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Are you a newly-arrived foreigner in Spain? Here are some tips for traveling by car with children.

Are you a newly-arrived foreigner in Spain?Here are some tips for traveling by car with children.


Spain is the ideal place to spend a family vacation with the kids. The climate, the cuisine, the culture... it all adds up to the perfect holiday destination. Whether you are planning to visit Spain or you are already here, you should know that apart from the hundreds of things to see or do there are also certain safety regulations for traveling with children.

According to the new changes passed by Royal Decree 667/2015 of 17 July 2015, which went into effect on 1 October 2015, children must travel in cars as follows:

In vehicles with up to nine seats, including the driver, small children of under 1.35 cm tall must travel in the back seats in an approved child restraint system suitable for their height and weight.

There are three exceptions to this law:

  • If the vehicle does not have any back seats.
  • If all the back seats are already occupied by other children in their respective child seats.
  • If a child restraint system cannot be affixed in the back seats.

In addition, if the child has to sit in a front seat and the vehicle has a front airbag, rear-facing child seats may only be used if the airbag is disabled.

In Spain, the failure to install or use seat belts and other child restraint systems is regarded as a serious or very serious offense.

This is the general law which not only applies to private vehicles but also to hire cars, a very common means of transport in these summer months.

In this respect, we recommend you read the article entitled ‘What safety measures do car hire companies in Spain offer children?’ which covers the different services offered by hire car companies to protect children.

If you are not going to be using a car but another form of transport like an airplane or motorcycle, we recommend the article ‘How should children travel this summer if you are going by plane, car, motorcycle, bicycle or bus?’, and the infographic: ‘The use of child seats in different modes of transport’.


You should be aware that Spain is governed by European Union directives so if you are coming from another Member State you probably have the same laws and regulations.

If not, you should know that in order for a child restraint system (CSR) to be used in Spain, as in the whole of the European Union, it must comply with a series of requirements. Until recently the ECE R44/04 standard was used (and is still in force but will gradually be superseded by the new one). The current standard is the i-SIZE, which is more universal and categorizes child seats according to the childs weight and height. 

Here you will find all the information you need on the i-SIZE standard along with the answers to frequently-asked questions. 

If you need to choose a CRS and you dont know which one to go for, you might be interested in reading our ‘Child Safety in Cars’ guide which contains practical information for safe journeys.


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