The Cost of Owning a Car in Spain in 2023

Person holding a toy car and car keys in hand

Do you dream of owning a car in Spain? Whether you want to explore the country’s scenic landscapes, visit its historic cities, or just enjoy the freedom of driving, owning a car in Spain can be a great option for travelers or expats. But how much does owning a car in Spain in 2023 cost?

The cost of owning a car in Spain ranges from approximately €230 to €500 per month, encompassing fuel, insurance, maintenance, parking, and taxes.

Is it cheaper than renting a car?

In this blog post, we will answer those questions and more. We will compare the cost of buying a new or used car in Spain, the expenses of maintaining and insuring a car, and the advantages and disadvantages of owning a car versus renting one.

We will also give you some of Spain’s best car rental companies and deals.

Related article: Can You Rent A Car in Europe with US Drivers License?

How Much Is The General Cost of Owning a Car in Spain?

Spain stands out as one of Europe’s ten most affordable countries for car ownership. On average, car owners in Spain spend around €230 and €500 per month on their vehicles. This includes various costs such as taxes, fees, fuel, maintenance, and parking.

Cost Breakdown

Person pumping gas on their car

Owning a car in Spain incurs various costs for drivers, typically ranging from €230 to €500 per month. Here’s a breakdown of these costs for the current financial year:

  1. Fuel: Fuel is a significant expense for car owners in Spain due to higher prices compared to countries like the US. A liter of gas costs around €1.30, equivalent to over €5 per gallon, based on a report by On average, drivers spend about €150 per month on fuel.
  2. Insurance: Car insurance costs in Spain vary based on coverage type, driver’s age, and driving history. On average, drivers pay about €50 per month, totaling around €600 per year.
  3. Parking: Parking costs differ based on the location, especially in cities where it can be quite expensive. Monthly parking fees range from €50 to €150, according to
  4. Maintenance: Maintenance expenses depend on the car’s age and condition. On average, car owners in Spain allocate about €100 per month for maintenance.
  5. Taxes: Spanish car ownership requires annual road and emissions charges. Engine size and emissions determine the car’s annual road tax of €50 to €200. Additionally, CO2 emissions taxes can range from €0 to €300 annually.

Cost Difference of Owning A Brand New vs. Used Car

A black and red toy car with a 'new" vs. 'used" word blocks

The overall cost of owning a car in Spain is also influenced by the choice of acquiring a vehicle—whether it’s buying something new, opting for a used car, or even considering a rental.

Purchasing a brand-new car involves a higher initial investment due to the vehicle’s pristine condition, cutting-edge features, and longer lifespan before major maintenance requirements.

Choosing a used automobile may be cheaper initially, but it may require more upkeep and repairs. To illustrate, here are Spain’s new vs. used automobile prices:

Here are the important points regarding the monthly cost difference between owning a brand-new car and a used car in Spain, considering maintenance and fuel consumption:

Maintenance Costs:

  • New Car: Average maintenance cost is €0.05 per km.
  • Used Car: The average maintenance cost is €0.08 per km.
  • Monthly difference: €37.50 more for a used car.

Fuel Consumption:

  • New Car: Average fuel consumption is 5.5 liters per 100 km.
  • Used Car: Average fuel consumption is 6.5 liters per 100 km.
  • Monthly difference: €17.50 more for a used car.

Total Monthly Cost Difference:

  • Owning a new car: €158.75 per month (€1,905 per year)
  • Owning a used car: €213.75 per month (€2,565 per year)
  • Difference: €55 more per month for owning a used car.

Note: Another alternative is renting a car, which offers flexibility without a long-term commitment. While rental costs may seem lower in the short term, they can accumulate over time, making ownership potentially more cost-efficient in the long run.

Individuals must assess their usage patterns, financial situation, and preferences to determine the most suitable and economical option for their transportation needs in Spain.

Cost of Using Rental Cars in Spain

Red car toy with a bunch of 50 euros under it

Renting a car in Spain provides flexibility for travelers, with an average cost of around $28 per day, $196 per week, and $842 per month. However, these rates can vary based on the rental company and the type of car chosen.

