Considered one of the most desirable travel destinations, Spain offers visitors reasons to want to do so as independently and without restriction as possible. That means no itineraries or time limitations that most tourist packages entail but instead the freedom of a road trip. Go to for car rental/driving tips when visiting Spain.

When renting a car to explore the magnificent countryside, travellers experience the idyllic scenery up close and personal. In addition, visitors will find exposure to the culture, beauty in the beaches, and overall diversity of each community and region, giving the appeal of visiting many countries all rolled into one.

Public transport proves a hassle with the condition of transferring from one mode to another to get to a specific destination plus getting on and off based on what you want to see.

In contrast, there’s simply a level of convenience i spanien when hiring a car. It’s the ideal way to manoeuvre through the expansive, sometimes difficult-to-get-to areas. However, car rental is not the most budget-friendly of options for the weary traveller.

The cost is exceptionally higher than you’ll invest in bus or train tickets, not to mention the fuel charges and other fees, including toll costs. So, is the convenience worth the price? Let’s see.

Are Foreigners Permitted To Operate A Vehicle In Spain

Before hiring a car, it’s wise to check the laws to ensure that foreigners are permitted to operate a vehicle within the country. Fortunately, those possessing an international driving license from an International Driver’s Association and a “European Union license” have that permission.

There are, however, restrictions such as individuals needing to be age 21 to hire a car. If that applies to you, you can present your license, pay the fees, sign a rental contract and be on your way. If you intend to share driving duties with a person you’re travelling with, the other person will also need to sign the contract.

What To Know About Driving In Spain

For visitors to Spain who wish to drive throughout the country, it’s vital to learn the laws and regulations for optimum safety for yourself and those around you, not to mention avoiding the issuance of violations for inappropriate behaviour or activity. Some things motorists need to be aware of:

●     Regulations to learn

As in other countries, motorists in Spain travel on the right side of the roadway. The regulations are somewhat more lenient than you’ll find in other countries like the United States or the United Kingdom.

For instance, speeding is often met with no repercussions, but that doesn’t mean you should engage in the activity. Police do patrol in the event offenses occur. Read here how to drive in the country with a United States license.

●     Parking issues

You do experience greater independence by driving throughout the country; however, parking can create a great deal of stress for drivers, especially in the larger cities where motorists find an abundance of narrow streets, making the challenge more significant.

When reserving an Airbnb, it’s wise to question if there is parking onsite. That’s a convenience not afforded many accommodations. Therefore, it will give you greater peace of mind if you’re renting a car to know there will be a space for it where you’re staying.

●     Roadways plus speed

Motorists in Spain will experience incredible roadway construction, making driving smooth with speeds that are a bit higher than most might be used to, as 120 kph. Still, the highways offer less traffic creating much less stress for drivers.

While driving along in minimal traffic in a rental car, you can enjoy a serene trip wallowing in the landscape surrounding you and stop off as you see fit wherever and whenever you like without having to worry about weaving in and out of lines of other motorists.

●     Seatbelt requirements and other safety priorities

As with any region throughout the world, Spain is concerned with safety as a priority. That makes seatbelts a mandatory regulation for drivers. While speeders often avoid violations, the speeds are to be observed.

Highway motorists need to keep their speed at 120 kph while other roadways range between 30 kph and 90 kph.

For other safety requirements, there is to be no cellphone use when operating a vehicle to ensure optimum safety, nor should a driver engage with any other device while the car is in motion.

Drivers should have their entire focus on the highway to prevent the occurrence of an accident. If you need to pass by a car driving slower than the posted limit, you can do so safely by passing on the left side of the roadway.

●     Driving under the influence of alcohol

Spain stringently prohibits driving under the influence with blood alcohol limits in excess of 0.5mg, bringing fines and the potential for jail time.

Pros And Cons Of Driving In Spain

Regardless of whether you’re a foreigner coming to Spain driving a rental car, you’re expected to educate on the laws of the roadways abiding by these the same way as those motorists local to the region. You will receive violations in the same way as everyone else.

The country has a reputation for being somewhat more lenient than other regions like the United States or the United Kingdom. The roadways give some motorists a much more manageable, less stressful experience.

Be it as that may, others still find driving there a bit of a challenge. Let’s check out some of the pros and then look at what some consider the cons of travelling by car in Spain.

●     Pros for travelling by rental car

Travelling via a hired car in Spain offers its share of advantages over the notion of using public transport and abiding by a tourist itinerary. Some of the things you can enjoy:

  1. Flexibility: There’s no need to stick to a regimented itinerary. Instead, you can come and go as you please plus stop wherever you like when you choose.
  2. Time: You can save much time in travel since you go directly to your destination instead of grouping several attractions into a single day. That way, you get to see more you want to see in a single visit to the country than you usually would with a tourist package.
  3. Off the beaten path: You don’t have to see the standard attractions or traditional sights; instead, venture into the quaint villages and enter the small towns encountering the locals to learn more about the culture and the history. These detours allow an element of surprise and make the whole experience much more memorable.

●     Cons for travelling by rental car

While it might seem as though cons would be unlikely, there are, in fact, downsides to hiring a car when in a foreign country of which you need to make yourself aware.

  1. Safety: The car is not your own. Driving safely is especially important to avoid any bumps or accidents along the way. These can ultimately end up being quite expensive in the long run. Even a scratch or ding can mean big bucks.
  2. Laws: If you don’t know the roadway laws, you will be responsible for your accumulated violations. It can be complicated if there’s a language barrier in addition to not knowing the laws for which you’re responsible.
  3. Parking: Lack of parking in Spain is a significant problem causing many drivers incredible stress. That can be incredibly challenging if there’s no space with your accommodations making you park a distance away, putting the car rental at risk for theft.

Final Thought

Hiring a car to travel through Spain is the perfect way to manoeuvre through the diverse region. Visitors are fortunate to find many car rental agencies in various locations throughout the country to make finding a vehicle convenient.

In that way, there’s no chance for a traveller to miss out on the little nooks and crannies the country has to offer that many don’t get to see when limited to tourist packages or viewing merely the typical mapped-out attractions. Conversely, you get to spend some time with the locals and go away with one memorable experience.