Spain is a fun holiday destination blessed with white sandy beaches, classic Mediterranean-styled houses, and cobblestone pathways. Having a car at your disposal and driving around gives you a sense of freedom and allows you to follow your itinerary at your own pace. Of course, if you are visiting a place only for a short period of time you might wonder how to get a car for the duration of your stay. Here you can find various tips and ideas on how to successfully rent a car in Spain.
Let’s start from general information:
The minimum age for driving a car in Spain is 18 years. However, the car rental companies may have their own minimum driving age ranging from 21 years to 28 years depending on the category of the car.
Overall the prices differ from company to company. But there is a general pattern. Spanish people prefer mechanic gearbox and therefore most of the cars on offer will be mechanic. If you would like to consider automatic, you will have to pay a lot extra. The same goes to any kind of preference, like built in GPS etc. If you are looking to save up money and take the cheapest car there is, the average price would be about 30 euros per day. This does not include fuel money. As all of the companies will expect you to return the car with the same amount of fuel there was, when you took a car for a rent.
This companies are one of the biggest companies who specialize in car rental services in Europe:
If you struggling with search you can always use websites like this one: http://www.rentalcars.com/ which will find all the options available for you.
While hiring the car, check for following things:
The working condition of air-conditioning, in summer the temperatures could be over 35 and you will need air-conditioning to drive with comfort.
Check if your luggage fits in the back of the car.
If the car is being equipped with visibility vests, warning triangles, first-aid kit as well as a fire extinguisher. These things are essential by the Spanish law.
Read the small print and sign off on the dents and scratches.
This car rental tip could be applied to many aspects of your trip. Make sure you know all of the extra charges (including unfilled tank charges!) before you sign on the dotted line. If there’s a certain type of car you want, be sure to ask for it. Be assertive and ask now.
At the rental counter, they usually give you a piece of paper that includes a small illustration of a car. Often, especially with city rentals, you’ll have to go outside and find your rental car in a big parking garage, and there may not be anyone there to help you. Insist that someone go with you or meet you in the garage to go over any flaws that the car has on the interior and exterior. Mark all these flaws, even the small ones, on the documents that you got at the rental counter, carefully marking the dents and scratches on the diagram of the car. This may sound excessive, but being thorough could save you a lot of money. The rental company’s representative will have to sign off on all the flaws you identify.
Here are some driving tips or how to be an efficient driver in Spain:
Seatbelts are mandatory, except when reversing or parking the car, or for pregnant women.
Do not drink and drive (the blood alcohol level for driving is 0.5mg.)
Avoid using a mobile phone while driving, try to use hands free device.
In case you are involved in any accident, take photographs straight away.
Use lights while entering in a tunnel.
Use of music devices in your ears whilst driving are prohibited.
Depending on where you’re from, you may or may not be familiar with roundabouts. These circular intersections have replaced many crossroads and four-way stops in Spain. Some roundabouts consist of four lanes and can be daunting to merge into and out of. Slow down when entering, but you’ll only need to come to a full stop if you’re waiting for traffic to pass by. Otherwise, gracefully enter and wind around to your desired exit.
Another perk is that roundabouts give you additional time to figure out where you’re going. Not sure which turn off to take? Just keep circling the roundabout until you find the right road! Also, good thing to note is that some of the Spanish drivers don’t tend to use indicators, so be wary of that. As well as the fact that they like to use beeps as a matter of saying to you that you should move.
Motorways: 120 kph (73mph.)
Built-up areas: 50 kph (30mph.)
Residential areas: 30 kph (11mph.)
Things to carry while driving:
Your driving license.
The third-party insurance document.
Children below 12 would need to be in rear seats of the car.
Hide all valuables from sight
Always lock your doors, and do not leave your suitcase, purse, camera bag, or anything else of value in plain sight in your parked rental car. Put everything that could be tempting to an unsavory character out of sight in the trunk. If it’s really valuable, you probably just want to take it with you. This is especially important in big cities like Barcelona and Madrid, but applies to smaller towns as well.
Choose your parking spot wisely
It is not easy to park in Barcelona or Madrid. Parking spots are scarce, and when you do find one, you need to determine if it is a public parking space or only open to those living in the neighborhood. In some small villages, you will be able to park just about anywhere and won’t have to pay a cent. This is especially true in the countryside. When in doubt, check with a local to make sure you’re not parking in front of someone’s gate or doorway.
If you are unsure about what the rules are or where you can park, the best bet is to put your ride in a garage and pay a bit more. Your car will most likely be safer in a garage, and will definitely be there when you return. There are parking garages everywhere in cities and larger towns. Do not park in double line as if you do, you will get a fine and your car will be carried away.