Car Hire Spain
Car Hire Spain


A country that enjoys an almost perennially sunny climate, Spain is one of the world's most popular tourist destinations. Famous for its contributions to the worlds of art, sport, music and food, there's no shortage of things to see and do in Spain. Some of the most popular activities in Spain include heading to the beautiful beaches, visiting the country's many museums and art galleries, playing a round of golf on the courses of Andalucia and the eastern coast, and watching football - one of the nation's favourite sports. The cuisine here is to die for, especially tapas (small meals that are spread over several courses) and paella, the national dish.
Spain is the cheapest place in Europe for a driving holiday (for car rental and petrol) and has the tenth biggest road network in the world. More than 683,000km of well-surfaced roads span the country from sultry Seville in the south to the spectacular Pyrenees National Park in the north, so a Spanish road trip is one of epic proportions.

Important things to note

Police in Spain can give fines on the spot, although if a fine is paid within 20 days, there is a 15-day appeal window. If you park in a blue parking zone "zona azul" or "zona O.R.A.", between 8am and 8pm, you can only park for a maximum of two hours. Tolls are levelled on most motorways. Payment is largely electronic, either with Telepiaje or Via T. Transmitters are needed to be fixed to your car's windscreen and can be bought from banks or petrol suppliers.

Driving culture in Spain

What are the roads like in Spain?
Overall, the road network in Spain is excellent. The motorways in particular are smooth and obstruction-free, although a few minor roads in rural parts of the country haven't received the care and attention needed. It's worth taking care further north towards the Pyrenees where there are plenty of sharp bends to watch out for.

What are the drivers like in Spain?
It largely depends on where you drive. In the big cities, drivers tend to be a little more aggressive, but in the country, you're significantly less likely to encounter this. To be safe, it's always best to drive conservatively and be courteous.

What are the best times to drive?
Traffic levels in Spain largely depend on the environment. In major cities like Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, rush hour is usually between 08:00 and 10:00 in the morning and 16:00 and 18:00 in the evenings. Sometimes, for the siesta, there's one between 13:00 and 15:00, although there's sometimes one between 20:00 and 22:00 for the rush home from work.

What are the driving laws?
Be at least 18 and have a full driver's licence (provisional licences are not accepted). Have a minimum of third party, fire and theft insurance. Carry a warning triangle (two are recommended) and a spare tyre or tyre repair kit & a replacement bulb kit - These are checked! Wear a reflective jacket if driver and/or passenger(s) exit a vehicle that is immobilised on a motorway or busy road. Ensure that all occupants wear seat belts, if fitted. Seat children under 12 years of age and under 135cm in height in the back using a child restraint system adapted to their size and weight. Use dipped headlights in tunnels. Overtake only on the left side of the car you want to pass (undertaking is illegal). Do not have alcohol levels in the bloodstream exceeding 0.5g/l (the same as Ireland - about one glass of wine or beer). Have a spare pair of glasses (if required for driving) in the car at all times. Restrain any pets travelling in the car. Do not use your horn in towns at night and at any other time unless to prevent an emergency, you can flash your headlights instead, although judging by the noise on Spanish streets, drivers do not obey this law. Observe the priority-to-the-right rule on roads that have equal status or whenever in doubt as to who has the right of way.

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