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Mopeds and Motorcycles in Spain

- Updated: 28/01/2014
Mopeds and Motorcycles in Spain

Despite the climate, larger motorcycles are few and far between on Spanish roads, but mopeds and scooters are very popular. Indeed they can even be problematic in some Towns and Cities with their incessant noise and erratic driving (and parking) habits.

Approved Crash helmets** are legally required to be worn at all times and, although it seems to be rarely enforced, failure to wear one can result in a fine of 100 Euros.

** The legality of Crash Helmets in Spain is covered in depth on the Article attached HERE

Recent changes to the law mean that Children under the age of 7 can no longer be passengers on the back of a moped, and when older than 7 they are required to have written permission to be a passenger with anyone other than a parent driving.

Motorcycles (but not mopeds) are also required to have their dipped headlights on at all times.

Changes to the law on 01.09.2010 mean that moped can now only be ridden by those over the age of 15 (prior to this date 14 years) providing that the engine capacity does not exceed 50cc and the maximum speed is no more than 45km per hour – however the age rises to 16 if the rider is NOT a Spanish resident. Riders under the age of 16 must first pass a simple road safety test and provide a letter of permission from their parents. All moped drivers must also have a provincial driving licence costing around 20 Euros, and a specially driving licence for mopeds.

A minimum of third party only insurance is also necessary and few Insurers will provide cover for younger teenagers due to the high number of claims from this age demographic. As a result it is widely known that many riders of mopeds do so without any insurance at all

However, Mopeds are no longer exempt from paying any road tax or registration fees and, if the moped has an engine below 50cc, it can not be used on a motorway.

Whilst there is a very high number of moped users in Spain, they are also involved in an alarmingly high number of accidents – largely due to their youth and/or inexperience of using the road.

From the age of 16 it is possible to ride a motorcycle with an engine size of up to 125cc, but this requires an “A1” licence – at 18 a motorcycle over 125cc can be ridden once a type “A” licence has been awarded. These Type “A1” and “A” licences are valid for 10 Years when up to 45 Years old, 5 Years when the licensee is aged between 45 and 70, and every 2 years beyond 70.

All motorcycles over 75cc must follow the same speed limits as Cars, and are permitted to use Motorways, although the tolls are lower. As with Cars, all motorcycles over 75cc must be registered with the Jefatura de Traffico, but the driver of a high powered motorcycle ( 500cc and above ) must also have a Manufacturers Certificate, An Industry Certificate, an Appraisers Certificate and Town Hall registration.

As with Mopeds, Motorcycles are required to have a minimum of third party only insurance, however, unlike mopeds they require their first ITV Inspection when 5 years old - to be renewed yearly beyond that.

Please Note : The above article describes the law as it currently stands - however, Transport Minister Camiel Eurlings has informed parliament that a driving test for mopeds will be introduced during early 2010, stating “Moped drivers will have to pay at least 390 euros for their licence and four compulsory lessons. Drivers who need extra lessons will have to pay more.”

Comment on this Article

 
Hello, just wondering where I would find out what current laws are on registering, and license requirements for road legal electric motorcycles in Spain? Or if perhaps you would consider adding an article? Thanks in advance. Regards. Lucas
Lucas - Mon 18th Aug 2014

John : You might find a few answers to this issue in our latest 'How to Guide', by clicking the link HERE

Tumbit - Admin - Tue 28th Jan 2014
Ta Tumbit Admin! You are stars! I'll have a chat with un guardia civil trafico when I'm there and get back to you with the full legal spec. Cheers y gracias! John.
John Neighbour - Sun 5th Jan 2014

John : This is one of those occasions where what the law states and how it applied by the local Police are often 2 totally different things. The law states the you must have a helmet with you at all times, but in practice the Police very rarely check to see if the helmet is EU compliant. It looks to me like a case of your decision to take the risk.

