Tourist Information Guide

Driving in Spain

Page Content

This article about driving in Spain was written by iAbogado Servicios. See end of article for more information.

Montjuïc area in Barcelona, Spain
Montjuïc area in Barcelona

Please note does not give legal advice and we cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of this information.

We recommend that you make your own independent checks before you consider driving in Spain or visit the web address of iAbogado service for the latest and up to date information. Our sole purpose is to relay on information supplied by the legal advisory firm iAbogado to help you get started.

Barcelona City Pass

Driving your foreign plated car in Spain

General information on Driving in Spain

If you intend to bring your own car to drive through Spain you are perfectly able to without bothering to stop at customs. You must have with you, your passport, current driving licence, valid insurance and vehicle registration document.

According to Traffic Regulations, it is mandatory that you keep the following equipment in your vehicle:

* Set of bulbs and tools necessary to replace them.
* Two red warning triangles officially approved by the Internal Ministry (Ministerio de Interior).
* Spare tyre and tools necessary to replace it.

You may be fined if you do not carry these.

Be noticed that children aged under 12 must travel in the back seats of cars unless the front seat is fitted with an approved child seat.

Minimum age for driving in Spain is 18.

You may bring into Spain your EU registered car without further formality, but you may not use it in Spain for more than 6 months in a calendar year. If you spend more than 6 months in any year in Spain, you will be considered resident, and consequently, you must obtain full national plates and pay the special vehicle registration tax (impuesto municipal sobre circulación de vehículos).

You may also matriculate your foreign car on Spanish plates, you shall do it within 2 months from the time of entry. You should present all original documents as it is a complicated procedure.

The auto insurance you need is the coverage by your insurance company in your country of origin, extended to cover travel in Spain.

About licences for driving in Spain

All EU driving licenses are recognized in Spain. If you are European Union citizen, you may drive in Spain until your license expires, then you must apply for a Spanish driving license and prove your residency in Spain (showing your NIE no. and registration of your property with the local Town Hall would be enough).

If you are from outside the EU and wish to drive throughout the Spanish territory for long periods, then your driving license shall be translated by an official translator. You can also drive on an international license. After 1 year, you must obtain a Spanish driving license as you cannot continue driving under your license duly translated, nor under an international permit. You should then apply for a Spanish driving license for which you shall need to prove your residency in Spain.

Once you get your Spanish driving license, your foreign license is returned to the issuing office of your home country.

This article on Driving in Spain was written by iAbogado - see below for further contact details.

Article by iAbogado Servicios Jurídicos SL (Madrid, Spain). Visit for more original content like this. Reprint permission granted with this footer included.

Back To The Top Of The Page