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Tips for Expats Driving in Cadiz

Driving in a new country can be daunting. These tips offer insight into what to expect when driving in Cadiz.

1. Understanding the Driving Culture

Driving in Cadiz, like most parts of Spain, is generally safe and straightforward. However, it’s important to understand the local driving culture. Spanish drivers are known for their aggressive driving style, so be prepared for close overtaking and frequent use of horns. Always stay alert and follow the traffic rules.

2. Car Recommendation

Compact cars are recommended for driving in Cadiz due to the narrow streets, especially in the old town. Smaller cars are easier to maneuver and park. Manual transmission cars are more common in Spain, but automatic cars are also available.

3. Parking Situation

Finding parking in Cadiz can be challenging, especially during peak tourist season. Street parking is limited and often requires payment. There are several public parking garages available, but they can be expensive. It’s advisable to find accommodation with parking or use public transportation when possible.

4. Driving with an International License

Foreigners can drive in Spain with an international driving permit (IDP) along with their valid home country’s driving license. This is valid for six months from the date of entry into Spain. After six months, you will need to obtain a Spanish driving license.

5. Obtaining a Spanish Driving License

To obtain a Spanish driving license, you will need to pass a theoretical and practical driving test. The tests are usually conducted in Spanish, so it’s advisable to take a driving course or hire a translator if you’re not fluent in Spanish. You will also need to provide a medical certificate proving you are fit to drive.

6. Familiarize Yourself with Local Traffic Rules

Spain has strict traffic rules and heavy fines for violations. For example, the use of mobile phones while driving is strictly prohibited. Seat belts are mandatory for all passengers. Also, Spain has a lower legal alcohol limit than many other countries, so it’s best to avoid drinking if you plan to drive.

7. Be Prepared for Roundabouts

Roundabouts are common in Spain and can be confusing for newcomers. Remember that vehicles already in the roundabout have the right of way. Also, you should always indicate your exit, regardless of which lane you are in.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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