Renting A Car In Spain

Renting A Car In Spain: Seize the Spanish Streets

Renting a car in Spain

Traveling to Spain offers a captivating and enriching experience. Renting a car in Spain to explore its rich history, culture, and vibrant cities is worth the experience.

Whether you’re interested in history and culture or just want to soak in the sun on beautiful beaches, Spain has something for you.

This diversified country has a remarkable history and culture, leaving behind historical landmarks, medieval castles, and gorgeous architecture.

Explore this charming destination with rental vehicles to see some of Europe’s most dynamic and beautiful cities.

Booking Your Rental Car in Spain

Source: Rental Cars website

Rent a car to explore Spain at your own pace. You can visit off-the-beaten-path sites, gorgeous villages, and stunning spots that aren’t accessible by public transit.

Renting a car in Spain is relatively easy, as numerous car rental companies have locations throughout the country.

Here are some places where you can find rental cars in Spain:

Online Car Rental Agencies: Online car rental companies are a convenient and efficient option when booking car rentals in Spain. These platforms, such as Rental Cars, Discover Cars, and Auto Europe, offer a vast selection of rental cars from various reputable providers, making comparing prices, features, and available vehicles easy.

Airport Rental Car Counters: Airport rental car counters often offer a range of options from various reputable car rental companies, giving customers the flexibility to choose a car that suits their needs and budget.

Rental Car Companies Websites: Rental car provider websites make it easy to book a car. Rental car providers’ websites also offer thorough information to help travelers tailor their rental experience.

Local Car Rental Agencies: Travelers wanting personalized service and local experience benefit from local vehicle rental firms. Working directly with local brokers may result in cheaper car rentals and a better awareness of Spanish driving laws and road conditions.

Travel Agencies: Package tourists may find travel agents convenient and thorough. They offer flights, lodgings, tours, and auto rentals, making it easy for travelers to schedule their entire trip.

Should You Rent a Car in Spain?

Source: Discover Cars website

Whether you should rent a car in Spain depends on your travel preferences, itinerary, and specific car types. Having a car at your disposal allows you to explore Spain conveniently.

You can make spontaneous stops, change your route, or stay longer at a place that captivates you, offering a more personalized and enriching travel experience.

Pros and Cons of Renting a Car in Spain

Source: The Broke Backpacker website

If you want the flexibility to explore remote areas and prefer a more independent travel experience, renting a car can be a great option. However, there are some factors to consider when deciding whether to rent a car in Spain.

Advantages of Renting a Car in Spain

  • Rental automobiles let you explore Spain at your own pace and visit less-traveled areas that may be harder to reach by public transport, demonstrating independence and flexibility.
  • With a rental car, you can explore Spain’s varied landscapes, access these secluded regions, and immerse yourself in their exceptional splendor.
  • Opting for a car rental can enhance convenience and time efficiency when embarking on day trips from major cities to nearby attractions.
  • By renting a car, you can engage with locals in lesser-known towns and villages, providing a more profound cultural immersion and a firsthand experience of Spanish traditions and way of life.

Considerations for Not Renting a Car in Spain

  • When primarily visiting big cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, or Seville, relying on public transportation is convenient and allows you to save money.
  • Navigating big Spanish cities by the same car can be anxiety-inducing, especially in historic districts with narrow streets and limited parking opportunities.
  • Certain highways in Spain impose toll fees, which can augment your travel expenditures. To utilize toll roads, you must be prepared for an extra cost.
  • Using a rental car for transportation, particularly for solo travelers, can have a more significant environmental impact than public transportation.

Alternative Means of Transport

Source: Expatica website

Spain has an extensive and reliable public transportation network, including trains and buses, which can efficiently connect major cities and popular tourist attractions.

The suitable transportation option depends on your schedule, travel distance, budget, and personal preferences. Utilizing a combination of transportation methods can also enhance your overall travel experience in Spain.

Here are some popular options for alternative transportation:

  • High-Speed Trains (AVE)
  • Regional Trains
  • Buses (shuttle bus)
  • Metro and Trams
  • Biking
  • Ridesharing
  • Ferries
  • Domestic Flights

What You Need for Renting a Car in Spain

Source: Enterprise Rent a Car website

Providing the necessary documents when renting a car in Spain is paramount as it ensures a smooth and hassle-free rental process.

