Top tips: Handy hints & useful phrases

Bags packed? Check. Excitement levels at fever pitch? Check. Ready to hit the open road? You sure?

There are some important things to remember about driving abroad but don’t worry, because this handy little wallet-friendly foldaway guide should provide all the info needed to stay safe on the road.


Emergency number 112 is the European version of 999. Only to be used in times of severe distress.


Triangle, jacket and deflectors

What are the essentials for a Spanish holiday? You’re probably thinking sunglasses and swimming gear. What might not spring to mind are a reflective warning triangle, headlamp beam deflectors and a hi-vis jacket. These are a legal requirement.


Caution: crossings

Although zebra crossings are a common sight in Spain, those that are not accompanied by traffic lights are generally ignored by drivers. If you do stop to let someone cross, it may be a surprise to the driver behind you - so remember to check your rear view mirror.


Know your speed

When driving on Spanish roads be mindful of the speed limits. It’s not acceptable to go even a little over. Spanish speed limits are strictly enforced and you’ll only land yourself in hot water if you don’t stick to them.


Cruise – don’t booze

In the UK, the drink drive limit is 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood whereas, in Spain, it is just 50mg. What does that mean? Basically, the result is that one large drink could easily push you over the legal limit - so play safe and don’t drink at all if you’re going to drive.


On the spot

If you’re pulled over for an offence, you may be asked to pay an on-the-spot fine, potentially of hundreds of Euros. As a visiting driver, you’ll need to pay this right there and then to avoid having your vehicle confiscated. Be considerate and drive safely.


Park smart

Illegally parked vehicles can be towed away, whether they are registered in Spain or brought in from abroad. If this happens, it’s likely to cost you a time-consuming trip to the local police station, a hefty fine for the offence and charges for towing and impounding.


My Car Has Broken Down

If things do go wrong, don’t panic. A few phrases (along with our helpful diagram) should ensure you get the message across:



Three more useful phrases:

Do you speak English? Habla inglés?
I am lost! Me he perdido!
Can you send me a mechanic/breakdown van? Podría enviarme un mecánico/camión-grúa?

Spain Driving - Pocket Guide


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