Brit tourists beware! €200 fine for THIS!

Image of Guardia Civil traffic officers.

Image of Guardia Civil traffic officers. Credit: Juan Carlos L.Ruiz/

For British tourists planning on driving in Spain, it might be worth just checking a few other details apart from the obvious ones, like driving on the right-hand side of the road.

There are a few little-known Spanish traffic laws that can lead an unaware foreign driver to get all hot and bothered and maybe lose his shirt, claims The Daily Express, Saturday, June 3.

Despite temperatures in excess of 35 degrees Celsius in parts of Spain, the temptation to remove one’s shirt while driving is something you should avoid at all costs.

Anyone taking off a shirt or top while driving could land themselves with a not insubstantial fine of €200 (£171) and three penalty points to boot.

Driving along shirtless in itself is not illegal, but anything that can get in the way of safe driving including the wearing of inappropriate clothing or footwear most definitely is.

According to Spain’s General Directorate of Traffic (DGT), being shirtless is potentially dangerous as it can lead to sunburn and injuries when using a seatbelt.

Any driver charged with the offence could face a fine between €80 (£69) to €200, and three penalty points, it all depends on the judgement of the individual officer.

Motoring expert, Andrew Jervis, CEO of ClickMechanic, said: ‘It’s fairly common to see motorists in the UK remove their shirts to cool down during hot weather.’

However, he went on to say: ‘In Spain, traffic police consider driving shirtless to be a threat to your safety and your ability to move, which means it is against the law to strip off your top half.’

Wearing inappropriate footwear such as flip-flops while tootling along even on short trips is something to be avoided.

A translation of a 2018 Guardia Civil warning states: ‘A fine for driving with flip flops? Yes, believe it, they can penalise you when the conduct impedes the freedom of movement of the driver or the control of the vehicle and thereby jeopardises the safety of the road.’

The best advice it seems when the weather is hot is to stay cool and keep your shirt on.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.


    • Kevin

      04 June 2023 • 13:52

      Most Spanish drivers use their mobiles quite openly and the police just ignore it

    • allan grieve

      04 June 2023 • 16:09

      My understanding is that it is not possible for Spanish police to issue penalty points to drivers driving under a British (or Irish) driving licence.
      Apart from all else, the British issue penalty points, whereas, the Spanish system awards every driver with 12 points, then takes them away as punishment for driving related offences.
      It would be sweet, however, if you already had 9 British penalty points, and Spanish Plod came along and took the 9 points off you, lol.

      • Ellie

        06 June 2023 • 15:13

        If they can issue Gibraltar citizens points then they can issue U.K. mainland citizens points, so best to just follow the rules. They can also impound your car roadside and leave you and your family stranded, having to pay a huge fine to get your car and belongings back.

    • David Ensor

      07 June 2023 • 14:06

      As someone said the police (local anyway) do tend to ignore the blatant use of a mobile whilst driving but get spotted by Guardia Traffico and it’s a different story. Another somewhat strange rule is that you must use headlights when it is raining. There are a few others as well but you just need to look up the DGT web site to find them!

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