Here on the Costa Blanca South the roads are generally very good and relatively jam free. As for the driving and parking here, well, that’s a common topic of (heated) debate, even if the debaters are bad drivers. There certainly are some eye-opening moments, especially at major roundabouts and junctions.
Spain, especially on the Costas, have a myriad of foreign drivers and tourists who with the best will in the world will not know how to drive properly in Spain or understand the local laws or road system. Apparently the Spanish “Highway Code” is nearly 1000 pages long !!! Who can remember all that?
It can be said that sometimes even the Spanish drivers ignore or don’t know the rules! So the roads here can be a dangerous place or at least one fraught with problems and possible on-the-spot fines if you slip-up.
Of course. if you are from the UK you will have the added complication of driving on the right and if you hire or buy a Spanish plated car then you’ll also need to get used to the left-hand drive controls.
Know the Spanish Driving Rules & Legal Expectations
The laws, rules of the road and general driving etiquette might be foreign to you too. So, of course you’ll want to be prepared and up-to-date in terms of your vehicle road worthiness (MOT/ITV), importation of foreign cars, driving license requirements, speed restrictions, drink-driving, what to carry in your car and all the related laws. Note: Poor language skills, confusion or ignorance are rarely a defence if you are stopped by the police (Trafico).
To make matters worse the rules and laws change quite frequently here and the “bar-room Johnnies” and social media chit-chat will give you conflicting advice.
Thankfully there is lots of help points on-line for guidance and you can always go to your local Trafico Station for advice (take an interpretor just in case). And it’s BEST DONE as soon as possible.
On-line Help / Guides to Driving in Spain
- DGT (Direccon de Gereral Trafico) : This is the official government site (in Spanish) on all things driving and laws. You can get up-to-date info’ on laws, traffic flow and speed cameras for your route.
- N332 Road Website : The N332 is main coast road here on the Costa Blanca. The N332 has it’s own English language website with up-to-date road news, traffic forecasts and help. They also have a discussion page on Facebook if you need to ask a question.
- RAC (UK): You can check the RAC’s website for helpful information on driving in Spain such as insurance, age groups, speed limits and important driving etiquette.
- AutoExpress: A general help and support site for drivers with a handy check list when coming to Spain
- Anglo Info: An expat help site that covers many things “living in Spain” as well as a large driving section.
- Citizens Advice Bureau ES : Just like the same organisation in the UK this can help with and covers many topics, including driving in Spain. Their Facebook page acts as a bulletin board and a Q&A for members. You should join.