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Riding a moped in Spain Riding A Motorcycle In Spain Expat Tips

Riding A Motorcycle In Spain - Rules, Regulations and the Law

With glorious year-round weather, Spain is the perfect place in which to ride a motorcycle, moped or scooter ('Motos' as they are commonly known here). If you are living here and looking to buy a motorcycle, or visiting for your holidays and looking to hire one, you will need to understand the laws when it comes to motorcycling in Spain.

Read our guide below which is full of information and tips on motorcycling in Spain and make sure you don't fall foul of the law.

You will learn about:-

  • The four different licences that permit you to ride a motorcycle in Spain
  • The cost of obtaining a motorcycle licence
  • How to get your licence and how to renew it
  • Renting a scooter or moped in Spain
  • The required safety equipment for riding a motorcycle
  • Motorcycle road tax and ITV inspections
  • Legal speed limits for riding a motorbike in Spain
  • Documents you should carry with you
  • And lots more.

Let's take a look!

What Motorcycles, Mopeds and Scooters Can I Ride?

The driving licence that you hold and the codes on the back of it will determine the kind of vehicles you are permitted to drive by law.

There are four different classes of licence in Spain which entitle you to ride a motorcycle. These are the AM, A1, A2 and A class and are similar to those in the UK.

Let's look at each one below.

AM Class Licence

The vast majority of drivers on the roads will already hold a category B driving licence, which qualifies them for category AM and entitles them to ride a moped, scooter or lightweight ATV with two or three wheels of up to 50cc as long as the vehicle cannot exceed 45 kph.

From the age of 15, you are entitled to ride a moped up to 50cc (45 kph maximum speed) but must first pass a simple road safety test and take a 20-question written test of which you must get at least 18 correct.

You also have to have a provisional driving licence and obtain written permission from a parent or guardian.

AM Licence Cost: Obtaining an AM card typically costs around 200-€300. It's important to consider DGT fees, examination costs, and the necessity of practical lessons at a driving school to complete the official practical exam.

A1 Class Licence

Once a driver has held a category B driving licence for more than 3 years, they are legally allowed to ride motorcycles, scooters or mopeds in the A1 category of up to 125cc (without sidecar) with a maximum power of 15hp.

The minimum age requirement to hold an A1 class licence is 16 years.

Note that if you hold an A1 licence, you are also entitled to ride motor tricycles with a maximum power output of 15 kW (A motor tricycle is an ATV with a maximum GVM of 400 kg, or 550 kg if it is used for hauling loads).

If you are the holder of an A1 licence, you are permitted to ride vehicles in the AM licence category.

To obtain an A1 category licence you will have to take four different tests. These are:-

  • Written Test - You will be exempt from this if you possess any other licence that was obtained more than one year previous.
  • A1 Class Written Test - Similar to the AM written test, however, it comprises 30 test questions. You may only get 3 questions wrong to pass.
  • Closed circuit-riding test
  • Open road test - The test typically lasts around 30 minutes and is on a route that is a little harder than that when sitting the AM test.

A1 Licence Cost: The cost for obtaining the A1 card is approximately 400, inclusive of various components such as the DGT fees (around 90€), the psychotechnical exam, theoretical and practical exams, and driving school practices if required.

A2 Class Licence

To obtain the A2 class of licence, you will need to be at least 18 years of age.

The A2 licence enables the holder to drive/ride all of the vehicles under the A1 class along with motorcycles with a max output of 35 kW/47 hp with or without a sidecar.

Like the A1 licence, you will need to take four different tests to be granted one. They are:-

  • A written road traffic test - You will not need to take this if you already hold a B or A1 licence.
  • A motorcycle-specific test - This is the same as the A1 test. If you already hold an A1 licence you will not have to take this.
  • Closed circuit-riding test - The test is divided into three separate parts including an exercise with the engine off, a low-speed test and a high-speed test. If you have been issued an A1 licence more than two years ago you will be exempt from this test.
  • Open road test - This is a test that is completed on public roads and is similar to that taken to obtain the A1 licence.

A2 Licence Cost: The total cost for the A2 card ranges from €400 to €500, taking into account factors such as whether you choose to complete the process independently or through a driving school. It's important to note that at least the open traffic exam must be coordinated through a driving school. The DGT fee is slightly less than €100, and this is supplemented by the exam fees. Additionally, if you opt for training with a driving school, you may incur expenses for these practical sessions and potentially a registration fee.

A Class Licence

Once you have held your A2 licence for at least two years, you may apply for an A-Class licence.

The licence entitles the holder to drive any motorcycle of any power output or weight on public roads including those under the AM, A1 and A2 categories.