Car documentation proves identity, driving eligibility, and financial accountability, allowing the rental firm to check your credentials and protect your assets.

Note that requirements may vary slightly depending on the car rental company, so you must check with the specific rental company you plan to use.

To rent a car in Spain, you’ll need the following documents and information:


The minimum age to rent a car in Spain is typically 21. However, some rental agencies may require drivers to be at least 23 to 25 years old, and additional charges might apply for drivers under 25.

Driver’s License

A valid driver’s license from your home country is required. Before visiting Spain, you may need an International Driving Permit (IDP) if your license is not in Spanish or English. Before entering Spain, Americans and Europeans need an international driving license.


Along with your driving license, you’ll need a valid passport or national identity card as proof of identity.

Credit Card

Many car rental companies require a credit card in the primary driver’s name for the security deposit. The credit card must have sufficient credit to cover the deposit held during the rental period and released upon returning the car in good condition.

Rental Agreement

You’ll need to sign a rental agreement, which outlines specific rental conditions, including insurance coverage, fuel policy, and any additional charges.


Basic insurance coverage is typically included in the rental price.

Additional Drivers

If you plan to have additional drivers, they must meet the same age and license requirements and be present at the time of car pickup to be added to the rental agreement.

Driving Experience

A car rental company may require the driver to have a minimum driving experience of at least one to two years before renting a car in Spain.

Exploring Spain by Car

Source: Auto Europe website

Considered one of the most beautiful European countries, Spain’s geographical diversity and cultural richness make it an ideal destination for a road trip.

Renting a car in Spain allows you to discover the country’s UNESCO World Heritage sites, interact with locals, and experience their authentic charm.

Auto Europe has some tips for travelers on where these heritage sites can be accessed.

Regions Best Explored by Car

Regions best explored by car offer a unique and immersive travel experience, allowing visitors to uncover unexplored sites and breathtaking terrains at their own pace.

With the freedom to stop and explore quaint towns, scenic countryside, and delightful coastal routes, Discover Cars provides an in-depth guide to your Spanish adventure.

Source: Discover Cars Website
  • Andalusia: A region in Southern Spain known for its rich history, diverse cultural heritage, stunning architecture, and vibrant traditions.
  • Catalonia: An autonomous community in northeastern Spain with a distinct culture, language, and strong identity, known for its dynamic cities, scenic landscapes, and contributions to art and architecture.
  • Basque Country: A culturally distinct region straddling northern Spain and southwestern France, renowned for its ancient language, vibrant traditions, and stunning natural scenery.

Notable Driving Routes

Source: BMW website

Spain is an amazing country boasting an array of notable driving routes that showcase the country’s natural beauty and cultural richness.

Before deciding what vehicle to rent, consider where you plan to visit. The size of your vehicle, i.e., smaller cars, SUVs, mid-size vehicles, will matter.

  • Mountain Roads to El Chorro: The mountain roads leading to El Chorro in Spain offer breathtaking views and winding routes, making it a popular destination for adventurous travelers and outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Montserrat Mountain Roads: Montserrat Mountain Roads in Catalonia, Spain, wind through the stunning Montserrat Mountain range, providing drivers with awe-inspiring landscapes and access to iconic Montserrat Abbey perched among the peaks.
  • The Costa da Morte Road: The Costa da Morte Road in Galicia, Spain, follows the “Coast of Death,” where towering cliffs, rough shoreline, and charming fishing villages provide for an outstanding driving experience for rental car drivers.

Places to Avoid Driving

Source: Insurance 4 car hire website

When driving in Spain, avoiding navigating major cities’ narrow and congested streets during rush hours is advisable, as traffic can be challenging to manage. You may seek advice from the car rental company on the places to avoid driving in the country.

  • Barcelona
  • Madrid
  • Historic City Centers
  • Tiny Hillside Villages

Car Rental Process in Spain

Source: All Getaways website

The car rental process in Spain offers travelers a convenient and flexible way to explore the country’s diverse landscapes, vibrant cities, and charming villages.

