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How to Use a Roundabout in Spain

in Expat Life, Expat Tips and Hints, Facebook Posts, General


Hang on I hear you say – I know how to use a roundabout, I use them all the time in the UK, it’s all the same all over Europe, surely. Well actually, no that’s not strictly true. Read on to find out why.

Roundabouts are a relatively recent addition to the roads in Spain, and you will find that things don’t always happen on Spanish roundabouts in the same way that you’ll be used to from the UK.

The most common comment is about cars using the outside lane to go around to the 3rd or 4th exit of a roundabout, which surprises many visitors to the country when they first see it. Whilst this is not best practice in the UK it is, however, the correct way to do it according to the Traffic Office in Spain.

Click on the picture below to get the definitive advice on how to use a Spanish roundabout, from the Spanish Traffic Office, the DGT. Then you won’t get caught out by the slightly different way the Spanish are taught to use them. The bottom picture links to an explanation of when and how to use the innermost lane, which is where all the confusion normally comes in for UK drivers when in Spain.


How to Use a Roundabout in Spain – Click to open video in a new tab

The use of the innermost lane, treating it the same way as the outer or overtaking lane of a dual carriageway – unlike the way we use it in the UK. Click the picture below to go to the video explaining how the DGT is thinking, showing you when you would use the ‘overtaking’ lane on a roundabout.

Like everything else, you just need to exercise a bit of common sense, and keep your wits about you at all times!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Robert Warburton

    At Miramar sopping centre at Iceland.I use the inside lane to access one lane upto the centre and drivers in the overtaking lane are accessing the same which cuts you up and the chance of a serious accident.To make the other case I have seen bad accidents at Marbella with vehicles turning left from the inside lane and vehicles in the overtaking lane smashing into them.

  • Anne

    The basis of these videos is to explain that before leaving the roundabout you should be in the outside lane (as in the UK). Accidents are being caused by drivers cutting across lanes; lane changing should be gradual! As in the U.K., when leaving by the third or subsequent exits the driver takes the inner lane, gradually moving to the outer lane to leave the roundabout. Checkout your Highway Code; the DVLA recommends that if traffic is heavy it may be necessary to go around twice to get into the outside lane in order to leave the roundabout.

  • This all makes sense, and also you need a little common sense too.
    BUT there is a roundabout taking you to IKEA in Murcia.
    Where no rules apply, the cars overtake, undertake, speed up or slow down, you haven t got a clue what is happening.
    It is a case go there with good luck on your side.