Spain used to have a low-standard transportation system for years, but not any more - today, it's a county with advanced and safe roads, motorways and toll roads. Speed traps are common and authorities enforce the law vigorously.
Car categories in Spain vary between economy, compact and intermediate cars and also include minivans, minibuses and automatic vehicles. Road services are available 24 hours a day, whether you're in a big city or in rural areas.
Speed limits in Spain depend on the road you're driving on (motorways, dual line carriageway, roads, urban areas etc.) and it's recommended to get familiar with them in advance. Please note that these limitations were revised and became more severe in 2011.
Spain's motorways are called "autopista" and are marked with "N." Toll roads are called "autoposta de peajes" and are marked with "AP." Driving in toll roads is usually faster, but in many cases you can find parallel roads that are free of charge.
Fuel: Unleaded petrol (95 & 98 octane) and diesel (gasoleo A) are available. Gas refueling is available but still not common. Note that many gas stations are closed for siesta between 12:00-16:00.
Headlights: The use of high headlights in urban areas is prohibited. Use sidelights or dipped headlights depending on how well lit the roads are. Headlights must be used in tunnels.
Snow chains: Winter season starts in November and lasts until March. In this period, it's highly recommended that driving to mountainous areas should be done with snow chains. Please book snow chains in advance and make sure they fit and you know how to handle them.
Driving in cities: Entering highly dense areas, especially cities centers, is not subjected to taxes or fees. However, in areas that are marked in blue ("zonas azules") parking is permitted during weekdays only, with parking meters. Prices vary from city to city and Sundays and holidays are free of charge. Alternatively, in large cities you can park in parking garages or underground parking lots ("aparcamiento subterraneo").
Planing to travel with your rental car to village areas in Spain? Please note that small villages are packed with narrow one way streets. Therefore, it is recommended to park at the entrance and continue by foot.
It's also possible to travel with the rental car to Portugal, France or Gibraltar (subject to prior confirmation from the suppliers), but traveling to The Canaries and Balearic Islands or Morocco is not allowed.
Have a safe and pleasant journey.