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
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
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 8:00 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.
FREE cancellation before
the reserved pick-up time
LOWEST PRICE GUARANTEED
We have more cars at the lowest
price across every destination
EASY SEARCH AND COMPARISON
Enter your requirements and
let our engine do the work
NO CREDIT CARD FEES
Get the best deals from us and
we'll cover the credit card fees
Download our free app.
Find, book and manage cheap
car hire from your mobile phone.