I hope the following information will be helpful in giving you an insight to the legal and illegal laws of driving in Spain.
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED BY LAW TO BE CARRIED IN YOUR CAR
For your own peace of mind and also to keep up with legal requirements, the following documents are to be kept in your vehicle at all times whilst driving in Spain and to be presented to a police officer if required.
The following documents are compulsory:-
ITV (MOT) - Inspección Técnica de Vehiculos
This is the equivalent to an MOT in the UK - any car over 4 years old must pass an ITV. When passed you will receive a coloured stocker with the year/month passed to place in the top of your windscreen.
LOG BOOK - Permiso de Circulación
This is also a legally required document. The ‘Permiso de Circulación’ basically is a Log Book. The document that states the owners details and the plate number of the car.
The following documents are recommended but not compulsory:-
INSURANCE POLICY DOCUMENT
It is not required by law to carry this document but it is in your favour to keep this with you. Should you have a traffic accident you need to know your policy number to complete the Accident Agreement Form.
EUROPEAN ACCIDENT AGREEMENT - Parte de Declaración Amistosa de Accidentes or Declaración Amistosa de Accidente de Automóvil
Again it is not strictly required for you to have this document with you, but it is highly recommended that you do. This form is absolutely vital if you are involved in an accident. Please ask your insurance company to supply you with one asap. If possible this form should be completed at the scene of an accident. This can prevent a long and lengthy process for compensation and will also legally protect those parties involved in the accident. Complete the driver details, insurance policy numbers and any witness details and statements as they could possibly be called upon to testify. These forms can be completed in English. If both parties are in agreement to the cause of the accident then both should sign the form. If there is a discrepancy from either party then do call the Guardia Civil or the Local Police who will help to determine how the accident occurred. If the form is not signed by both parties then it is invalid and an insurance company will not consider this to be a legal document. Do take time to read this form as it is worth familiarising yourself with in case you are involved in an accident.
HOLDING A VALID DRIVING LICENCE
To drive in Spain you must 18 years of age. This is the minimum age for Spanish residents to hold a licence. Even if you have passed your test in your home country and hold a license there but are younger than 18 it will not valid in Spain.
Anyone who has been a resident in Spain for two years must renew their licence to a Spanish driving licence.
Your licence can be renewed via DGT - visit their local offices or the website DGT.es for more information. You will be required to sit a basic aptitude and fitness test before submitting documentation and a fee.
All documents must be originals and not photocopies
COMPULSORY ITEMS THAT MUST BE CARRIED IN YOUR CAR
Warning triangles x 2
A spare tyre and tools to change the tyre
Fluorescent Jackets - there must be a jacket for every person travelling in the car. These jackets must be stored in the car and not in the boot. If you leave your car and are stopped by the police walking on the hard shoulder or the road without wearing one you will be fined. These jackets are not expensive and could be a life saver.
Child Seats - any child under 1.35 metres in height or under the age of 12 are not permitted to travel on the front seats of any vehicle. A fine of 200 euros will be issued to the driver for this offence.
Children up to the age of 12 and less than 135cm and travelling on the front seat must be seated in a Child Restraint System adapted to their weight and size. Children over 135cm in height can use an adult seat belt.
The fine for not having any of the above in your vehicle is 80.00€!!
Do carry ID with you either your Reidencia Card or Passport and your NIE
Although none of the following items are compulsory to carry in your car, some if not all could be useful:-
DRIVING A HIRED CAR
Driving a hired vehicle you will not be responsible for any of the above (except for childrens safety).
The hire company should provide all the above when you collect your car. It is worth checking to make sure you are carrying the ‘compulsory items’ that should be included in your hire. Should you be stopped by traffic police you will not be responsible for these items and it will be the car hire company who will be fined.
Elaine Briant - Partner
Av del Portet 16 03724 Moraira, Alicante, Spain Tel: (+34) 965 063 085 Mob: (+34) 634 350 953 www.79estates.com