When driving in Spain, for trouble free motoring it is essential to keep to the speed limits, so it does help to know how they work.
First of all there are the general speed limits for particular types of road:
AUTOVIA / AUTOPISTA (dual carriageway – motorway) Maximum 120 kph.
(Reduced to 80kph where they pass through built up areas)
TRUNK ROADS (Having a hard shoulder of 1.5 metres) 100 kph.
NORMAL ROADS (Without a hard shoulder) 90 kph.
These limits may be exceeded by up to 20 kph only when overtaking a vehicle travelling slower than the limit. (Except motorways where the absolute limit is 120kph)
URBAN ROADS in built up areas – 50 kph.
Secondly, there are SPECIFIC speed limits, such as a vertical sign which has a limit on a particular stretch of road, the limit stays in place until there is a de-restriction sign.
Thirdly, there are speed limits attached to hazards. These are vertical poles with two signs, the limit and the hazard (e.g. a junction). The speed limit is in force until the hazard has been completely passed. There is no requirement for a de-restriction sign after this type of limit.
Fourth, remember that different vehicles have lower limits, for example a Peugeot Partner, or Kangoo type van (mixto adaptable) has a maximum speed limit of 100 kph on motorways, 90 kph on trunk roads and 80kph on normal minor roads.
Fifth, and lesser known is that there are minimum speed limits on the roads in Spain. This is generally 50% of the maximum for the vehicle travelling on that road. The minimum is 60kph minimum on motorways, so if it is not possible to reach that speed the next exit must be taken.