Driving in Spain

An overview of the rules of the road, the types of roads, parking, laws related to driving while drunk and other aspects important to a driver in Spain...

Spain's road system totals approximately 166,000 Km in length, made up of motorways, toll roads and trunk roads. The roads are managed by central and local authorities, and the basic rules of road use are similar to those in other European countries.

  • Information about the laws and highway code can be found on the website of the Spanish Traffic Department (Dirección General de Tráfico, DGT) (in Spanish)

From January 19 2013, updates to the European Community Directive 2006/126/EC were brought into force. The aim of the directive is to harmonise driving licences in Europe, increasing security and preventing fraud. National licences produced by EU and EEA member states have been phased out and replaced with a single European credit-card style licence.

Drivers who currently hold a paper licence are required to renew their licence before expiry in the country where they are resident. Those who are resident in Spain for more than two years, and who hold a licence with an indefinite validity period issued by another member state will also have to change their driving licence. To comply with Spanish rules, drivers will have to take a medical examination when renewing their licence.

  • Further details of the directive can be found here
Buying Fuel

Fuel is sold at petrol stations (gasolinera) and is usually served by an attendant.

  • Petrol - gasolina
  • Unleaded Petrol - gasolina sin plomo
  • Diesel - gasoleo

An increasing number of petrol stations offer Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Gas Licuado del Petróleo, GLP) and Biodiesel. Maps showing their locations can be found through the following websites:

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