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Roundabout in Spain

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Driving in Spain has its obvious differences to the UK, for example in Spain we drive on the right. There are a number of other differences and one of those is how to use a roundabout.

In order to avoid frustration and getting angry with all those natives that don’t know how to negotiate a roundabout, take a bit of time to read this short article. If you drive like I did when I first arrived in Spain, then you’ll find out it could actually be you that is in the wrong!

First a similarity. The traffic on the roundabout has right of way and you must wait for a clear space before entering it.

When you want to leave the roundabout you must make sure you are in the outside lane in plenty of time to make a safe exit. If not then you need to go round it again rather than cut across other traffic. Do not atempt to leave a roundabout from any other lane.

Please be aware that a vehicle may travel in the outside lane right round the roundabout before taking an exit whether it be the first, second, third or fourth exit. For drivers from the UK this may seem like a strange thing to do but it is quite correct in Spain. The inside lane on a roundabout is to pass traffic that might be blocking the outside lane due to the amount of traffic, or an obstruction in the road they are exiting into, for example.

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Try and think about a roundabout as a one way street which follows a big curve and with several junctions. Therefore, if you want to turn right off this one-way street you would put your vehcile in the right-hand lane. Remember to use your indicators if you change lanes or intend to turn right off the roundabout. It is not necessary  in Spain to indicate your continuation around the roundabout, as you are continuing on the main route albeit one with a long curve. So unless you are changing lanes or leaving the roundabout there is no need to indicate.

Of course, there can be other problems that make negotiating a roundabout more difficult. Near where I live the roundabout is a favourite place to abandon your car and buy cigarettes from the nearby Estanco. Another roundabout, also closeby, has a bus stop where parents park their cars to drop off their children meaning that the bus has to block the outside lane. However, these types of inconsiderate behaviour occur all over the place and in all countries. It just calls for you to drive carefully and slowly and be aware of what the norms are.

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