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Compare the best Spain car hire

From relaxing beach breaks in the Costa Blanca and hedonistic weeks spent partying in Ibiza, to active watersports holidays in the Canary Islands, there's a perfect Spanish break for everyone. So it's no surprise that Spain holidays are such a hit with Brits.

Why go?

Hiring a car in Spain will give you the ultimate in road-trip heaven as you experience the thrill of the open road and visit many of the country's beautiful spots...

Whatever type of getaway you are planning, car hire in Spain will give you the freedom to explore the country's sights at your own pace - from the volcanic landscape of the Canary Islands to the mountainous regions around the Costa Blanca. It will also save you time and money when compared to public transport.

Where to explore?

Spain is a vast country of dramatic landscapes offering ancient cities, soaring mountains, beautiful coastlines and historical sites. Where will your adventure take you?

Spain car hire could really transform a beach break by allowing you to see a lot more of the country than the view from your sun lounger. Malaga Airport (AGP) is a popular gateway for holidaymakers looking to soak up the Costa del Sol sun in a resort such as Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Fuengirola, Marbella, Malaga or Puerto Banus. Not only will a hire car be a convenient way to transport you, your family and possibly your golf clubs to your accommodation in these resorts, but it will also allow you to learn more about Spanish history and take in some magnificent architecture.

In less than two hours, you could be exploring Ronda, the home of bullfighting; marvelling at the Moorish architecture in Granada which sits at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range; and even visiting Gibraltar, or the Rock as it's otherwise known.

Similarly, why not complement a beach break in the Costa Blanca by hiring a car from Alicante Airport (ALC) and driving inland from your accommodation, whether you are staying in the lively resorts of Benidorm and Torrevieja or the quieter Altea, Calpe, Javea and Moraira? You could visit Elche, a city with the largest palm grove in Europe; take a trip to the walled mountain-top village of Guadalest; and easily transport the whole family to the Terra Mitica theme park or Aqualandia waterpark, both on the outskirts of Benidorm.

If you are a culture lover and plan to visit one of Spain's big cities such as Barcelona or Madrid, a hire car will allow you to explore the surrounding areas. Car hire from Barcelona El Prat Airport (BCN) will not only get you to your hotel, it will also allow you to visit the nearby Costa Brava and the Costa Dorada; to take in even more culture in Cadaqués and Figueres, home to some of Salvador Dalí's famous works; and to take a scenic drive to the Pyrenees.

If your Barcelona holiday begins in Girona Airport (GRO) or Reus Airport (REU), car hire could save you time and money reaching the city as both are more than 60 miles away and have limited public transport options.

Car hire from Madrid Barajas Airport (MAD) will give you the freedom to visit the country's former capital, Toledo, a UNESCO World Heritage site with a huge gothic cathedral and pretty winding streets; the Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial which is less than 30 miles from Madrid; Segovia, a stunning town with a castle and a Roman aqueduct; and Salamanca, a university city that is packed with historical buildings.

On a holiday in the Balearics, having your own transport will allow you to experience the many faces of these islands in the Mediterranean Sea. In Majorca, pick up your hire car from Palma Airport (PMI) and enjoy the coastal drive to your resort. When you have unpacked, plan days out to visit the secluded beaches and breath-taking cliffs in the north of the island; drive to the pretty village of Deià to look around Robert Graves' house and to celebrity spot; work your way through the tapas menus in Palma; and look around the fascinating Caves of Drach.

Ibiza is between Majorca and mainland Spain and is served by Ibiza Airport (IBZ). While the island is most famous for its nightlife, a car will allow you to see another side to the party capital, from history and culture at sights such as the UNESCO World Heritage listed fortress of Dalt Vila and the catacombs of Puig Des Molins, to family-friendly attractions such as the Club Fiestaland park. You could even take a day trip to the smallest of the Balearic Islands, Formentera, in your car via ferry.

