Driving in Gran Canaria

While driving in Gran Canaria, like in most European countries, you drive on the right side of the road and overtake on the left. The steering wheel is located on the left side of the car, and the gear is used with the right hand. Local car rental companies generally supply cars without a GPS, because there are few roads, and it is easy to get around.

Driving in Gran Canaria: What You Need to Take in the Car

Documents to carry in case the police stops you:

- Passport

- EU Driving license or international driver’s license

- Vehicle ownership documents or rental documents

- Insurance

Things to Take in the Car: Jackets & Triangles

You will need a couple of fluorescent jackets to be worn before getting out of the car if it breaks down on the motorway, and a couple of warning triangles to be placed in front and at the back of the broken car.

Driving in Gran Canaria: Practical Tips

Speed limits: Follow speed limits while driving in Gran Canaria. There are fixed as well as mobile radars. Most of the fixed radars are located on the road entering and inside the capital Las Palmas de G.C. It is easy to spot them, as they are located on the top of metal arches that cross the road from side to side. Mobile radars are not so easy to spot. They can be located in cars parked on the side of the road or also in moving police cars.

No headsets: Bluetooth headsets and earphones are not allowed while driving in Gran Canaria, nor anywhere in Spain. Speaking on the cell phone is also prohibited, unless you have a hands-free kit without an earpiece.

Learn the roads: The main motorway is the Gran Canaria 1 or GC-1 which joins the capital Las Palmas de G.C. with the southern touristic areas, such as Maspalomas, Puerto Rico, etc. Make the GC-1 your friend and you will be able to get around easily.

Stop at pedestrian crossings: Although most Gran Canarians don’t stop at pedestrian crossings because the police is not very strict, it is always a good idea to stop and let the people cross the road. Not only does it brighten up their day, but it makes one feel good.

Blue parking areas: While parking your car, check for blue marks painted on the floor. These parking spaces are known as blue zones, and require you to buy a small ticket from the machine and put it inside your windshield. In some areas, you can pay for the amount of time you think you will be there. Rates are written on the machine. In other areas, such as the main street of Vecindario (called “Avenida de Canarias”) there are workers with yellow jackets who sell the tickets. In this town you can park for 2 hours for only 50 cents. Remember to put the ticket in the windshield, otherwise it is no good in your wallet. Another thing to keep in mind is that none of the personal belonging should be visible if you leave your car parked. That way no one will be tempted to take them while you're away.

Seatbelts: Wear them all the time, and in all the seats, front and back. No excuses. Children under 12 must sit on the back seats in special chairs.

No drinking and driving: don’t do it. The legal blood alcohol limit for driving is 0.5 grams per liter, which is the equivalent of a small beer. If involved in a serious accident, the traffic police will measure the alcohol level with a brethalyser and may do further tests if there is a positive result. They also do random tests during the weekends mostly at night. 

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