Friday, 16 August 2019 17:33

Living In Gran Canaria: Guide To Driving Well

Driving in Gran Canaria isn't so bad but there are a few things you need to know to avoid scares and fines. 

Let’s start with avoiding fines as you can be fined for almost anything here, and knowing what fines exist will make your stay a lot cheaper.

Parking – don’t park on a yellow line. They will catch you and they will fine you. 
Single white lines – If there is a single white line in the middle of the road you can’t cross it. 
Carry all your documents ALL the time. The police can stop you anywhere and ask to see your paperwork.

You need...
Your permiso de conducir (driving license). This can be downloaded onto your phone on the Tráfico app.
Your permiso de circulación (Car certificate)
Your insurance AND the last bank statement showing you have paid it. If you don’t have the statement you can be fined. However, the police can now access this information from their cars so some insurance companies don’t issue papers any more.
Your ID (DNI or passport) – They can fine you for not having it.
Your last road tax payment.
You need to carry at least 2 flourescent bibs. One for the driver and one for each passenger. (buy them in the Euro shop or in a garage)
You have to have a triangle in case you have an accident.

Now the driving – Spanish drivers are fine. They are not the aggressive, erratic Seat Marbella driving lunatics you see on TV. However there are a few subtle differences in their driving that are worth knowing before you venture out on a Canarian road.

They use horn a lot, and will shout and gesticulate at you for no particular reason. Unless you have cut them up smashed into their new Seat or driven them off the road, ignore them – some people just like to overreact.

Gran Canaria drivers have no idea how to use a roundabout because in the Canarian driving test they are taught that any car in the outside lane has priority. Therefore, if you are going round the inside of a roundabout and someone overtakes you on the outside and you crash into them when you are leaving the roundabout, you will have a hard time convincing them it is their fault. You can try and use the inside lane if you want to be pedantic but its safer to always use the outside lane


Reverse parking – get good at it. Unless you want to pay extortionate Canarian parking fees you are going to need to know how to fit your wheels into a space designed for a bicycle. 

But don’t be afraid driving in the Canary Islands. In general, it is no different from anywhere else and far easier than London. If you want to go up to the mountains though make sure you have a good head for heights, some of the roads in the south and on the north coast have over 1000 metre sheer drop on one side! The views are pretty spectacular though and it’s well worth soiling your pants for a bit to see them.

It is polite to pull over if you are driving the car that is holding up a load of locals on mountain roads.

Renting a car in Gran Canaria

If you choose to explore Gran Canaria by car, take all the hassle out of renting by using Mr Car Hire Gran Canaria...

Mr Car Hire, an independent rental broker, offers a complete Gran Canaria hire car service with car-to-door delivery anywhere on the island, fully comprehensive insurance and 24/7/365 support. 

Best of all, he does it at great prices and offers top service, no queues, dirty cars or long waiting times.

Rent your car via Mr Car Hire and you'll get:

  • A wide choice of cars at reasonable prices with absolutely no hidden extras
  • Delivery to anywhere in Gran Canaria and car collection anywhere on the island
  • Comprehensive insurance and 24/7/365 support and breakdown cover
  • Personal service and a completely stress-free car rental experience

Contact him right here and Mr Car Hire be right back in touch.

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Tip of the day

  • Exchange Money In Gran Canaria Or At Home?
    Exchange Money In Gran Canaria Or At Home?

    Visitors to Gran Canaria often ask whether it is better to exchange their local currency for euros at home or in Gran Canaria. 

    The answer is that it is almost always better to buy your euros at home than it is to bring pounds to Gran Canaria and use local banks or currency exchanges. This rule of thumb applies all over the world. A currency is almost always cheaper the further away you are from the place you can spend it (because demand for it is lower). 

    Exchange rates are almost always better at home than in Gran Canaria

    You are very likely to get a better exchange rate using a British currency exchange specialist or local bank. Many of these companies will deliver your euros to your home.

    One of the best rates in the UK is often from the post office, especially if you do it well in advance.

    The only way you'll get a better rate in Gran Canaria than at home is if the exchange rate changes while you are travelling and this is rare. 

    You also have to bear in mind that currency exchanges in Gran Canaria are getting rarer and some local banks don't exchange money for non-clients. 

    To Transfer large amouynts of money to Gran Canaria, or to make regular transfers, always use a reputable currency broker such as Currencies Direct. This will save you money on exchange rates and bank charges and is highky secure. 

    The risk of bringing cash to Gran Canaria

    Another important factor to consider is the risk of bringing cash to Gran Canaria: If it is lost or stolen, there is no way of getting it back. 

    It is much safer to bring a debit or credit card and use local bank ATMs to take out money. These days, a good option is a pre-charged debit card. 

    Cards may be slightly more expensive that carrying cash, unless you seek out a bank card with low commissions, but it is much more secure. 

    Bank ATMs like Bankia, Santander and BBVA often charge lower rates than the ATMs in shopping centres and busy tourist areas.

    Alex Says: Always select the Euro option at ATMs in Gran Canaria because the exchange rate is much better than if you opt for the Local Currency option. The same applies when you pay by card in shops and restaurants.

    See our Gran Canaria Tips section for more nuggets of useful local information.

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