Home Living in Spain Transport Driving in Spain: 10 unbelievable rules of the road
Last update on September 22, 2020
Written by On the Pulse of Spain

If you’re in the mood for confronting Spanish police, then drive in Spain without a T-shirt, argue with a passenger or place your arm on the window.

Driving in Spain is typically a pleasurable experience. The roads are good, there’s not too much traffic and petrol is cheaper than in other European countries. It’s easy to forget about what you’re doing when driving in Spain, especially if the sun is shining. But, of course, a driver must always be aware of their actions; they’re in charge of not only their passengers’ safety, but also of those on the roads around them.

The Dirección General de Tráfico has a mountain of rules in the Reglamento General de Circulación (General Traffic Law) to make sure that driving on Spanish roads and motorways is a safe experience for everyone.

However, there are certain obscure regulations that make it easy to get a driving penalty in Spain. Insurance agency Wiquot put together a list of the strangest things drivers pay fines for in Spain.

The unbelievable rules of the road in Spain

  1. Driving with one hand or arm outside of the vehicle can lead to a fine of €100. Article 18 of the General Traffic Law states that the driver and passengers must maintain a sensible position inside the vehicle.
  2. Driving without wearing a shirt, being barefoot, or wearing flip-flops comes with a fine of €200. According to the law, driving without ‘proper’ clothing or footwear could diminish the driver’s capacity to control the vehicle.
  3. You have to be extremely careful when parking on sand at the beach. If the area is under environmental protection, you could end up with a fine of up to €6,000.
  4. Making the most of being stationary at a red light by touching up your make-up or eating food is expensive. It could cost you €200 and two points off your license.
  5. Driving while blasting music in a quiet area like a hospital or during the early morning can lead to a fine of €80–100. In one case, a fine of €2,400 was imposed because the noise prevented homeowners from sleeping.
  6. Only use the car horn in cases of emergencies such as avoiding an accident and alerting another motorist that you’re overtaking. Any other use could lead to a fine of €80.
  7. Driving in the left-hand lane or in the middle lane if the right-hand lane is free could result in a fine of €200, according to Articles 28 and 31.
  8. Be careful if you’re having an argument while driving. If you’re caught taking your eyes off the road, you could end up with a fine of €80. The same amount applies if the driver bites their nails, kisses a passenger, or insults other drivers through hand gestures.
  9. Both hands should be on the steering wheel while driving and the driver’s ears should be visible.
  10. Filling up the car with petrol with the radio on could lead to a fine of up to €91.