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Car Rental in Madrid: discover the landscapes and culture of central Spain
Still the capital of Spain today, Madrid was once the center of the Spanish Empire, and this wealth is visible in the city’s glamorous architecture and wide promenades. The city is also still renowned for excellent dining, arts, and nightlife establishments, and is well worth exploring in depth. But make a point to explore the area’s surroundings as well, and stay mobile by inexpensively renting a car. Book your car today!
Madrid witnesses four distinct seasons each year, with cold winters and hot summers. This makes the shoulder seasons the most comfortable time of the year to visit the city, particularly April, May, June, September and October.
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.
Madrid 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 keep it with you at all times.
Automobile hire is available in over 40 locations throughout Madrid, including the Madrid Barajas International Airport (MAD), the Atocha and Chamartin Railway Stations, and at Plaza de España.
As a member of the Schengen Agreement, Spain accepts visitors visa-free from countries such as the EU, 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 Madrid
While a car is likely to be more of a burden when exploring central Madrid due to frequent traffic jams and the difficulty of finding adequate parking, rent a car to explore the city’s surroundings! Automobile hire is the most comfortable and convenient way to explore the landscapes and culture of central Spain.
- Traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road throughout continental Europe.
- 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
- Take advantage of frequent parking garages in Madrid to avoid the bumps and scrapes that inevitably occur on the street. If you’re willing to risk it, however, and you’re arriving in the evening, look for free street parking near the Príncipe Pío metro stop.
- 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 tolled.
- 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.
- 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 throughout the major cities of Spain, particularly Madrid and Barcelona.
- 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 Madrid
Automobile hire in Madrid can start as low as $1 a day, if you rent from numerous budget agencies located at the airport. Otherwise, prices tend to hover around $10 to $20 a day. Here are some of the best deals in Madrid:
- Fiat 500 or similar (mini class) – $1/day
- Ford Fiesta or similar (economy class) – $2/day
- Peugeot 308 or similar (compact class) – $4/day
- Citroen C-Elysee or similar (intermediate class) – $9/day
- Nissan Qashqai or similar (standard class) – $20/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 Madrid
There is no seasonal variation in price for rental cars in Madrid. Instead you can often get outrageously cheap car rental prices by booking your car from the Madrid Barajas International Airport. When they have availability, car rental agencies at the airport such as Dickmann’s Rent a Car and OléCar can offer numerous rental models at prices below $1 a day! These prices are most often available in months when there is less rental car demand, so book in advance to receive these cheap deals in the summer as well!
The next cheapest rental car location is typically the Atocha Railway Station, where Goldcar offers cars for around $10 a day.
If you prefer to rent from international rental agencies such as Europcar, Flizzr, and Goldcar, you can often drive your rental price down by $5 to $8 a day by extending your rental period to over a week.
Keep an eye out for discounts up to 25% that drive down prices as well!