Menorca sits on the other side of Majorca and is the perfect destination for a peaceful family holiday. Hiring a car from Mahon Airport (MAH) will give you the option to leave your resort in search of secluded beaches and to take a drive to the top of Menorca's highest mountain, El Toro. The views from the top are certainly worth the drive up the winding roads.

Year-round sun, great family attractions and lively nightlife attract holidaymakers to visit the Canary Islands every year, but car hire from Tenerife South Airport (TFS), Tenerife North Airport (TFN), Lanzarote's Arrecife Airport (ACE), Gran Canaria's Las Palma's Airport (LPA) and Fuerteventura Airport (FUE) is extremely popular as having your own transport will give you the option to see more than the big resorts and to take in the unique landscape.

A trip to the villages in northern Tenerife will show you another, quieter side to the island, while more adventurous travellers can drive to Teide National Park to see the highest point in Spain. On Lanzarote, spend a day or two admiring the work of Cesar Manrique, and visit Timanfaya National Park with its moon-like landscape, Timanfaya volcano and steaming geysers. And while in Fuerteventura, pack your surf board, and drive to a beautiful golden beach such as Costa Calma or Corralejo in search of the perfect wave.

Other popular Spanish gateways include Murcia San Javier Airport (MJV), another option for those visiting the Costa Blanca; Almeria Airport (LEI) and Jerez Airport (XRY), both in Andalucia; Bilbao Airport (BIO), a city in the north of mainland Spain that is becoming increasingly popular with lovers of culture who mooch around attractions such as the Guggenheim Museum; and Valencia Airport (VLC), five miles west of Spain's third largest city.

Wherever you are travelling to in Spain, make sure you pre-book your hire car to save on walk-up prices. Use TravelSupermarket's price-comparison service to find the best car at the best price for you today.

Top tips for driving in Spain

When hiring a car abroad, it's important to become familiar with a few rules of the road before you set off. Here are some to keep in mind...

• Drive on the right-hand side of the road in Spain.

• Make sure you know what type of fuel your car takes before you drive away from your rental point. Unleaded petrol is called 'sin plomo' and diesel is called gas-oil or 'gasóleo'.

• Take the credit card you booked with to the rental desk when you pick up your hire car.

• There is a large network of toll roads in Spain, so make sure you keep cash on hand at all times. Despite the small fee, it is worth using these roads as they tend to be much quicker than normal N roads (similar to British A roads).

• The use of full headlights in built-up areas is not allowed. Instead, use sidelights or dipped headlights. Similarly, use dipped headlights in tunnels.

• It is compulsory for all passengers (in the front and rear of the vehicle) to wear seatbelts.

Five great driving routes

Looking for some road-trip inspiration but not sure where to start? These five driving routes should give you some ideas...

1. Pick up your hire car in Malaga airport and drive east along the coast to the awe-inspiring Sierra Nevada National Park. After exploring this beautiful and dramatic landscape, head to the ancient city of Granada which lies in its foothills. Here you can continue your adventure by exploring the city's fascinating Moorish architecture and historical sites.

2. After landing in Bilbao and exploring the city's old town and impressive landmarks like the Guggenheim Museum, a drive along the Basque Coast will reward you with rugged cliffs, extensive forests and quaint fishing villages. Continuing along the coast will bring you to San Sebastian where you can enjoy relaxing on gorgeous beaches, taking in historical sites and munching on tapas.

3. Pick up your car in Barcelona before exploring some of the city's greatest sights such as the Sagrada Família Church and Park Güell. Then it's time to hit the road and discover the beautiful Costa Brava where you will be able to visit seaside resorts such as Lloret del Mar and beautiful villages such as Pals.

4. Hiring a car in Ibiza will allow you to take your vehicle on the ferry and take a trip to its smaller sister island, Formentera. More laid-back and with a slower pace of life than Ibiza, you can visit beautiful beaches and swim in azure blue waters.

5. Those arriving into Menorca and hiring a car will be able to take a long and twisting trip to the island's tallest mountain, El Toro. Your drive will be rewarded by outstanding views from the summit.