Here’s a step-by-step car rental process in Spain:

  1. Research: Find the best automobile rental businesses online. Compare pricing, car models, and customer reviews to find the perfect fit for your needs and budget. Several automobile rental firms offer low rates to attract clients in a competitive industry.
  2. Age and License Requirements: Many Spanish rental car businesses require drivers to be 21 or 25, depending on the company. You’ll also need a valid driving license from your native country or an IDP if it’s not in Spanish or English.
  3. Payment and Reservation: You must provide your credit card information when making the reservation. The rental cost is typically charged upfront or upon pick-up, and a deposit may be required to cover any potential damages to the vehicle.

Choosing the Right Rental Company

Source: Discover Cars website

Choosing the right rental company is crucial in ensuring a smooth and enjoyable car rental experience in Spain.

Here are the factors to consider when selecting the best car rental company:

  • Compare Rates and Services: Look for reputable rental agencies with transparent pricing and no hidden fees. Consider their customer service reviews and whether they offer 24/7 roadside assistance for emergencies.
  • Location Convenience: Choose a rental car provider with convenient pick-up and drop-off car rental locations for your travel plans. Major airports and cities usually have several rental options.
  • Additional Features: Some car hire agencies may offer extras like GPS navigation, child seats, or Spanish drivers for a fee. Consider these options if they align with your needs.

Discover Cars is a reputable rental car provider that meets all criteria mentioned above. They have competitive prices, car rental locations at major airport locations like Barcelona Airport, one-way rentals, and many more.

Remember that the right rental car company can significantly contribute to the overall enjoyment of your road trip in Spain.

Understanding Car Rental Insurance

Understanding car rental insurance is crucial to ensure you have the right coverage and protection during your car rental in Spain. This is essential to make informed decisions and ensure you have the right level of coverage for your rental car in Spain.

Source: Auto Europe website

Mandatory Insurance

In Spain, car rentals are legally required to provide third-party liability insurance as part of the rental package. This insurance covers damages and injuries to other vehicles, property, or people caused by the rental car while you are driving it.

However, it’s essential to note that this mandatory insurance typically does not cover damages to the rental car or injuries to you or your passengers.

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)

CDW is an optional insurance coverage that reduces your financial liability in the event of damage to the rental car.

If you purchase CDW, the rental car company will typically waive or reduce the amount you are responsible for paying in case of an accident or damage to the car.

Theft Protection

Theft protection, also known as Theft Waiver (TW), is another optional coverage that protects you in case the rental car is stolen during the rental period.

Similar to CDW, there may be an excess amount associated with theft protection that you would need to pay in case of theft.

Personal Accident Insurance (PAI)

In addition to CDW and theft protection, most car rentals may offer optional insurance coverages like PAI. It provides coverage for medical expenses and accident death benefits for you and your passengers.

Credit Card Coverage

Before purchasing additional insurance from the rental company, check if your credit card provides rental car insurance coverage.

However, there are specific terms and conditions for your credit card coverage, often with many restrictions.

Thus, find out with your card company what benefits you can get when traveling to Spain or most other European countries.

Understanding car rental insurance is crucial to knowing the best options for you and your passengers. Auto Europe have good insurance options tailored to fit your needs.

Transmission Choices: Automatic vs. Manual

Source: Autoslash website

In Spain, travelers can choose between manual or automatic cars when renting a car. Each transmission type has its advantages and considerations, so it’s essential to understand the differences before deciding.

Manual Car Transmission

Manual transmission cars (stick shift) are more common and generally less expensive to rent in Spain. You’ll have a broader selection if you’re comfortable driving a manual car. These are common reasons why manual cars are more prevalent in Spain:

  • Common and Cost-effective – You will find a wider selection of these vehicles at an average price than automatic cars.
  • Control and Driving Experience – Many experienced drivers prefer manual cars for their level of control. It is ideal for navigating winding roads because of its change gears functions.
  • Fuel Efficiency – If you want to save money, manual cars are more fuel-efficient, especially on highways and in areas with steep inclines.

Automatic Cars Transmission

An automatic car is available at more prominent car rental locations and may cost more than manual cars.

Although manual automobiles are more frequent in Spain, automatic transmission cars are still available at major airport and city car rental agencies.

