Speed Odometers, speed limits and roadside markers are like the rest of Europe, apart from the UK, they´re in kilometres, not miles. If you´re from the UK you may feel as if everything has gone into slow motion because the limits are so much less.
Here´s a simple table of the European Kilometres Per Hour and their British Miles Per Hour equivalent.
Kilometres Per Hour
Miles Per Hour
You´ll find the maximum speed limit on any Spanish motorway or Autovia for cars and motorbikes is 120, buses and vans is 100 and trucks are either 80 or 90 depending on weight etc. However those limits drop on most of the dual carriageways in the area, with the maximum being 100 km per hour.
On standard roads (not motorways or autovias), cars and motorbikes are allowed to overtake at 20 km per hour over the standard limit, if the vehicle being overtaken is travelling below the limit, and there is no posted speed limit lower than the standard.
As you pass the castle in Fuengirola the A7 coast road becomes the responsibility of the Mijas Ayuntamiento and they have installed speed restrictions in the form of average speed cameras.
This reduces the speed limits along this stretch of road from 120 km per hour down to just 80! It feels very slow but speeding fines can be tracked back to you using the car hire company, so it´s just as well keeping to the limit.
Some, if not most, traffic offences in Spain carry an on-the-spot fine. These fines have to be paid to the Police there and then in Euros. We have heard some horror stories about Guardia Civil following drivers to the nearest bank cash machine to collect the money, even when it´s been a single person on their own - very scary! We suggest you ask for an official receipt from them to confirm the fine has been paid.
Illegally parked vehicles are normally towed away to a holding depot where you will have to pay to have the vehicle released. The police here don´t mess around with this law and are very strict. Once the tow-truck has arrived it´s usually too late to stop them taking the vehicle away. We´ve even seen a lady throw herself on the bonnet of her car - even that didn´t work!
The Spanish law is very strict when it comes to the use of indicators on motorways. You risk being fined for not indicating before overtaking and again before pulling back to the nearside lane after overtaking. Also, make sure you don´t cross the solid white line as you enter the motorway from a slip road, but wait until the line is broken.
It´s recommended that if a driver has to wears glasses to drive, then they should also carry a spare pair with them in the glove box.
Warning Triangles - One for non-Spanish registered vehicles and two for Spanish registered. Motorbikes are exempt.
High Visibility Vests - One is required for the driver and every passenger exiting the car on a road or motorway following an accident or breakdown. And they must all be wearing the vests before they leave the vehicle, which suggests they should be in the main area of the car and not in the boot. However hire cars are not legally obliged to carry the vests so don´t be surprised if you can´t find one.
Spare Tyre - You need to have either a road worthy spare or repair kit, and the tools necessary to carry out the work. However if you´re driving a Spanish registered and insured vehicle it´s slightly different. All Spanish insurance policies come standard with a full roadside recovery service (Grua) who will carry out the repair for you.
Seatbelts - As with most European countries, the wearing of seatbelts front and rear is also compulsory, so don´t get too relaxed.