Spain Explained

Road rage and Spanish roundabouts

Once of the riskiest aspects of driving in Spain is negotiating Spanish roundabouts. It’s perhaps particularly confusing when the roundabout is on a dual carriageway. What baffles many used to driving in other countries is that cars often travel all the way around roundabouts in Spain in the outside lane.     

On a busy day in August, especially on the coast or other areas frequented by tourists, it’s not uncommon to see near misses and perhaps hits, when a car on the inside of the roundabout tries to exit only to have its route blocked by a car travelling all the way round on the outside. When this happens – who is to blame? 

The answer

The following explanation is taken from the Spanish equivalent of the Highway Code.

“When there is more than one lane on a roundabout, you will normally travel around the roundabout in the right hand lane – the outside of the roundabout”

So what exactly is the inside lane for?

“to carry out an overtake or if the lane is signed for your direction of travel”

And what should you if you’re on the inside and want to exit and someone is blocking your way?

“under no circumstances should a driver cut the course of other vehicles using the roundabout in order to exit from it.”

So there you have it. Travelling right around the roundabout in the outside (right hand) lane is the correct way of doing it

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Leave a comment


Martin Langwade

19 February, 2019 3:56 pm

So with roundabouts are you
So with roundabouts are you saying the rules are the same as the UK but travelling counterclockwise . Simply you must not cut across the front of another driver to leave the roundabout .

Suzanne O'Connell

22 February, 2019 2:27 pm

Hi Martin

Hi Martin

No, the rules are very different here. You must exit the roundabout from the outside lane. 


19 March, 2023 9:00 am

So the inside lane is pretty much pointless? Where is the logic in this? No wonder they have so many accidents.

Oscar Paoli

20 March, 2023 11:10 am

The inside lane of the roundabout can and should be used to facilitate traffic flow on the roundabout, e.g. to avoid congestion on the outside lane due to congestion at the first exit, if this exit is not the one to be taken, or to facilitate merging when driving on a roundabout of vehicles waiting to enter the roundabout from that right-hand side.