If you’re relocating to the Costa del Sol, you’ll need a car to get around. Public transport outside the larger towns and cities is patchy, so you will rely on your car or motorbike to get around. The roads are generally good and modern, with a network of toll roads, as well as the coastal road (N340) which links up the main towns by the sea and then smaller roads heading inland to the towns and villages in the hills.
Here are ten things you need to know about driving in Spain –
- We drive on the right here in Spain, take extra care when overtaking if you are in a right hand drive car, as visibility can be restricted.
- Alcohol limits are very low – You are allowed to drink less here in Spain than in the UK, with a limit of 0.5 milligrams of alcohol per millilitre of blood. In practice, this means a man can have three small glasses of wine or small beers and women only two.
- When driving, you should always carry your driving licence, proof of insurance, an ID card or passport and a proof of ownership or rental.
- Drivers must carry reflective jackets and a warning triangle and always wear the reflective jackets if you get out of the car onto the road or hard shoulder.
- Children must use suitable car seats such as booster seats up to the age of 12, or the height of 135cm.
- Seat belts are required for the driver and all passengers.
- You are not permitted to drive and speak on a mobile phone.
- Stop signs are common when you join a motorway or main road, which can be a surprise if you are just used to merging. Joining a fast road from a standing start isn’t easy, but be patient and you’ll find a gap you can safely pull into.
- Speed limits are usually 50 kilometres per hour in urban areas, 80 kilometres per hour on the N340 coastal road and in tunnels and 120 kilometres per hour on the toll road. The limits change quite regularly along the toll road in particular, but don’t worry, they are well sign-posted.
- Call 112 if you require emergency help.
If you have any doubts about bringing your car over to Spain and the rules around driving on UK plates and changing your driving license, we can put you in touch with our legal advisors for the latest advice.
We can help you with all aspects of living in Spain and find you a quality long term rental which will be the perfect base to start your new life on the Costa del Sol. Browse properties on our website, or contact us with your requirements and we’ll send you a list of properties that would suit you.