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Information about Spain

  • The capital of Spain is Madrid
  • Spain has a population of over 40 million people
  • There are 17 autonomous communities and 2 autonomous cities in North Africa
  • Spain has approximately 700,000 km of paved roads
  • The currency is the euro (EUR)
  • 5,000 km of coastline

Driving Guide for Spain

Before you start to drive in Spain, there is some vital information to keep you safe and out of trouble. Road conditions and driving rules change throughout Europe so you need to familiarize yourself with the situations you will encounter. Overall, Spain has quality roads and a respectful driving culture, but there are always anomalies. The following guide will give you the necessary information to have a successful driving experience in Spain.

Driver’s License

Type of License


EU Drivers

All EU licenses are valid in Spain

Non-EU Drivers

Non-EU drivers need an International Driver’s Permit (IDP)

An IDP can be obtained from local automotive clubs

IDP will translate your current license into the Spanish language

All Drivers

Must have a valid license from your resident country

Need to be at least 18 years old

Speed Limits

Type of Road

Speed Limit (km/h)

Motorways (major highway)


Open Roads (minor highway)

90 - 100

City Roads

50 or less

Speeding fines and other traffic violations must be paid on the spot with cash. If you do not have enough, the officer will follow you to a cash machine so you can pay the fine. If you are unable to pay, the car will be held until you have the proper funds. Always ask to get a receipt for the violation. This will ensure you are paying the fair price.

Rules of the Road



Flow of Traffic

Drive on the RIGHT side of the road

Passing is only allowed on the left

Do not pass if there is a solid white line


Everyone must wear a safety belt (driver’s responsibility)

Children under 150 cm tall may not ride in the front seat


Must be used in tunnels

Strongly recommended to use at all times

Electronic Devices

Only hands-free mobile phone use is permitted

Radar detectors are illegal

Headphones are not allowed while driving

Other Rules

Maximum blood alcohol content is 0.25%

Driver’s with prescription lenses must carry a spare pair

Snow chains are required for mountainous areas in the winter

Parking in Spain




Monday - Friday

9:00 – 14:00
16:30 – 20:00

1.50 EUR/hour (approx)

14:00 – 16:30



9:00 – 14:00

1.50 EUR/hour (approx)

Sunday and Holidays

All Day


*Saturday - Monday

14:00 Sat – 9:00 Mon


Sometimes you will encounter difficulties finding parking spaces in Spain. It is often easiest to locate a parking garage to leave your car. Street parking is not allowed in many places. Large blue signs with a white ‘P’ or ‘E’ lead to designated parking areas. If you ever see a sign with a slash through the ‘P’ or ‘E’, do not park. If you want to park on the street, you need to find a blue zone and purchase a ticket from the automated parking machine. The other parking system involves buying vouchers from a tobacco/newsstand kiosk. Look at the street signs to see the times you are required to pay. Sundays and holidays are free of charge. Never block an exit when you park and do not leave your car in a red or yellow zone. If you are ever confused about the parking situation, it is much better to ask someone than to park illegally. You do not want to get a ticket or have your car towed. The following table shows the general trend for on street parking.