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Documents - Driving Licence or IDP

Spain is renowned for beautiful countryside and spectacular coastal views, all of which you can enjoy from the roadside. But before doing so, it is vital to keep yourself informed on how to go about driving in this country, and hence avoiding car horns beeping in your direction. Bearing in mind the following rules and tips closely will leave you with nothing but a wonderfully memorable experience.

Documents - Driving Licence or IDP

When driving in Spain it is mandatory to carry your driver’s license from your home country with a photograph, accompanied with your IDP if you are from outside of the EEA. You must also carry your passport, log book (V5), and proof of ownership/rental and insurance documents stating that you have the minimum third party cover that is required to be allowed to drive legally in this country. You will also be expected to provide receipt of payment.

Age Restrictions

The minimum age for driving a vehicle legally in Spain is 18, and 16 for motorcycles. Generally, you must be between 21 and 79 years old to rent a vehicle, which may vary a little depending on the company. Children up to 9 months old and up to 10kg should be placed in a carrycot on the backseat using approved safety belts. Children up to the age of 12 are not permitted to sit in the front seat.

Driving Rules, Laws and Regulations

  • Drive on the right hand side of the road
  • Overtake from left hand side of the road
  • Using indicators is a must
  • While driving, headphones or earphones are illegal to use
  • Drivers using glasses must carry spare glass or contact lenses
  • Always carry license while driving
  • Mobile phones should not be used, except a hands-free system
  • Should always carry spare light bulbs
  • Is prohibited to carry radar detectors
  • During winter, while driving in mountainous areas, snow chains must be used
  • While driving in tunnels, dipped headlights must be used
  • It is mandatory to wear a seatbelt by all passengers

Speed limits and fines

Different types of vehicles in Spain must adhere to different rules regarding speed limits. The general passenger travelling car must stick to the following speeds:

  • 120 km/hour (75mph) on expressways
  • 100km/hour (62mph) on divided highways
  • 50km/hour (30mph) in built-up areas

Not adhering to these speed limits will result in fines. These fines are on-the-spot and you will be expected to pay 50% of the fine upfront and if you don’t have the money you will be escorted to a cash point.

Warning: Failure to pay a fine will result in your vehicle being impounded.

Drunk Driving

This is considered a very serious offence in Spain and being discovered with Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.05mg/100ml in your system will mean a 500 euro fine and points on your licence. If you are unable to get your car home, then you will have to wait with your vehicle until you have sobered to the legal limit.

If you are found to have over 0.60mg of alcohol in your system, you will be arrested, fined, have your licence revoked, your vehicle taken away and left with a criminal record and a trial to attend in Spain.

Warning: Drunk driving can lead to a prison sentence.


It is prohibited to park in streets with yellow cubs, NO parking signs, within 7 metres of a bus stop or in areas only designated to residents. Parking spaces with blue lines means that the parking is changeable therefore you must buy a ticket from the machine or an attendant. The hours of paid parking in Spain is usually Monday to Friday 09:00 — 14:00 and 16:00 to 21:00, Saturdays 09:00 — 14:00 and then free on a Sunday.

Warning: Parking in small towns or villages can be tricky so parking just outside and walking instead is advisable.

Madrid Driving Guide

The manicured green spaces, such as Buen Retiro are found throughout the sophisticated boulevards, stylish architecture, bustling energy and welcoming locals are what set Madrid apart from other European cities. It has a rhythm all of its own.

Many are drawn here for the art, as Spain has spurned some of the best artists in history, including Goya, Velázquez, El Greco, Dali, Miro and who can forget Picasso? Spend your days in art galleries admiring some of the best art collections in the world or head outdoors and experience the architecture that is a record for the history of the city, Medieval, Baroque, and contemporary Spanish.

But nighttime is when Madrid really comes alive. To say that there are copious bars and nightclubs in Madrid is an understatement. But these venues are not where the action ends, step out onto the streets and you’ll find that the party keeps on going as people dance the night away in every possible available space. When in Madrid at night you’ll find that everywhere is a party.

But, remember that Madrid has some of the best day trips in all of Spain, so check out our selection of cars, you’ll find they are reasonably priced so they won’t burn a hole in your pocket, allowing you to spend your travelling money in more productive ways than an expensive rental car.

Madrid to Segovia:

1 hour 8 to Segovia (90.4 km)

If you enjoy exploring Roman Architecture then you’ll love Segovia. As well as beautifully preserved aqueducts built in the first and second centuries, you’ll also find immense monasteries and a host of other wonders of architecture to fill a day trip.

The Town of Segovia retains the circular shape common to towns built in the area in the 15th century, with the Cathedral of Santa Maria in the center. You might want to linger at the Plaza Mayor, just next to the cathedral, in order to hear the magnificent sound of the cathedral bells, or concerts/performances that often erupt spontaneously here.

Set your alarms for the early morning, allowing you enough time to travel to and explore the many attractions in Segovia.

Madrid to Toledo:

1 hour 39 to Toledo (157 km)

Southwest of Madrid is the picturesque town of Toledo, with the typical lay out and architecture of a town built in the Middle Ages. Spend your day wandering around the well worn streets viewing Gothic architecture, sampling traditional marzipan treats and visiting the house where the Spanish artist, El Greco lived.

But, if you do visit Toledo, be sure to find the long stone step path that leads you to the spectacular view from the Tagus River as it flows over steep cliffs surrounded by lush flora of the valley below Toledo.

If you fall in love with Toledo, or any other town around Madrid, why not spend more than just a day? We offer accommodation at very low prices, allowing you, or your group of travelers to experience more of the historically rich areas around Madrid. We have a range of discounts and specials so be sure to go to our website to find the right accommodation to suit you.

Here at Cheaper Than Cars, we believe that a day trip is essential to any trip to a large city, in order to experience everything that the surrounding area has to offer. But rental cars can be expensive. Rather than renting an overpriced vehicle that chews up your budget and doesn’t allow for any luxuries, rent a budget friendly, fuel economic car with us and spend your cash on a day trip, or anything else that you feel would make your trip that much more interesting.     

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