Before you drive to Spain, make sure that you are informed and prepared for the journey. So, whether you're driving to deliver goods to Barcelona, doing removals to Madrid, or transporting stock to Seville, it is essential to check the road rules in Spain.
Read on as we discuss the most important things to keep in mind before you drive off to Spain.
Like other EU countries, you are permitted to drive in Spain, providing you are at least 18 years old and hold a full UK driving licence. All vehicle drivers must carry a valid passport and driving licence with them at all times. It is important to note that all the passengers in the vehicle will also be required to have a valid passport with them.
Other paperwork you are required to have on you while you drive include; original vehicle registration documents, MOT certificate, an insurance 'green card', and if applicable the rental/leasing agreement of your vehicle.
Nationality and variable speed stickers are also required to be displayed on the rear of the vehicle. Although it is not a requirement, if you have an International Driving Permit, bring this with you as it recognised in Spain.
If you are driving a goods vehicle in Spain, then you must comply with the EU rules on drivers’ hours and tachograph.
Follow the checklist to find out what you should have with you in your vehicle:
• Proof of insurance with the minimum cover of driving in the EU
• Proof of ID: Passport
• Vehicle Log Book: V5C certificate
• Two Warning Triangles
• GB Sticker or Europlates
• High-Vis Jacket
• Beam Adaptor Stickers: If you are not able to adjust your headlamp
• A second pair of glasses, if you wear glasses
Rules of the road and regulations
- Driving on the opposite side
One of the most notable differences between driving in Spain, and driving in the UK would be that they drive on the opposite side of the road. In the UK you would drive on the left side of the road, but in Spain, you will have to adjust and amend your driving as they drive on the right.
- Speed camera detection
Radar and speed camera detectors are illegal in Spain, but if your navigation devices include speed camera information and prompts as a standard, it should be okay. The Spanish Transport Department is pretty good at making the public aware of the location of speed cameras. Most cameras are signposted, and there's even an app that shows you where they are.
- Signalling for overtaking
A common thing that Spanish drivers do is flash their headlights before overtaking you. Although they are unlikely to overtake you if you are driving a truck or a lorry, don’t be alarmed when they flash their headlights as an indicator of overtaking. It is required by law to do this as a warning sign to let you know they are about to pass.
- Right of way
Here are some examples of the road rules when it concerns who has the right of way:
Drivers already engaged in the roundabout have priority over the drivers approaching and trying to join the roundabout.
Drivers on a secondary road must give right of way to vehicles coming from either direction when joining the main road.
Drivers approaching an intersection must give way to all vehicles coming from the right.
Sign: Falling rocks in the road – area warning
Any triangular signs in Spain which are often red or yellow are an indicator that it is a warning sign. It is designed to alert you of possible dangers ahead.
Sign: Begin of a tunnel
The most frequently used road signs in Spain are Information signs. They are usually blue, rectangular or square and provide drivers with general information about the road they are using, or any upcoming changes ahead.
Sign: Mandatory lights on
Mandatory road signs are blue and circular in shape. They are not suggestions, information or advisory signs; they must be followed and are arguably the most crucial road signs you need to know and obey.