Home Living in Spain Transport Driving in Spain: 10 unbelievable rules of the road
Last update on July 27, 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 and you’re driving to somewhere exciting. But, of course, a driver must always be aware of their actions and remember that 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 put together 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 — and some unbelievable — regulations that make it easy to get a driving penalty in Spain without knowing you’ve done anything wrong. Insurance agency Wiquot put together a list of the top 10 strangest things drivers have been fined 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 should always 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 because if the area is classified as ‘protected’, 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 could cost you €200 euro and two points off your licence.
  5. Driving while blasting music in a quiet area like a hospital or during the early hours of the 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. You should only use the car horn in cases of emergencies such as avoiding an accident and alerting another motorist that you plan on overtaking their vehicle. 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 are caught taking your eyes off the road on several occasions, you could end up with a fine of €80. The same amount will be applied if the driver is caught biting his nails, kissing a passenger or insulting other drivers through hand gestures.
  9. Both hands should be kept 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.