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October 23

Driving an electric vehicle in Spain

Two zapmen sat in a car looking at signposts which lead to Spanish locations

According to Statista, Spain is where most Britons go on holiday (France, Italy and Greece following shortly behind), but with an increasing amount of flight delays, differing prices, and excess amounts of harmful emissions, air travel can seem a little backwards.

Why not drive to Spain emission-free?

With over 500,000 electric vehicle chargers on the Electroverse network, driving and charging your EV from the UK to Spain is easy - that’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you plan your next EV adventure.

Let’s get plugged in…

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Can I take my electric vehicle to Spain?

Si! Or, yes!

What’s more, with over 500,000 charge points on the Electroverse network, it’s very easy to take - and charge - your electric car from the UK to Spain.

You can either take a ferry direct to Spain or you can take a ferry or train (such as LeShuttle) across the channel to France, and start your road trip there.

Taking your EV on a train to Spain

As mentioned above, there are no direct train connections to Spain from the UK. If you have your heart set on starting your journey via rail, then you’ll need to first go into France using LeShuttle (formerly known as Eurotunnel).

LeShuttle operates a direct train service from Folkestone (Kent) to Calais (France), with different ticket types priced per vehicle. Fortunately, LeShuttle also has designated charge points at both sides of its terminals, meaning you can either top up or just after your train ride - if needed!

From Calais you’ll need to plot your journey into Spain - but don’t worry, you can easily do this with the Electroverse route planner. Watch our video on how to use the route planner below.

How to use the Octopus Electroverse route planner

Which UK ferry ports allow car-crossings to Spain?

There are only two UK ferry ports that enable car crossings into Spain - all the routes are operated by Brittany Ferries - these are:

  • Portsmouth to Bilbao

  • Portsmouth to Santander

  • Plymouth to Santander

Depending on the route you choose and the time you travel, rates and journey length can differ. To compare rates, your best bet is to use a price comparison site or go to the ferry provider directly.

Where can I charge my vehicle in Spain?

With over 24,000 public chargers in Spain, you’ll not be short of places to charge. To find which charge points work with Electroverse (fair warning - there’s a lot!), go into the Electroverse app and filter the map to show ‘Electroverse only’.

You can also filter for chargers that will work with the app (but we always recommend taking your Electrocard as back-up in case of poor signal, dead battery etc., etc.)

Octopus Electroverse web map showing Spanish chargers
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Psst - if you need hotels, we’ve created this handy guide about hotels in Spain which have EV chargers on site!

What do I need in my vehicle to drive in Spain?

When driving in Spain, you need to have the below items in your car. If you are caught without them, you can be fined on the spot! So, before you go on holiday, make sure you have:

  • A warning triangle

  • Reflective jackets - one for each passenger in the car

  • Headlamp deflectors - this one is dependent on your car (as it might already be fitted), but worth checking before you go

Octopus Electroverse mascot, Zapman, carrying a European driving kit while standing next to an electric vehicle that is charging
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The following don’t necessarily need to be left in your car, but you should also remember to take: your valid UK driving licence, passport, motor insurance documents and V5 registration document

Do I need a GB or UK sticker to drive in Spain?

Since September 2021, vehicles registered in the UK driving through Spain must display a UK national identifier. 

This doesn’t necessarily mean a sticker - it can be within the number plate - but the letters UK need to be visible on your vehicle. If your number plate doesn’t contain ‘UK’, then you will need to get a sticker and place it next to (not on!) the registration plate. 

You can buy UK car stickers online or by popping to your local Post Office.

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Some drivers prefer the UK magnets rather than stickers, and this is for two reasons: No sticky residue on your vehicle when you come to remove it & you can remove the magnet when parked overnight to avoid being targeted!

Other road regulations in Spain

  • Drive on the right-hand side of the road! You can overtake on the left - and at intersections, give way to oncoming traffic on your right.

  • Know your speed limits! Motorways allow up to 120 km/h and dual carriageways 90 - 110 km/h.

  • Make sure you have valid car insurance

What about low-emission zones in Spain?

Unlike France, which requires all drivers (local or foreign) to have a Crit'Air sticker when driving through low-emission zones, Spain does not require the same.

In Spain, only local vehicles require proof of emission - foreign vehicles do not.

How much do EV chargers cost in Spain?

Much like the UK, the cost of chargers in Spain varies from provider to provider. The best way to find the rate you’ll be charged is to check the Electroverse app. All you need to do is open the charge point information, and the rates will be displayed. Be sure to check if there are any warning messages for parking restrictions, time-based fees, etc.

All Spanish charge points will be billed in Euros - this means the rate will be converted to Pound Sterling through Electroverse. You can check the conversion rate on your receipt, which will be visible in your app within 24 hours of the charging session ending.

Image of Octopus Electroverse mascot, Zapman, holding different EV chargers looking confused
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If you have a debit or credit card attached to your Electroverse account, you’ll need to check if non-sterling transaction fees apply. Your bank will charge this fee if you charge abroad - similar to when you use certain bank cards to pay for food, drinks, boat trips to see octopuses (etc.) on holiday outside the UK

Road trip tips and tricks

If you’d like a few more tips and tricks for taking your EV on a road trip, feel free to check out the below blogs:

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Feeling enlightened or do you think something was missing? Let us know by sharing your feedback.

Interested in learning more? Head over to our Electroverse Community area for more electrifying content.