Spain - Mainland

Basic info and car hire in Spain:     

  • Location: Southwestern Europe, Iberian Peninsula
  • Capital: Madrid.
  • Population: 46,056,743 (2016 estimate)
  • 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 ad 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!

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 kph on motorways, 100 kph on highways, 100 to 80 kph outside cities and 50 kph 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.

Top 5 Car Hire Destinations 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 5 Car Hire Destinations and decide where you'll travel easier!

1. Palma de Mallorca

One of the most visited destinations in Spain is Palma de Mallorca. It's surrounded by sea and guarded by mountains in the background. The sandy beaches are plentiful, and you'll definitely find your favourite. For some urban experience, walk the squares and visit the attractions. Get familiar with the local cuisine at the restaurants as you watch the world go by, and lose yourself in the maze of narrow streets. Explore the second-hand market –  open every Saturday – or step inside d'Olivar indoor market, or San Juan Gastronomic Market and enjoy the best gastronomic experience possible! Play it smart and hire a car in Palma de Mallorca. This way you can see and do more. Check our information on car hire in Palma de Mallorca, main sights and more.

2. Malaga

Watch the ships in Malaga port while you're relaxing on beaches and eating fish served right on the beach! Yes, Spain and its people definitely know how to enjoy life. Let's not forget the tasty Sangria drink, or tapas served in restaurants that are scattered across the city. Malaga is home to numerous museums, so if you have the time, visit the Contemporary Art Centre and the Picasso Museum. Shop until you drop on Calle Larios and Calle Nueva, and be impressed by the historic buildings in the old quarter. Enjoy some bar hopping, and make new friends – the locals are friendly and love a good party! Want to experience more? Hire a car in Malaga and go on road trips. Read about car hire in Malaga, day trips and more here

3. Barcelona

Barcelona is the second most populous city in Spain. It's big, busy and full of attractions! Walk La Rambla street that stretches through the city all the way to the port, and observe the talented street artists along the way. Marvel at La Seu cathedral and walk around Antoni Gaudi's wonderland, Park Güell. There's a lot more of Gaudi in this city – Casa Batlló and Sagrada Familia are great examples, and you simply have to see them both! For a night out you have all the possibilities in the world to have a blast! Pubs, clubs and bars in the lovely neighbourhoods and the downtown area are everywhere. If you're interested in car hire in Barcelona, click here and learn more on car hire, driving outside the city borders and more.

4. Alicante

This port city boasts with buzzing nightlife, top-end restaurants and casinos, all conveniently located close to the vast coastal promenade which, naturally, offers romantic views of the Mediterranean. As you're walking along this promenade, you'll see the town in front of you, and the great Santa Barbara Castle in the background, standing proudly on a hill. Head for the old part of town, especially if you love historic buildings and fountains, and appreciate good music and a great time in the evening hours. For beach fun, hit Playa Postiguet – a five minute walk from the centre! Hire a car in Alicante and drive to more distant places and see more of Spain. Click here and learn more on car hire in Alicante, sights and other useful info!

5. Ibiza

Ibiza, known as the party capital, doesn't offer only legendary nights though. With its stunning beaches and friendly weather, this tiny island has plenty of things for you to do and sights to see. Take a piece of Spain with you and buy something at the Hippy Market Punta Arabi, open on Wednesdays between April and October. Why not take a boat trip and visit the nearby beaches also? Witness a dreamy sunset, and cool off in one of the island's caves. Be lazy on Cala Jondal Beach, Playa d'en Bossa beach or any other for that matter. Have a memorable vacation and hire a car in Ibiza. This way you can reach all the magnificent locations easily. A car hire in Ibiza is the beast way to get to know the island!

Road trip destinations

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