Changes in Spanish Traffic Law

The new regulation fpr Spanish traffic law that will take effect in a few days is causing a stir among those interested in hiring a car in Malaga. To avoid confusion and possible fines, we provide this summary of the salient points of the new rules:

For Foreigners

– Tourists: The exchange of information between countries has become increasingly faster. Sanctioned drivers will be identified quickly and receive the corresponding fine at home, regardless of their country of origin.

– Residents: Any vehicle with foreign registration, either on behalf of a resident or facility, shall be registered in Spain.

Travelling with children

In Spanish traffic law it is mandatory to use approved seats for children who are less than 1.35 m (before stipulated depending on age).

– Children mentioned above may not travel in the passenger seat, even when using the right seat, unless all rear seats are occupied by other children with their respective seats.

– Not using the right seat can result in the immobilization of the vehicle.

Speed Limits

– New limit of 130 km/h on some stretches of highways and motorways.

Loss of points if you circulate over 150 km/h (whether the limit is 120 km/h or 130 km/h).

Fines for passing the established speed limit. No longer is taken into account the margin of error of measurement items; if you circulate just 1 km/h over the limit, you will be penalized.

– Reduction of 10 km/h in the maximum speed limit on secondary roads.

– New areas of 20 km/h and 30 km/h in town.


– While you can use radar warning devices (e.g. with a GPS showing fixed Radars on the map) the use of detectors will be sanctioned. The  fine is 200 euros and the withdrawal of 3 points from the license.

Alcohol and Drugs

– The fine for drunkenness increases from 500 to 1000 euros if the driver: Doubles the allowable rate (current maximum: 0.25 mg/l in air, 0.5 g/l in blood), refuses to perform the test or has been fined for alcohol in the past 12 months.

– There will be used saliva testing for the presence of drugs in the body of the driver. If tested positive, the driver may require a blood test to contrast the result.


– Run over an animal in a hunting area is considered the responsibility of the driver, unless it occurs by direct action (close shot, chasing prey) or poor maintenance of containment fences or signage.


– The helmet becomes mandatory for all children under 16 years in all avenues. For adults only binding on interurban roads.

Bicycles cannot be immobilized, whatever the offense committed by the conductor.

Vehicle Immobilization

– The vehicle will be inmobilized if you commit any violation of the conditions set for a specific road (maximum weight, gauge, scheduling, etc.), and driving trucks or buses without permission.

Other changes

– Voluntary payment of fines: Increases from 15 days to 20 (remember that if you pay on time you can save 50%).

You can be fined without being stopped or identified. The agent simply needs to note down your registration number and infringement.
Updated (12/08/2014): Good news! This law has been dismissed by the Spanish Superior Court.

– For environmental reasons, can be restricted the access to certain roads for certain vehicles.

While not all aforementioned points will affect you, it never hurts to know the latest updates about traffic laws. Feel free to comment on this entry if you have any questions about the new regulations. Hasta pronto!

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