Spanish Flag

This is a TISPOL country driving guide to help drivers visiting Spain.

Visitor Information: 
  • Spain has 46 million inhabitants and around 31 million registered vehicles, of which 22million are passenger cars and estate cars.
  • There are more than 26 million licence holders in the country, along with 165,000 kilometres of road, 15,000 road kilometres of which are motorways and dual carriageways.
  • Spain´s border countries are Portugal and France.
  • Spain has a coast line of 10,663 kilometres.
  • Madrid is Spain´s capital city and it is located directly in the centre of the country.
  • The biggest industry in Spain is tourism.
  • The international vehicle ID code is E.
Collision & Breakdown Information: 
  • Establish the location ofthe breakdown and phone the emergency number, 112.
  • Establish the location of the collision and inform the emergency services immediately.
  • If there are fatalities, or someone is seriously injured, if there are several cars involved in the accident, if there are cars obstructing traffic, the Police must attend.The number to call is 112.


Useful Phrase 1 - English: 
Call the Police!
Useful Phrase 1 - Destination: 
Llame al policía!
Useful Phrase 2 - English: 
Do you speak English?
Useful Phrase 2 - Destination: 
¿Habla usted inglés?
Useful Phrase 3 - English: 
My car has broken down.
Useful Phrase 3 - Destination: 
Mi coche está averiado.
Useful Phrase 4 - English: 
Where is the nearest fuel station?
Useful Phrase 4 - Destination: 
¿Dónde está la gasolinera más cercana?
Useful Phrase 5 - English: 
I am lost.
Useful Phrase 5 - Destination: 
Estoy perdido (or perdida feminine).
Useful Phrase 6 - English: 
Thank you.
Useful Phrase 6 - Destination: 
Road Traffic Policing: 
  • The Guardia Civil is an Armed Military Institute in charge of police duties. It is a State Police Force.
  • The Traffic Division of the Guardia Civil is a specialized unit which was created, prepared and organized to exercise their assigned functions regarding traffic in all of Spain (with the exception of the Basque Country and Catalonia, autonomous communities having their own police forces, and the Local Police in urban areas).
  • The Traffic Division, having nearly 10,000 officers, is one of the primary specialties of the Guardia Civil.
  • This large figure allows for it to have some 7,300 operating officers, 6,000 of which serve on the roads practicing surveillance, regulations, assistance as well as control of traffic, transport and road safety on interurban roads.
  • The Traffic Division includes 15 main Sectors (regional level), 44 Subsectors (provincial level) and 197 Detachments (departmental level), which are directed from the Madrid headquarters. There is also a school that reports directly to the headquarters, located in Mérida.



Road Traffic Enforcement: 
  • Violations against the regulations of the road traffic act are enforced by the competent traffic authority of the county. Penalty ranges are determined in the legal regulations for road traffic.In Spain,
  • Traffic Police officers are authorised to give fines on the spot. Therefore they have a special catalogue where the offences and the amount of the fine are determined.
  • A particular operational effort is being carried out to improve road safety on single carriageway, where the accident rate is higher.
  • The progress made in reducing driving under the influence of drugs, is been remarkable during the recent years.
  • A regulatory reform of road safety law was made in 2014.
Individual limits and specific driving requirements: 

For more information about driving in Spain please see the European Commission Road Safety Link - 'Going Abroad':