Driving in Menorca is little different to driving at home [except for the side of the road you drive on for British drivers]. The majority of road signs are standard throughout Europe. Motoring laws, parking restrictions and driving in general will be very similar to what you are used to. A bit of common sense will make for a enjoyable event free holiday. Below are a few tips and some important information we at Ambercars think will insure trouble free motoring on Menorca.
When driving a hire car you must always carry the hire document, your current driving licence and passport or photocopy of your passport.
If you extend the hire period make sure you get another agreement otherwise you will not have insurance cover. Minimum period of hire is usually 3 days.
Remember your driving licence, you will be refused a vehicle if you are not in possession of a current driving licence.
Remember also if you have a drink or two in the plane on you way to Menorca you may also be refused a vehicle.
Drivers must be at least 23 years of age and have held a full licence for at least 2 years
Be careful where you leave the vehicle, when you sign for it you are then liable for any parking fines and towing charges should the vehicle be towed away by the local police. [See notes below]
Seat belts are COMPULSORY front and back, On the spot fines are imposed. Children up to the age of 12 must be seated in the rear of a vehicle. The number of seat belts in the car denotes the number of people the car is allowed to carry, you are not insured to carry more passengers than the allotted seat belts.
The insurance covers all accident damage but please remember that any damage caused by drivers negligence, (cigarette burns, loss of parcel shelf, etc.) are not. Also breakdown and accidents caused by drivers negligence.
When hiring a car always ask what you are not covered for Everyone has the right to know you can also ask to see the insurance agreement relating to the hire company.
Don't drink and drive, or drive whilst under the influence of any drugs, The insurance company may [you can read will here] at there discretion cancel the cover if an accident is attributed to either.
In the event you have an accident.
Should you breakdown, run out of petrol or have an accident, safety triangles must be placed 50 meters to the front and rear of the vehicle, also orange yellow safety jacket must be worn when out of the car. The triangles and safety jackets are usually to be found in the glove box boot or rear of the vehicle.
In the event you have an accident Note down the other car licence plate no plus the drivers name/address if they are Spanish ask for there identity card no . Check the other drivers insurance company name. If he refuses call the Guardia Civil. If there are injuries do not move the vehicle or injured call the Guardia Civil and an ambulance Tel no being 061. Mahon Guardia Civil, Ctra. San Luis s/n Tel. 971 36 1100. Also at Cuidadella: Pza. del Borne s/n Tel. 971 38 1095. If there are no injuries and both parties agree then there is no need to call the police.
ALWAYS OBTAIN name /address of any witnesses. In the pocket or somewhere in the front of the vehicle there should be a standard Spanish accident form you fill it out both parties sign and you give a copy to the other driver. Inform your insurance company / agent WITHIN 2 hours of any accident. If the car is hired the car hire company are the agents. Ambercars phone number will be on the contract documents. If the car is NON SPANISH be safe and call the Guardia Civil.
There are two different police forces on Menorca here are some of the differences.
The Guardia Civil are the ones in green They sit on roundabouts, main roads, side roads, crossroads, and anywhere else you don't expect to see them. They will breathalyse you if they suspect you've been drinking, fine you on the spot for not wearing seat belts, speeding, crossing white lines and really anything that is an offence in the UK will apply here. be careful with these people they can be very difficult. They ALWAYS travel in pairs on traffic bikes or in Guardia civil vehicles.
They do not operate in the towns unless they are called to a disturbance or an accident. In the summer there numbers swell to cope with the many tourists who visit Menorca, most come from the very large mainland towns for 1, 2 or 3 month spells.
They are not to be messed with especially if your caught drinking and driving. BE WARNED.
The Civil Police are the ones in blue. They control the towns, the parking tickets and the traffic flow. They are very much more relaxed a policeman on point duty will often be seen smoking whilst controlling the traffic.
They also control the many building works that take place checking on noise levels, [in the summer] also building permissions, etc. You won't get a ticket from these people except Parking they will though get involved in traffic offences and traffic accidents.
Parking your car safely
As is the case anywhere common sense is the key here. It's best not to park where you may cause an obstruction or danger to other road users, even though Menorcan drivers do just this. In fact it seems sometimes to be a prerequisite to obtaining a driving license here.
In towns parking bays are outlined by a blue box, a ticket must be obtained from a nearby machine put your money in the slot and get a ticket for 30mins, 1 or 2 hours and don't forget to display the ticket in your car window.
DO NOT PARK IN FRONT OF A GARAGE, OPENING or DRIVEWAY, most will have a round sign on or near VADO PERMANENTE_GUAL PEMANENT If its a house in the street it may also have every other kerbstone painted in RED / WHITE showing where not to park. Also a single yellow UNBROKEN line [same as U.K.].
Parking places are also allocated for disabled drivers, sometimes an English badge will be acceptable but NOT ALWAYS its a bit like "on the day" If in doubt and there is a policeman near ask first.
A vehicle illegally parked will be towed away, a yellow triangle sticker with the car registration number written on it should be stuck on the kerbstone where the car was parked telling you where it is.