Individuals can avoid the complexities associated with car ownership when opting for a rental car.

There’s no need to navigate car tax, transfer tax, or registration fee, nor deal with car salespeople, fill out ownership forms, and all the paperwork tied to purchasing a car from a private seller or dealership.

Rental contracts are simple, and one can choose a small, fuel-efficient car or a larger one. Renting automobiles lets you explore Spain without ownership or registration.

Also read: Cheapest Country To Rent a Car in Europe

How Rental Car in Spain Services Work?

Car keys above the mat

Car rental services provide a convenient and flexible means of transportation for individuals needing temporary access to a vehicle. Here’s an overview of how rental car services operate:

  • Selection of a Rental Car: Customers can choose from various available rental cars based on their preferences, needs, and budget. Most car rental companies have a wide trade of vehicles available.
  • Reservation: Customers can reserve a car in advance through the rental company’s website, app or in person at a rental office.
  • Documentation and Verification: Customers must show a driver’s license or contrato de compraventa and other identification for verification. International passengers may need a driver’s permit.
  • Car Rental Contract: Upon confirmation, customers sign a rental contract outlining the rental period, terms, conditions, and any additional services opted for.
  • Vehicle Pickup: Customers can pick up the rental car at a designated rental location at the agreed-upon date and time.
  • Understanding Terms and Fees: Customers should familiarize themselves with any additional fees, fuel policies, mileage limits, and insurance coverage associated with the rental.
  • Return of the Vehicle: At the end of the rental period, customers return the rental car in the specified condition and location as per the rental agreement.
  • Payment: Customers settle the rental fees, including any additional charges accrued during the rental period.

The Spanish car rental business is predicted to increase, offering travelers and locals more convenient and temporary vehicle access options than buying a car from a private seller or dealership.

Most Popular Vehicles For Rent In Spain

White Seat Ibiza car

Regarding car rentals in Spain, tourists and expats often opt for various types of vehicles depending on their needs and preferences.

Compact cars like the Volkswagen Golf are Spain’s most popular rental cars. For seeing Spain’s popular cities, these automobiles are inexpensive and good for city driving or short journeys.

Here’s a breakdown of popular rental car categories in Spain and when they are suitable:

Economy Cars (€25 – €50 per day):

  • Models: Seat Ibiza, Renault Clio
  • Suitability: Ideal for budget-conscious travelers looking for a cost-effective mode of transportation. Great for short-term stays, city exploration, or traveling between nearby cities.

Compact Cars (€30 – €70 per day):

  • Car Rental Models: Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus
  • Suitability: Well-suited for both city driving and slightly longer trips. It offers a balance of fuel efficiency, comfort, and space, making it a popular choice for exploring urban areas and nearby attractions.

Mid-Size Cars (€40 – €80 per day):

  • Car Rental Models: Opel Astra, Toyota Corolla
  • Suitability: Mid-size automobiles offer greater space and comfort than compact cars, making them ideal for lengthy trips or small families.

Full-Size Cars (€50 – €100 per day):

  • Models: Audi A4, BMW 3 Series
  • Suitability: Ideal for those seeking higher comfort, especially for longer road trips, or those wanting a more luxurious driving experience.

SUVs (€60 – €120 per day):

  • Models: Nissan Qashqai, Hyundai Tucson
  • Suitability: Ideal for urban and rural travelers. SUVs are great for outdoor trips since they have greater space and can handle different terrains..

Luxury Cars (€100+ per day):

  • Car Rental Models: Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5 Series
  • Suitability: Tailored for luxury drivers, great for special occasions or making a statement in Spain.

It’s important to consider the climate and geography of the region you plan to visit. In a big city, public transportation is well-developed and can be a viable alternative to car rental.

Additionally, considering climate change and environmental concerns, public transport or carpooling can be more sustainable.

For expats considering a more permanent solution, understanding the ownership forms, the process of acquiring a second-hand car, and the associated documents such as “house deeds,” “number plate,” “permiso de circulación,” and “impuesto de transmisiones patrimoniales” (property transfer tax) is crucial.

