What you should know about driving in Spain How international personal injury lawyers can assist with driving abroad liability

Spain has remained one of Europe’s most popular holiday destinations due to its sunny climate and historic towns. However, for foreign visitors and residents, there are certain factors to consider before driving in Spain, especially for those planning long-term residence in Spain.

This guide will explore what foreign nationals should know when driving in Spain, and how Giambrone & Partners’ multi-lingual Spanish lawyers can assist with making a claim for compensation.

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Read about the main differences non-nationals can expect when driving in Spain.

Discover the types of car insurance available in Spain, and which is the most suitable for you.

Find out the documentation required for driving in Spain, and how international lawyers can help.

Discover how to make a claim in Spain with multilingual and international lawyers.

Find out who Giambrone & Partners are, and the services we provide.

Read the most frequently asked questions on driving abroad liability.

What you should know when driving in Spain?

EU citizens can use their driving licence from their own country when driving in Spain by registering with their local authority. For countries outside of the EU, such as the United Kingdom, citizens can use their existing driving licence for six months. However, this must be exchanged for a Spanish licence after this period.

Non-residents, such as British nationals, must always carry certain documentation when driving in Spain. This includes a valid UK driving licence, vehicle insurance documents, and the V5 registration logbook. Without these documents, there is a possibility you may be fined or charged with a driving offence. It is also recommended good practise to keep a reflective jacket and a warning triangle in the car.

All vehicles must have at least third-party liability level insurance, without this you can be fined up to €3,000. However, to get insurance, the vehicle must be registered.

To ensure you are driving in Spain legally, consult with our multilingual and international lawyers who can provide legal advice.

Contact Giambrone & Partners today to find out more information.

What are the different types of car insurance in Spain?

Third-party Spanish car insurance typically costs between €200 and €400. There are different types of car insurance for Spanish vehicles to consider:

Third party liability

All Spanish vehicles require third-party liability insurance, known as responsabilidad civil obligatoria or seguro obligatorio. This covers all damage and expenses, including personal injury, vehicle damage and legal costs in the event of an accident.

Third-party fire and theft

Known as responsabilidad civil obligatoria incendio y robo, this type of third-party insurance covers all the above and damage to your vehicle should you have an accident.


Known as todo riesgo, Spanish comprehensive car insurance covers costs for all parties involved in an accident, such as breakdown cover; even if you were at fault.

Ensuring you have the right Spanish car insurance is important in case of a road traffic accident. If you intend to drive in Spain, your British insurance should cover any accidents or damage. However, contacting your insurer at least one month before travelling is recommended.

If a road traffic accident occurs, you may be entitled to compensation if a third party is at fault. Our personal injury lawyers are experienced in international cases, and can assist you in gathering evidence following a road traffic accident in Spain.

Find out more about the benefits of working with personal injury lawyers in Spain here.

What documents do you need to drive in Spain?

If you are bringing your own car abroad, your driving licence is still valid. Previously, British drivers would need to apply for a “green card” in order to drive overseas. However, since August 2021, a “green card” is no longer necessary; as long as the vehicle is insured and displays a GB sticker.

Foreign citizens require certain documentation when applying for Spanish car insurance, including:

  • A Spanish driving licence
  • NIE number
  • Spanish address of policyholder
  • Spanish bank account

Giambrone & Partners can help British residents understand the documentation required when driving in Spain. Our English-speaking Spanish lawyers can assist in ensuring all activity involving driving in Spain is legal.

Contact our Spanish lawyers today to find out more information.

How do you make a claim with a Spanish car insurer?

Road accidents may occur when driving in a foreign country, such as Spain. For drivers with Spanish car insurance, third-party liability will typically cover damages to the vehicle.

Following a road traffic accident, it is possible that you may be entitled to compensation if the accident was caused by a third party. First, you must complete an EU accident report form declaración de siniestro de automóvil to be signed by any party involved. If somebody else is at fault, gather as much evidence as possible to support your personal injury claim. Make sure to obtain a copy of the police report, as well as a medical report that displays any injuries that occurred, and photographic evidence of the scene.

When making a personal injury claim in Spain , ideally, it should be made as soon as possible. However, there is a period of one year during which time to make a claim.

Giambrone & Partners’ Spanish personal injury lawyers can help you through this process to ensure that your claim has been made within this period.

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How can Giambrone & Partners help?

Giambrone & Partners is an international law firm with extensive experience in successful personal injury claims. Our lawyers are able to manage claims for compensation in a number of jurisdictions, including Spain, and have successfully obtained high levels of compensation for our clients.

Our Spanish personal injury lawyers represent individuals, companies and partnerships in both in at trial and in arbitration and mediation.

Contact our Spanish personal injury lawyers today to see how we can help you.

Frequently asked questions

What should you do if you have an accident on holiday in Spain?

Once you decide you wish to claim after suffering an accident abroad, you should contact one of Giambrone & Partners’ expert personal injury lawyers, who will review the incident and guide you through the evidence required and make the submission for a claim for compensation.

Find out more about how to claim damages after an accident abroad here.

What do you need to drive in Spain after Brexit?

As the United Kingdom is no longer part of the EU, as previously mentioned, citizens from England and Wales must carry certain documents. This includes a valid UK driving licence, valid proof of ID, a V5 certificate and a GB sticker.

For drivers with licences not issued in the UK, such as in the Isle of Man and Guernsey, they must apply for an International Driving Permit from their local post office.

Contact Giambrone & Partners today to find out more about driving in Spain.

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The Benefits of Working with Spanish Personal Injury Lawyers

Claiming for a road traffic accident in the EU UK Advice