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If you’re planning a whistle-stop weekend city break or a restful flop-by-the-pool week away in a resort, you probably won’t need to rent a car in Spain.

However, if you have aspirations that involve venturing beyond the borders of the holiday complex or past the limits of the city centre, car hire in Spain is essential.

Language: Spanish | Currency: Euro (€) | Avg. Flight time: 2.5 hrs

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Find answers to your questions


What age do I need to be to hire a vehicle in Spain?

You must be at least 18 to hire a car in Spain, but each rental company sets its own minimum age. Many companies will have an additional surcharge for drivers under the age of 25. There is no legal maximum age limit, though some companies will not rent cars to those over 75. 

What do I need to hire a vehicle in Spain?

To hire a vehicle in Spain, you need a valid driving licence that you have held for at least a year, additional ID (such as your passport), and a debit or credit card with funds to cover the security deposit. If you hold a UK licence, you do not need an International Driving Permit to drive in Spain.

Do I need car hire excess insurance in Spain?

Car hire excess insurance is not mandatory in Spain, but without it, you are liable to pay a much higher premium if you have an accident or damage the vehicle. You can usually purchase an excess insurance policy from the rental desk, but third-party providers can work out to be cheaper, so it’s worth looking into.

Can I rent a car with a debit card in Spain?

While many of Spain’s car hire companies accept debit cards, some will insist on credit card details to cover the security deposit. It is best to check with your preferred provider before making your booking.

Which rental companies are available at Madrid Barajas Airport?

You will find the following car hire companies at Madrid Barajas Airport: Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Goldcar, InterRent, Firefly, Hertz and Sixt. All have locations in the arrivals areas of Terminal 1 and Terminal 4.

Which rental companies are available at Barcelona Airport?

Barcelona Airport’s car hire desks are in Terminal 1 and Terminal 2B. Across the two, you can rent a car from Alamo, Avis, Budget, Centauro, Enterprise, Europcar, Firefly, Goldcar, Hertz, Inter Rent, National, Record Go, Sixt and Thrifty.

Is it cheaper to rent a car at the airport or off site in Spain?

You can certainly find good deals on car rental at airports in Spain, but as airport locations usually charge additional taxes and fees, it is often cheaper to book your vehicle off site.

Can you rent a car in one Spanish city and drop it off in another?

Absolutely, many providers do offer one-way rental between Spanish cities. There’s usually an additional fee to do this, though.

Can you rent a car on the same day in Spain?

Yes, many car hire companies in Spain offer same-day rental. Compare prices online instead of going to a rental office, as even same-day rentals can be cheaper this way.

Can I hire a vehicle at 21 years of age in Spain?

Yes, you can hire a car in Spain at 21 years of age, but you will usually pay a higher price (a ‘young driver surcharge’) if you are under 25.

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