Best Car Hire Deals in Madrid

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About Madrid

No doubt, Madrid is one of the best cities in the world. A car hire at Madrid Airport is truly convenient, considering its size. Actually, it’s the third best city to live in if you’re looking to escape your home town. If you’ve never been there before, the best way to describe Madrid is this: it’s the perfect combination of New York’s vibrancy and Spanish loose vibe. But if we could give you one advice regarding Madrid . . . hire a car. You’ll need it. It’s stupefyingly large – 3rd largest city in EU.

If car hire is something you’re vary about, don’t worry. Madrid has excellent roads and well-organized traffic – just a little busy – so even though you’ll be driving in a new city, you’ll be fine.

Basic info and car hire in Madrid

Location: Centre of the Iberian Peninsula (Country: Spain)

Population: 3,3 million (6+ million living there)

Official language: Spanish

Currency: Euro (€)

Weather: Mediterranean climate.

Holidays in Madrid: For public holidays in Spain click here »

Internet coverage: You can stumble on a free Wi-Fi access all over Madrid. Majority of hotels, rental apartments, bars and restaurants have it. General speed of the public internet is 10 Mbit/s.

Road conditions: Great.

Car hire in Madrid: Car hire prices in Madrid are pretty low. Lowest Summer car hire price in Madrid is around 6€. However, keep in mind that the bigger car you choose the higher the prices will be. Also, 7-day rentals are the most economical option, especially if you book 4 to 8 weeks before the pick-up.

Driving in Madrid

When trying to understand what traffic in Madrid is like although you’ve never been there, you’ll probably hear two different opinions – great, smooth and well-organized or super-fast, aggressive and bold. However, the truth is that it all depends on what kind of traffic you are used to and what kind of a driver you are.

The most demanding part of the Spanish traffic is that there are four rush hours in a day. If you decide to drive when Spaniards drive to work or back home (You are aware of siesta time, right?), this can be a task for a skilled driver. However, Madrid is not Rome. The traffic is fast and gigantic, but it is organised.

Another thing it’s crucial to emphasize regarding driving in Madrid: You don’t need a car for shorter distances. Take public transfer for that. However, you’ll need a car when you’ll want to explore magical yet remote parts of Madrid (which are the best ones) and for your daily trips. If you visit Madrid and skip Segovia or Toledo, you should be a shame of yourself.

Regarding the parking: Many of our customers in Madrid hire a car at Madrid Airport and choose hotel with a free parking. There’s a lot of them. Plus, even in the city centre of Madrid you’ll find great hotels with some parking spots in nearby garages.

  • Age limit: 18, but remember that any driver under 25 pays an additional young driver car hire fee.
  • International Driving Permit: Yes
  • Additional papers: ID card or passport, last version of your car hire voucher, and a valid credit card with sufficient funds (to cover any excess).
  • Additional requirements: spare wheel, 2 warning triangles, first aid kit
  • Children in the car: Children taller than 135 cm must use seatbelt as a regular adult. However, smaller children should use a booster seat, those old from 9 months to 4 years should use appropriate baby seat facing forward, and toddlers younger than 9 months must use a special baby seat – facing the rear end of the car.
  • Driving side of the road: Right.
  • Lights: Mandatory only in the case of bad visibility and in tunnels.
  • General speed limits: Urban road limit is 50 km/h or 31 mph, for the roads outside the cities the limit is 90 km/h (56 mph), and on the highway the limit is 120 km/h (74 mph).
  • Parking suggestion: It’s advised to use public transport in the city centre of Madrid since this will be faster and you won’t have to worry about finding a free parking space (good luck with that). If needed, probably the cheapest parking lots in the centre are in the Atocha and Chamartin station. Average daily price for underground car parks (there are hundreds of them) is about 32 EUR. Parking in suburban areas should not be such a problem, the same goes for nearby cities.

What to see in Madrid

Let’s be real – if you’re in Madrid for a week, two or three, you won’t see half of it. A car hire in Madrid will thus make your trip a lot easier. Also, prioritizing and good itinerary is a must when planning a trip to Spanish capital. It all depends on what you are interested in. However, there are some sights you just have to see; Prado National Museum allows you to dive yourself in European art and admire some of the most important art works in the world. The second world-renowned sight in Madrid is Buen Retiro Park. Take a selfie there and everyone will know where was it taken.

Our favourite spots

A view of the Plaza Mayor scenery, Madrid

Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor is Piazza San Marco of the Madrid – the central plaza of this capital. In 17th century this was the main commercial district of Madrid – where cutlers, blacksmiths and shoemakers offered their products. Today, this is a great place to have a drink and some tapas. Maybe you’ll be lucky and will stumble upon some street performers that like to take advantage of this huge and busy place. If you’re there in the Wintertime, don’t miss the Plaza Mayor Christmas Market. From there you can stroll to the oldest restaurant in the world and make your day complete.

There are numerous garages nearby Plaza Mayor. The closest is Parking Fermar (3 min walk from Plaza Mayor) and the cheapest is Parking Argüelles (32 min walk from the market).

