Bail Bond: a guarantee to be lodged with the police in the event of an accident or major traffic violation - no longer a legal requirement for Spain and most insurance companies have stopped issuing them.
Children in cars: Children under 12 cannot travel in the front unless using a suitably adapted restraint system. In the rear, passengers under 135cm tall must use specially adapted safety devices and restraints.
Documentation: always carry your driving licence, vehicle registration document (V5), and certificate of motor insurance. If your licence does not incorporate a photograph ensure you carry your passport to validate the licence. If the vehicle is not registered in your name, carry a letter from the registered owner giving you permission to drive.
Drinking and driving:
Don't do it. Over 0.05 per cent and you could face anything from a severe fine,
withdrawal of your licence, up to imprisonment.
First-aid kit is advised, but not compulsory.
Fuel: All grades of unleaded petrol (benzin), diesel (gasoleo 'A') and LPG are available as well as lead substitute additive. Leaded no longer exists. It is allowed to carry petrol in a can. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted, although they probably won't work at automatic pumps, which are often the only pumps open out-of-hours and at lunch-time (from noon to 3pm) away from the Autoroutes. It's a good idea to let your card issuer know you will be travelling abroad. This ensures they don't suspend your card if they spot it being used in unfamiliar places, which they sometimes do as an anti-fraud measure.
GB sticker: UK registered vehicles displaying Euro-plates (circle of 12 stars above the national identifier on blue background) no longer need a GB sticker when driving in European Union countries.
Glasses (Spectacles): wearers must carry a spare pair in the car at all times.
Headlamp converters are compulsory.
Lights: dipped headlights should be used in poor daytime visibility. Motorcycles must use dipped headlights during the day at all times.
Minimum age for driving,
provided you hold a full UK licence, is 18 for a car and for a motorcycle over 75cc.
If you've got an old-style all-green licence you might find the police will
not understand them, so either get them up-dated or take an International Driving
Permit as well.
Motorways are known as Autopista, and a toll motorway is autopista de peajes. Non motorway dual carriageways are Autovia.
Replacement bulb set is recommended.
Seat belts are compulsory for front and rear seat occupants, if fitted.
Snow chains are recommended to be carried in the Spanish Pyrenees and all mountainous regions of Spain during winter, and if you do not carry and fit them when conditions demand the police can prevent you continuing your journey. Click for general information on winter tyres and snow chains.
Visibility Vests are now compulsory in Spain. They are also compulsory in Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, Norway and Portugal and (and likely to become compulsory throughout the EU). The rules vary from country to country concerning number of vests required and whether they should be carried in the car or boot. Common sense suggests that there should be a vest for every occupant, and that the vests should be carried in the car, and put on before getting out. Do this and you will not have a problem.
Warning triangle is compulsory. One only is required for non-Spanish registered vehicles. Two required for Spanish vehicles, but to avoid difficulties with the police we recommend two triangles should be carried.
All information on this page is provided as a service to our clients. It is intended as a guide to the more important rules for the different countries to which we offer driving holidays. It is not meant to be a comprehensive document. We try and keep the information on this page up-to-date, but we cannot be held responsible in any way for any consequences arising from any inaccuracies. If you find a mistake or would like to send us some additional information, please email us. Your co-operation is appreciated.