Some may also explore part exchange options or online versions for streamlined processes when acquiring a “coche actual” (current car) in Spain.

Are you planning to stay in Spain? Check this article: How Much Does a House Cost in Spain? [2023]

Best Car Rental Companies in Spain

Building with car rental sign

When it comes to car rentals in Spain, several reputable services are catering to different needs. Each service has its own set of pros and cons to consider:



  • Corporate Focus: TravelPerk is well-suited for corporate trips, providing specialized services and options tailored to business travelers.
  • Efficiency: Streamlines the rental process for professionals, saving time and ensuring convenience during busy travel schedules.
  • Easy change car ownership – Spain: Corporate travelers transferring car ownership in Spain or buying a car benefit from TravelPerk. Their devoted services and knowledge make buying a car in Spain easy and convenient for business visitors.


  • Limited Focus: Primarily designed for corporate use, it may not offer the same range of options for individual or leisure travelers exploring Spain.



  • Tourist-Centric: Centauro is ideal for tourists and sightseeing trips, offering services that cater to exploring the beauty of Spain.
  • Variety of Locations: Provides convenient access to rental services in major cities, making picking up and dropping off rental cars easy.
  • Easy change car ownership – Spain: Centauro helps tourists buy or transfer car ownership in Spain. Their experience makes buying a car in Spain easy for tourists visiting this wonderful country.


  • Limited to Tourism: Focusing on tourism might mean fewer specialized options for corporate or specific travel needs.



  • Reputable Broker: AutoEurope is a reputable car rental broker known for good service and competitive rates, often beating major rental companies’ prices.
  • Extensive Coverage: Offers rental services across Spain, making it convenient for travelers exploring various regions of the country.
  • Easy change car ownership – Spain: To make car ownership transfer or purchase in Spain easy, AutoEurope provides information. Their expertise and support make buying a car in Spain easy.


  • Indirect Rental: As a broker, an extra layer in renting may add complexity compared to renting directly from a company.

Choosing the finest Spanish automobile rental provider relies on your demands. TravelPerk may be perfect for corporate visits, ensuring efficiency and focus. Centauro offers sightseeing services for tourists visiting Spain.

AutoEurope is a leading choice for affordable pricing and quality service in Spain, covering many travel needs. Choose the best Spanish vehicle rental provider based on your priorities, location, and trip goals.

Related article: UK vs Spain: Where Should You Live?

Documents You Need to Rental A Car in Spain

Couple inside a rental car

To rent a car in Spain, you’ll need the following documents to ensure a smooth process and comply with legal requirements:

  1. Valid Driver’s License:
    • A valid driver’s license from your home country is essential. A non-EU license holder will also need an International Driving Permit (IDP) to legally operate a vehicle in Spain.
  2. Credit Card:
    • A credit card in your name is typically required for the rental process. It serves as a means of payment and ensures financial responsibility during the rental period.
  3. Passport or ID:
    • You must provide your passport or a valid identification document issued by your country to verify your identity.
  4. Confirmation or Voucher:
    • A printed copy of the rental confirmation or voucher from the rental agency is necessary to validate your reservation and the rental agreement terms.
  5. Proof of Insurance:
    • Providing proof of insurance is crucial. Ensure you have documentation confirming your insurance coverage for the rental vehicle.
  6. Rental Paperwork:
    • Always keep your rental car’s insurance, registration, and rental agreement in the glove box. Such documents are crucial for legal and administrative purposes.

These documents are essential for renting in Spain. Documentation ensures compliance with local laws and a pleasant stay in Spanish towns.

Also read: Best Mobile Network in Spain: Expat Guide

Final Thoughts About The Cost of Owning a Car in Spain

Having a car in Spain can be a wonderful way to explore the country’s varied landscapes, rich culture, and fascinating sights. You should be aware of the fees and obligations involved, however, before making a final decision.

In 2023, whether buying new or used or renting, consider costs like purchase price, depreciation, insurance, and more for car ownership in Spain.

We hope this blog post has given you useful information and insights on the cost of owning a car in Spain. If you want to learn more about this topic, please click on the links in the article to access more resources and details.

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