Road and driving laws in Spain are being more strictly enforced than in previous years to decrease the amount of fatal car accidents on the road due to reckless and drunk driving.
On July 1st 2006 a points system was introduced to enforce them more punitively. The system which is similar to the UK´s, but in reverse, means that in addition to any fines or penalties a driver receives for any wrongdoing, the offender loses points which can ultimately result in the revocation of their driving licence (Permisso de Conducir) either temporarily, or in some cases permanently for repeat offenders.
The points system is only applicable to people holding a Spanish driving licence.
Basic road and driving rules in Spain guidelines.
Spanish law requires the following of drivers:
- Driving licence, car document and insurance be carried in the car at all times.
- Seat belts worn front and back at all times.
- Less than 25mg/100ml of alcohol be in the blood (much less than many other countries – only one small glass of wine or beer)
- Two reflective warning road triangles be carried along with reflective jackets for ALL occupants.
- To not use a mobile phone while driving unless completely hands free system.
- Children under 12 not permitted in front seats or on a motorcycle.
- Not to use radar detectors or warn drivers behind of an upcoming checkpoint.
- Follow speed limit signs as indicated.
- Give way to the right and priority to vehicles already on a roundabout.
- Helmets compulsory on all motorbikes at all times, even under 50cc.
All car owners driving and living (resident, non- resident or visiting) in Spain must have car insurance. Cities such as Marbella where there are a large group of English speaking residents have insurance companies with English speaking agents and policies written in English for easier understanding. These can be found in English language newspapers, or other foreign language papers.
Depending on the make and year of your vehicle all risk “todo riesgo” comprehensive car insurance will cost between €1.000 to €2.000 per year. The legal minimum is third party insurance and will cost about €400 to €600 per year. It will cover you for claims by third parties up to €360.000, for injury and €100.000 for damage.
It does not cover you or your car, only third parties up to the maximum limits stated. These limits can be increased and extended to cover for fire, theft, damage to your vehicle.
Your Spanish car insurance will automatically cover you for the legal minimum in other European countries as well. A green card will increase this coverage to the same level as your own policy. Many insurance policies issue a green card “free”; others may charge a small fee.
However, if you travel to Morocco with your car you will be required to take out temporary Moroccan car insurance whether you have a green card or not.
If you are unlucky and have a car accident, follow the same procedure as you would in your own country:
- Make sure you obtain the licence plate, drivers name and NIF number (National Identification Number) and the name of the insurance company of the other vehicle.
- Complete the blue form from your insurance packet (you should carry these papers at all times), recording all relevant details and information.
- If you are driving a rental car, call the rental company for assistance.
- If you or another party needs an ambulance call 112.
- If you need Roadside Assistance, your insurance paperwork may provide numbers to call for assistance, otherwise call the “Gruas” (local tow truck) for help to take your car to the nearest garage or your destination.
- At the earliest opportunity call the insurance company or his agent and they will guide you through the claims policy.
- There is no specific requirement to inform the Police, though it obviously depends on the nature of the accident.