Driving in Spain information and guide


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Driving in Spain information and guide

Drive on the RIGHT

The most obvious difference for visitors from the UK is that they drive on the right hand side of the road.  Driving is made easier if you are driving a left hand drive car rather than your own right hand drive car.  This is especially true if trying to overtake, and helps at junctions and roundabouts.


Speed Limits in Spain

100-120 km
Main Roads
90-100 kph
50 kph


Seat Belts

Compulsory for all passengers. Children under 10 in the back seat using suitable sized seat belts for the child's size and weight.
- excludes babies in rear facing baby seats. Book if required.


Drink Driving

Drink Driving is illegal as is driving under the influence of drugs in Spain. Very severe penalties, which can include jail.


Essential Equipment


Warning Triangle, Reflective Jacket for all occupants, and a Spare Bulb kit


Carry all these items in car, they are required by law, and of course use if broken down etc.

A First aid kit is recommended

It is illegal to be on the side of the motorway without a reflexive jacket, e.g. walking to an emergency phone. So at least 1 jacket should be in the car, not the boot.


Mobile Phones

Don't use mobile phones while driving



Mainly Sin Plomo (unleaded petrol).

Main road stations often open 24 hours and most take credit cards.

Side roads the stations are infrequent, closed at night and on Sundays, and possibly don't take credit cards.



There are heavy on the spot fines for:

  • Not wearing seat belts.
  • Not stopping at Stop signs.
  • Overtaking where forbidden.

Ensure you obtain a receipt


Road Tax

Road tax for vehicles is required on an annual basis with the start as January 1st. The road tax is due while ever the vehicle remains in the name of the owner.  The road tax &is administered by the town hall where the resident lives in Tenerife. e Some town halls issue reminders and others do not. It is not an excuse to say a reminder was not received so beware.

If you sell the car ensure the town hall is informed, or you will be liable for the road tax. If you move house ensure both town halls are informed.

Car without road tax are removed from the road by the police.



Spectacles wearers must carry a spare pair in the car.


Minimum age and Driving licence

Minimum age for driving, for full UK licence, is 18 for a car and for a motorcycle over 75cc. It is advisable to update old-style all-green UK licence which some police may not understand. Obtain a modern UK licence or take an International Driving Permit as well.

Note Car hire firms require an older age, usually at least over 21


UK cars

UK registered vehicles displaying Euro-plates (circle of 12 stars above the national identifier on blue background) no longer need a GB sticker when driving in European Union countries.


Crash helmets

Crash helmets must be worn by motorcycle drivers and passengers.



Always carry

  • Driving licence
    • Plus passport if old style licence without a photo
  • Vehicle registration document (V5)
  • Certificate of motor insurance.
  • Letter from the registered owner giving you permission to drive, If the vehicle is not registered in your name.


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