Tumbit - Admin - Sun 5th Jan 2014
Hi. I'm an experienced motorcyclist, having survived for fifty years behind bars! Does anyone know if it's legal to wear a top-class bicycle helmet in spain instead of a heavy job that I ain't going to get in my luggage? (I'm not going to be exceeding 50kph!) without getting busted for a 100 euros? I'm off to Gomera in a week and I've got a huge head and have trouble getting a 'real' helmet to fit when hiring a bike. Gracias!
John Neighbour - Fri 3rd Jan 2014
Hi, I'm leaving to Marbella this summer for vacation w/ a friend of mine. We are traveling alone and we do not wish to take a cab around. We do not have a Norwegian drivers license as we did not take it, but is there any possible way we can rent a scooter (50cc) without a drivers license?
Henrik - Mon 1st Jul 2013
@Mikey - Well said! However I think the harsh nature of the article is to drum home the importance of staying within the law and not to make yourself a victim by not obeying the rules! I've seen some real p##stakers on the roads over here and wish everyone was as sensible as you!
Ed Bishop - Fri 14th Jun 2013
Hi I ride Ktm 990 supermoto ( brought from England ) Spanish roads are great - anyone reading this blog could be put off riding here - do not be. The Spanish police welcome big bikes on the road long as you respect the laws and roads don't know the laws on hair dryers, but the roads are some of the best in the world with the open mountain landscapes. Do bring your big bike :0) Aka Cookie Monster arf arf
Mikey Fry - Sun 9th Jun 2013
I want to being my UK registered Honda 125 scooter to spain, what Spanish licence requirements do I need to drive it in Spain. Thanks
Bill Elliott - Sat 18th May 2013
I'm an expat resident and working in spain driving a 125 motor cycle with a full UK driving licence and i'm wishing to go touring on my 125 to Scotland. Can any one tell me of my legal requirements to do so ie do i need a CBT once I arive ?
John Torrie - Tue 14th May 2013
Hi, Does anyone know the law regarding the electric scooters ? In the UK you do not need a licence but what about in spain ? and also do they have to be registered in spain ?
Rob - Fri 12th Apr 2013
As far as I know, it is not obligatory to have a numberplate on a moped under 50cc.
Robster - Mon 8th Apr 2013
Hi, Do you know the rules regarding the need for a numberplate on a moped? I've seen lots without one and some with one, so am a bit confused. Thanks
Gordon - Mon 8th Apr 2013
Mark : Given your age, and the fact that would be riding just a 125cc, and it would be a UK registered Motorbike, in Spain for just a temporary period, then you would be fine - just be sure to check the details with your insurance company.
Tumbit - Admin - Fri 22th Mar 2013
Hi there my name is Mark and am 34, I have had a full car licence since 2005 and me and a friend was thinking a of a road trip from here UK to spain my friends also has had his car licence since he was 17 and is now 35 and we have both been riding 125s for the past 4 years here in the UK, on CBT of course, so am i right in thinking this would be fine for us to do as long as we are only on our 125s any answers would be a great help thanks loads mark
Mark - Fri 22th Mar 2013
Alex : You have rightly found that your UK Provisional Licence is worthless here in Spain. Providing that you can speak a good enough standard of Spanish it would be better for you to take your test here, as it would be legally questionable to fly back to the UK to take your test, registering any resulting licence to a property you were no longer resident at.
Tumbit - Admin - Tue 11th Sep 2012
Hey, I have just moved to Spain but have no permanent residence yet. I am 18 and have a provisional UK drivers license. I am looking at buying a moped. Would it be best for me to take my driving test to receive a full UK drivers license or to start again from scratch in Spain as I will only be looking at a less than 200cc moped ? regards.
Alex - Tue 11th Sep 2012
NO ! - A UK Provisional licence is not recognised at all in Spain, for one. She 'Might' be able to do all of those things depending on her age and the engine size of the moped in question.
C Shaw - Mon 30th Apr 2012
Hi, Can anybody tell me if my girlfriend can legally buy, drive and get insured on a moped in spain by using just her UK provisional licence ? thanks.
Danny - Mon 30th Apr 2012
Hi J found the information I was looking for Its written under Noticas Juridicas Royal Decree 818/2009 8th May which approves the regulations on drivers Article 4 item 5 Paragraph 7 States The Class B license, BTP, B E, C1, C1 E, C, C E, D1, D1 E, D and D E does not authorize a motorcycle with or without sidecar. However, people who are in possession of class B license in force, with more than three years old, can drive in the country whose motorcycles driving permit authorizes the A1 class. Took a bit of time but hey presto persistence pays off now I can go look for a moped up to 125cc
Terry - Sun 22th Jan 2012
Hi J thanks for the response. Like you I will be surprised if the embassy will be willing to help but there's no harm in asking especially as this subject seems to promote a lot of confusion and I have had good responses in past issues. I have not read the EU directive but I will now thanks very much. Thanks for your help its nice to know there are people out there who are happy to part with good info and advice. I will let you know if I get any more info and pass it back your way