Here are the common factors why some travelers prefer automated vehicles despite their limited availability:

  • Ease of Driving – Automatic cars eliminate the need to shift gears manually, making them more user-friendly and easier to drive, particularly for those who are not accustomed to driving manual cars.
  • Convenience – An automatic transmission can be convenient for drivers who prefer a more relaxed driving experience, as it allows them to focus more on navigation and enjoying the scenery rather than managing gear changes.
  • Ideal for City Driving – An automatic car is ideal in heavy traffic or urban cities with frequent stop-and-go, thus making it more comfortable and convenient.

Optimal Pick-Up and Drop-Off Locations

The optimal pickup location or drop-off for your rental car in Spain can significantly impact your road trip’s overall convenience and efficiency.

There are two primary car rental location options for pick-up and drop-off of car rentals.

Airport Car Rental Locations

Renting a car from the airport offers convenience, especially if you plan to start your road trip immediately after arrival. However, airport car rental locations may have higher fees during peak travel seasons.

Rental Cars offers competitive car rental rates at some of the major airport locations in Spain, such as Barcelona Airport, Malaga Airport, and Madrid Airport. You can approach their help desk for more details.

Source: Rental Cars website

City Center Car Rental Locations

You’ll find several rental car providers in major cities in the city center. These car rental locations may offer an average price, but parking and traffic conditions should be considered.

Pre and Post-Rental Car Checks

Source: European Consumer Centres Network website

Pre and post-rental car checks are essential to ensure a smooth car rental experience and avoid any disputes regarding damages. Here’s a brief explanation of the pre and post-rental car inspections:

Before Driving Off: Before leaving the rental location, thoroughly inspect the car for any existing damage and document it with the rental company. Taking photos or videos can serve as evidence in case of disputes later.

After Returning the Car: Conduct a final inspection with the rental company’s representative upon drop-off to ensure no new damages occur. Get written confirmation that the car has been returned in good condition.

Living the Spanish Driving Experience

Driving in Spain can be an exciting and enriching experience, allowing you to explore the country’s diverse terrain, ancient cities, and picturesque countryside.

To fully enjoy the Spanish driving experience, it’s essential to understand the nuances of driving in different settings, from the country to the city.

Source: Keith Michaels website

Driving in the countryside

Spain’s countryside offers breathtaking views, eccentric villages, and winding roads that lead to undiscovered places. When driving in the country, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Road Conditions: While main highways and major roads are generally well-maintained, some rural streets may be narrow and winding. Exercise caution and drive within the required speed limit.
  • Speed Limits: Speed limits can vary depending on the type of road. On rural roads, the speed limit is usually 90 km/h, while on highways, it can be up to 100-120 km/h.
  • Wildlife: Be cautious of wildlife crossing rural roads, especially during dawn and dusk.
  • Slow-moving Vehicles: You might encounter tractors or other slow-moving vehicles, especially in agricultural areas. Stay patient and only overtake when it’s safe and legal.

Driving in the city

Driving in Spanish cities can be more challenging due to traffic congestion and complex road networks. Here are some tips for city driving:

  • Traffic Rules: Familiarize yourself with local traffic rules and signs. Pay attention to one-way streets, pedestrian zones, and restricted areas.
  • Traffic Congestion: Major towns and cities can experience heavy traffic during rush hours, so plan your travel accordingly.
  • Public Transportation: In cities like Madrid and Barcelona, public transportation might be more convenient and cost-effective than driving a rental car or your own car.
  • Parking: Parking spaces can be limited and expensive in city centers. Consider using public parking lots or parking outside the city and taking public transport.

What to Expect When Driving in Spain

Source: Drivalia website

When driving in Spain, you’ll encounter some cultural and behavioral differences on the road:

  • Lane Discipline: Spanish drivers tend to be more relaxed about lane discipline, especially on highways. Overtaking from the right can be expected, so stay alert.
  • Honking: Honking is commonly used to communicate with other drivers, and it can mean different things, from a friendly greeting to expressing frustration. However, excessive honking is not encouraged.
  • Siesta time: In smaller towns and villages, be aware of “siesta” when businesses close for a few hours in the afternoon. It might affect services like gas stations, restaurants, or shops.
  • Roundabouts: Spain has many roundabouts, and they are generally well-marked. Yield to traffic already on the roundabout, and signal your exit when leaving.

