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Driving in Spain

What do you need to drive in Spain?

You need to be at least 18 years old and have a valid driving license. If you're from a country outside the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein you'll need to have an international driving licence. To rent a vehicle you must be at least 21 and have a credit card. Additionally, many companies also require you to have had your driving license for a minimum of one or two years. In any case, we recommend you check these requirements with the Spanish consulate or embassy before starting your trip.

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Driving in Spain

Are you thinking of travelling to Spain in your car?

You'll need a driving licence (see the question 'What do you need to drive in Spain?'), driving insurance and a temporary vehicle registration certificate. You can request this at customs, and it is valid for six months. With regard to driving insurance, if you're from the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra or Croatia you'll need to have the insurance policy together with the receipt justifying its validity. If you come from another country, you must take out a Frontier Insurance Policy. This is an obligatory temporary third-party insurance policy for motor vehicles. In any case, we recommend you check these requirements with the Spanish consulate or embassy before starting your trip.

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Driving in Spain

What safety precautions should you be aware of in Spain?

It is prohibited to speak on a mobile phone while driving unless you have a hands-free system, or to use devices designed to avoid surveillance by traffic police. It is obligatory for everyone in the car to use seat belts; to turn off the radio and the mobile telephone when refuelling; to use a high visibility jacket when getting out of the vehicle on the road or hard shoulder; to use warning triangles when the vehicle is stopped on the road or the hard shoulder; to limit overtaking to areas where it is permitted and to overtake only on the left of the vehicle being passed; to use a helmet on motorcycles, bicycles and mopeds. The established speed limits are: 120 km/h on dual carriageways and motorways, 100 km/h on conventional roads, 90 km/h on all other roads and 50 km/h in built-up areas. Blood alcohol levels may never exceed 0.5 g/l (0.25 mg/l in exhaled air). Also remember that parking in public thoroughfares is not always permitted or free. In many cities parking areas are regulated and subject to payment.

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Driving in Spain

Do you have to pay to use the roads in Spain?

The vast majority of roads in Spain's national road network are free. These include motorways (independent roadways in each direction with no intersections at the same level). There are also a series of roads that may require the payment of a toll. These are always motorways. The amount to pay varies in each case, but there are alternative routes that are generally free to use. Tolls may be paid in cash, by credit card or using electronic toll services (requires installation of a device in the car) Remember that there are S.O.S. posts along the motorways every two kilometres or so. More information: Spanish Association of Motorway, Tunnel, Bridge and Toll road Operators .

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Driving in Spain

How can you find out about traffic conditions?

The website of the Department of Transportation (Dirección General de Tráfico - DGT) has real-time information on the traffic situation on the roads. Also, radio stations provide information about roads in their news bulletins. More information: Department of Transportation (http://infocar.dgt.es/etraffic/)

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Driving in Spain

How can I pay a fine?

Traffic violations sanctioned in the Road Safety Act must always be paid. By calling telephone number 060 (from Spain): the service is only in Spanish. Payment is made by credit card. Online: on the virtual management website of the Department of Transportation in Spain. In any Banco Santander branch. In Spanish post offices. In all cases you will need the issue number of the fine. If the fine is paid within 20 calendar days there is a 50% reduction on the amount of the fine. If the fine was issued by a local authority on an urban road, it is advisable to refer directly to the traffic department in the City Council.

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Driving in Spain

What types of fuel are available in Spain?

Spain's service stations mainly dispense the following fuels: Unleaded petrol 95. Unleaded petrol 98. Diesel A. Biodiesel. You can find a list of all the service stations in Spain, the type of fuel available and the price at the website of the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade, Geoportalgasolineras

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Driving in Spain

How must children travel in cars?

In all cases, including taxis, the following precautions must be observed: Regardless of age, children cannot be held on the lap or in the arms. No child under 12 can sit in the front seat, unless they use a device approved for this purpose. Children under 3 must use an approved restraint system suitable for their height and weight and must always be placed in the back seat. Any child over the age of 3 with a height less than 1.5 metres must use a restraint system adapted to their size and weight.