Driving in Spain
Driving in Spain can be an absolute pleasure with thousands of kilometres of open road with stunning scenery. Many visitors are quite surprised at the great quality of the highways and ongoing construction of new roads is making getting around even easier albeit at the expense of some beautiful inland routes that are being bypassed by the new roads.
In Spain all traffic drives on the right
All vehicles over 4 years old must pass the ITV (MOT)
All vehicles must be registered and insured, at least for third party
Most valid driving licences from other countries are accepted in Spain
You should keep your licence and your insurance documents with you at all times. Failure to be able to present them can result in a spot fine
Drivers must wear seatbelts
Vehicles must carry warning triangles, spares (tyres, bulbs, fan belt) and the tools to fit them
Drivers who wear glasses must carry a spare pair
Front and rear seatbelts are compulsory
Children under 10 years are not allowed to ride in the front seat
It is common sense but never leave anything valuable in your car or anything on view as breaking into cars is rife. This is particularly the case with rental vehicles and cars with foreign number plates.
Driving Licences Validity and Renewals
You can drive on a valid UK or other EU licence for six months, after which you must either:-
-Apply for your UK or other EU driving licence to be approved and stamped
-Apply for a Spanish driving licence
The minimum age to hold a driving licence in Spain is 18 years.
The British Consulate suggests that it is advisable to exchange UK licences for Spanish ones, which are also valid for visits to the UK. In England the DVLA will not put a non-British address on a replacement licence, nor send one out of the country. Therefore, if a British licence is only registered with Spanish authorities and is lost or stolen, a replacement cannot be obtained from the UK, and Spanish authorities will not be able to replace one they did not issue.
Driving licences are valid for ten years if the licence holder is under 45, for 5 years from the age of 45 to 70 years and two years thereafter. To renew a licence in Spain the applicant needs a medical certificate issued by an officially recognised centre.
You should always carry your Driving Licence, car purchase and car insurance documents together with a bank receipt showing that the insurance premium for the current period has been paid.