Spanish on the road“See here I am on the road again…” With these verses, the metal band Metallicaturn the page” after riding for sixteen hours “on a long and lonesome highway”.

The summer is coming to an end and 40 million of travels by car are expected during August. La Guardia Civil (Civil Guard Police) recommend us not to leave on the last day and, of course, driving with caution.

However, what if you have a problem with your car. Don’t expect the police can help you in English quickly and easily.

Today, we are going to help you with vocabulary and situations related to a road trip.

First of all you need to poner a punto tu coche (make your car fit for the journey): inflar los neumáticos (inflate the tyres), limpiar los parabrisas (clean the windscreens), comprobar el agua, el aceite y los frenos (check the water, the oil and the brakes), llenar el depósito, con gasolina o gasóleo (full the tank with petrol or diesel oil) and descansar antes del viaje (rest before the trip).

Once you have your hands on el volante (steering wheel), your feet on los pedales (pedals), and el cinturón de seguridad (safety belt) on you, it’s time to arrancar el motor (start the engine) and leave.

Are you going to drive on una carretera convencional (conventional road), carretera nacional (national road), autovía (dual carriageway) or autopista (controlled-access highway)? Of course, los límites de velocidad (speed limits) are different, you can find peajes (tolls) at the entradas (entries) or salidas (exits) and you’ll see a different number of carriles (lanes). Don’t forget to rest after two hours driving: in Spain you can enjoy áreas de descanso (rest areas) and gasolineras (petrol stations).

Even though you respect these guidelines, you won’t be free of problems or accidents. Un pinchazo (puncture), un choque (crash), un fallo mecánico (mechanical failure) are part of the odds. Just aparca (park) in a safe place, and call the emergency service (112 in the European Union) or el servicio de asistencia en carretera (assistance and breakdown service) of your insurance company. Nevertheless, we hope you won’t need it.

If you need to know more about this topic, you can try our Spanish Survival Course. It’s specifically conceived for these situations. Learning Spanish via Skype will help you suceed in your holidays in Spain. If you prefer, you can reserve a free trial lesson on We will not charge you any peaje for it.