Rules For Stopping and Parking in Spain


Posted and filed under General Articles of Interest, Motoring in Spain, Newsletters.

Have you ever considered how there a great deal of places that you are prohibited to stop or park in Spain?

It is fairly obvious that you are prevented from stopping on curves, and slopes with reduced visibility, close to and inside tunnels, and in underpasses. Also on level crossings, and pedestrian crossings, but also on cyclist crossings…

Then there are lanes or parts of lanes reserved exclusively for certain users, and certainly parking at intersections or close to them, as it can make turning difficult for other vehicles.

You definitely cannot stop (although this should be obvious!) or railroad or tram tracks or close enough to them that movement could be obstructed or in places where it will block the view of signs for other users.

Because of this fact, caravans and lorries must be careful because of the large dimensions of their vehicles are blocking signs, then they may need to seek other parking spaces.

Of course, you cannot stop or park on highways or motorways, except in the special areas allocated for these purposes.

Unfortunately, sometimes people are driving, receive a telephone call and think the best thing to do is park on the hard shoulder to answer the call as it is not allowed to talk on the telephone while driving and it will be safer. Well… the hard shoulder is only to be used for emergency reasons. A phone call, no matter how important, is not a reason to stop on a highway!  People must leave at the first exit or look for a rest area where they can use the telephone safely.

People do not realise that every year there are car accidents because of a driver being distracted and they drift onto the hard shoulder and hit other vehicles that were pulled up there. It is vital that the use of the hard shoulder is only for vehicle emergencies.

Parking is also forbidden in reserved lanes for public transport or bicycles, and in areas designated for the exclusive use of public transport. Also in the marked areas for the exclusive use of disabled people and where there are pedestrians steps.

Parking Regulatory Restrictions

It is prohibited to park in the places above whereby stopping is prohibited, as well as in the places authorised by the town hall with time limitation parking without placing the ticket that authorises it in the window, or that the ticket is visible but the vehicle is in excess over the maximum time allowed! Also, it is prohibited in all areas for loading and loading, except when they specify otherwise.

Clearly, it is forbidden to park on pavements, promenades and other areas intended for pedestrians (although many people forget this!).

No Parking or “Vado” Signs

Some people buy Keep Clear or No Parking signs at hardware stores and put them in front of their drives/garages. These signs are not valid if they are used as a Keep Clear sign or to prohibit parking on the public road, since the Town Hall regulates and has authority for parking regulations in the zone.

Remember that when you pay for a proper “Vado” or Keep Clear sign, you are paying to have the right of way of vehicles to your garage, not the parking space on a public road.  Some people think that they can park their vehicle at the door of their garage, where it has a “Vado” sign in order to be able to access the drive. Only when they are fined they realise that the Keep Clear sign gives them the right of free access to the garage, and it is not meant to stop other people parking on the public road in front of their access, but allow them to do it themselves. This is not the purpose of a Vado. Simply put:  a Vado means it cannot be blocked, someone cannot park there.

We hope this is helpful and please contact us on if we can help with any Traffic matters or Vado requests.



    Can you please tell me if it is legal for a excavator vehicle complete with extended arm/bucket to park on the public road of my urbanisation for 4 or 5 days and nights.

    • Amanda Thomas

      Dear Stephen, I am sorry but I do not think that our lawyers would know that (though currently on holiday). I think this is a question for your local town hall. Kind regards Amanda

  • Greta Halliday

    We have a garage with a dropped kerb but a neighbour insists she has the right to park there anytime thus denying us access to our garage . This is happening on a regular basis for weeks at a time.

    • Amanda Thomas

      Dear Greta, It would be best to send an email to on this but I seem to remember you have to have a vado, even thought there is a dropped kerb. I think we may be able to help with this if local to us, although it is not my area. Kind regards, Amanda

  • Jon Hansen

    Parking prohibited sign in Torrevieja. Is it a yearly fee for the sign? We have one outside our driving entrance to our community.

    • Jane

      Hi Jon

      Yes it is yearly obtained from the Town Hall. If you wish us to assist you in renewing please contact us.

      Kind Regards


  • Kevin Roberts

    I have been told that I can not park outside a private house as they have the rights to park there because they have lived there for 16 years. It is a public road with no parking restrictions. They say the law in Spain is different from the uk so they can move me along. Is this correct?

    • Amanda Thomas

      Dear Kevin, The only way you can’t park outside their house is if they have obtained a Vado (with a sign) from the town hall and paid the relevant taxes. Otherwise anyone can park there. Kind regards

  • Will Murphy

    Can you obtain a Vado legally to prevent parking outside your home purely to prevent the parking by any other resident but then park your one and only car permanently in the street in a place where no restrictions apply?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Will,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      Yes, you can apply and obtain a Vado to prevent cars parking in front of your driveway and then park your car in the street. We hope this helps.

      Kind regards

  • Noel Lynch

    How do you know a Vado is in effect, paid for or license expired.

    • Nicola Ryan

      Afternoon Noel,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      You can check if the Vado is in effect, by contacting your local town hall.

      Kind regards

  • Erika

    Can I ask the neighbour to move they car from front of my gate if I do not have Vado?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Afternoon Erika,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      If you do not have a Vado, you do not have the authority to move the car from your gate, we are sorry.

      Kind regards

  • Sean Harrison

    Hi there,can a unattached trailer be left on the street on our residential area

    • Nicola Ryan

      Afternoon Sean,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      If you are certain that the trailer doesnt belong to any of your neighbours, it would be best to report it to the Police. We hope this helps.

      Kind regards

  • Jools

    Good afternoon please could you tell me if it’s possible to buy or rent a parking space outside your house there are parking spaces there but it’s public so anyone can park there

    • Nicola Ryan

      Afternoon Jools,

      If the parking spaces are public, possibly not. It would be best to contact your local town hall to ask.

      Kind regards

  • Bob

    I live on a narrow street in Pollença with no pavement , my front doorstep is directly onto the street. There are Vados on the garages nearby and I live at the end of the street just before the yellow lines start. There is evidence that the yellow lines used to go in front of my house too. The problem is usually tourists can’t resist jamming their cars just before the yellow lines and park right against my door so I have to lift shopping, my bike, deliveries over their cars. Can you get a Vado for a doorway or is their a legal definition of obstruction?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Afternoon Bob,

      It would be best to speak with your local town hall and explain the problem you have. We would suggest submitting pictures with your claim to explain the situation, and there has been lines painted there before. Maybe they will re paint the lines if a Vado is not possible. We hope this helps.

      Kind regards

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