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Driving in the Costa del Sol --- Any rules to be aware of?

Palm Harbor, Florida
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Driving in the Costa del Sol --- Any rules to be aware of?

I'll be driving about 400 miles on our upcoming trip. Read the normal stuff about driving in Spain.

Anything special to be aware of?

Example --- Is there right on red in Spain? Is it ok to make a right turn at a red light, if the coast is clear?

Thanks to those good, law abiding drivers that will give me a clue.

Cheers! -------- Ken

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Olvera, Spain
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1. Re: Driving in the Costa del Sol --- Any rules to be aware of?

Hi Ken

I have never heard of being able to make a right hand turn on a red light if the junction is clear in either the UK or in Ireland although in Ireland there is a flashing amber rule which I am not too clear on but got tooted at for sitting waiting on it turning green (this was at a major junction in the north part of Cork city, not at a green walking man). I have been driving for 35 years and hire a car for six weeks each year in Andalucía, I have never seen anyone doing what you are suggesting.

You will already know to always have your passport, driving license and hire details with you at all times when using the car. About switching on lights at the approach to tunnels and switching them back off once you clear the tunnel. And if you wear prescription glasses to have a second pair with you. However one other little one worth mentioning is do not attempt to drive in flip flops, if stopped for anything else the Police will not like this one.

I was stopped in El Puerto de Santa Maria, July 2011, apparently I turned right into a bus/taxi street only. I would still swear blind there was no signage to say so, in fact I followed a Police vehicle into the road as I was a little lost but could see the roundabout I wanted at the other end of the street. It took them about 45 minutes to process my misdemeanor, the younger officer looked as if he would have let me off with a warning but the older officer was like a dog with a bone. While I sat there thoroughly embarrassed they also stopped two local vehicles from entering the street in the opposite direction to me, blowing them away with their whistles, some young lads came down on peddle bikes they got the whistled at treatment too but an older man on a peddle bike was allowed to proceed. I have kept my 100€ on-the-spot fine ticket in my wallet as a memory of the indignity and have not been back in El Puerto since.

That said I pick up my car at Málaga two weeks tomorrow for another happy holiday. I hope you have a good time in España.

Saludos. Lindsay

Edited: 18 June 2013, 09:06
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Costa de la Luz, Spain
Torremolinos, Spain
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2. Re: Driving in the Costa del Sol --- Any rules to be aware of?

One thing to be aware of... if you're driving down a road (doesn't have to be dual carraigeway etc) and you see a petrol station on the other side of the road you can't slow down and turn left into it against the oncoming traffic on the other side (presuming it's clear of course lol) - you have to continue along until you see a slip off to your right where you can come off and then cross properly and then slip back on the other side!

I did it once (there was not another car visible for miles) and there was a police car in the petrol station, saw what i did and fined me heavily.... €2000 !! after some haggling and me saying "take the car" it's not worth €100 (was my friends junk bucket) he said, "ok, €65 !!! I signed a bit of paper to say i would pay and then drove off..... This was a good few years ago but i presume the driving rules are still in effect, not sure about the whacky fine structure though ;-)

CB

Olvera, Spain
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3. Re: Driving in the Costa del Sol --- Any rules to be aware of?

Thanks for that one CB, I hadn't come across it before. In Olvera there is only one petrol station and I always approach it on the correct side but I do turn right when I leave so perhaps I should take a look at what the locals do and follow their example, I don't want another yellow slip of paper to keep for posterity.

Lindsay

Malaga, Spain
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4. Re: Driving in the Costa del Sol --- Any rules to be aware of?

Hi,

You can't turn right on red. A red light means "stop" at all times, which simplifies things a little bit (I am always stressed when driving in the US since these rules tend to change throughout states and even towns as far as I know).

Also you really don't want to be stopped, be breath tested and getting a DUI. Fines are rather steep (including prison) and it is quite easy to get to the limit.

Finally lots of speed control radars around. Don't push the limits or you will be overtaken by a flashing Guardia Civil car and fined on the spot.

Torrox Costa, Spain
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5. Re: Driving in the Costa del Sol --- Any rules to be aware of?

To elaborate the rule mentioned by CB, if there is a solid white line (single or double) down the centre of the road you cannot cross it, you can turn left (or overtake) only if it is a broken white line.

At some junctions or crossings, there is a flashing amber light, this means you can go but pedestrians have right of way, this bit is confusing as for example, after turning right at a traffic light that is green you may then immediately see a flashing amber, so can continue unless pedestrians are crossing.

Palm Harbor, Florida
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6. Re: Driving in the Costa del Sol --- Any rules to be aware of?

Wow, thanks for the important advice.

Fines on the spot. That's interesting. I'm surprised that America hasn't jumped all over that one. Towns are always looking for new rules to bring in more cash from the powerless flock.

I knew my "right on red" would get some response. It started in certain US states here to help cut down on traffic jams at rush hours. But it does get confusing, cause many streets have signs saying you can't do it.

The crossover the line rule, I'm glad was mentioned. I would have been potentially guilty on that one.

Thanks gang!!!!!

Cheers! ---------- Ken

Olvera, Spain
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7. Re: Driving in the Costa del Sol --- Any rules to be aware of?

You are most welcome Ken. The crossover the double white line is also in place in the UK in case you are ever driving here. In the UK you tend to find them running up the middle of roads where there is a blind summit, it is particularly bendy or there is a left or right hand junction which has very poor visibility onto the main road it is joining.

Lindsay

A M
Benalmadena, Spain
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8. Re: Driving in the Costa del Sol --- Any rules to be aware of?

Isn't there something that its illegal to have a speed trap detector in the vehicle and that a SatNav screen must not be visible to the driver?

Erith, Kent
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9. Re: Driving in the Costa del Sol --- Any rules to be aware of?

This link has some info: www.getspain-spain.com/driving_in_spain.html

Palm Harbor, Florida
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10. Re: Driving in the Costa del Sol --- Any rules to be aware of?

I'm glad I asked this question. Good stuff.

Lindsay ------ I know I will never be brave or coordinated enough to drive in the UK. Been to London four times, and absolutely loved it.

But.....a big but.....I know I won't be able to drive on the wrong side, I mean the "right" side of the car.--- lol.

On the last trip, I sat in the front of the taxi, as the driver flew around a small roundabout. Knew then, no way I could drive.

It would be sad to wipe out some nice, unsuspecting, innocent locals.

As Dirty Harry once said, a man must know his limitations.

Anyway, can't wait for this first trip to Spain. The final countdown is on.

Cheers! ----------- Ken

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