British holidaymakers in Spain could face a hefty fine due to little-known rule


Britons planning on driving in the popular holiday destination could be caught out by the country’s slightly different driving laws.

As well as remembering to drive on the right-hand side of the road, Britons need to avoid removing their shirt while driving along roads in Spain.

Even though temperatures can exceed 35C in parts of Spain during the summer months, removing a shirt or top while driving could land Britons a fine of up to €200 (£171) and three penalty points.

While being shirtless behind the wheel is not illegal, Spanish law forbids anything that prevents safe driving.

Other examples under this law include wearing inappropriate clothes or footwear while behind the wheel which could impact driving.

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Being shirtless is dangerous as it can lead to sunburn and injuries when using a seatbelt, according to Spain’s General Directorate of Traffic.

In Spain, the law dictates that any action that could distract the driver or the passenger should be avoided, including going shirtless.

The punishment for this will vary depending on the individual police officer but ranges from an €80 (£69) fine to a fine of €200 and three penalty points, according to the Mirror.

Andrew Jervis, CEO of online mechanic marketplace ClickMechanic, said: “It’s fairly common to see motorists in the UK remove their shirts to cool down during hot weather.

“But we need to remember that laws in other countries are not always the same and I’d urge people to be aware of what’s legal and illegal when they get behind the wheel somewhere new.

“In Spain, traffic police consider driving shirtless to be a threat to your safety and your ability to move, which means it is against the law to strip off your top half.

“When travelling abroad it’s essential to respect the local rules and regulations, even if they seem very different to what we’re used to at home.”

A massive 15.1 million Britons visited Spain in 2022 making it one of the most popular holiday destinations.

However, driving rules in Spain are slightly different compared to the UK which means Britons behind the wheel could risk fines and other punishments unless they brush up on the country’s driving laws.

Wearing flip-flops behind the wheel could also land drivers in hot water.

In 2018, Spanish law enforcement agency Guardia Civil issued a warning that when translated into English said: “A fine for driving with flip flops? Yes, believe it, they can penalise you when the conduct impedes the freedom of movement of the driver or the control of the vehicle and thereby jeopardises the safety of the road.”

Like going shirtless, the punishment is down to the individual police officer which means Britons could get away with a slap on the wrist.


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