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Car Rental - Pick Up 1 Location Drop Off Another

I'm having difficulty booking a car to pick up in Tarifa, and dropping off in Bilbao. Every car company seems to be limited to pick up and drop off at same location. Can anyone shed any light? Many thanks.

Posted by
267 posts

We just got back from Spain. We rented a car through Hertz in Vigo and returned it to Bilbao.

I put your request into the search engine and several options were available. Have you tried that or another website, like orbitz?

We only had one issue with renting the car. We bought all the optional insurance (we didn't want any issues at all), and we agreed to return the car with a full tank of gas, which we did. However when we spoke to the agent in Bilbao, she asked us for a receipt from the gas station we last filled up at. We didn't have it, but luckily I had the name of the gas station stored in the gps, which seemed to satisfy her.

The lesson we learned about this, save all your gas receipts.

Good luck,

Posted by
19 posts

Marc - thanks ever so much. We are spending three months in Spain next year - mostly just wandering around. I tried a couple of consolidators - but not Kayak. Found some options - Thanks much.

Posted by
9934 posts

Have you tried AutoEurope? It's very easy on their site to designate different pick-up and drop-off locations.

For such a long rental period you may want to look into a lease.

Posted by
6908 posts

It's been 11 years, but Hertz let us pick up in Lisbon, Portugal and drop off in Malaga, Spain, but charged us a hefty separate-country surcharge for the convenience. On our last trip to Spain this past November, we used Europcar ( ) two separate times, and retuned the car each time to where we picked it up, but have used them other times in other countries and had no problem picking up the car and returning it in different places, with no extra charge. If the same company has offices in both cities, they should be able to allow you to do an "open jaws" rental, unless the far-south-end-of-the-country vs. far-north situation runs against their company policy.

BTW, returning our Europcar Kia to the Bilbao train station was very challenging, even in daylight -- we had a map but it took circling the station several times and an hour of attempts to locate the tiny street/passageway that led back to the car return lot.

Posted by
16893 posts

Pick up and drop off at different cities within the same country is usually no problem, assuming the vendor has locations at both cities that you want. I usually start with Auto Europe, which works with several different vendors. Algeciras will have more car vendors than Tarifa.

Also look at the price of a longer term "lease" through Europe by Car. Since those cars come from France, there are delivery fees to Spain, but it could still be cheaper than a regular rental.

Posted by
1186 posts

I did all sorts of on-line searching for a car rental for 4 weeks in January and February for our rental in April. I tried on-line to fix pick-up and drop-off at different locations (Barcelona and Santiago de Compostela) or BCN and Bilbao to find a low cost option. Different companies, different drop offs, you get the idea.

Ultimately I phoned Auto Europe to see what they could come up with. What a great experience. The voice asked where we would be staying in Barcelona, and where we were staying in Santiago and I said I wanted to minimize charges for dead heading it. Well, they found a solid company to rent from and locations near both our apartments and NO charge for dropping off at designated locations which we used. In both cases, maybe out of luck, we only had to walk four blocks to the rental office.

Do your research, so you know what a reasonable price is, then phone them. It took a couple minutes and I had spent hours searching on-line. Next trip, I start with Auto Europe. Then check to see if they did a good job. You can cancel with no penalty.

wayne iNWI

Posted by
19 posts

Thanks so much to everyone. The RS crew always comes through for me. Cheers, Lynne

Posted by
12154 posts

As a rule, an economy car is cheaper to rent. I always go for a manual transmission diesel - cheap and amazing mileage. Then add CDW through my Costco Amex card (for Auto Europe I had to have Amex charge me manually because it didn't pick it up automatically).

Leasing seems to be the better option when you want a bigger, nicer, or specialty car because rental car prices go up exponentially as you get away from the economy cars. CDW is included in the price.