Let’s review the main Spain car seat laws for all of you who are planning to rent a car in Malaga for the first time and need to know the basic driving regulation. Remember to ensure you always have your driving licence, personal ID and vehicle papers present.
Basic driving regulation
Remember that in Spain we drive on the right, opposite than in the UK.
Seat belts must be worn in the front and back, and children under 12 must sit in a proper child seat. Children under 12 aren’t allowed to sit in the front seat.
Car must carry two red warning triangles, a spare set of bulbs and fuses, and a reflective waistcoat. In case you need to pull over because of car problems, you must first put on the waistcoat and then place a triangle behind the car to warn other drivers (for smaller 2-way roads, place one both behind and in front). Waistcoat must be stored within reach of the driver so they can put it on before exiting the car.
Speed limits: in built-up areas 50 km/h, on main roads 90 km/h, and on dual carriageways and motorways 120 km/h. Speed limit will be also indicated on traffic signals along the roads.
Required driving license in Spain
All European Union driving licences and international driving licences are valid in Spain. The minimum age for driving in Spain is 18 years old.
Other regulation to take into consideration
You are not allowed to talk by phone while driving without the use of a hands-free device.
Blood alcohol levels must not exceed 0.5 g/l (0.25 mg/l in exhaled air).
Overtaking must be done always from the left.
Finding somewhere to park in towns and cities along the coast is a daily challenge and there’s a chronic shortage of parking spaces in most localities; especially in high season. Free street parking is extremely difficult to find unless you’re prepared to walk some distance to the town centre. However, be wary of doing this, as parking infractions are enforced more often now days by fines and/or towing away by the ever-active gruas (tow trucks).
You can find street parking in blue zones. You must pay for it from around 9am to 2pm and from 4pm to 9pm. It’s free on Sundays and public holidays. Tickets cost from 0.45€ to 2.85€ an hour. You can usually park for 30 minutes up to a maximum of two hours.
Service and fuel stations
You can easily find service stations on the Costa del Sol. Many offer a range of amenities and services for your convenience:
- Small shops for snacks and essentials
- Cafés or restaurants for a quick meal or refreshment
- Main service stations are open 24 hours
- Non-24-hour stations list the nearest 24-hour station
- Petrol prices vary, so it may be worth shopping around for a cheaper price if you do a lot of driving
With so many service stations available on the Costa del Sol, you can easily refuel and refresh during your travels.
Spain car seat laws
Passengers under 12 years old and smaller than 135 cms height have a special car seat regulation. If you are travelling with children better to take into consideration what kind of seat each children will require according their height and age:
Up to 13 kg and 18 months old
Babies under this group will require a special seat from the Group 0. Those seats are placed facing the rear direction for better protection in case of accident.
Between 9 and 18kg and up to 4 years old
Children up to 4 years old require a Group 1 seat. You must always place those seats facing the travel direction. Place them after the front seats, never in the middle seat.
Up to 36 kg and 12 years old
For this age range they require a booster seat from the Group 3. Those seats have a supporting back with a headrest. You can usually convert them into Group 3 booster seats.
Children taller than 136 cm and 12 years old
Children under 12 years old will never seat on the front but the back seat with the appropiate seatbelt. The seatbelt should pass through the shoulder without touching the neck, otherwise you should use a booster seat from the Group 3.
Paying a driving fine
You must always pay for traffic violations. There are two possibilities for paying them. You might receive information about the violation and pay on the spot. Alternatively, they can communicate the violation to us. We will then forward it to the main driver of the vehicle at the time of the traffic violation plus a management fee.
What to take into consideration
When travelling with children or renting a car for the first time is important to know and understand the local laws. If you have questions or you are not sure about a driving law in Spain better ask us to avoid a fine.