Driving in Spain

Old Sep 11th, 2003, 09:41 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 106
Driving in Spain

Hello Folks,

Making a trip to Spain April 2004. Planning on picking up a car in Seville & touring Southern Spain. How are the roads? How easy is it to traverse the country side via the country roads? Do map markings and actual road markings coincide? I have heard that driving in the larger cities is an adventure. Thanks.
turbokid is offline  
Old Sep 11th, 2003, 10:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Obey your basic traffic rules. I was stopped after passing a slow moving tractor on a solid traffic line. Two motorcycle cops pulled me over, gave me a ticket, and demanded I pay it on the spot, or it was off to jail or wherever they would have taken me.

I was lucky that I had enough Spanish Potatoes (Pesetas) on me at the time to pay. Carry some cash with you at all times is my advise, otherwise, it's driving as usual.

Driving in larger cities?? I had no problems, but Rome and Naples were a bit of a challenge.
Budman is offline  
Old Sep 11th, 2003, 11:19 AM
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Unlike the roads in Italy, the roads in Spain are well marked and very easy to get around on. There aren't many, so it makes getting lost hard.
Old Sep 11th, 2003, 11:47 AM
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Budman & Donnabee-
Thanks for the insightful information. I am ready to go! Pleaaase keep the information and tips flowing.

turbokid is offline  
Old Sep 11th, 2003, 12:59 PM
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I am soconding the rec re keeeping Euros on hand when driving. I got a ticket and it ended up with the cops following about 10 miles back to an ATM.
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Old Sep 12th, 2003, 09:30 PM
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For some reason which baffles me, we had a horrendous time driving in Spain and we are pretty seasoned drivers in Europe,including Central Europe shortly after it opened up. Spain gave us more problems than any other place, including major cities such as Naples and Rome. We find driving in Italy to be a snap because roads are well marked, even side roads are OK--except for the adventuresome white roads. In Spain, we found major roads to be fine,good signage, etc. But, once we got off of those we consistently experienced the "disappearing sign syndrome." We would follow clear signs until they would just come to an end--this before we were at wherever we were going. Then we would spend frustrating minutes? hours? driving aimlessly. We also found that whenever we asked directions, some key point was omitted. Maybe it was just our time for these frustrations but we were ready to leave when it was time to
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Old Sep 12th, 2003, 10:30 PM
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@Budman and Iweber: Can you tell us how much was the fine. And did the policeman gave you a receipt for the fine?
KY is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2003, 01:29 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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Some local Advise
Driving in Spain is not difficult and roads are well marked.
If you Obey traffic rules your chances of getting a ticket are obviously low.
Someone asked how much a fine can be? This depends on what rule you broke. Red lights , Stop signs and driving backward in the highway because you missed you exit, are considered a major fault as in everywhere else in the world, and fines can go as high as 1000 euros or if you are caught drunk then you will probably have you car stopped and a good amount of trouble.
Speed limits are 50 Km/hour in town
90 in Highways and 120 in double lane Highways. It is not said but there is an allowance of 20 Km an hour above this limits. If you are caught in a Highway speeding at 150 , where the limit is 120 you will get 150 euros but if you are caught 30 Km over the limit of 50 it will cost you more, maybe 200 or 300 euros. Be careful in small villages.
Another question floating was if you are fine, do get a receipt? The answer is that you do, and just in case it goes through anybodies mind, do not even think about briding a policeman in Spain, specialy traffic police, they are Guardia Civil, and we are very proud of their non corruption level and so are they.
I do not think you have to worry to much about driving or fines. April in sevilla is fantastic they have an early spring and you will find crops growing and flowers everywhere, I suppose your trip at this time of the year is caused by the ,Feria de Sevilla. So have a wonderful time and enjoy.
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Old Sep 13th, 2003, 09:30 AM
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I've driven in Spain a lot in the past few years. Never had any problems. Found roads to generally be well-marked, in excellent shape, and fairly easy to navigate. I had a car in Madrid for a few days on a business trip earlier this year, and honestly, while traffic was very heavy, I didn't have any problems.

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Old Sep 13th, 2003, 10:17 AM
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Same experience with the Guardia Civil on the roads, be most careful with the max speed signs on national roads they go up and down abruptly. So it is easy to go over the speed limit......
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Old Sep 13th, 2003, 02:02 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Just a couple of comments after several recent trips to Spain and driving:

1. In towns and cities signs that label streets are ON BUILDINGS not on free-standing poles as we have in the US. So when you are looking to figure out where to turn or what street you are on you must look for the sign on the corner buildings.

2. On more than one occasion driving the highways in Spain we have mistakenly exited prematurely because we see the sign that says "Salida (Exit) Pamplona" or whatever it usually indicates how far ahead it is like 1000 kilometers or 500 kilometers. So don't just necessarily take the next right turn off the highway as it is probably not the exit you want.

3. Pay attention to the signs in town that indicate how wide a street is ahead. This is always in meters (obviously) and some are VERY NARROW. We have ended up having to pull in our side mirrors on more than one occasion!

4. I am assuming you are picking up your car in Sevilla on the way OUT of town. Do not even consider bringing an automobile into Sevilla.

5. We have never found roads to be in terrible condition even if the map said they were unpaved.

6. Always be ready to stop and slow for livestock (even on many of the bigger roads) we have come across shepherds with sheep and goats crossing!

Good Luck!

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Old Sep 13th, 2003, 06:53 PM
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KY, the fine was about $40-50 -- don't recall the exact amount, but if it were more, I would have remembered.

He did give us a receipt -- but so what? What was I going to do? I was just glad to be on my way.
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