News: Mandatory to take in a car in Spain

News: Mandatory to take in a car in Spain
14 May 2019

If you live in Spain and have been driving there for some time, the following will be old news, but for many holiday makers who come to Spain with their own car it may not be so obvious.

When you enter Spain you must respect the rules of that country. That also applies to what you must have with you in the car in Spain.

Avoid problems and / or fines and possibly dangerous situations by complying with the Spanish traffic law. This article is about what someone should have in their car when they are driving on Spanish roads where it does not matter whether you are driving with a Spanish or foreign license plate.


Warning triangle

It is compulsory in Spain to have 2 warning triangles (triángulos / dispositivos portátiles de señalización) in the car. According to the Dutch ANWB this only applies if one drives around with a Spanish license plate. Owners of a car with a foreign license plate need only have 1 warning triangle with them.

However, it is recommended that you have 2 warning triangles with you to place these 50 meters in front and 50 meters behind the car in case of roadside breakdown, which is always safer.

Safety vests

It is mandatory to have 1 safety vest (chaleco reflectante) with you in Spain that may not lie in the trunk but must be within reach, preferably as close as possible to the driver. However, it is recommended to have 2 vests in the car. The vests must be fluorescent yellow, orange or red and are intended for the driver and for a second voucher for a passenger.

Spare wheel

The Spanish traffic law still states that it is mandatory to have a spare wheel (rueda de repuesto) with you, but there are more and more car models where there is no longer a spare wheel. If the latter is the case then you must have a tire repair kit (kit antipichazos) with you in the car (not necessary if you are driving on run-flat tires). It is also mandatory to have the necessary tools (herramientas) to change a wheel with you. Changing a tire is not allowed anywhere along / on the road in Spain and in most cases it is mandatory to call a towing service (grua).

Snow chains

In various parts of Spain it is mandatory to have snow chains (juego de cadenas) or iron or textile with you. Another choice is to have snow tires (neumáticos de invierno), but where there is a lot of snow, the snow chain may still be mandatory.

Fire extinguisher

If the vehicle that you are driving for is a public passenger transport, exceeds a "mixto" model, for the transport of materials or the maximum permitted weight of 3,500 kilos, then you must carry an extinguisher.


It is mandatory to have the correct license plate papers (ficha técnica + permiso de circulación) in the car that must be MOT approved. In Spain the ITV inspection can be seen by a sticker (pegatina) on the windshield.

Not (anymore) mandatory

It is no longer mandatory in Spain to have the insurance papers (recibo del seguro) with you, which is linked to the registration number and can easily be checked by the police.

It is also not mandatory to have a second pair of prescription glasses (gafas adicionales), something that is often written on the internet.

Although it is not illuminated, it is recommended to take a second pair of glasses as extra and to have the insurance papers with you to prevent problems.

In the past it was compulsory to have a set of spare lamps (lámparas de repuesto) in the car, but that is no longer required nowadays. In most cases the lamps can only be replaced at garages and the normal lamps are increasingly difficult to replace.

Rental car

If you rent a car in Spain with a Spanish license plate then it is mandatory to comply with the above including the two warning triangles and safety vests.

Motorbike / Scooter

The driver and any passenger are obliged to wear a light, reflector or safety vest in the event of a breakdown or accident outside the built-up area, at night and in poor visibility.

In addition, it is mandatory to have the correct license plate papers (ficha técnica + permiso de circulación) on an engine that must be MOT approved (ITV).


If you are arrested by the police and you find that you do not comply with Spanish law, you can give fines, something that applies to Spanish drivers and foreigners who drive their own car in Spain.

Not having a safety vest with you can cost 200 euros (and with a Spanish driver's license it costs 2 points). Not having the warning triangles with you costs 200 euros and not having a spare wheel or repair kit with you costs 200 euros in fine.

Foreigners who live in Spain and have a Dutch / Belgian driver's license but are officially registered must take into account that they can also lose points on a driver's license. This is stated on the ticket and will affect the moment you want or need to apply for a Spanish driver's license.



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