Terry - Sun 22th Jan 2012
Terry, I don't claim to know much about motoring laws in Spain - I'm certainly no expert, but I do try to keep up to date with changes to the law like reading BJ Deller's books and columns, and by looking out for BOE circulations on the matter. I would also be very surprised if you managed to find a definintive answer from the Embassy or any other source as they seem unwilling or unable to keep up with most of the minor changes or additions to the law. - If you have read the EU Directive 2006/126/EEC you will know that further changes are possible between now and 2013.
J Timpson - Sun 22th Jan 2012
Hi J thanks for the link info. That link takes you to the info I have already mentioned, but no I haven't spoken to RACE which I will, thanks. The one thing I really would like to know is where you originally got this info from was it word of mouth for example. Just to let you know I I am in contact with the British Consulate over this as they should be able to provide a finite answer.
Terry - Sat 21st Jan 2012
Terry : This link might be of use to you > http://tinyurl.com/78n45ra , but I agree it is a little vague at best. Have you though of speaking to RACE ?
J Timpson - Sat 21st Jan 2012
Cheers J for that I have been trying to find out exactly where this is written under Spanish law article 3rd: Real Decreto 818/2009, de 8 de mayo, por el que se aprueba el Reglamento General de Conductores. I have read this article but again it does not state the engine size the reason I would love to see this in writing is because I have had conflicting information on the subject so if you have a link please send it my way Thanks
Terry - Fri 20th Jan 2012
Terry, Spanish driving law says that if your licence does NOT state that you can drive a Category A1 Moped / Motorbike, you can do so once you have held a Category B driving licence - FOR 3 YEARS - and for a moped UP TO 125cc
J Timpson - Fri 20th Jan 2012
I understand that you can now ride a 125 moped on an existing car licence due to a recent change in the law - is this true ?
Terry - Fri 20th Jan 2012
Steven : A provisional licence is NOT recognised here in Spain, as such will you will need to take the appropriate Spanish test.
Tumbit - Admin - Thu 8th Dec 2011
Hi, I am moving to Spain in February and would like to know what the minimum requirement for me to ride a 50cc and 125cc Scooter across the border of Gibraltar. I do not have a driving license but I have recently done my CBT here in England and I am riding around on a 125cc with L plates and a provisional license. Thanks
Steven - Thu 8th Dec 2011
well i'm coming home for a week then going back for 5 months
Nick - Thu 1st Dec 2011
Nick : Just to clarify here - you are only intending to be in Spain for 1 Month, but in that time want to take your Spanish moped test ?
Tumbit - Admin - Thu 1st Dec 2011
Hi, I'm going to spain for a month in the new year I'm 16 if i take my licence in spain can i still get a 75cc and how much will it cost to take my test ?
Nick - Wed 30th Nov 2011
Bryn : Providing you have an EU photo-card driving licence, showing type A entitlement, and your passenger is over the age of 10, then the answer is "Yes" to both questions.
Mr Grumpy - Fri 4th Nov 2011
I have just purchased a new Yamaha 125 Scooter in Spain. I have had a full UK car licence for 30 plus years, but nothing else. 1) Can I ride on Spanish motorways ? 2) Can I take a pillion passenger on the Scooter ? Thanks for your help. Regards Bryn Jones
Bryn - Thu 3rd Nov 2011
Steven : NO ! - A provisional licence is not recognised at all here in Spain.
Tumbit - Admin - Tue 30th Aug 2011
Hi - Can you still drive a moped if you do not have a licence for mopeds but have a provincial ?
Steven Walker - Tue 30th Aug 2011
Nick : It depends what entitlement you have on your UK driving licence : A1 / A means that at your age you can drive a 125 cc, but no greater, and without passenger.
Tumbit - Admin - Tue 16th Aug 2011
Hi, I'm confused as I have read lots of different websites all saying different things, I'm 38 been driving a car since I was 17. Can I ride a 125cc in Spain ?? - ( I have motorcycle entitlement on my full car licence) I can ride a 50cc moped in the UK no "L" plates or CBT needed. Over 50cc then I need CBT. Thanks in-advance
Nick - Tue 16th Aug 2011
right thank you
Crai - Fri 15th Jul 2011
Craig : As a UK Resident on Holiday in Spain you would need to produce either a Full UK Driving licence or a Motorbike Licence, depending on the cc you wish to hire.
Tumbit - Admin - Fri 15th Jul 2011
So what will I need to be able to drive a moped over in Spain ?
Craig - Fri 15th Jul 2011
Craig : NO - you will not. A Provisional driving licence issued by the UK is NOT recognised in Spain, therefore in the eyes of the law in Spain you are not permitted to drive anything at all over here.
Tumbit - Admin - Fri 15th Jul 2011
hi there my name is craig and i am a uk citizen and 19 and i have provisonial drivers licence at the miunite and im thinking of going on holiday over to spain Vilassar de Dalt . and im wondering can i still drive a moped over there and if i get uk insurance and that will i be coverd if i do have an accident and is there anything else what i need to do and what cc can i go up to ?? thanks craig s
Craig - Fri 15th Jul 2011