Depending on your country of origin, you might have minimal difficulty driving in a country like Spain compared to friends, perhaps from the UK or the US. The rules and regulations could be familiar, making you prepared for a glorious holiday road trip.
The only thing you can do is a book with a car hire agency like Goautos.no Spania. Check for further details. A large part of the recommendations for smart driving in many countries can be applicable in most countries. The priority is to be safe primarily and avoid being a hindrance or a risk to anyone going around you.
People traveling from areas like the US and the UK will need to research the road rules and learn about the unique road signs and speed laws when deciding to holiday in the lovely country of Spain. That’s in an effort to assure this level of safety and security.
Regardless of the research, it will still take adjustment once you’re actually driving in unfamiliar territory with different traffic patterns, signs you have to quiz yourself on, and motorists steadily losing patience with the newbie.
In an effort to assist, you’ll find here some highlights on the road system, rules, regulations, and tips and tricks to help guide you on your journey.
- 1 How To Adjust To Driving In Spain
- 1.1 ● What is the decimal system?
- 1.2 ● Right-sided driving
- 1.3 ● A red light means no
- 1.4 ● It’s recommended that petrol tanks always be full
- 1.5 ● It’s better to abstain
- 1.6 ● What sorts of roads are in Spain
- 1.7 ● Indicators should be used
- 1.8 ● What sort of car should you rent?
- 1.9 ● You can’t stop in the middle of the road
- 2 Final Thought
How To Adjust To Driving In Spain
When traveling to a country like Spain for your holiday destination, you might have some familiarity with the road rules, depending on your country of origin.
However, there could be a learning curve if you’re coming from a distance like perhaps the US or the UK, especially since international motorists boast a love of driving outside the rules and are a bit on the fast side.
In order to prepare, it’s wise to research the country’s driving tendencies and learn the logistics of the road, including studying the unique signs and speed guidelines, understanding how the traffic patterns work, and the overall regulations that pertain to driving on the roadways. Let’s dive in.
● What is the decimal system?
Europe incorporates the decimal system, as does Spain, meaning their speed limits are posted in “kilometers per hour” or km/h instead of using “miles per hour.” Also, when you buy petrol to fill your fuel tank, you will be accumulating “liters” instead of buying by the gallon.
● Right-sided driving
Many countries use the right side of the road for driving, and that is also the approach in Spain.
● A red light means no
In some countries, like the US, when a signal light turns red, drivers can still proceed right after stopping if they yield to those with the right of way. That is not the situation in Spain. When you see a red light, you never proceed through an intersection.
● It’s recommended that petrol tanks always be full
Especially for motorists that like to go “off the beaten path,” the suggestion is always to keep your fuel filled. It’s unpredictable how far you will need to drive before another service station will come along. When getting on a motorway, service stations are generally quite far apart, as great as 40+ km.
You also want to know the type of petrol available in the country and what your specific auto requires. Service stations tend to carry three sorts of gas in Spain. These include:
- “Sin Plomo 95”: This is comparable to the US unleaded gasoline
- “Sin Plomo 98”: This is comparable to the US premium unleaded gasoline
- “Gasoleo, gasoil, diesel”: Spanish terms for diesel fuel
If you have your own car, you’ll know which gas works. There is often a label placed on the inside of the tank cover displaying which petrol you need to use for a rental. The way you fill-up will depend on the station. In a majority of cases, you will take care of your gas and then pay that amount inside the station.
● It’s better to abstain
A common sight in the country is “breath alcohol tests.” The laws are stringent when it comes to drinking with the anticipation of driving.
You will incur hefty fines and penalties, including losing your license and possible jail time if found to be driving after drinking; worse for your case is if you cause an accident in this condition.
The law allows a 0.5 g/l blood alcohol level. That is incredibly low. Instead of tempting your urge, abstain or let someone else be the designated driver while you indulge, or you can plan on using public transport if you know you’ll be an active drinking participant.
The thing to be mindful of when getting behind the wheel, even with a legal limit, is your responsibility for what occurs, whether you hurt another individual or you become injured. It’ll be your fault.
● What sorts of roads are in Spain
Spain is fortunate that a majority of the roadways are free for usage. Some of the most common roads to become familiar with include:
- “Autopistas de peaje“: You can find these on a map with the designation “AP” with the road’s number after the letters. These are toll roads that never run through villages, towns, or city areas.
- “Autovias”: Comparable to the “Autopistas,” but these have no cost for usage. You’ll see these referenced on the map with “A.” Again, these are not roads that go through a city, town, or village area.
- “Carreteras Nacionales”: Reference on maps with the letter “N,” national roads will provide two lanes for traffic, perhaps a single lane. They have the potential to run through various cities, towns, and villages.
- “Carreteras autonómicas/carreteras comarcales”: Referenced on the map by the letter “C,” these are country roads.
In an effort to learn substantial detail about these varied roads, it’s essential to research how to drive on each, speeds, traffic patterns, and other rules that might apply.
As recommendations go, auto via, the free roadways, are ideal if you want to rapidly get from one point to another and in the most budget-friendly way. Still, these offer the least fun for a road trip since you don’t get to travel through the small villages or see the lovely scenery.
The “exhilarating” “road trippiest” roads boast as the country and national options since these take you to some of the most wondrous spots. These are also the most congested – it’s a give and take.
Regardless of which road you choose, it’s mandatory always to wear a seat belt, not only for the driver but all passengers in the auto. That’s especially critical for anyone under the age of 18 riding in the vehicle.
Laws are also put in place stipulating no mobile use when a motor vehicle is in operation. The guidelines are stringent with specific fines for being caught engaged in the activity, especially if you are the cause of an accident with the phone in your hand.
● Indicators should be used
When visiting from another country, you should get into the habit of using your indicators when switching lanes or making a turn. Most local motorists incorporate their indicators when driving on the roadways.
It’s good practice to use these when leaving one of the many roundabouts located throughout the country since these tend to become confusing.
● What sort of car should you rent?
It’s suggested that with Spain’s roadways, there’s no indication for a four-wheel-drive nor is there a necessary need for an oversized vehicle unless you have a personal requirement for that specific style.
The most compact, gas and budget-friendly option would be sufficient for road tripping along the countryside. The only other requirement is to ensure you have air conditioning while traveling in the summertime. You don’t want to drive in the heat without it.
● You can’t stop in the middle of the road
Many travelers will maneuver along the country roads to take in the scenery only to find spots where they want to get a photo. Instead of looking for a safe place to get off the road in order to snap the shot, these motorists will stop dead in the middle of the road until they obtain the picture, hindering traffic.
After they’re satisfied with their image, they’re back in the car and proceeding on their way only with many angry drivers following behind them. While stopping to get out of your vehicle in emergencies or these sorts of “picture-taking” scenarios, drivers are advised to put on the fluorescent vest included in each car.
Without doing so, you can be fined by the authorities. Many of these individuals don’t take that precaution.
These are merely a few bits of insight for travelers who might be coming from a greater distance and find themselves utterly unfamiliar with the international rules of the road.
In the grand scheme of things, the rules of every road in the world are comparable, don’t drink and drive, wear a belt, don’t use your phone, be respectful of other drivers, go the speed, follow the signs . . . they’re relatively universal.