Driving in the Canary Islands

Updated: May 4, 2020 | By | More

If you want to get around quickly and easily in the Canary Islands, a hire car is probably your best choice of transport. The rules for driving in the Canary Islands are basically the same as on the Spanish mainland and this blog post will help you familiarise yourself with them as well as other factors such as fuel and travelling between islands.

El Teide Parque, Tenerife, Canary Islands
Photo licensed under the Creative Commons, created by Martin Robson

Driving rules to remember

Bear these rules in mind when taking to the road on the Canary Islands:

  • Like most of mainland Europe, the Spanish drive on the right hand side of the road.
  • It is mandatory to apply your seatbelt in both the front and the back of the car. Children under the age of 12 must not sit in the front passenger seat. Children must always wear a seatbelt.
  • You must carry two accident warning triangles in the car. In the event of an accident, place one at the front of the car and one at the rear.
  • If you have to exit your car on a motorway or main road, a reflective jacket must be worn.
  • The speed limit is 120 kilometres per hour (74.4mph) on motorways; 90 -100km per hour (55 – 62mph) on open roads and 50km (30mph) through villages.
  • It is forbidden to use full headlights in residential areas. Drivers should use sidelights or dipped lights instead.
  • It is forbidden to use a car horn in residential areas. You are allowed to flash your lights instead.
  • The limit for blood alcohol content is 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. For those people with less than two years’ experience, the limit is 30mg per 100ml of blood.
  • Give way to buses and taxis.

Toll roads

There are some toll roads on the Canary Islands, so make sure you have cash handy. The toll roads are known as ‘una carretera de peaje’ or ‘una carretera de cuota’.

Topping up your tank

Petrol (‘Gasolina’ in Spanish) is cheaper in the Canary Islands than on the mainland, due to lighter taxation. All filling stations have petrol and diesel fuel for sale. It is worth remembering to keep your tank topped up as many stations close during the siesta hour.

Credit cards are accepted at most stations.

Rental tips

Here are a few things to bear in mind when renting a car on the Canary Islands:

  • Read the agreement carefully and ensure that you understand what is included in the rental price (collision damage waiver, tax, insurance etc).
  • Make sure you have the phone number of the rental company before you drive off with your car, be it car hire Lanzarote, Tenerife, Fuerteventura or Gran Canaria.
  • Have your passport, driving licence and rental agreement on you at all times.
  • As a general rule, you can’t take your hire car from one island to the other. The only exception is the Fuerteventura to Lanzarote sea crossing.

And last but not least, enjoy your trip! The Canary Islands boast some beautiful landscapes, so make sure you drive safe, slow down and take it all in.

Catherine Halsey is based in Edinburgh and writes for a digital marketing agency. This article links back to www.europcar.co.uk/car-hire-LANZAROTE-airport.html.

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Category: Islands, Travel Tips

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