A country that enjoys an almost perennially sunny climate, Spain is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. Famous for its contributions to the worlds of art, sport, music and food, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in Spain. Some of the most popular activities in Spain include heading to the beautiful beaches, visiting the country’s many museums and art galleries, playing a round of golf on the courses of Andalucía and the eastern coast and watching football – one of the nation’s favourite sports. The cuisine here is to die for, especially tapas (small meals that are spread over several courses) and paella, the national dish.
Driving in Spain
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
- Police in Spain can give fines on the spot, although if a fine is paid within 20 days, there is a 15-day appeal window.
- If you park in a blue parking zone “zona azul” or “zona O.R.A.”, between 8am and 8pm, you can only park for a maximum of two hours.
- Tolls are levelled on most motorways. Payment is largely electronic, either with Telepiaje or Via T. Transmitters are needed to be fixed to your car’s windscreen and can be bought from banks or petrol suppliers.
Driving culture in Spain
What are the roads like in Spain?
Overall, the road network in Spain is excellent. The motorways in particular are smooth and obstruction-free, although a few minor roads in rural parts of the country haven’t received the care and attention needed. It’s worth taking care further north towards the Pyrenees where there are plenty of sharp bends to watch out for.
What are the drivers like in Spain?
It largely depends on where you drive. In the big cities, drivers tend to be a little more aggressive, but in the country, you’re significantly less likely to encounter this. To be safe, it’s always best to drive conservatively and be courteous.
What are the best times to drive?
Traffic levels in Spain largely depend on the environment. In major cities like Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, rush hour is usually between 8am-10am in the morning and 4pm-6pm in the evenings. Sometimes, for the siesta, there’s one between 1pm-3pm, although there’s sometimes one between 8pm-10pm for the rush home from work.
What are the driving laws?
You need a full, valid driving licence with paper counterpart, proof of insurance, a passport and proof of ownership or hire. Any children under 12 who measure less than 135cm (4ft 5ins) tall must be seated in an appropriate child seat. A reflective jacket and spare tyre in your boot are required at all times. It is compulsory to wear seatbelts in front and rear seats of the vehicle.