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Tips for Expats Driving in Granada

Driving in a new country can be daunting. These tips offer insight into what to expect when driving in Granada.
|-Tips for Expats Driving in Granada

1. Understanding the Driving Culture

Driving in Granada, like many parts of Spain, can be a bit challenging for newcomers. The city is known for its narrow, winding streets, especially in the AlbaicĂ­n and Realejo districts. Spanish drivers are also known for their aggressive driving style, so it’s important to stay alert and be prepared for unexpected maneuvers.

2. Choosing the Right Car

Given the narrow streets and limited parking, a small, compact car is recommended for driving in Granada. This will make it easier to navigate through the city and find parking. Manual transmission cars are more common in Spain, but automatic cars are also available.

3. Parking in Granada

Finding parking in Granada can be difficult, especially in the city center. There are several public parking lots available, but they can be quite expensive. Street parking is also an option, but be aware of the blue zones which are paid parking areas. It’s also important to note that some areas of the city are restricted to residents only.

4. Driving with an International License

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

5. Obtaining a Spanish Driver’s License

To get a Spanish driver’s license, you will need to pass a theoretical and practical driving test. The tests are usually conducted in Spanish, so it’s recommended to take a driving course to prepare. You will also need to pass a medical examination. Once you have passed the tests and completed the necessary paperwork, you will receive your Spanish driver’s license.

6. Be Aware of Speed Limits

Speed limits in Spain are strictly enforced, and there are many speed cameras throughout the country. The speed limit in urban areas is usually 50 km/h, while on highways it’s typically 120 km/h. Be sure to always check the posted speed limit signs and adjust your speed accordingly.

7. Always Carry the Necessary Documents

When driving in Spain, you should always carry your driver’s license, IDP (if applicable), passport, car registration, and insurance documents. Spanish law requires drivers to have these documents on hand at all times when driving.

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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