Visit the Essential Flamenco Show in Madrid

Essential Flamenco Authentic Flamenco Show

You can’t leave Madrid without some Flamenco show. There’s are a lot of flamenco places in Madrid but not all of them are good. Essential Flamenco is one of the best ones – it offers you an authentic flamenco show that truly doesn’t disappoints. Contrary to other similar places, Essential Flamenco is not about the food and sangria but the power of acoustic guitar, passionate dancers and amazing vibe. Oh, and be sure to book ahead.

There are six garages nearby. The closest one is Parking SABA Estación Bilbao (23 eur per day), which is a 9-min walk away from the show place.

See for directions and alternatives »

Visit Madrid's Museum Cerralbo

Museum Cerralbo

Museo Cerralbo hold collections of a famous Spanish archaeologist from the 17th century and a Spanish politician Marquis of Cerralbo. Cerralbo is usually not very packed since is not very famous, which is a shame since it’s one of the most important ones. It holds more than 50,000 pieces and archaeological artefacts, which – together – help you understand how luxurious and extravagant must have been lives of noble families in historic Spain.

We suggest you to park in the Parking Reim – San Bernardino garage. It’s not the closest but it’s definitely the cheapest among the closest ones.

Have fun in the Escape Room

Room Escape masterpiece

After all the museums, galleries, statues, plazas and historical sights you’ll need some real child-like fun, and Escape Room ia always a fun game. If you’re a fan of this game, you’re in luck. Exit Madrid is one of the most popular Escape Room amusement centres in Europe. It’s super popular among locals and many tourists decide to spend some time in there as well. It’s also a great way to get your family of the sun in the middle of the day.

Visit Picasso's work in the National Art Museum

The Reina Sofia National Art Museum

Picasso’s Guernica is one of the most notorious artwork all around the world. And now you can see it with your own eyes – in The Reina Sofia National Art Museum. The Reina Sofia is a museum dedicated to the 20th-century art. Many of our car hire customers in Madrid visit it because of the works of Picasso, however they end up loving the whole experience. Usually they say that they spent few hours in there.

Book a show in the Lope de Vega Theatre

Teatro Lope de Vega

When you’ll stroll around Madrid you’ll get it. Musicals are a thing there. Hard core. Madrilerians loves musicals like Londoners do. Jump at the opportunity and book a show. You won’t regret it! There are many smaller tethers with great price performance but if you’re truly in the musicals, choose Lope de Vega Theatre. The Lion King is one of their most popular shows. Not only tourists, even locals enjoy it on a regular basis!

We suggest you to park in the Parking Reim – San Bernardino garage. It’s not the closest but it’s definitely the cheapest among the closest ones.

Click for more parking suggestions »

Hotels in Madrid

Ritz Hotel – Madrid

If you want luxury hotel, this is it. It has everything a classic hotel must offer. It’s based in the city centre, yet you can park there for free.

Splendom Suites Gran Via

Taste the life of Madrilerians and stay in the city centre in superb apartments with luxurious spin on it.

Parking available.

Only YOU Boutique Hotel Madrid

Only You is a classy hotel, which was voted for a Trip Advisor Traveller’s Choice in 2017. There’s also parking available.

Hostal Trevinca

Free Wi-fi, parking, wonderful staff and situated in a great area of Madrid are just some of Hostal Trevinca’s best features.

Drive your rental car around Madrid

Most probably you’ll explore the centre of Madrid by foot or public traffic, however, we suggest you don’t stop there, especially if you have the luxury of a car hire in Madrid. Nearby cities and some more remote parts of Madrid are very charming – and a very pleasant alternative to the busy vibe of centre. Hire a car at Madrid Airport and let your wandering nature lose.

Toledo should be the first daily trip on your list. Before Madrid took this title, Toledo was the capital of Spain. It’s more than 2000 years old and it shows. Different religions and cultures left its mark on it – mainly Arab, Jewish and Christian.

Different museums, amazing architecture – including medieval castle Castillo de San Servando, Monestario de San Juan de los Reyes, Galiana Palace – endless view from the will leave you speachles. Also, be sure to order a cup of coffee at the top of the city and try their local marzipan, which – some say – was invented at Toledo. 

One of the most popular trips outside Madrid is Segovia. Both Toledo and Segovia are UNESCO-protected cities. Probably the most famous part of Segovia – which is full of amazing monuments – is its Roman aqueduct. Also, be sure to visit Segovia’s Cathedral. 

If you have children, take them to the Enchanted Forest in San Martin de Valdeiglesias. This is a fairy-tale place where the whole family will enjoy.

Where to eat, drink and party in Madrid

As for many roman cultures – culinary indulgence is a big deal for Spaniards. Tapas are a great way to explore different flavours of Spain – and in Madrid and Barcelona you can go all in with this. It’s a small savoury dish that comes in literally thousands of variations. It’s usually served with drinks – beer or wine.

As a true multicultural city, Madrid has a full spectrum of culinary pleasures to offer. It was some of the first cities in Europe that developed the concept of the restaurant, also its a city where you can find the oldest restaurant in the world, which is still open.

Regardless if checking the Michelin Star rated restaurants of the world is something you like to do or you like to indulge with street-foods and local specialties, Madrid will keep you busy and your belly full and happy.


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