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Driving Laws in Tenerife

Updated: 26-04-2012 by

Getting to Know the Driving Laws in Tenerife

Driving laws in Tenerife, in fact in the whole of the Canary Islands and mainland Spain are the same. These laws were updated in May of last year when new legislation came into affect. Visiting the island you really get the best out of your trip  if you hire a car and go sight seeing, there's lots to see too. Hiring cars is very affordable as well as being wonderfully convenient. Below are a few hints and tip about driving around this beautiful island. One thing you have to remember is that in Tenerife, motorists drive on the right!

Do passengers have to wear seat belts?

Yes – all passengers travelling in a car have to wear seat belts. Also children aged 12 or under cannot sit in the front passenger seat. However there is an exception to this law which is that a child over 1.50 metres tall can sit in the front passenger seat.

What is the speed limit on a motorway?

Some parts of the motorways on the island have a speed limit of 120 kph, however other sections might have one of 110 kph.

What's the speed limit in towns and cities?

The speed limit in towns and cities varies between 40 kph and 60 kph and these are clearly marked on road signs.

Are there any speed cameras on the island?

Yes there are – but not as many as the rest of Europe. These speed cameras are installed at the side of the road and measure speeds of passing vehicles. They were only introduced last year.

Can a motorist use a mobile phone whilst driving?

No – it's illegal to use a mobile or any other sort of electronic device whilst at the wheel of a car. Motorist are not allowed to handle GPS either when they are driving.

Do the police carry out breath tests in Tenerife?

Yes – the police carry out random breath tests and give out on-the-spot fines to holidaymakers and non-residents who prove to be over the limit.

What is the alcohol limit?

For new drivers, only having held a licence for 2 years or under, the limit is 0.1 milligrams of alcohol per millilitre of blood (0.1%). For other drivers, the limit is 0.5 milligrams of alcohol per millilitre (0.5%).

Do I have to wear a crash helmet on a scooter or motorbike?

Yes – if you ride a scooter, motorbike or even a moped, the law requires you wear a bike helmet.