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Renting a Car in Andalusia

We will be traveling in May (5 adults). We'd like to rent a car on the day that we leave Granada and head for our stay in Ronda. We would like to then return it a few days later in Sevilla.
Are there any specific rental companies that you can recommend?
Thank you so much.

Posted by
2130 posts

We did that in reverse. We rented in Sevilla and spent a couple days in the white villages and then returned in Granada. We rented from Autoeurope (consolidator) and the car came from Europcar. We picked up and dropped off at the train stations. The rental was problem free. We purchased the extra no deductible insurance which turned out to be good because we had a couple scrapes in the tight roads of the white villages.

Posted by
676 posts

I did that exact thing several years ago. Auto Europe is definitely the way to go. Their prices and service are excellent.

Posted by
11832 posts

I start with autoeurope.com and then check the individual company websites. Sometimes Auto Europe is a better deal, sometimes not. As I recall, you have to prepay with Auto Europe. I have done that and later cancelled the reservations, received a refund to my credit card within a couple days. Europcar usually offers a discount for prepayment - non-refundable, though.

Read the conditions carefully before you book anything. When you look at the car descriptions, note that even large vehicles that 5 adults can ride in comfortably often have very little luggage space. It's never a good idea to leave any belongings visible in a parked car.

Posted by
2229 posts

Have a look at Rentalcars.com, they're a consolidator and their prices can rarely be beaten (even going direct with the car agency). Most of my rentals have ended up being fulfilled by Hertz. I've had no problems with them.

Posted by
122 posts

Thank you all so much for your helpful replies. We have rented from autoeurope before and, by the way, we love the convenience of renting and dropping off at train stations. I will look into rentalcars.com also.

Jules, if my memory serves me correctly, you recently visited there? I'm trying to rack my brains and I think that it was you who posted and said that you had a similar itinerary to ours. I think that you said that you were to head there in November or so. Anyway, if you are the one, I hope that you had a wonderful time. I would love to hear more about your trip, again, if it was you, and of course, if you have the time to share.

Chani, you are always so helpful. Thank you. Yes, we're very cautious about not leaving belongings in a car. In fact, I had a weird dream about that the other night!

Posted by
11832 posts

Thank you for the kind words. If you are planning to visit the pueblos blancos, you may want to consider full insurance coverage. Even in Ronda, I had to drive a few very narrow streets with sharp turns. Actually they wouldn't have seemed so narrow if there hadn't been cars parked on both sides, sometimes awkwardly. For some of the villages, if you aren't used to driving in places like San Francisco, you may want to park the car near the entrance and explore on foot.

Posted by
838 posts

Whatever you do avoid goldcar. A quick google search on them should show you why.

Posted by
122 posts

Thank you all again.

Chani, yes, we'll be sure to get full insurance coverage. We're used to driving in very narrow streets and tight spaces, but still, it's better to be protected!

Morton, thank you for that. I'll be sure to avoid them and go with the companies that we know.

Posted by
2130 posts
Posted by
122 posts

Jules, thank you for including all those links. I missed those completely and cannot wait to read up on your trip!

Posted by
2130 posts

Bookaholic, You're welcome. My first trip reports. I wish I'd made them a little more concise and all on one post. Next time.

Posted by
122 posts

We're disappointed that it's almost impossible to get an automatic. My husband can drive a manual, but he would prefer an automatic. Apparently, most rental cars in Spain are manual. What makes it harder is that we're 5 adults. We made a booking through Avis (pick-up and drop-off at train stations as well as all the coverage), since Auto Europe really had nothing for our needs. Thank you all again for your kind help.

Jules, I'm slowly reading up on your trip reports and am not only enjoying them, but also learning so much. Thank you!

