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Basic info and car hire in Spain

  • Location: Southwestern Europe, Iberian Peninsula
  • Capital: Madrid.
  • Population: 46,056,743 (2016)
  • Official language: Spanish.
  • Currency: Euro (€)
  • Weather: Spain has three climatic zones: Mediterranean climate dominant in the peninsula, semi-arid in south-eastern part of the county and oceanic climate in the north.  Read more »           
  • Holidays in Spain: For public holidays in Spain click here »   
  • Internet coverage: Hotels, bars, restaurants and cafés are mostly equipped with Wi-Fi.
  • Road conditions: Roads are generally well maintained and have good connections.
  • Car hire in Spain: Most visitors of Spain pick up their rental at the airports, such as Barcelona airport or Malaga Airport and start their journey. To ensure you have the lowest car hire price, make a car booking from 3 to 8 weeks prior to your vehicle collection. Alternatively, it's possible to get a great last minute car hire deal also. There's a myriad of car hire agencies all across Spain, so you'll definitely find a great rental vehicle for your vacation. Find the best car hire deal in Spain!

About Spain

Spain is the most extraordinary country you’ll ever see or experience. People in Spain are passionate about everything. Life, food, wine, football. Spaniards really know how to enjoy life. If you want to experience some of that passion, hire a car at Barcelona Airport. This way you’ll be able to explore Spain’s epic landscape, exceptional architecture, and take pleasure in their fiestas and Flamenco.





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Driving in Spain

The roads are well maintained, however, heavy traffic can be an issue – try to avoid driving during rush hours (from 8 to 9:30a.m., 12:30 to 2:30p.m., 3:30 to 5p.m. and 6:30 to 8:30p.m.; the quietest period is usually between 3 and 5p.m.). “Peajes” or toll roads are usually quite expensive. Since this might not be the news you wanted to hear, but on the other hand, a car hire in Spain is simple and affordable. There are plenty of car hire agencies to choose from, such as Sixt, Europcar, Keddy and more. If you'll be hiring a vehicle, keep in mind that the maximum BAC level is 0.05% for drivers of private vehicles. There is a Zero Tolerance Law for novice drivers who have held a driver's licence less than two years and for young drivers under the age of  21.

The best time to visit Spain (weather-wise) is summer or autumn. You will, however see lots of tourists in the summer. Spring is also pleasant, and both autumn and spring are less crowded with visitors.

  • Age limits: 21 (minimum age may vary according to car hire companies. A Young Driver fee will apply to drivers under 25 years of age. In order to rent a car, it is required that a driver has held a driver’s licence for a minimum of one year).
  • International Driving Permit: Yes, if you are a non-EU licence holder.
  • Additional papers: Identification (passport), a valid driving licence and a valid proof of insurance. (It is advisable to buy insurance at the car rental company in case your policy doesn't cover you while driving in Spain).
  • Additional requirements: Warning triangles, reflective vests and hands-free equipment with hearing aids are required while driving and talking on the phone.      
  • Children in the car: All car occupants must wear a seatbelt. Children under the age of twelve or shorter than 1.35 metres can only travel in the front passenger seat if they are in a special rear-facing children’s seat.         
  • Driving side of the road: Right.               
  • Lights: Headlights are not turned on unless you are in a tunnel or during conditions of poor visibility.
  • General speed limits: 120 km/h on motorways, 100 km/h on highways, 100 to 80 km/h outside cities and 50 km/h in built-up areas including cities, towns, suburbs, etc.
  • Parking suggestions: There are many parking garages in major Spanish cities and there are metered parking spots identified with blue lines where you can usually park your rental car for up to two hours. Parking in spaces with yellow stripes is prohibited. It is recommended not to leave any valuables in the car.

What to see in Spain

Spain has amazing climate, rich culture and some of the most breathtaking sights in the world. It's no surprise it's a serious holiday destination! If you're like most travellers to Spain, then you'll  probably hire a car in Spain – smart move. If you don't know which location in Spain is right for you, read our Top Car Hire Destinations and decide where you'll travel easier!

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