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Before you think about car rental in Madrid, consider this: the city has one of Europe’s largest underground networks, kids under the age of 11 get to travel at half price, and night buses run every 20 minutes.
Basically, you’re unlikely to need car hire in Madrid for short stays in the city centre. Book it instead for all of the fascinating neighbouring regions you can visit in a few hours – or less – by road.
Language: Spanish | Currency: Euros (€) | Local time: UTC +1:00 | Avg. Flight time: 2.5 hrs
So where can you go with your own wheels?
When it comes to romance, Toledo gives Paris a run for its money. The ancient capital of Castilla-La Mancha, this city of poets and painters is just an hour’s drive from Madrid. You can swap Museo del Prado for Toledo’s Museo del Greco, take a turn around the city’s Alcazar fortifications, hit the Archbishop's Palace and be back on Madrid’s Gran Via by nightfall.
The Ribera del Duero region is home to some of Europe’s finest wineries. Cruise along the winery-strung Miracle Mile, which is less than two hours from Madrid city centre, for a taste tour. Better still, stay overnight, indulge, and plot another scenic route the next day.
Alternatively, go total Madrileño and spend a bit of the weekend at El Escorial. Philip II’s immense 16th-century palace in Valle de los Caídos is another of Spain’s World Heritage wonders and the hour-long journey from Madrid is a favourite Sunday escape from the city.
Touch down at Madrid’s Barajas Airport and you can pick up a car from any number of rental companies, including well-known brands such as Avis, Enterprise, Hertz, Budget and Europcar.
For the cheapest airport car hire in Madrid and an easy pick-up process, arrange it all before you go. Compare cheap car-rental packages for Madrid with TravelSupermarket before you travel and you can also take your time to pore over those boring but essential terms and conditions – not something you want to do just after you’ve arrived at this exciting destination.
If you want to pick up your car after a day or two, compare rates for city-centre car hire in Madrid.
Before you drive off, make sure there is a paper map of Madrid in the car. Getting from the airport to the city centre is straightforward, but the maze of underground junctions means you might find yourself without a phone signal.