Posted by
2130 posts

Bookaholic, I wasn't thrilled with the manual, either, but it comes back fast. The biggest issue for me was that we picked up at the train station in Sevilla so I didn't exactly have a quiet place to get back into the swing of driving with a clutch. I was driving down a busy street just hoping to not have to stop. I am late 50s. Drove a clutch car occasionally as a teen and then a bit in my early 20s. After that it was for a trip in Mexico a week, and that's it. I can drive the manual better than my husband, but he actually has more "guts". I just hate being on a steep hill trying to park with other cars around. Technically for a few reasons my husband wasn't supposed to drive on the trip (hadn't received his new license, etc.) but twice in Grazelema, I had enough and stopped the car and let him park! I suppose I'm scaring you which was not my intention. Get the full coverage insurance and he should familiarize himself with the shift pattern. SOme are tighter than others. I stalled a couple times and other drivers seemed only slightly annoyed. Try to park on the edges of the white villages as opposed to driving right into the center of town. Someone had suggested we park in Arcos on the main square in front of the church. I chickened out and parked some distance away. Good choice. I think we would have lost some paint.

Posted by
11 posts

We rented an automatic through Autoeurope last April. Picked it up at the train station in Seville, drove to Arcos, Tarifa, Gibraltar, Ronda to Granada. The hardest part was finding out where to drop the car off in Granada. The drop off (at least last April) was in an underground parking lot along a crowded boulevard. (There was construction at the train station.) I neglected to ask at the rental place in Seville where to drop the car off. I was scrolling through Autoeurope's comments on their website and luckily stumbled across a comment about the car drop off being in this underground garage. This was the most stressful part of the whole experience. Loved having the car through Andalucia.

Posted by
2130 posts

@nagiehl, we had the same experience in Granada and we had asked in Sevilla about where to return the car. All they said was that the office was easy to find. Yes, the office wasn't too hard to find but the ramp was! It sounds like there must be a lot of one way rentals in that area and they probably need to be much more clear. I wonder if they are independently owned and there isn't a lot of communication between the offices.

Posted by
399 posts

Hi from Wisconsin,
I just rented a car starting Cordoba and returning to Sevilla. I know, I know the dreaded dead head charges. But wait. I went through AutoEurope and am booked with Europecar ( I have used both on previous trips). No dead head charge. How about 14 days for $149.19? Or I could have 100% insurance coverage for just under $225.

Europecar has been so good to me that I abuse them occasionally. I have been known to go into a Europecar office to ask directions and other information. They have always spoken great English and are pretty darned informed.
wayne iNWI

Posted by
122 posts

Thank you all again! We may end up paying far more and just going with an automatic. Regardless, we will go with full coverage.

Posted by
2229 posts

You're unlikely to pay far more for an automatic. Prices have come down considerably since the past and many are not that much more than a manual. I recently paid £250 for 10 days rental of a BMW 2 series in Mallorca which was a good rate in my opinion.

Posted by
2130 posts

Europcar did have automatics in Sevilla. If you reserved one in advance they were not that much more. I usually end up with a rental from Europcar tho I book thru Autoeurope. Never a problem

Posted by
122 posts

JC, it's not that the automatic costs more, it's that that specific car, a van really, since we are five people, will cost more. We had booked a car for five people (manual transmission). We canceled it. The only available car for five people with our requirement that it be automatic, is a minivan and obviously costs more. All the automatics that we saw on various sites are too small for five of us.

Posted by
2130 posts

Be very careful where you drive the car. You'll be fine driving through the mountains, tho I feel a smaller car would be better. I'd look at maps for each of the white villages and find parking on the edge of town so that you don't really enter the village (and the really narrow streets). In Ronda, the first parking we found was already a bit too far in and there were some narrow streets. However, I came from the west, you may find something that works better since you'll be coming in on the east. We didn't use it, but I believe there is a parking lot with a shuttle to the older part of town in Arcos.

Posted by
122 posts

Jules, thank you again, so much. We'll be as careful as possible and park on the edges of the towns and villages. We're used to driving in very narrow roads, since our country is that way also, but still one needs to be careful! Thank you.