Understanding the Autopista and Toll System

Source: Uta website

Spain has an extensive network of highways known as “Autopistas” and “Autovías,” which are generally well-maintained and efficient. Some of these roads are tolled, and you’ll encounter toll booths.

Here’s what you should know about the toll system:

  • Toll Payment: Tolls can be paid in cash or electronically through various systems like VIA-T or credit cards. Some rent-a-car companies might provide electronic toll devices, so check before renting a car in Spain.
  • Toll Prices: Toll prices tend to vary depending on the distance and the type of vehicle. They can be relatively expensive for long journeys, so consider this in your travel budget if you plan to rent a car.
  • Toll-free Alternatives: If you prefer to avoid tolls, you can use “Autovías,” which are free highways, although they might be less direct than the toll roads “Autopistas.”

Navigating Rest Stops

Source: Abades Areas website

During long drives, it’s essential to take breaks and rest. Spanish highways have well-equipped rest stops called “Areas de Descanso” or “Areas de Servicio.” Here’s what you can expect at these rest stops:

  • Facilities: Rest stops offer restrooms, picnic areas, and sometimes playgrounds for families with children.
  • Services: Many rest stops have cafes, restaurants, and small shops where you can buy snacks, drinks, and local products.
  • Gas Stations: Rest stops usually have gas stations, making them convenient for refueling.

Tips for Refueling Your Car

Source: Rental Cars website

When refueling your rental car in Spain, keep in mind the following suggestions:

  • Fuel Options: Gas stations in Spain offer unleaded petrol (95 and 98 octane) and diesel. Some stations might provide alternative fuels like LPG (autogas) or CNG (natural gas).
  • Self-service vs. Full-service: Most gas stations are self-service, but some might have attendants who can assist you, especially on the highway.
  • Payment: You can pay for fuel with cash or credit/debit cards. International credit cards are generally accepted, but carrying some cash is a good idea.

If you’re renting a car at Rental Cars, you can ask the car representative for the fuel option of your vehicle and gas station locations that are easily accessed.

Guidance for Parking

Source: Road Trip Spain and Portugal website

When you rent a car in Spain, consider the availability of parking spaces. Parking in Spain can be challenging, so follow these guidelines:

  • Blue Zones: In many cities, you’ll find “blue zones” where parking is allowed for a limited time, and you need to display a parking ticket. Tickets can be purchased from nearby machines or shops.
  • Parking Garages: Public parking is often the easiest option for parking in city centers. They might be more than the average price of street parking, but they offer more security and convenience for your car.
  • Restricted Areas: Pay attention to no-parking zones, pedestrian areas, and spaces reserved for residents, as parking violations can result in fines or towing.

Renting and Driving with Children

Source: Auto Europe website

Safety should be the top priority when renting a car in Spain and driving with children.

Many countries, including Spain, have specific regulations regarding child car seats. Children in Spain must use appropriate child restraint systems for age, weight, and height.

Auto Europe values its relationship with its clients. So, if you rent a car in Spain, travelers with children are assured that their vehicles follow child safety protocols.

Car Seat Requirements and Choices

When renting a car in Spain, familiarize yourself with the car seat requirements in the country, especially if you are traveling with children. You can often request to include child car seats suitable for your children’s ages.

The car seat requirements in Spain are as follows:

  • Infants up to 15 months old or weighing less than 13 kg must use a rear-facing car seat.
  • Children between 15 months and four years old and weighing 9 kg and 18 kg must use a forward-facing car seat.
  • Children between 4 and 12 years old or shorter than 135 cm must use a booster seat.
  • Children over 12 years old or taller than 135 cm can use the vehicle’s regular seatbelt.

Vehicle Size Considerations

When traveling with children, especially in larger groups or with lots of luggage, it’s essential to consider the size of the rental car in Spain.

A small car is not advisable as you need to consider the comfort and safety of your child unless it meets the car seat requirements and you don’t have a lot of luggage.

