Car Hire Tips for a Holiday in Spain


There are many car hire companies in Spain. You can get a lot more out of your Spain holidays by choosing the right one.

International car hire companies in Spain

If you want to rent a car, you can choose from the biggest names in Spain such as Hertz, Alamo or Sixt. Each of these have branch offices in every (larger) city, international airports and mostly, also at or nearby railway stations.
Local car hire companies: The local car rentals are Europcar, Bravo, Carjet, Solmar, Topcar.

You can compare the prices of the following UK and Spain based car hire companies and get the best deal for your rented car in Spain:

The advantages of hiring a car in Spain

– You can get to places that are difficult to reach by public transport. This is good, especially if you plan to go to the mountain areas of Spain.
– Hiring a car for one or two days during your stay is a good idea. If you want to visit regions lying further from your base of Spain, then this is a great option for you. You can also go off-the-beaten track and visit smaller villages, which are especially hard to reach by any other ways of transportation.
– Hiring a car is comfortable, no matter where you want to go. You just get in the car and go there.

Facts to consider when hiring a car in Spain

  • Basic car rental costs from around 30 GBP a day.
  • The smaller the car and the longer the renting period, the cheaper the price.
  • A long trip costs around 60-70 GBP per drive.
  • Parking in most of the big cities of Spain is hard and expensive. Madrid or Barcelona have a lot of traffic jams (even at night!). Avoid driving in the big cities in Spain. Park outside and go in with public transport.
  • Renting a car in combination with your flight can save you money.
  • Try a Rail Pass combined with car hire: these are called EurailDrive Pass, Eurail Selectpass Drive and Eurail Spain Rail ‘n’ Drive Passes. These pay off if you really plan to travel a lot within the country. These passes all work the same, cover your train costs for 3 days, and offer an inclusive car rental for 2 days. The Rail ‘n Drive Pass is meant only for non European citizens. Their prices vary between GBP 100-150. You can include extra days for an extra fee.
  • Try Car Sharing: You can save up a lot of money this way and can have a company for your trip.

Advantages of hiring a car at a rent a car company

  • The price is all inclusive of taxes and petrol.
  • Full car insurance is available (tip: go for CDW = Collision Damage Waiver).
  • Pay on arrival option is available.
  • You sometimes get a free roadmap.
  • You get to drive almost new cars.
  • There is telephone support.
  • The staff speaks your language and is friendly.
  • All the terms and conditions are written in English.
  • Unlimited Mileage available.
  • Cancellations are available, if needed.
  • Service after-sales is available.
  • Car rental desks at airports.

All the airports in Spain offer a number of rent-a-car services right at the terminal. Some of the big car rental desks are Europcar, Avis, Alamo, Sixt and Hertz. All of these car rental services are open from 9 am to midnight. They offer both economy and luxury cars as well as vans at inexpensive prices.

Before you hire a car-

  • Take the credit card by which you booked the car when you go for picking it up.
  • Enquire about the type of fuel the car requires before driving away from the car rental desk. Diesel is known as gas oleo and petrol is known as sin plomo in Spain.
  • You need to carry enough cash with you because the number of toll roads in Spain is quite high. These roads are quicker than the normal roads of Spain so paying the toll is mostly worth it.
  • Buy yourself a decent roadmap and plan the route before you go. Sometimes you get a free roadmap of your area by the car hire company

Driving in Spain: Key information for you to drive in Spain

-If you are used to the British traffic and if you are a bit familiair with driving on the right side of the road (and in some regions driving in the mountains), you should not have any problems driving a car in Spain. Below are some rules and tips for driving in Spain:

– You should be 18 years or older to drive a car in Spain
– Always drive on the right side of the road!
– It is necessary for all passengers to wear seatbelts in Spain (front and rear).
– It is prohibited to use your cell phone and (screenbased) navigation whille driving. You risk a fine up to 300 euro if you do so….
– A yellow line means that you can not park there.
– Spanish drivers drive relatively fast.
– Highway in Spanish is “Autopista”.
– “AP” (“Autopista de Peajes”) roads are toll roads.
-Somestimes you need to pay toll for highways . For more information, ask your rental company.
– Give way to traffic on a roundabout.
– Don’t drink and drive! In Spain you are only allowed to have 0.5 milligrams of alcohol per millilitre of blood (in the UK the limit is 0.8). For new drivers is this limit very low : 0.1 mg/l.
– If you go to the Pyrenees in the winter you should carry snow chains.- Speed limits in Spain:
Expressways and highways: 68m/ph
Roads: 55m/ph
Residential areas 15m/ph
-Most people use the N Roads instead of highways. These are also pretty good roads.

Don’t wait for the last moment to fill your car with Gas. Types of Gas in Spain:
Diesel = gasoleo
Leaded = super or super 98
Unleaded = sin plomo 98 or Eurosuper 95

These items you need to have with you when driving a car in Spain (check this when you rent a car!)

• Drivers license
• Car Insurance
• All rental / ownership documents
• Cash money (for toll roads and to pay a fine when pulled over by the Police, as a tourist you have to pay immediately. Ask for a receipt when you are fined)
• If you wear glasses, you are entitled to have a spare pair.
• Fluorescent jacket for everyone in car (use one when you step out of the car at a highway!)
• Two warning triangles
• Fire extinguisher (not obligatory)
• First-aid kit (not obligatory)

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