Can you drive someone else´s car?

by Lorraine Williamson
to drive a car -

This is a subject surrounded by confusion and misinformation. If you drive someone else´s vehicle on a regular basis, and are stopped by the police, can you be fined?

The answer is it is not against the law! However, unless you have proof you are authorised to drive the vehicle, you could have some difficult questions to answer. Of course, this is made even more difficult if you don´t speak sufficient Spanish. Therefore, it is a good idea to have a document signed by the owner confirming you have permission to drive. It is a safeguard for the owner as if they are not in the vehicle, who is to say it has not been stolen.

Correct paperwork

As the driver of another vehicle, you should ensure the correct paperwork is in the car should you have to produce it. The vehicle must obviously have a current ITV, insurance, and the “Permiso de Circulación”. Also, although the insurance will be in the name of the owner, the driver must also have a valid driving license.

Insurance exclusions and excesses

 It is also advisable to check the details of the insurance policy. If you are involved in an accident, you could be subject to a higher policy excess, depending on your age and experience, etc. Also, you should be aware if the insurance covers driving in Spain only. A trip to Gibraltar could, therefore, end up an expensive one if you were to have an accident!

ASSSA - health insurance in Spain


If you drive the vehicle regularly, the owner can also contact the DGT to inform them. This is beneficial if there is a fine to be paid. Normally, the owner would receive the fine asking if they were the driver or, to provide information as to who is therefore responsible for paying the fine. 

However, if you give permission to the owner of the vehicle, as the regular driver of the car, you can inform the DGT to send any traffic notifications directly to you. This is a good option especially if the owner of the vehicle is not in the country very often. If the fines go directly to you, it also means you have time to qualify for an early payment discount.

You can contact the DGT here. Equally, if you stop driving your car, the owner should contact the DGT to update them.

If you want to check if there are any points on your license, click here.

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