The Utility of Minivans

Source: Discover Cars website

If traveling with children, minivans are a practical choice if you think of renting a car in Spain. They are popular for families due to their spacious interiors and ability to accommodate multiple car seats.

They provide ample legroom, storage space, and easy access through sliding doors, making them convenient for families with young children.

Discover Cars offers various minivan options at an affordable price. You can check their websites for more details on vehicle options and price rates.

Rest Stops and Family-friendly Amenities

Source: Abaco Advisers website

When embarking on a long road trip with children in Spain, planning for regular rest stops to stretch, use restrooms, and have meals is essential.

While Spain may not have Autogrill, an Italian chain of roadside service areas, it has similar facilities called “Area de Servicio” or “Area de Descanso.”

Manual automobiles are typical in Spain, but automatic transmission cars are available at major airport and city car rental agencies.

Driving in Cities in Spain

Driving in cities can be challenging, especially in larger urban areas like Madrid or Barcelona. Be prepared for heavy traffic, narrow streets, and crowded parking situations.

It’s essential to obey traffic rules, including speed limits, and pay attention to road signs and pedestrians.

Low Emission Zone (ZBE)

Source: SurinEnglish website

Many Spanish cities have restricted traffic zones, known as “Zonas de Bajas Emisiones” (ZBE), where only vehicles with specific environmental labels can enter. A low-emission zone is an area where access is restricted or regulated based on vehicle emissions.

The specific regulations and criteria for ZBE can vary between cities in Spain.

If you are planning to rent a car, it is beneficial to learn more about ZBE to avoid getting penalties or paying a fine. Here are some common regulations and criteria regarding ZBE:

  • Emissions Standards: Vehicles must meet emission limits to enter low-emission zones. Euro emission standards classify automobiles by emissions, which inform these requirements. Ask your rental company if they have zone-entry vehicles.
  • Vehicle Types: Certain low-emission zones may not allow electric, hybrid, or alternative fuel vehicles like CNG or LPG.
  • Access Restrictions: In some ZBEs, access might be restricted during certain hours or days to reduce traffic congestion and emissions during peak times.
  • Charges or Fees: Non-compliant automobiles may pay ZBE entry fees. The fee structure may depend on emissions level, time of stay in the zone, and vehicle type (smaller, SUV, luxury).
  • Exemptions: Some ZBEs provide exemptions for specific types of vehicles, such as residents’ vehicles, emergency vehicles, or vehicles for people with disabilities.
  • Enforcement: The enforcement of ZBE involves camera systems that check vehicle license plates to ensure compliance with the regulations. Otherwise, a fine is imposed on non-compliant vehicles.

Driving in the Countryside in Spain

Driving in the countryside in Spain with your rent-a-car vehicle offers beautiful scenery and a more relaxed atmosphere compared to urban driving.

However, rural roads can be narrow and winding, so extra caution is necessary, especially when driving with children.

Pay attention to your speed limit and be prepared for unexpected obstacles.

Mastering Spanish Roads

Source: Auto Europe website

Mastering Spanish roads is essential for travelers and motorists seeking to navigate the country’s diverse and scenic landscapes.

For safe and pleasurable driving in Spain, you must know the driving regulations, speed limit, road signs, and types of roads, such as toll highways and national roads, before renting a car.

Visitors can easily explore the country’s cities and countryside with a keen grasp of road navigation tips and knowledge of ZBEs.

Road Navigation Tips

Road navigation tips are indispensable for any traveler embarking on a road trip, ensuring a smooth and stress-free journey.

From planning routes and understanding major landmarks to navigating toll roads and rural paths, these tips offer valuable insights for drivers exploring new territories.

  • Before starting your journey, plan your route using GPS or maps.
  • Pay attention to road conditions and be prepared for toll roads requiring payment at toll booths.
  • Familiarize Spain’s extensive network of highways and secondary roads.
  • Be cautious on rural roads, especially in mountainous regions, as they can be winding and narrow.

Understanding Spanish Driving Laws

Understanding Spanish driving laws is crucial for anyone planning to drive in Spain, ensuring compliance with regulations and promoting road safety.

By grasping the driving rules and regulations, drivers can avoid potential fines and penalties.

