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Tips for Expats Driving in Malaga

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

1. Understanding the Driving Culture

Driving in Malaga, 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. Choosing the Right Car

Compact cars are recommended for driving in Malaga due to the narrow streets, especially in the old town. Smaller cars are easier to park and navigate through the city. If you plan to explore the mountainous regions around Malaga, consider a car with a powerful engine.

3. Parking in Malaga

Finding parking in Malaga can be challenging, especially during peak tourist season. Most of the city centre is restricted to resident parking only. There are several public car parks available, but they can be expensive. Consider using public transportation or walking when possible.

4. Cost of Parking

Parking in Malaga can be quite expensive, especially in the city centre. The cost can range from 1 to 2.5 euros per hour. Some car parks offer daily rates, which can be more economical if you plan to leave your car for an extended period.

5. Driving with an International License

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

6. 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 you may need to take a driving course to familiarize yourself with the language and driving rules. You will also need to provide a medical certificate to prove you are fit to drive.

7. Be Aware of Speed Limits

Speed limits in Spain are strictly enforced, and fines for speeding can be hefty. The speed limit in urban areas is usually 50 km/h, while on motorways it’s typically 120 km/h. Always pay attention to the posted speed limits and adjust your speed accordingly.

8. Use of Seat Belts and Child Seats

Seat belts are mandatory for all passengers in Spain, both in the front and back seats. Children under 135 cm must use a child restraint system suitable for their size and weight. Failure to comply with these rules can result in fines.

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.

Additional Information:

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