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Car Hire in Barcelona
Car rental locations in Barcelona
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Car Rental in Barcelona: Find an Affordable Vehicle in the Catalan Capital
Barcelona is one of Europe's most appealing cities. Famous for its wildly inventive Sagrada Familia cathedral, the surreal architecture of Antoni Gaudi, and the footballing artistry of FC Barcelona, the city offers an irresistible blend of culture, sport, and history.
It's also a city where having your own wheels can be a huge benefit. For starters, you can whizz from one end of the city to another via the Ronda de Dalt, and get from El Prat Airport to the center of town as quickly as possible.
With a rental car in Barcelona, you can also visit charming Gerona, with its medieval heart, or drive down the coast to Tarragona to see its Roman remains. The Salvador Dali Museum in Figueres will be easily within reach, along with the Monastery of Santa María de Poblet, which houses the tombs of the Kings of Aragon. You'll also be able to get to the Camp Nou to see Barcelona play, or cruise the coast looking for a deserted beach.
Spring is an ideal time to go. By May, the sunshine will be almost constant, and temperatures average around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Summers are scorching, while winters are mild and the crowds won't be a problem – so there's no bad time to go.
When you get to Barcelona, you'll find a population which specializes in welcoming tourists. English is commonly spoken, as is French (being so close to the border).
While Spanish is almost universally understood, locals tend to speak Catalan – a related but very different language. If you want to make friends, a couple of words of Catalan will work wonders. Catalans also use the Euro, and ATMs are everywhere.
If you're driving from the airport, expect the journey to take around 30 minutes. If you are driving to the north, have a few Euros in your pocket to pay the toll on the AP-7 (where the “P” stands for pay).
Other than that, remember that the locals drive on the right and plan your parking options before you drive. There are plenty of underground lots in the city center, so you should be fine.
Cheap Car Rental in Barcelona
Prices for car hire in Barcelona can start as low as $15 per day. In general, here are some representative prices:
- $18-20 for a smaller vehicle like a Ford Focus or a Hyundai I10
- $25-30 for a compact model like the Opel Astra
- $45-50 for a high-quality coupe like the BMW Series 2 Active Tourer
- $65-75 for a luxury larger vehicle like the Mercedes Benz C Class
- $100 for a premium option like the BMW Series 5
Handy Tips for Finding a Car Rental in Barcelona as Cheaply as Possible
If you want to find a cheap car hire in Barcelona, there are a few key things to keep in mind.
For starters, it's worth noting that prices vary between the airport and pick up locations in Downtown Barcelona or near Sants station. The cheapest deals are almost always to be found at the airport, where prices can be $5 cheaper per day than picking up Downtown.
You can save money by booking well in advance, and by traveling in the winter or spring off seasons. Expect prices in mid-summer to be significantly higher than the fall or spring.
Shop around as well. We offer a wide selection of international and local rental companies. Their prices always vary, so filter your results and find a deal that beats everyone else.
Things to Remember When You Rent a Car in Barcelona
Firstly, you will need to be at least 21 years-old to rent a car in Barcelona, and to have held your license for over one year. There's also a chance of surcharges for drivers under 25 or senior drivers, so check before you travel.
Everyone traveling by car must wear a seat belt, and mobile phone use is also strictly prohibited, although hands-free systems are fine.
When you buy fuel, look for “gasolina” (standard gas), “gasoleo” (diesel), or sin plomo 95 (standard unleaded).
Be prepared to encounter a roundabout or two, as well. There aren't many of these in the USA, so familiarize yourself with how they work. Generally, it's best to use the inside lane to find your exit, then feed onto the outer lane carefully, before leaving the roundabout. It takes a little practice, but it's simple once you get the hang of it.
- On the Autopistas (with an “A” or an “E” before their number), the limit is 120 kph (73mph).
- On dual carriageway roads, the limit is 100 kph (62 mph).
- On all other roads outside towns, the limit is 90kph (56 mph).
- There is a speed limit of 50 kph (30 mph) in all built-up areas, including central Barcelona.