Driving in Spain

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If you’re moving to Spain or looking at Long-term rental property in Spain you need to consider how you will get around once you’re here. Public transport is good in the major cities, but even in tourist areas such as the Costa del Sol, you can be stuck if you’re relying on public transport alone.

The easiest way to get around is to drive, but make sure that your driving licence is valid here before you arrive. EU citizens are fine, but those who are from outside the EU should check before they arrive. AngloInfo has an excellent page all about Foreign driving licences in Spain which is a good start.

Once you’re sure that you’re able to drive in Spain, the next step is whether to bring a car over from your country, buy one or rent a car. Cars are still quite expensive to buy here, but the market has slowed right down, so you may be able to get a good deal if you shop around. Many rental companies will offer good deals on rental cars for long-term rentals and this can be a good option if you’re moving to Spain and trying whether you enjoy the lifestyle here as you are free of commitment.

Bringing a car over from the UK is a pretty complicated process to do legally and it’s only legal to drive on UK plates for 6 months before you need to change over to Spanish plates. However there are services out there which specialise in helping you through the process for a fee which can be a good option if you’re not sure about the legal requirements and don’t speak Spanish.

When driving in Spain, remember that you drive on the right hand side of the road and be aware that there are very few slip roads onto motorways. Often you have to give way or even stop before joining a motorway which can be a surprise to drivers not used to driving in Spain. It’s not a great system, but obviously it must be adhered to in order to avoid accidents, so be warned.  

There are some fantastic roads for driving in Spain and beautiful countryside to go through. Traffic tends to be lighter than in the UK, so driving can be more enjoyable and less time-consuming, but make sure you keep your wits about you as people can be quite unpredictable. Please let us know what your experiences are of driving in Spain.

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