To hold this licence you must be at least 20 years of age.

From the age of 18, you are allowed to ride a motorcycle over 125cc, but your licence must include Category A. For this, you will need to take some lessons and will need to take a motorcycle test as outlined above.

A Licence Cost: After completing the appropriate course, the affiliated driving school will provide a certificate confirming your new ownership of the motorcycle licence.

The courses are approximately €290. It's important to note that to obtain this licence, you must already hold the A2 motorcycle licence. When considering both licences, the total cost for the A licence amounts to around €700.

Obtaining Your Driving Licence In Spain

The following page from the DGT traffic authority provides you with everything you need to know about the different driving licences in Spain including how to get one, associated fees, the points system, taking your test, choosing a driving school and lots more.

Renewing Motorcycle Licences

Category A and A1 licences must be renewed every 10 years for those up to 45 years of age, every 5 years for those aged between 45 and 70 years and every 2 years for those aged above 70.

Category B licence holders are also permitted to ride three-wheeled bikes and tricycles as long as two of the wheels are on the same axle. Quads are also permitted up to 550 kg and 30hp.

Renting a Scooter or Moped in Spain

If you are not a Spanish resident and visiting Spain for your holidays, you must be at least 18 years of age and have a Class B driving licence before you can ride a 50cc moped here. If you have held your driver's licence for at least 3 years, you can hire a motorcycle with an engine of up to 125cc.

Note that any motorcycle or moped under 50cc may not be ridden on a motorway.

By law, motorcycles (not mopeds) must use daytime running lights/dipped headlights at all times.

Required Safety Equipment

Although you are required by law to wear a crash helmet, it's an all too common occurrence to see so many moped, scooter and motorcycle riders in Spain not wearing one!

EU law is clear on this and states that any motorcycle, moped or quad on a public road must be ridden with the occupant/s wearing an ECE 22.05 approved safety helmet. Failure to do so can result in a fine of €100.

If you have a valid medical reason for not wearing one and can provide a medical certificate to prove it, you may be exempt from wearing a helmet.

Pillion Passenger Laws

Carrying a pillion passenger on a motorcycle or moped in Spain is perfectly legal, but there are specific rules that have to be adhered to when doing so.

Firstly, the passenger needs to be 12 years of age or above. However, there is an exception to this rule in that the passenger can be 7 years of age or above if the main rider is the parent, guardian or third party who has been authorised in writing by the parent or guardian.

The main rider must also have a full licence for the motorcycle and be over the age of 18. The vehicle also has to have the correct seating for a passenger and only one passenger is permitted at any one time.

Both the main rider and passenger need to wear crash helmets, which need to be fully fastened.

Two other stipulations are that the passenger's feet need to be able to reach the footrests of the motorcycle and no passenger must travel between the main rider and the handlebars.


You will need to carry the following documentation with you:-

  • Valid driving licence
  • ITV/MOT Certificate - Inspección técnica de vehículos
  • Logbook - Permiso de Circulación
  • Insurance Policy
  • European Accident Agreement Form

You should also carry a High Visibility jacket with you in the event of a breakdown.

Motorcycle Speed Limits

The speed limit for motorcycles and mopeds on Spanish roads are as follows.

  • Urban Roads (No Hard Shoulder) - Max 90 Kph for motorcycles, 45 Kph for mopeds, tricycles and light quads.
  • Non-Urban Roads (With Hard Shoulder) - 100 Kph for motorcycles, 45 Kph for mopeds, tricycles and light quads.
  • Motorways - Max 120 Kph motorcycles. Mopeds, tricycles and quads are not permitted.

In May 2021, new speed limits for built-up areas such as cities, towns and villages came into force. You can read more about these via our page, Spain's New Urban Speed Limits Come Into Force From May 11

Moped and Motorcycle Road Tax

As with any motor vehicle on Spanish roads, you are liable to pay Spanish road tax or IVTM. For further details about IVTM including current prices, please see our other article

ITV/MOT Inspection

Mopeds and motorcycles like cars will need to periodically have an ITV inspection and will depend on their age.

Motorcycles are exempt from inspection for the first four years, then they have to take the test every two years.

Mopeds are exempt for the first three years and then must be tested every two years.

You can read more about the ITV test in Spain here

Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

When motorcycling in Spain, there is a minimum insurance cover of third-party which is a requirement for all moped and motorcycle riders.

Intercoms and Headsets

Intercoms and headsets that are attached to receiving devices are permitted in Spain as long as they are not inserted into the ear thereby restricting the ability to hear external sounds.

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