Car Hire in SpainWhere to pick up
Popular car rental cities in Spain Mainland
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Car Rental in Spain: a Country That Has Something to Offer Everyone
Spain is an excellent destination for lovers of gorgeous landscapes, ancient and modern cities, some of the world’s best artwork, and distinct cultural flavors. To put it simply, Spain has something to offer everydiv, from the world’s largest number of World Heritage Cities to coastal relaxation opportunities to stellar nightlife. Make the most of your visit to Spain by seeing it in all its complexity via rental car. Book your car today!
Summer weather is quite hot in Spain, making the shoulder seasons of spring (April through June) and autumn (September and October) the most comfortable for travelling throughout the country.
The official and most widely spoken language of Spain is Spanish, though Catalan, Basque, and Galician are also recognized as official languages. Many Spanish people have some training in English and French, as well, though these languages are only widely spoken in major tourist areas.
Mainland Spain is in the Central European Time Zone, UTC+1.
The currency is the euro and credit cards are widely accepted. ATMs are also frequently available. You may be asked to show your passport to confirm your identity when paying with a credit card, so it’s prudent to have it with you when you make purchases.
Spain is a great country for regional road trips. Travel, for example, from Malaga via the Sierra Nevada National Park (circa 130 km) to Murcia (250 km), and then loop back via Córdoba (475 km) to Seville (140 km) and Granada (250 km). Alternatively, start in Madrid and make a loop tour with Salamanca (215 km), Sierra de Atapuerca (240 km), and Soria (140 km) as a number of your major stops! These are great routes for avoiding the extra costs of one-way rentals.
Cheap car hire in Spain is available in virtually every city, but the most popular areas to pick up car rentals includes: Seville and Malaga in the south, Gerona and Barcelona in the northeast, Valencia in the east, Murcia and Alicante in the southeast, and Madrid in central Spain.
As a member of the Schengen Agreement, Spain accepts visitors visa-free from countries within the EU and others such as Switzerland, New Zealand, and Australia. Citizens of other countries will be required to apply for a visa before they arrive and are permitted to stay for up to three months.
Driving in Spain
While you don’t need a car to explore major Spanish cities, getting out of town is highly recommended, and self-driving through Spain is the most intimate way to get to know the local flavors.
- As in the rest of continental Europe, traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road.
- In towns and cities: 50 km/h
- On rural roads and highways: 90 to 100 km/h
- On motorways (autopistas) and expressways (autovías): 120 km/h
- Parking in large Spanish cities can be quite a challenge and quite expensive, so be sure that your hotel can offer you some off-street parking before you book.
- An international driver’s permit is necessary for all travelers whose domestic driver’s licenses have been issued outside of the European Union.
- Most autopistas or major motorways in Spain are toll roads.
- The minimum driving age in Spain is 18, though most car rental agencies will require that you are at least 21 to rent. Drivers under the age of 25 are also likely to be issued young-driver surcharges.
- Particularly if you plan to drive through major Spanish cities such as Barcelona or Madrid, ask you rental company to outfit your car with a GPS or satnav to ease your navigation of frequent one-way streets and medieval street planning.
- Summer travellers will want to consider rental agencies that offer roadside assistance. The summer heat can lead cars to break down more often.
Cheap Car Rental in Spain
Car hire in Spain starts as low as $2 a day! Here are some of the best deals:
- Fiat 500 or similar (mini class) – $2/day
- Ford Fiesta or similar (economy class) – $3/day
- Seat Leon or similar (compact class) – $4/day
- Citroen C-Elysee or similar (compact class) – $8/day
- Renault Scenic or similar (standard class) – $11/day
Note that prices vary depending on the availability of each specific car and the season in which you rent. For the most accurate offers, use the search bar above.
Tips for Renting a Car Inexpensively in Spain
Local car rental brands such as Firefly and OK Rent A Car offer unbeatable prices in the major cities of Spain; you are most likely to find the best deals at airports, rather than in downtown locations. Gold Car at Malaga Airport also offers very good prices for their rentals.
You are likely to find the best prices from these local brands by booking your car just a month or two before you travel, which can be a bit risky in the most popular tourist months. Booking well in advance of your travel period can cost around $7 more per day.
You can also often save more than $2 a day by extending your rental period to over a week.