Driving in Madrid

  • Distintivo medioambiental obligatorio desde el 24 de abril de 2019 para circular en Madrid
  • Conducción en Madrid
  • Conducción en Madrid
    Conducción en Madrid.jpg
  • Conducción en Madrid - emov

In Madrid, it is better to move around on public transport, as it is one of the best in Europe and therefore, pollution is avoided.  If you are using your car, you must bear in mind Madrid 360 / Low Emissions Area, the anti-pollution protocol that is sometimes activated and the Mobility regulation, which establishes the maximum speed limit in many streets at 30 km/h. Remember that it is compulsory to display the environmental sticker.


Madrid 360 consists of the creation of different low emissions areas (ZBE) to improve environmental protection in the 21 districts. The entire municipality will gradually be declared ZBE according to rings from 1 January 2022 until 2025.

With the approval of the new Sustainable Mobility Regulation, legal parameters were established on 13 September 2021 to turn the entire city into a Low Emissions Area, reconciling the fight against pollution and the development of economic activity.

  • Passenger cars with environmental classification A from the 00 (unspecified), 02 (family) and 33 (off-road) categories, which fail to fulfil the requirements of being registered in the city of Madrid’s Vehicle Register and being registered in the Madrid City Council's Vehicle Tax Register (IVTM) on 1 January 2022, or those which, having fulfilled them but cease to do so at a later date (from the date on which they cease to fulfil them), will be able to access and drive in the 'Madrid Low Emission Zone' in accordance with the following phases:
    • From 1 January 2023, their access to and use on urban public roads inside the M-30 and on the M-30 itself is prohibited.
    • From 1 January 2024, access and use on all public and urban roads in the municipality of Madrid will be prohibited.
      See exceptions
  • Cameras equipped with the 'Madrid Low Emission Zone (ZBE)' automated control system’s OCR reader located inside the M-30 and on the M-30, are subject to a warning period of 4 months, from 0 hours on 15 September 2023 to 23:59 hours on 14 January 2024, prior to their definitive implementation. This warning period was established by resolution of 6 September 2023.

  • More info



Madrid 360 / Zonas de Bajas emisiones

Anti-pollution protocol

Madrid has a protocol for high pollution that affects traffic and parking. This protocol establishes five series of measures and gives priority to cleaner vehicles depending on their environment sticker.

If you are driving to Madrid by car, it is useful to check here if the protocol is activated and what measures it establishes.

Parking regulations

It is illegal to park a vehicle in places with yellow markings or where No Parking (Prohibido estacionar) signs are displayed. Regulated parking zones are signposted and have blue or green road markings. You can purchase a ticket from the nearest pay and display machine or by mobile.

Driving under the influence           

Spain has strict drink driving laws, with a legal alcohol limit of 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 ml of blood (25 milligrams for drivers who have less than 2 years driving experience). Driver found guilty of drink driving may receive fines of over 500 euros and prison sentences.

Speed limits

Speed limits are strictly enforced in Madrid and are controlled by speed cameras located around the city. General speed limits for vehicles, depending on the roads, are the following:

  • Motorways and dual carriageways: 120km/h
  • National roads: 100km/h
  • City roads: 30Km/hr on single lane roads / 50 km/hr on roads with two or more lanes in the same direction
  • Shared bike lanes: 30 Km/h
  • Residential areas: 20km/h

License and minimum age for driving

The minimum legal age to drive in Spain is 18- Non-residents may drive in Spain with an International Driver’s License, a temporary license which is valid for one year. Residents of a European Community country may drive in Spain using the license from their country of origin.  

Travelling with children

Children over 12 may travel in the passenger seat. Those under 12 may only travel in the front unless they are using a special car seat. Children in the back who are under 135cm tall must use the correct car or booster seats.

Motorbikes and bicycles

It is compulsory for motorbike riders to use dipped headlights day and night. Both the driver and any passenger must always use a helmet. Helmets are only compulsory for cyclists when travelling outside urban areas. Further information


Mobiles phones may not be used while driving, unless you have a hands-free set. Fines for this offence are usually around 200 euros.


Use of seatbelts is compulsory in Spain for both front and back seats. Failure to do so is a serious infraction, sanctioned with a fine of €200 and the loss of 3 points for the driver.

Personal Transporters

Electric scooters, Segways and similar vehicles cannot drive on the sidewalks. They have to use bike lanes and streets at 30 km/h or less. Persons aged 16 and younger have to use the helmet. It is not allowed to drive with headphones.

You have to be 15 years and older to use them. If it is an organized tourist visit, the helmet must be used by all, the group cannot have more than 8 people and the vehicles can be used by children aged 10 and older.

Further information



The city’s new official sightseeing and tourist travel pass.

An observation deck offering wonderful vistas of the city.

Visit our online store (in Spanish) of souvenirs made by local artisans!

  • Madrid's excellent transport system allows you to get around the city quickly and safely by bus, metro, train or taxi.

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Madrid's Municipal Transport Company (EMT) pinpoints all public car parks.

Find and reserve your parking place in Madrid and save up to 70%.

Reserve your parking space and make the most of Madrid's fantastic public transport.

Wherever you are, find the closest parking place.

Save 50% and park happy.

Save money by sharing a parking place with another user.

Reserva tu plaza, llega y aparca el coche dentro de Madrid central y fuera.

Reserva por horas o por días en ocho aparcamientos de Madrid sin necesidad de tickets con la tecnología LPR

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