Driving in Mallorca – What to know
What are the general traffic rules? How to properly pull over? How to not get fined by the police? How to drive in the mountains? What are the parking rules? What to be aware of when renting a car? These are some of the questions that we will try to answer for you on this page.
General traffic rules
Driving in Spain has always been a pleasurable experience, it seems as if everyone is one the same page in terms of how to behave on the roads. Generally speaking, Mallorca is also a great a great place to drive, however, there are times when traffic gets a bit hectic and stressed and, when this happens and there is not much space for maneuvers, you might suddenly find yourself uncomfortable. But don’t worry, we have gathered a list of general driving rules, as well as some good advice for driving in Mallorca, so that you are prepared.
- Drive on the right side of the road.
- Always wear seat belt (this goes for everyone in the vehicle).
- Never use your phone while driving with just one hand.
- Always indicate using sidelights when you are overtaking.
- Overtaking must always be done on the left side.
- Respect speed limits at all times. General speed limits are 50 km/h in towns, 90-100 km/h on open roads and 120 km/h on motorways (autopistas). In miles this would convert to 31, 56-62 and 75, respectively.
- The maximum amount of alcohol allowed is 0.5 milliliters per milliliter blood.
- The following items are mandatory to have in the car: Warning triangle, visibility vest, spare set of light bulbs, driving license, registration and insurance. Furthermore, if you wear glasses, it is required by law to have a spare set of glasses with you.
- Children under 135 centimetres in height cannot sit in the front seat and they must always use an approved restraint system.
All European Union and International driving licenses are accepted and valid in Spain. International driving licenses are only valid for one year upon arrival.
If you break the law it is the Civil Guard (green uniforms) that will issue you a fine, which needs to be paid on the spot. However, there are also speed cameras set up and if one of these has caught you, your rental company will be notified.
Speed fines range from €100 to $600.
Tips and advice for driving in Mallorca
- Before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle, bear in mind that Mallorca is a very popular cycling destination and that the lane can sometimes be occupied by cyclists riding 2-3 persons next to each other. If you encounter this, and you are not sure if you have room enough to pull over, honk the horn gently.
- When pulling over, don’t forget the sidelight.
- Morning and afternoon traffic can be quite hectic, especially around Palma.
- When driving in the Tramuntana, be aware that there are many hairpin turns, some of them with more than 7% incline making it very difficult to look upwards around the corner. Always enter a turn in low gear while keeping as much to the right as possible.
Parking in Mallorca is not difficult or tricky, at least not in terms of rules. All parking zones are marked with color so you know what to do, or not do.
- White zones = free parking
- Blue zones = Paid parking
- Yellow zones = Parking prohibited
Renting a car in Mallorca – what to know
Renting/hiring a car in Mallorca is highly recommended, as there are just so many beautiful places to visit and so many interesting things to see. However, a lot of tourist are concerned whether they can trust the renting companies in Mallorca, or if they are just unscrupulous money making institutions.
Mallorca is highly relying on tourism as a source of income, therefore, the competition among car renting companies is huge. What this mean is that bad repetition can really hurt their business. Most car renting companies in Mallorca are decent and reliable.
Rules for renting a car in Mallorca
- In Spain you must be 21 years old to rent a car
- Have had a valid drivers license for at least 2 years
- Must have a credit card
- Everyone that is to drive the car must be registered in the contract
Car rental rates and prices
Always read the contract thoroughly to know exactly what is included in the price you are quoted.
Some of the common factors that can influence the price are:
- Driver is under 25 years old
- Automatic transmission
- Airport and train/bus station pick-up locations
- Child seats
- Additional drivers
- Pick-up and drop-off on different locations
All rental cars in Spain are required to have the mandatory basic insurance, it is included in the rental price.
But if you plan to visit some of the most beautiful place on the island, or drive through the charming villages, you might want to consider a CDW (Collision Damage Waiver). The idea of a CDW is, that given you are not found guilty of gross negligence you are fully covered by the insurance. This comes in handy when there is not much space for maneuvering such as in the mountains or in the small villages, or if your car has been broadsided.