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How To Drive Safe On Spanish Roads

Spanish basic traffic rules are similar to those in the rest of Europe. Breaking these rules result in severe penalty. A Road Safety reform introduced in Spain in 2010 differentiates 3 categories of offenses: minor, serious and very serious. Not to get into trouble while driving in Spain here is everything you need to know:

In Spain they drive on the right side and the legal age for driving is 18 years. The driver must always have a valid driving license so don't forget to carry it with you. Be aware that the use of mobile phones while driving is illegal. It is also strictly prohibited to use headphones or earphones.

Nowadays more and more speed cameras are being used in Spain. They detect drivers exceeding the speed limits which are:

  1. Major highways 68mph
  2. Residential areas 15mph
  3. Built-up areas 18mph
  4. Other roads 55mph

In the year 2004 all Spanish roads were made more understandable. There are still however some roads that have two names. Types of the roads in Spain are:

  1. The regional road. Its signs are white
  2. The motorway network called the Autopista. It has blue road signs.
  3. Motorways which have an E or A prefix to the road number; an AP prefix shows a toll road
  4. Main roads (Carretera Nacional) with a CN or N prefix before the road number
  5. Carretera Comercal - are country roads. They have a C prefix.

While driving in Spain besides driving license you need to have either ownership or rental documents to prove you have a right to drive a car. Don't forget to have insurance documents as well as fluorescent jacket and fire extinguisher. First aid kit is strongly recommended to have in your car. If you wear glasses you also need to have a spare pair in a car.

What to Do When Stopped by the Police in Spain

If Spanish police can get you for something they definitely will. The most common thing is not wearing a fluorescent jacket. So when being stopped, before going out of the car put on a jacket first because the Spanish law says you must wear it whenever you stop by the side of a highway.

Being a tourist you will be asked to pay the fine immediately unless you can prove you have a Spanish address that can cover it for you. If you pay at once it will be 20% less.

Types of Gas in Spain

Diesel = gasoleo
Unleaded = sin plomo 98 or Eurosuper 95
Leaded = super or super 98

In Spanish cities the rush hour is between 8 - 9.30, 12.30 - 14.30, 15-20 - 17-00 and 18-30 - 20-30. In Madrid and Barcelona traffic jams can be all day long. The traffic however gets worse in summer especially around the coast.

As in any country of the world to learn traffic rules you need to go to driving school. Driving schools in Spain are said to be quite expensive but it is still an inevitable experience of learning how to drive and getting your driving license.