Question: What do we need to do to take a car abroad ?
Answer: Firstly, whilst your car insurance fully covers you for third party risks in other European Union countries, it is advisable to have fully comprehensive car insurance. Obtain a Green Card from your insurance company to extend your comprehensive cover to continental Europe.
Secondly we strongly recommend you take out motoring breakdown assistance insurance.
Please familiarise yourself with the legal requirement for relevant countries, for example carrying a warning triangle, yellow flash jacket, spare set of bulbs etc. Consider getting your car serviced before your holiday.
In addition to this please also ensure that you take all car documentation including your vehicle registration document.
Driving in Spain
A spare set of bulbs is compulsory. All vehicles must carry two warning triangles, and the use of a warning triangle is compulsory in the event of an accident or breakdown, and outside built-up areas when the vehicle is stationary in a prohibited area. A GB sticker on the back of your car - unless your car has GB written on the number plate. (Number plates that show GB within a circle of 12 stars on a blue background). Headlamp converters (stickers you put on your headlights when you're driving on the right, so your lights don't dazzle motorists coming the other way). A reflective jacket within reach inside the car. You'll need to wear this if you stop and need to get out of the car for any reason outside built-up areas.
A valid UK driving licence is acceptable. Holders of the older (green) UK licences should consider exchanging them for a new style licence if time allows to avoid any local difficulties or get an International Driving Permit. Ensure you have your motor insurance certificate and any hire car paperwork. Please also ensure you have other photo identification with you, like a passport, just in case. Please note the minimum age for a driver in Spain is 18.
The Real Automóvil Club de España (RACE) is associated with local clubs in a number of provincial towns. The use of a warning triangle is compulsory in the event of a breakdown or accident; failure to use one will result in a fine.
Fire, police and ambulance: tel 112. If you do have an accident and you need to call the police, stay where you are until they arrive.
Spanish Motorway information
Spain has an excellent network of motorways (mostly toll, some 1,200 miles/1,930km) and fast dual carriageways (autovías). Emergency telephones are located every 1.25 miles (2km) on both.
Speed limits for cars
Motorways 120kph (75mph). Outside built-up areas 90kph (55mph) or 100kph (62mph). Built-up areas 50kph (31mph).
It is compulsory for driver and passengers, so please ensure everyone in the car wears their seatbelt at all times.
Children under the age 3 must use an appropriate seat restraint. Children aged 3-12 and less than 1.35m tall must use a child seat or booster.
Other Useful Information
Please note, if you're caught committing a driving offence, you'll be given an on-the-spot fine. The drink driving limit is 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood for most drivers - less than the UK limit of 80mg per 100ml. For new drivers, the limit is 10mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.
It's illegal to carry any radar detection equipment, whether or not it's switched on
Unfamiliar road signs in Spain that you may come across
ALTO! PARE - Stop!
CALZADA DETERIORADA - Bad road
CEDA EL PASO - Give way
CUIDADO - Caution
CURVA PELIGROSA - Dangerous bend
DESPACIO - Slow
DESVIACION/DESVIO - Diversion
DIRECCION UNICA - One way
ENTRADA - Entry
ESTACIONAMIENTO PROHIBIDO - No parking
OBRAS - Road works
PASO PROHIBIDO - No entry
PEATONES - Pedestrians
PELIGRO - Danger
SALIDA - Exit