This guide is to help you if you are planning on driving in Andorra. You may be driving the full journey from your home to Andorra or alternatively you may choose to hire a car from your arrival airport, either way having a car gives you extra flexibility whilst on holiday. A car allows you to get out and about to explore the area fully but also helps with practical things like getting to the supermarket; however also consider where you're going to park and the potential costs.
When driving to Andorra it is very important to consider that you will be driving high up into the mountains, and hopefully there will be loads of snow! It is highly recommended that your car has snow tyres, but also that you carry snow chains. If you are renting a car from the airport, try to book these both in advance.
You can be stopped by the police and not allowed to continue if the weather is bad and you do not have winter tyres or snow chains so it is best to be prepared. The weather can change very quickly, and access to Andorra from France is up a very steep windy road so if the weather is bad you will most probably need chains! If there is lots of snow around, you will also find it very useful to have a shovel in your car so that you can dig your vehicle out.
Winter tyres greatly increase your grip, and therefore your control, when driving in winter conditions. Often referred to as snow tyres, they are more effective than regular tyres even just when it is cold without any snow, so definitely recommended for your car if you are driving in Andorra. Some people just add winter tyres to their drive wheels, although your car will be more balanced and less likely to skid if you fit them to each wheel. If you are renting a car you can usually add winter tyres as an optional extra, or if you are taking your own car you there are lots of options of where to buy them, whether you prefer to visit your local garage or you can order them online and even get fitting included with an online order.
You can identify winter tyres by looking for the snowflake symbol on the tyre wall, and when it snows heavily the police will check to make sure drivers have winter tyres fitted and if not you will then be required to either fit snow chains or to turn back. Even if you have winter tyres fitted you should still carry snow chains in your car for when there is very heavy snow.
There are customs checkpoints at both the French and the Spanish borders. At the French side you should slow down, and stop if indicated, both on the way in and out of Andorra. The same applies to entering from Spain, however on the way back in to Spain it is compulsory to stop and open your boot. If stopped you will usually be asked if you have any alcohol or tobacco, so make sure you know the limits. You can find the duty free limits for Andorra on our shopping page here.
In Andorra there are no motorways, the speed limits vary up to 90km/h and are usually well signposted. You will find a handful of speed cameras dotted around so it is important you adhere to the limits. You should also keep your eye out for signs indicating parking restrictions as if you are caught parking illegally you can be given an on-the-spot fine. In some resorts the traffic wardens are quite visible and very efficient!
IMPORTANT NOTE: During winter (from 1st November to 15th May) it is a legal requirement in Andorra to either have winter tyres fitted (indicated with a snowflake icon located on the wall of the tyre) or to carry snow chains. If you are caught without them you can expect to be fined €180 on the spot.
There are lots of car hire companies operating from the airports that you could use to come to Andorra. If you book car hire it is important to ensure you advise the rental company that you will be travelling to Andorra as it is across an international border and also outside the EU.
Before you travel, make sure you go over the driving information and that you are confident of the route. Also, don't forget to ask about things like snow tyres and snow chains which you may have to pay extra for. Finally, don't forget about making sure you will have enough space for all of your luggage in the car, as well as skis and snowboards if you are bringing your own.