Spanish Laws for Parking: “Estacionar o Acampar”?

It’s very important to understand what you CAN or you CAN’T do with your car according to the Spanish Legislation. For example, I’m talking about where you can park in the cities like Las Palmas: blue lines (you have to pay at the cashier), green lines (online subscribe here, only for residents) and white lines (free parking). I will directly jump on the part about respect the limits, streetlights, etc. because everybody knows…

I’d like to concentrate on the parkings. It’s the most important thing if you’re traveling with a motor home, a campervan, or even just a car… but you decided that it was such a beautiful night to watch at the stars that you can’t come back home so early, absolutely not.
So, I found this article on the web about this theme and I’d like to share it, with a little translation. The link to the original article is at the end.

The goal is to understand that if you are properly “estacionado” in a place it’s practically impossible that neither Sting or the Police will come for you, and give you a fine. Instead, there’s a difference to be “acampado” in a place, which is allowed just in campings or in some beach areas during the day. If you’re interested, take a look to this article about Veneguera Beach. But let’s give some illustrations first, so it’ll be more clear.

© La Furgoteta

What you CAN DO, practically, is whatever you want if you stay inside your own vehicle. It will be not considered as a house so nobody can tell you that you must go to a camping or give you a fine for cooking, or sleeping, or whatever you are (legally) doing inside your car.

What you CAN’T DO, for example, is to place chairs and tables outside, open gazebos or windows over the area of the vehicle, absolutely don’t discharge the tanks of water (WC, showers, kitchen), make noise such as… switch on an electric generator! Yes, I’m not kidding. Somebody do that.

Now, let’s give a look to what you can do, instead, when you’re “acampado“…

Acampar-Autocaravana© La Furgoteta

So, if you are in a camping or in a place where is allowed to stay “acampado” you can practically do everything! Always remember that there are community rules, and before them… the common sense of what is right.

For example, it’s nice DON’T USE a noisy electric generator while everybody’s doing a siesta! You can use a solar panel or rent a car with a service battery (such are mine, contact me for more informations).

Now it’s also important that you understand what you can answer to anybody who is trying to argue with you, whoever he/she is. I found this article of La Furgoteta very clear about it… it’ll be a little bit long because it’s lawyers-language but it’s useful.

The document that collects the legislation about parkings and traffic is the Instrucción 08/V-74 de la Dirección General de Tráfico, a very important paper that is better to have in the car with you all the time. I’ll copy the original extracts down here, but a little resume can be…

“The General Direction of Traffic considers that while a vehicle is properly parked, while doesn’t go over the lines of parking, while doesn’t go over the allowed time of parking, is not relevant the fact that its landlords are inside, and the motor home is not an exception. … The exclusion of these users from the public way has to be motivated with objective reasons and not only subjective reasons, such as the possible noises, trash etc. of some users.”

Practically, what they’re trying to say in a very complicated way is to be a responsible human of the 21th century and don’t act like pigs at dinner time. Here’s the original extracts from the law:

“…esta Dirección General de Tráfico considera que mientras un vehículo cualquiera está correctamente estacionado, sin sobrepasar las marcas viales de delimitación de la zona de estacionamiento, ni la limitación temporal del mismo, si la hubiere, no es relevante el hecho de que sus ocupantes se encuentren en el interior del mismo y la autocaravana no es una excepción, bastando con que la actividad que pueda desarrollarse en su interior no trascienda al exterior mediante el despliegue de elementos que desborden el perímetro del vehículo tales como tenderetes, toldos, dispositivos de nivelación, soportes de estabilización, etc.”

La exclusión de determinados usuarios (…) debe ser motivada en razones objetivas (…) pero no por razones subjetivas como pueden ser los posibles comportamientos incívicos de algunos usuarios tales como ruidos nocturnos, vertido de basura o de aguas usadas a la vía pública, monopolización del espacio público mediante la colocación de estructuras y enseres u otras situaciones de abuso contra las cuales las autoridades locales disponen de herramientas legales eficaces que deben ser utilizadas de forma no discriminatoria contra todos los infractores, ya sean usuarios de autocaravanas o de cualquier otro tipo de vehículo.”

It’s important to notice that these rules are valid both for regular cars and campervans.

At the end, I’d like to say thanks to La Furgoteta for this article, I found it very interesting and useful. I hope everybody will appreciate my translation… Here’s the link if you want to read the original one.

La Furgoteta – Legislacion nacional sobre autocaravanas


Have a safe trip!

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