Healthplan Spain


10 Spanish Traffic Laws You May Not Be Aware Of Expat Tips

Spain like any other country in the world has fines and points sanctions that you can incur when in violation of the country's traffic laws.

There are, however, some that you may not be aware of and would shock you if you were to be fined. Some of those on the list below can even be issued when you are not driving!

Below we have listed 10 of the lesser-known Spanish traffic laws that you should know but first let's talk about Spanish driving licences.

All Spanish driving licences start with 12 points on them, however, this can increase over time. For example, if over a period of three years you do not commit any traffic offences, you will be given an additional two points. If after another 3 years you still have a clean sheet, you will receive another one point, meaning you would then have a driving licence with 15 points on it.

So what are these 10 little known traffic laws?

Not Notifying Your New Address To The DGT (Spanish Traffic Authority)

This one is very easy to avoid. If you move to a new address you must advise the authorities. This can be done by going to your nearest DGT office, most of which have an online appointment system. Take the following papers with you.

  • Driving Licence
  • Proof of address (padrón certificate from the Ayuntamiento).
  • Vehicle ‘ficha técnica’ (tech specs document)

You will notify the DGT of the change of address for the vehicles and also the address you have registered for notifications of fines. This can also be updated via the website or miDGT app.

Not Wearing A Hi-Vis Jacket

If your car is involved in a traffic accident, or if your car breaks down, any person travelling in the car must put on a hi-vis jacket before getting out of the car.

If the driver gets out of the vehicle without wearing a hi-vis jacket, he/she will get 3 points taken off their licence, as well as a €200 fine.

In addition to this, if they fail to put out the mandatory reflective triangles, an additional 200 euro fine can be given. Note that from July 2021, you can use the new V16 Warning Beacons instead of the old-fashioned triangles. Up until January 2026, the triangles will be phased out. 

Throwing Things Out Of A Vehicle's Window

This doesn’t just mean litter. If a cigarette stub is thrown out of a car window, a fine of €200 will be issued, alongside the removal of 4 points from your licence. This is because most areas in Spain are classed as ‘high fire risk’.

For any other item, including a plastic bottle or a can, expect to get an €80 fine.

Fixing Or Washing Your Car In The Street

If you wash your car in the street, you could receive a fine that ranges from €30 up to €3,000. This is dependent on where you live in the country.

Fixing your car, if on your own driveway or private land is not against the law, but if you are fixing another person's car as a “business”, a fine could be given.

Filling The Petrol Tank Incorrectly

If you are seen filling up at a petrol station with your car headlights on, the car running or using your mobile phone, you could be handed a €200 fine and have 3 points removed from your licence.

It is also illegal to have your radio/USB/CD on, always switch the music off when you stop your vehicle so as not to receive another fine.

Teaching Someone To Drive

Unlike in the UK, if you are caught giving someone additional driving lessons, the owner of the vehicle will be issued a fine. This is strictly against the law and anyone wanting to learn to drive must learn through a driving school.

Dirty Or Manipulated Number Plates

If your number plates are undecipherable, even if your car is parked up, an €80 fine could be heading your way.

Also if you are thinking of interfering with the letters or numbers on your number plate, think again, as adding stickers or such like will also result in a fine being issued.

Maintaining The Correct Arm Position While Driving

Drivers are required to maintain the correct arm position whilst driving, this means not placing their arm or hand out of the window of the vehicle they are driving.

This action can lead to a €100 fine.

The same can be said for arguing whilst driving, kissing your passenger or even simply biting your nails. According to the rules of the road, all the aforementioned could result in a fine as ‘your eyes, and other senses should be on the road at all times.

Parking On The Beach

Depending on the region in Spain, this injunction may also include all beach access areas where fines of €90 could be levied.

However, in some areas of Almeria, the fine you receive may be in excess of a whopping €30,000!

Playing The Music Too Loud In Your Vehicle

Some areas across the country are designated 'quiet zones', for example near a hospital.

Playing the music too loud in your vehicle could see you in receipt of a fine of between €100 and €3,000!

If you decide to irritate a neighbourhood with your loud music, get ready to receive a hefty fine of up to €2400!

Find out more about playing your car music too loud.

So what do you do if you receive a fine?

Well according to the DGT website ‘If you have received notification of a traffic fine, you must check who has issued it to you, review your address information and make the payment. Remember that you have 20 calendar days to pay with a 50% reduction.

You can pay your fines online at the following official page.

Alternatively, you can use the miDGT smartphone app, pay over the phone or at one of the DGT offices in your region.