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Driving in Tenerife

If you want to get to know Tenerife, places of interest and hidden sights then hiring a car is the best way to do this.  Driving in Tenerife you will find there are some fantastic places to visit.  Driving through rural villages and coastal roads with fantastic views.

Tenerife is an Island which is easy to drive around.  It has a well established and easy to use road infrastructure.

Before setting off make sure you are aware of the road traffic laws in Tenerife.

The road laws in Tenerife are basically the same as the rest of the Spanish territories.  The road laws for driving in Tenerife were updated in 2010.  If you haven’t visited since 2010, or it is your first time to the Island below is a brief resume of the current road traffic laws and regulations.

Road Traffic Laws & Regulations for driving in Tenerife

ROAD TRAFFIC LAWS & REGULATIONS IN SPAIN

Driving Licence:  The minimum age to drive in Spain is 18 years of age. Any foreign national must hold a full driving licence. A driver’s licence issued in the EU and EAA countries are all accepted. International driving permits are recognised but not required.

ID:  You must carry with you when driving proof of identity e.g. Passport or Identity Card.

Seat Belts:  A seat belt must be worn at all times by all passengers in the vehicle. Child Safety: Children under the age of 3 years are not allowed to travel in the front seat of a car under any circumstances.

Car Safety Seats:  Children up to the age of 12 years and measuring less than 135 cm are not permitted to travel in the front of the vehicle unless they are in a suitable child safety seat/booster seat adapted to their size and weight.

Footwear:  Do not drive in flip flops. You can be fined for driving in flip flops.

Equipment:  It is compulsory to carry in your car the following items; 2 x warning triangle and reflective jackets.

Crash Helmets:  If you are driving a motorcycle a crash helmet is compulsory.

Mobile Phones:  The only legal way of using a mobile phone when driving a car is via a blue tooth connection.

Speed Limits

When driving in Tenerife always check the speed limit for the road you are driving on.  Especially when entering urban areas.  Below is a guide to the speed limits on the different roads in Tenerife:

Motorways (autovias):   Speed limit of 120km/h

Main roads (vias automoviles):  Speed limit varies from 80 -100 km/h

Urban areas (vias urbanas):  Speed limit varies from 30 – 50 km/h.

As when driving in the UK the speed limits can change when entering a built up area.  Make sure you check the road signs when the motorway comes to an end.

Speed restrictions are strictly enforced.

There is only a 5% margin for fixed radars and 7% for mobile radars on speed restrictions.

Drinking and Driving

The police can carry out random breath tests.   Make sure you are aware of the drink drive limits.

The legal limit in Tenerife and the Canary Islands is less than the UK.

In England & Wales the alcohol limit for drivers is 80 mg per 100 ml of blood.

In Tenerife the limit is 50 mg per 100 ml of blood.

If you have been driving for less than two years the limit is less at 30 mg per 100 ml of blood.

Traffic Offences

Did you know you can also be fined for the following offences whilst driving in Spain:

TRAFFIC OFFENCES IN SPAIN

Driving with your elbow or any part of your arm outside of the window.  100 Euro.

Driving without a top or shirt on.  200 Euro.

Unnecessary use of your horn. The horn must only be used to avoid an accident.  80 Euro.

Playing unnecessarily loud music in your vehicle.  80 Euro.

Driving through an amber traffic light.  80 Euro.

Eating, drinking or applying make-up whilst driving, or stationary at traffic lights.  100 Euro

 

Fines

The police have authority to give on the spot fines which are not always fixed.

Most fines can be reduced by 50% if the fine is paid within 14 days.

Non Spanish residents will need to pay the fine immediately.

Speeding fines can be applied for exceeding the limit by just 1kph.

Parking

The main points to remember when parking your car in Spain are:

    • An area not to park will be indicated by either a yellow, red or white kerb.  Check before you leave your car if you are in doubt.
    • Blue line markings on the road indicate you are in a pay to park zone.  Look for the ticket machine which will show you how much it will cost to park in this area
    • If you are in an area where it is a tow-away zone, this is usually indicated.  There will be a sign with a hoist on the back of a truck and the words ‘ retirada grúa’.
    • Do not park in any disabled areas.  You can only park here if you are carrying current valid permission which is displayed in your car.  Disabled parking bays are visible with a wheelchair sign.
    • To park in a disabled area you must display the blue permit badge in the car.  The badge is an EU regulated parking permit for disabled persons.
    • Parking in front of garage doors or entrances will have a ‘no parking’ ( prohibido estacionar or vado permanente) sign.  They will also display a police permit number enforcing the parking restriction. Do not park here as you will be towed away or fined.
    • Parking regulations can vary for street parking depending on the day of the week, time of the day etc.  You will need to check locally the regulations for parking in the street.  In some areas you park on one side of the street for the first half of the month and on the other side of the street for the second half of the month.

Tips When Driving in Tenerife

TIPS WHEN DRIVING IN TENERIFE

The driver on the right always has priority, unless otherwise indicated. This applies both to junctions and roundabouts.

Traffic already on a roundabout has priority.

You can only exit a roundabout from the outside lane.

You must always use your headlights when entering a tunnel. This applies during daylight hours as well.

You are not permitted to tow another vehicle.

 

 

 

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