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Spain - Parking

The parking regulations in Spain can be fairly complicated. There are some towns which have regulations stating that if it is an even day of the month then you park on the side of the street with even numbered houses. Other towns may have streets which have parking on one side for the first half of the month then for the rest of the month it changes to the other side. This is clearly indicated on the red and blue signs which can be found along the street. In some areas it may be necessary to have a permit to park (horas laborables) during office hours.

Parking meters (parquimetros) are common in many urban areas of Spain but most areas are now opting for ticket machines (expendeor de tickets de estacionamiento) instead. If there are signs indicating that you are in a blue zone this means that you need to pay for parking at a ticket machine. Parking between the hours of 9 am and 2 pm and 4 pm and 9 pm from Monday to Friday means that you need to pay. On a Saturday parking must be paid for between 9 am and 2 pm.

If you are parking in a city centre then the car parks are often underground (aparcamiento subterraneo). There are usually signs outside which tell you if there are spaces available. When using a car park there are usually cash desks or paying stations (cajero) where you can pay before you leave the car park. The cost of parking varies according to the area. If there is an official parking attendant (guardacoches) working in the car park he will normally be in uniform.

In some towns there is a system known as the ‘ora zone’ system. Tickets for parking are sold at various retail outlets and you can purchase a 30, 60 or 90 minute stay. If an area does not permit parking there will be a ‘no parking’ sign (estacionamiento prohibido) posted. These are blue with a red line although there may also be a sign painted on the curb. There are some police parking restrictions. Signs which have a police code number and either the words ‘prohibido estacionar’ or ‘vado permanente’ mean that the police have the right to tow away any vehicles left there. If this happens then the police will leave a sticker on the sign stating that the vehicle has been taken away and which will give a number to call. There will be a fee involved in getting the car back, although it is often below €100.

If you receive a parking fine then you need to be aware that repeat offenders may have points deducted from their licence as this is considered to be breaking the law. If you need to pay a parking fine you should do so at the local town hall or at the police station. The ticket should inform you which applies to you. There is usually an enquiries desk at the town hall which can help and you must pay a fine within 15 days of receiving the ticket.

Those who need disabled parking facilities need to have a disabled sticker or a blue badge. In order to obtain both of these it is necessary to apply to the local town hall, but these are only available to official Spanish residents. The blue badges which are issued are standard EU badges and are valid in all EU countries. Those moving to Spain from the UK should be able to use the badge issued in the UK without problems. Those who are coming from outside the EU will need to apply in Spain when they have residency status. A sticker with information in the Spanish language is available to display alongside a blue badge in another language.

Most car parks have spaces for the disabled and these are marked with a wheelchair symbol. Some spaces are marked with a vehicle registration number, which means that they are reserved for one particular driver. Parking there can result in the car being towed away, even if you have a blue badge. The use of the blue badge does not automatically mean free parking, although this is the case in some car parks. There are not normally concessions on parking at the roadside for disabled drivers and if you are in a ticketing area then you must also pay for a ticket.

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