As a member of the EU you do not need to apply for a Spanish license (as long as it is a photo-card style licence). If you do not have a license or are a non-EU citizen you must take a driving test in order to obtain a Spanish license.
Driving to Spain
There are three routes by which a vehicle can be transported from the UK to Spain:
* Portsmouth to Bilbao, with P&O Ferries
* Plymouth to Santander, with Brittany Ferries.
* Folkestone to Calais, with EuroTunnel and then drive through France to Spain.
Advice for Driving in Spain
* 120km/h on motorways
* 100 km/h on dual carriageways.
* 90km/h on single carriageways.
* 50 km/h in towns.
The Guardia Civil constantly do road-side checks all over Spain. They can be strict and can issue on the spot fines.
You will be fined for the following:
* Drink driving.
* Using a mobile phone whilst driving.
* Not wearing a seat belt.
* Not having a valid ITV sticker.
* Seating a small child in the front passenger seat.
* Driving through a red light.
Be aware of:
* “L” signs (inexperienced drivers).
* Police, fire trucks and ambulances as they have the right of way on all roads.
* Traffic lights – flashing amber is a warning to proceed with caution.
* The driver and all passengers must wear seatbelts.
The roadside SOS phones connect you to the nearest police station.
For your safety you are required by law to carry:
* Two warning triangles
* A spare tyre and tools
* A set of bulbs,
* A reflective jacket
* Spare glasses (if the driver wears them).
The toll roads are a fantastic way of bypassing traffic as they are almost always empty and consequently, they are safer too especially in poor weather conditions. The AP7 is the toll road running across the Costa del Sol beginning near San Roque at Guadiaro and ending in Benalmadena. Be careful not to confuse it with the A7, more commonly known as the N-340 as it was once named. It is very easy to find yourself on the toll road against your intention. Electronic signs are now used along the coast to guide traffic onto the correct roads, but be careful to get into the right lane as you are not given much notice.
The toll roads accept cash to manual toll collectors and credit/ debit cards via machines in specific lanes. You can also acquire a “tag” card that allows you to drive straight through. You can order one of these through the toll company or at any Unicaja branch.
Registering your car in Spain
If you coming to live in Spain, it is easier to sell your car in the UK and buy a new one in Spain. However, the relocation process is an expensive one and when you are trying to keep expenditure to a minimum, this might not be an option. As a tourist you are allowed to bring in your car for six months and you can extend this for a further six months. Once you decide to stay permanently, you need to:
Send the vehicle’s registration documents to the DVLA in the UK. This will be exchanged for a certificate of permanent export. (V561)