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What do I need to drive in Spain?

Compulsory items include:

Recommended items:

What documents do you need to carry?

  • A full UK driving licence (you will need both the photo and paper counterpart. If you don’t have a photo license you should carry your passport or we recommend an International Driving Permit)
  • Evidence of motor insurance – third party cover is compulsory. Green Card recommended.
  • The vehicle’s registration document or a Vehicle on Hire Certificate – originals not photocopies.

Useful driving information

  • You must be 18 or over to drive in Spain
  • Wearing a seatbelt is compulsory, the same as the UK
  • Motorway tolls are charged
  • You can’t use radar detection devices for speed cameras.
  • Children under 12 and under 1.35m must be seated with appropriate restraints (except in Taxis in urban areas). Children taller than 1.35m may use adult seat belts.
  • Drivers who wear glasses must carry a spare pair in the vehicle
  • It is forbidden to use your horn in urban areas unless it is an emergency
  • Any device with a screen that can distract the driver (excluding sat nav) must be placed where the driver cannot see them. You are not allowed to touch or program your sat nav unless safely parked
  • If your car and caravan exceed 12m then you must fit 2 yellow reflectors to the rear of the caravan or trailer.
  • Please be aware that in some cities with one way streets you should park as follows: the side of the road with even building numbers on even days of the month, and the side of the road with uneven building numbers on uneven days of the month.
  • Mobile phones can only be used by a full handsfree system – you cannot use headphones or ear pieces. A 200 euro fine is payable if you break this law.
  • Snow chains are recommended in snow and Police can stop you if you don’t have them fitted. The winter period is normally November to March. You should not drive faster than 50 km/h if snow chains are fitted.
  • Full headlights are not allowed in built up areas; you should use sidelights or dipped headlights.
  • Dipped headlights must be used in tunnels
  • Motorcycles must use dipped headlights in the day. Children between the ages of 7 and 11 can only be a passenger if with a parent or authorised person. All riders and passengers must wear crash helmets.
  • Moped riders under 18 cannot transport passengers.

Spanish road and motorway speed limits

Police treat speeding very seriously, we advise all drivers to know the speed limits for roads while driving in Spain.

  • Urban areas: 50 km/h
  • Open roads (no hard shoulder): 90km.h (70 km/h if towing)
  • Dual carriage ways: 100km/h (80km/h if towing)
  • Motorways: 120 km/h (80 km/h if towing)

Motorways and dual carriageways are limited to 80 km/h

When travelling on a motorway & dual carriageways the minimum speed limit is 60 km/h.

Drink-drive alcohol limits

  • Normal drivers: 0.50 g/l
  • New drivers (2 years or less): 0.30 g/l
  • Professional drivers: 0.30 g/l

If you have a blood level exceeding 0.50 g/l you will face penalties of heavy fines, imprisonment and withdrawal of your driving license.

Emergency numbers

If you need to contact the emergency services you’ll need to dial or 112.

Other driving essentials

We have a range of european driving essentials to help you make sure your driving through Spain is safe and enjoyable.


Whilst we endeavour to keep this information updated, the rules and regulations related to driving in Europe may change without notice and this information may contain technical inaccuracies. We cannot be held responsible for information which may become out of date or liability for incorrect information.

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