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Speed limits in Spain

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Speed limits in Spain

General speed limits of Spain

Spain has different speed limits for every kind of road and vehicle. Until 1973, there were no speed limits on Spanish motorways, a generic limit of 130 km/h was instated then in order to save fuel during the 1973 energy crisis. It was lowered to 100 km/h to prevent accidents, but it was raised again in 1992, this time to 120 km/h. There have been proposals to raise the speed limit to 130 km/h, but have been rejected so far.

As of the 7 March 2011 and until 30 June 2011, the maximum speed limit in Spain was reduced from 120 km/h to 110 km/h, in order to save fuel due to the ongoing Arab Spring.[1]

Standard speed limits are:

  • Motorways and autovías:
    • 120 km/h for cars and motorbikes
    • 100 km/h for buses and vans
    • 90 km/h for trucks and vehicles with a trailer weighing 750 kg or less
    • 80 km/h for vehicles with a trailer weighing more than 750 kg

Bicycles and mopeds are not allowed to access a motorway – exceptionally bicycles may ride on the shoulders of autovías, but mopeds are banned.

  • Standard roads meeting at least one of the following criteria:
      • one-way roads
      • roads with more than two lanes for at least one direction of traffic
      • roads with shoulders more than 1.5m wide
    • 100 km/h for cars and motorbikes
    • 90 km/h for buses, vans and vehicles with a trailer weighing 750 kg or less
    • 80 km/h for trucks and vehicles with a trailer weighing more than 750 kg
    • 45 km/h for bicycles and mopeds
  • Other standard roads:
    • 90 km/h for cars and motorbikes
    • 80 km/h for buses, vans and vehicles with a trailer weighing 750 kg or less
    • 70 km/h for trucks and vehicles with a trailer weighing more than 750 kg
    • 45 km/h for bicycles and mopeds

On standard roads (but not motorways or autovías), cars and motorbikes are allowed to overtake at 20 km/h over the standard limit, if the vehicle being overtaken is travelling below the speed limit, and there is no posted speed limit lower than the standard. This permission decreases the time needed to overtake, and increases safety in the process.

On all non-urban roads and motorways, school buses and vehicles containing contaminant, explosive or flammable materials must decrease their speed limit by 10 km/h.

  • Built-up areas:

On motorways, a minimum speed of 60 km/h is mandatory for all kinds of vehicles. Minimum speeds in the rest of roads are one half of the generic speed limit for every vehicle. If a posted speed limit sign is below this value, the minimum speed is the posted limit minus 10 km/h.

No legal sanction is established for driving within 10 percent over the speed limit, depending on the specific limit of the area.[2]


  1. ^ Article regarding the temporary speed limit reduction - El País
  2. ^ La nueva Ley de Tráfico, punto por punto - (Spanish)
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