Hiring a car when going on vacation is the new normal for those who want to explore. Driving in Spain may conjure images of driving recklessness, as often the rules of the road in another country are misconstrued as dangerous driving! The one thing that you need to know about driving in Spain or on the Spanish islands, is that the scenery is spectacular. Of course, while you drive you won’t be seeing too much of it, but the point is that the scenery is there and it’s able to be seen due to the lack of congestion on the road.
You may find it very different to where you are used to driving, with some drivers pulling ahead without indicating being quite common, if illegal. The thing is, in Spain you won’t find road rage, which is a vast improvement and can make your vacation all the better. In all seriousness, if you are going to consider driving in Spain while on vacation, you do need to be aware of the rules of the road in a country foreign to your own. You need to be prepared, and you need to follow the tips below:
- Right-Hand Drive. In Spain, they drive on the right side of the road. For those conditioned to drive on the left, it’s always a little bit of a shock! It can take one little lapse in concentration, one moment of forgetfulness to really ruin a vacation.
- Headlights. The rules of the road will differ country to country, but don’t be alarmed if you see people flashing their lights at you – in Spain, they do this before overtaking to let you know they are about to. It’s the law there, and understanding the laws is important before you go.
- Indicate. Spanish authorities are cracking down on those who do not indicate or cross lanes appropriately. Never cross a white line unless it is broken – solid lines are a big no. Always indicate when you pull out and back in again so people know where you are going.
- Speed. Always know your speed limits wherever you go. The current limit in Spanish towns is 50km/h and when you are out on the open road, it is 90km/h. Limits can vary road to road so it is important to keep an eye on signage when plotting your journey.
- Drink Driving. As with anywhere, you can face incarceration for drink driving. Careful driving wherever you go is always a must, but if you ever find yourself in trouble abroad then speaking to Parks & Braxton for legal advice is a smart choice to have on your speed dial. Ignorance on the law is not an excuse, and if you have driven for more than two years you could allow yourself one small beer. Anything less than that, and it’s best to avoid altogether.
- Luggage. In Spain, there are certain rules you must follow and having a warning triangle, first aid kit, your documents and a visibility vest are a must. Your hire car should have these items but if not, you can purchase these at the airport.