driving in spain

Football, cuisine and beaches aside, Spain is also a popular destination for road trips for a variety of reasons. However, you need to be eligible to drive in Spain to enjoy all these benefits. Before planning your Spanish road trip, practice due diligence in case of rules, regulations and insurance. Some rules that apply to all drivers in Spain are – 

A Valid Driving License  

Spain recognizes all driving licenses issued by the European Union. Your international driving license is also valid in Spain, although only for one year. But to be eligible for such a license, you must possess a valid license in your own country. 


You should be at least 18 years of age to drive in Spain. 

Driving Permit  

To drive around in Spain in your own vehicle, having a temporary permit is a must. Custom authorities issue a temporary permit for visitors which is valid for six months. On expiry of this permit, if you still wish to drive around the country, then you need to register the vehicle. 

Number Plate 

Vehicles that enter Spain from the European Union must have the EU flag on the current number plate. Otherwise, the number plate must feature the flag of the country of registration of the vehicle. 


Terms and conditions for insurance vary as per the nation you are from. For example, rules regarding insurance depend on whether you are from the European Union. Eastern Europe, African countries and so on. To avoid confusion, get in touch with the Spanish Consulate to identify insurance requirements applicable on you. 

Renting A Car 

You should be minimum 21 years of age to be able to rent a car in Spain. Other requirements include possessing a driving license for at least one/two years and a credit card. In case of multiple drivers, mention one name as the main driver and the others as additional. 

Rates depend on factors like age and type of transmission of the vehicle. Agencies charge higher rates from customers who are younger than 25 years. Similarly, automatic transmission demands a higher rate as compared to manual. 


Driving rules that apply to all drivers in Spain entail – 

  • Right-side driving.
  • Everyone must mandatorily use seat belts.
  • Drivers must be aware of the speed limits which vary as per the location.
  • Follow all rules in terms of speed and distance while overtaking another vehicle on the road.
  • Avoid talking on mobile phone while driving, or use a hands-free device.
  • Use a restraint system as per the age of the child.
  • Refrain from driving if you have had alcohol.
  • Wear a helmet and protective gear if you are going to drive a two-wheeler.
  • Use the pay-and-park facility to park your vehicle and look out for parking spaces.
  • Grant the right of way to pedestrians on zebra crossings and other pedestrian areas.

Do not carry radar-jammers in vehicles, unless you wish to lose license points and also pay a fine. 


Except a few motorways, roads in Spain do not require you to pay toll. Check their official website to identify routes that levy a toll, and pay by cash, credit card or an e-service. 

Fines And Penalties 

Any traffic violation invites a fine, which can be paid in two ways. You can pay on the spot when the Civil Guard apprehends you. Remember that the guards can exercise their right to impound your vehicle till you pay the entire amount of the fine. 

Sometimes authorities inform you of the violation by post. When you receive this intimation, call up at the official phone number and confirm. Next, pay the fine through your credit card or online bank transfer, preferably within 20 days of having received the notice. 


Because driving rules are subject to updates, check the latest rules before getting on to the road. Recent updates have rendered the rules more stringent, and any violation is likely to attract a severe penalty. For your safety, follow the rules and recover points while relying on the app for latest updates.