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Road Rules and Traffic Regulations in Spain - Driving Nuances

1. Speed limit on roads is one of peculiar features of traffic regulations in Spain. The maximum speed in settlements is 60 km/h. On motorways drivers are permitted to increase the speed up to 120 km/h. The speed limit for all other types of roads is 100 km/h. Road signs will help determine the speed limit.
2. According to local regulations, a car must be equipped with a warning triangle. Moreover, all the vehicles must have signs that specify the country they’ve come from.
3. Children under 12 years can only be transported in the back seat of a car, and only in a special chair. Violation of this rule will result in an impressive fine. Foreign tourists should also not forget that all passengers must fasten seat belts when their car is moving.
4. Local pedestrians often start crossing a road without paying any attention to the traffic signal. When approaching a pedestrian crossing, drivers must slow down and wait until all pedestrians finish crossing the road.
5. Many roads in the countryside have absolutely no markings. Here, the livestock is the main danger for drivers. Representatives of local fauna - hares, hedgehogs and other animals that might suddenly run out into the road are another source of problems.
6. While moving, cars should try not to occupy the left lane - it can be used only for regroup maneuvers. If you finish the maneuver and keep driving on the left lane, then someone from local drivers will surely “sit on your tail” and turn the left turn signal. This way he will ask to give way and drive in the right lane.
7. When moving, cars can be overtaken on the left only. Any attempt to overtake a car on the right is a violation of traffic regulations. Any maneuver on the road can only be accompanied by an appropriate light signal.

Nuances of Car Rental in Spain

To save on your rental, we advise to book your car in advance. You will save the most if you do this several weeks or even several months prior to your trip. Rental offices in Spain usually raise rental prices over time, based on the number of cars left available for the accounting period.

When looking for an exotic car (cabriolet, minivan or limousine), we advise to check in the rental offices located at airports, as they usually provide much wider choice comparing to offices in urban areas.

Upon receipt of invoices, bills and documents for your car at the rental location, please compare the obtained data with your voucher. Quite often, employees of rental offices in Spain try to add optional charges or services without informing customers.

It is very important to pick up your car at the rental office in Spain in a correct way. Prior to leaving the office, carefully inspect the car for various defects, and ensure that all the discovered defects are mentioned in your rental documents. In case of a non-compliance found, place a demand for correction to the rental officer.

You can always check our car actual rental offers in Spain. Simply use the search form at the top of the page. We guarantee that you will not find better prices anywhere else!
8. Local drivers are rather impatient and, so they often express their dissatisfaction with the signals. Foreign visitors are not recommended to follow their example. The reason for this is the fact that the use of a car honk is prohibited.
9. Spanish drivers often disregard the speed limit. However, the speeding of just 20 km/h can result in a fine of 100 euro, so it is better not to risk and not to exceed the designated speed limit.
10. It should be noted that local police is quite condescending towards foreigners. It is likely that if a driver breaks traffic regulations for the first time, he will get only a warning. However, drivers shouldn’t expect that next violations will cause no punishment.
11. Driving after drinking alcohol is considered a serious violation. The maximum permissible level of alcohol in blood is 0.3 ppm for experienced drivers. Beginner drivers (who received a driving license less than a year ago) should remember that the maximum level of alcohol for them is 0.15 ppm.
12. In Spain, there is a very interesting rule concerning parking on one-way streets. On odd days cars can be parked on the side of the street with odd number houses, and on even days cars can be parked on next to houses with even numbers. As a rule, there are both paid and free parking places in all towns of the country.
13. If a road is marked in red, it means that one cannot stop a car there. If there is one or two yellow stripes painted on the pavement, parking there is also prohibited. These parts of roads allow only pick up and drop off of passengers, and this should be done very quickly.
14. Drivers should be particularly careful about sections of roads marked with the “VADO” sign. It means the place of entering a garage. Naturally, leaving a car near those signs is prohibited. If a parking area is marked with a blue line, it is prohibited to leave a car there for more than 1.5 - 2 hours.
15. Cars parked in the wrong place will be most likely transferred to a penalty parking area, and the owner of that car will get a fine of 100 euro. If you need to leave a car for a couple of minutes, you can simply turn on the emergency light, but the term “a couple of minutes” should be taken literally in this case.
16. There are lanes on roads dedicated specially to public transport and taxis in all cities of Spain. Other motorists are not allowed to drive on them.
17. There are also many crossroads with circular motion. In this case cars that already move in the circle have the advantage. Inexperienced drivers may consider entering and leaving the circle one of the most difficult maneuvers, because traffic is very fast and dense in large cities.
18. There is no left turn on main streets of big cities. On secondary streets, there are many left turns, and they are often organized as descends to the right and then the ride under the “stop” sign.
19. Travellers who prefer to ride a bike should always ride with beams turned on. When traveling by car, beams should be turned on in the dark, in tunnels and in the rain.
20. Roads in Spain are very informative, and they have plenty of road signs. Many road signs are duplicated, making driving even easier. Budget travelers should avoid parking places with green markings. They have a higher tariff than parking areas with blue markings.
21. Speaking on a cell phone while driving is strictly forbidden. The fine for this violation is from 300 to 600 euro. Drivers who need to make phone calls while driving must certainly use a headset.
22. There is a huge number of pointers in popular tourist cities. They will easily lead you to the desired place of interest, a hotel or the central part of the city. Roads of Granada are known among most informative roads of the country.
23. Many signs that prohibit parking have additional information. Quite often, parking is prohibited on certain days of a week or month, or at a specific time of day.
24. Anti-fog lights can only be used when visibility is poor (less than 50 meters). Drivers, who use them in other circumstances, are likely to get a fine. Cars must also be equipped with a set of spare bulbs.
25. It is also recommended to have a special vest with reflective stripes. It will be useful in case you will need to get off a car in a prohibited place, for example, in case of a sudden breakdown.
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