For those who live in the sunnier areas of Spain, the thought of snow may seem a long and distant memory, but the reality is, even such sun-drenched places like the Costa Blanca, are less than an hour away from mountainous regions where snow can quickly close roads shutting off towns and villages.

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If there is a risk that you will be driving in snow, you really need to consider purchasing snow chains for your vehicle.

Carrying snow chains is not a mandatory requirement, but in some areas, where snow packs the road, it becomes compulsory to use them, and so having them ready is advisable.

The Guardia Civil, police or other authorities responsible for the road can impose a restriction without warning, placing signs on the roads indicating that the use of snow chains compulsory, and if you don´t have them with you, you have just one option, to wait until the road has been cleared by a snowplough or naturally, until the restriction is lifted.

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Failure to adhere to the mandatory use is not only extremely dangerous, you risk a fine. If you see the “cadenas obligatorias”, or variant thereof, you must stop driving if you don´t have snow chains on your vehicle.

It might also be wise to take additional equipment with you, such as warm blankets, emergency food and drink, and always advise somebody of your journey and route, as mobile phone signals are not always as reliable as we might hope.

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