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Renting a Car in Spain

Does anyone have recommendations for renting a car in Spain including dependable shops and what extras you should add on to your reservation?

Posted by
6101 posts

We've rented in Spain a couple times. When renting in Europe, I use AutoEurope. They are a 3rd party consolidator, and I've found their service to be excellent. Most often, the rental company I end up with is Europcar. For Andalusia, we picked up at the Sevilla train station and dropped in Granada. That was a short rental time period and we were going to visit a few of the small white villages with tight roads so we did the full coverage Collision. Otherwise, we've done no extras.

Posted by
1194 posts

Hello from Wisconsin,
Wow, the pervious post...I had to make sure that wasn't me reporting in.

Step 1. Yes, Autoeurope to get prices and a feel for what it will likely cost. In your search click no CDW (insurance) and then try with insurance to see what insurance is likely to cost.
Step 2. Decide where you will first need the car and when you will last need it. If you land in Madrid and stay in the city a few days you won't need it until you leave Madrid. But wait! If your plan is just to drive to Granada or where ever, why not take the train? Furfther delaying the car hire until needed. Same with returning the car. If you will finish up with Seville before going back to Madrid. Turn the car in when you arrive in Seville and take the train or bus. Parking a car can cost $15/day and it might be remote from where you are staying.
Step 3. Go back to Autoeurope with your definite dates and locations. Book a fully cancelable rental for the smallest car that will fit your needs. A manual will cost less to rent as that is what they drive over there. Booking a large auto communicates to the rental agency that you are 'big rich American' even when you aren't.
Step 4. Go to Europcar and check their prices. Autoeurope will likely already have given you a quote from Europcar, but get accustomed to their website. Check back at Europcar as often as every week, certainly every two weeks to see if they are running a special. Amazingly low prices sometimes come up. If you find a lower price and it is cancelable, book it. Then cancel your original reservation.
Step 5. repeat #4.

If money is not an issue, just book a reservation.

As for all the insurance they try to sell you that can double the cost of the rental. All I can say is that I use the insurance that comes with my credit card. Rules for that are, all interactions with the car rental agency must use the SAME credit card account. When you book on line, when you are at the desk picking up the car.

Very carefully check the car for scratches, dings, window cracks...etc. If you discover any go back to the desk and report what you have found. They will either record it on you rental papers where there is a drawing of a car, or they will issue a different car. Take photos of the car before you pick it up, all four sides, and when you return the car. Make sure you get a photo of the odometer before and after the rental and one shot of the license plate so you can find your car or report it is stolen.

Have a good time.
wayne iNWI

Posted by
6101 posts

I’m not sure what was wrong with my response. Also, just to be clear, I was using my experience with Sevilla and Granada as an example. We don’t know where OP is going. I used a rental between Sevilla and Granda so I could stop at multiple pueblos Blancos

When renting, I always check multiple sources. I’ve always found the AutoEurope quote for a Europcar rental to be less than booking Europcar car directly. But, definitely check back as your travel date becomes closer.

Posted by
6817 posts

For the longest time we used Avis, but the past couple trips we’ve used Enterprise. We pick up and drop off at Madrid’s airport. We actually go through Costco for the rental. After you make your reservation, check back periodically to see if the price has gone down. I’ve rebooked my the car for my upcoming trip 4 times already, each time saving more money.

We don’t get any extras. How you do insurance is up to you; use whatever comes with your credit card, a third party vendor like Allianz, or get it through the rental company.

@jules - I read wayner’s response being similar to what he would write, not anything wrong with yours.

Posted by
11368 posts

We always book with AutoEurope too and have booked with them several times in Spain.

Posted by
1508 posts

And note that an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) is LEGALLY REQUIRED iN SPAIN this year if you want to rent a car. American Automobile Association members can get theirs at their local AAA office for about $30 if you also need the two passport-size photos required to be on the IDP; about $20 if you bring in the two passport-size photos.
When I recently reserved a car for an upcoming trip to Spain through AutoEurope, I was informed the Car rental agency WILL REQUIRE WRITTEN PROOF YOU HAVE COLLISION DAMAGE WAIVER (CDW) AND THEFT COVERAGE for Spain when you are at the counter to pick up the car, or they will require that you buy the coverage they offer before you receive the car key.
The rental automatically comes with Personal Injury (PI) and Property Damage (PD) insurance coverages for any person or vehicles other than the car you are renting and you and your passengers.
I have primary CDW coverage and Theft Protection through one of my credit cards, so I was sure to reserve the car with that particular credit card.
AutoEurope’s website will inform you about the new IDP requirement.

Posted by
6101 posts

I will add, I believe that for AAA members, the International Driver's license is free. I take my own passport photos, but we were told they'll do those for free as well.

Posted by
1508 posts

Actually, my local AAA office says the International Driver’s License has been replaced by the International Driver’s Permit (IDP) with the International Driver’s License now a thing of the past.

Posted by
6101 posts

Kenko, I mispoke. For as long as we have been getting one, its an International Drivers PERMIT. Thanks for pointing that out.

Posted by
884 posts

Be aware that speed limits in Spain change frequently and there is a plethora of traffic cameras. Think speed traps in the U.S. Receiving a ticket once you have returned home does not make for a pleasant experience, not to mention that the rental agency may charge an additional ridiculous fee because they "provided a service to the Spanish authorities" by giving them with your contact information. Forewarned is forearmed.

Posted by
6817 posts

There are plenty of traffic cameras, but they are not speed traps. If you stay at or below the posted limit you won’t get any tickets. Many are when entering or leaving small towns and along the interstates. My last ticket was in 2017 leaving Melide. I accelerated prior to the speed limit change sign and received an infraction for going 5 kph (3 mph) over the limit. Many from the U.S. are used to the 5-10 mph over the limit buffer one gets in the states. There is no buffer overseas.

On my ticket it stated the road and at which kilometer marker the camera was at and I looked it up on Google maps. Sure enough there it was. As soon as I received it in the mail I promptly paid it online. By promptly paying, a 100€ fine was only 50€.