Are you traveling to Spain by car? Taking a road trip is actually a great way to explore the country.
Spain is surely one of the top self drive holidays in Europe. Having your own transport opens up a lot of opportunities to visit smaller towns and squeeze more than you usually would into each day.
This means that you can go to some great and very popular destinations in Spain (e.g. Seville, Granada, Cordoba, Barcelona or Madrid) and add to the itinerary a bunch of bonus (e.g. the coast where you can spend a few days at some gorgeous beaches…).
All in all, it’s a great to get a good overview of the country in a short period of time.
If you’re considering getting to Spain by car, check this complete guide on where to book your rental car online.
In this guide, I’m going to explain everything you need to know about a Spain border crossing by car.
You can get to Spain by driving a rental car (or your own car of course!), either coming from Portugal or France.
If you’re coming from France, the entry points are:
If you’re coming from Portugal, the entry points are:
You might decide to visit Spain and Portugal or France on the same trip. Why not? Just make sure the car rental company allows for that.
Since all 3 countries (Spain, France and Portugal) are Schengen countries, you won’t face a hard border crossing. In other words, there are no border crossing points and you don’t have to show documents when crossing the border.
However, here’s the list of documents you need to travel to Spain by car:
If you’re taking a trip that involves driving in Spain, it’s always a good idea to know some of the rules and regulations before you go.
Many of the regulations are similar to other European countries, but speed limits and other information can be quite different than the US, Canada or Australia for example.
Don’t worry, though, you’ll be ready to hit the road after reading my 6 tips for driving in Spain!
Here are some final things to consider regarding if you plan to arrive to Spain by car.
There can be drastic changes in fuel prices across borders.
Always plan around this and if you’re leaving an expensive country (which is the case for France and Portugal as well) make sure you fill up the tank with fuel after crossing the border:
Gas stations are fully aware of that, so you’ll find one on the Spanish side as soon as you cross the border, no matter the route you’re taking!
When you cross over the border into Spain there’s almost always a large sign which outlines the speed limits on each type of road.
But if you skip it for any reason, I suggest you download an app called Waze. It’s an excellent tool for driving around Europe because it has a built-in function that tells you if you’re speeding.
One last piece of advice, though.
There are now plenty of speed traps, or radars, on main roads in Spain, and police can and do issue on-the-spot fines. Advance warning of speed traps tends to be given, and the speed cameras are sometimes painted in fluorescent yellow, with the speed limit painted on them… But this is not always the case so be careful with speed limits.
Take your time when entering Spain from France or Portugal to familiarize yourself with the new road signs.
This article is part of a complete tutorial about car rental in Spain where you can read all the information you need to organize your road trip around the country.
Here is a complete summary of all the guide:
1. What’s the best way to travel across Spain: a road trip or take the train?
2. Traveling to Spain by car
3. 10 epic Spain road trips
4. How to book your rental car online
5. How to find cheap car rental rates?
6. 8 Rental car tips & hacks for your Spain road trip
7. Do you need an International Driver’s Licence?
8. Getting around Spain: rental car
9. 6 tips for driving in Spain
10. Car parking in Spain