all times.

Apart from those licenses, it’s also wise to have the following in your car:

  • Passports as ID
  • Warning triangle
  • Euro plates
  • Headlamp adjustment
  • High-vis jacket
  • Spare pair of glasses
  • Proof of insurance

Speed camera detectors are illegal, but if your satellite navigation includes speed camera info as a standard feature, it should be okay.

Considering Car Rentals

If you’re renting a car in Spain, find the best deal for you. And the best deals are always those you can understand.

The rule of thumb is this: if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. However, there are some great car rental services available in Spain. Just make sure you always read even the smallest of prints.

Check out StressFreeCarRental.com to see more of your options.

Use the Freeways

Freeways, or autovías, are plenty around Spain. They are well-maintained, providing easy access to almost all important destinations.

Traffic jams are rare, the freeway is easy to use, and, overall, Spanish freeways are top-notch when it comes to the driving experience.

Hectic Parking

The opposite is true for parking spaces and garages. Car parks are often hectic and not many regulations are in place.

If you’re using car rentals, be wary of drivers who reverse until they ‘bump’ the car behind them. You may need to pay minor damage fines if the other driver scuffs and scratches your bumper.

Problems with Roundabouts

Avoid roundabouts as much as you can.

Roundabouts are fairly new additions to Spanish roadways. So driving around them can be difficult.

Drivers have reported cars cruising in both directions in roundabouts. Beginners and uninitiated drivers can find this extremely disorienting and may result in collisions or accidents.

Important Spanish Driving Rules to Remember

Speed Limits

The current speed limit in small towns is 50km/h. On open roads, it’s 90km/h to 100km/h. Motorways have a speed limit of 120km/h.

Drink Driving

The drink-drive limit is 0.5mg/ml of blood. For people with less than three years of driving experience, it’s down to 0.3mg/ml of blood.


You can be fined if you run out of fuel on some main roads, but it’s also illegal to carry spare gas in the car. So mind your tank.


Tolls in Spain depend on the length of the road and the area. Many locals use the back roads to avoid paying tolls, but back roads can be busy at times.

To know more about Spanish road driving rules, check out Spain’s official tourism website.

Ready to Drive in Spain?

In summary, driving in Spain should not be too challenging for experienced drivers if they familiarize themselves with the rules and local driving culture.

For beginners, however, driving in Spain can be a tough task, so it’s a must to prepare adequately before hitting the road.

Related article: 8 Beautiful Wine Travel Destinations For 2021

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About Are Morch

Hi, I am Are Morch. Your Digital Marketing Coach and Customer Experience Expert specializes in creating effective digital customer experience offer for hotels while growing and scale customer acquisition and revenue.

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