  • In Spain, vehicles drive on the right-hand side of the road.
  • The legal alcohol limit for driving in Spain is 0.5 grams per liter.
  • Seat belts are mandatory for all passengers.
  • Children must use appropriate child restraint systems based on age, weight, and height.
  • Using mobile phones while driving, except with a hands-free system, is prohibited.
  • Radar detectors are illegal in Spain.

Interpreting Road Signs

Interpreting road signs is a fundamental skill for every driver, allowing them to navigate unfamiliar roads with confidence and safety.

In Spain, road signs provide essential information about speed limit, directions, and potential hazards.

You can make informed driving decisions once you understand and recognize these signs.

Getting Acquainted with Different Types of Roads

Getting acquainted with different types of roads is essential for travelers planning to explore Spain.

Knowing the differences in road types helps drivers choose the best route for their needs.

  • Autopistas (AP) and Autovias (A): Autopistas are toll highways, while Autovias are toll-free highways. Both offer higher speed limits and are usually the quickest way to travel long distances from cities.
  • Carreteras Nacionales (N): These are national roads and are often well-maintained. They can be toll-free or might have some toll sections.
  • Carretaras Comrcales (C): These regional roads might be narrower and less well-maintained than national highways but can take you through scenic routes.
  • Carretas Locales: These local roads can vary significantly in condition, width, and traffic.

Dealing with Speed Cameras

Dealing with speed cameras is a crucial aspect of responsible driving, especially when navigating the roads in Spain.

Speed cameras are commonly found on highways and near urban areas, aiming to enforce speed limits and promote road safety.

Knowing their locations can help drivers avoid fines and penalties, ensuring a safe and compliant journey.

Emergency Procedures

Source: Traffic Rules website

Emergency procedures following road accidents in Spain are essential for ensuring the safety of everyone involved and complying with legal requirements.

Here are some guides on what to do if you find yourself in a situation:

  • Ensure Safety
  • Check for Injuries
  • Report the accident to Spanish police or authorities
  • Call emergency number 112
  • Exchange contact and insurance information
  • Document the scene by taking photos of the accident area
  • Notify your insurance company as per the rental conditions stipulated in your agreement
  • Stay calm and cooperate

Spanish Car and Driving Glossary

The Spanish car and driving glossary includes essential terms and phrases related to driving, car components, and road regulations. Familiarizing oneself with these terms can help travelers confidently navigate Spanish roads and communicate effectively.

  • Car – el coche
  • To drive – conducir
  • Driver – el conductor
  • Mechanic – el mecanico
  • Driver’s License – la licencia de conducir
  • Car insurance – seguro de coche
  • Fuel – el combustible
  • Diesel – el gasoleo
  • Gas (regular or premium) – la gasolina (normal or premium)

FAQs about Renting a Car in Spain

For travelers planning to rent a car in Spain, here are some frequently asked questions about car rentals:

What documents are needed to rent a car in Spain?

To rent a car in Spain, you need a valid driving license, an IDP for Americans or non-EU nationals, and a credit card. Depending on the car category, some rental agencies may also require age restrictions for primary drivers, usually 21 or 25 years old.

Is it necessary to have car insurance when renting a car in Spain?

Yes. Car insurance is required. Most rental organizations include third-party liability and collision damage waiver. Damage or theft often result in an additional charge for the tenant. Extra coverage includes theft protection and personal accident insurance.

Are tolls included in the rental price, and how do I pay tolls in Spain?

Tolls are not typically included in the rental price. Spain has several toll roads where tolls are collected at toll booths. You can use cash or credit/debit cards to pay tolls.

Can I cross the border to other countries with a rental car in Spain?

Some rental agencies allow cross-border travel, while others may have restrictions. If you plan to travel to neighboring countries, such as Portugal or France, inform the rental agency in advance and check if there are any additional fees or requirements.


When you rent a car in Spain, you can do a lot of different things. You can take to the streets and see the country’s different landscapes and charming places at your own pace.

If you take a car, you can make your own unforgettable travel experiences by driving along beautiful coastal roads, exploring the beautiful countryside, or navigating the busy city streets.

Just remember to follow Spain’s traffic rules to avoid fines or delays.

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