Driving Rules

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.

Guardia Civil in Spain

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.

Parking regulation

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).

parking regulation in Spain

Street parking is also available in some areas in blue zones and must be paid for from around 9am to 2pm and from 4pm to 9pm. Parking in blue zones is free on Sundays and public holidays. Tickets cost from 0.45€ to 2.85€ an hour and you can usually park from 30 minutes up to a maximum of two hours.

Service stations are easily found on the Costa del Sol and many also have small shops and a café or restaurant attached. Main service stations are 24-hour and those that aren’t list the nearest 24 hour station. Petrol prices vary and if you do a lot of driving it may be worth shopping around to get a cheaper price.

Spain car seat laws

Spain car seats 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. Those seats are always facing the travel direction and are placed 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 also have a supporting back with a head rest and usually can be converted into booster seats from the Group 3.

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

Traffic violations are always paid and there are two possitibilities for paying them; you might get informed of the violation and then you can pay on the spot or they can be communicated to us who will then fordward them to the main driver of the vehicle at the time of the traffic violation.

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.

Now enjoy driving in Malaga just by paying attention to the traffic signs and our traffic regulation. More information about driving in Spain here.