Buying or Hiring a Car in Spain

Published on 11/15/2006 in Driving in Spain

So you’ve sorted out your rental accommodation and you’ve arranged the removals, but how do you intend to get about once living in Spain. Although, some might opt for public transport, most prefer their own set of wheels.

This leaves you faced with the dilemma of buying or hiring a car. Of course, there are pros and cons for either so before you make your decision consider the following points.

Hiring a Car

  • A fixed monthly cost that you can set aside.
  • If you are going to be hiring long term, many companies will give you a reasonable rate. For example, a friend of mine hires a standard Fiat Punto for less than 350 euros per month.
  • Your monthly fee will include insurance, maintenance etc.
  • You will avoid eating into your relocation savings in one go as you would do if you bought a car.
  • If you fancy a change or an upgrade, it is easily done.
  • If you are just testing the water in Spain, you can return the car and you are free to leave without the hassle of reselling it.
  • You can hire a car whilst you take your time shopping around for the best deals on your dream mobile.
  • If you intend to only spend periods of time in Spain throughout the year than you will avoid the concern of theft, vandalism etc whilst you are out of the country.


  • A car is an asset.
  • You can choose exactly what you want.
  • You can make it your own i.e. personalise it etc
  • If you scratch or damage it, you don’t have to explain it to anyone. 
  • In Spain a car is not such a poor investment as it is in the UK because the rate of depreciation is much slower so they tend to hold their value for longer.
  • It is entirely your possession and nobody can claim it from you.
  • Friends, relatives etc can drive it when they visit.

Written by

Susan Pedalino

Written by: Susan Pedalino

About the author:

Women In Spain

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Manxmonkey said:
Saturday, April 7, 2012 @ 4:14 PM

Well my credit card company just told me thay are just gearing up for the many complaints they have about hire car companies so at least if you own a car you know where you stand.
I have just been stupid enough to rent a car from ADVANTAGE car hire at Malaga Airport as I was offerred a cheap deal from Thomson when I booked my flight. The deal was just €32 for a week for an automatic car. I rang a friend who said it was genuine as all the car hire companies were doing stupidly cheap deals so I went for it. It turned out to be a Smart with not enough room for 2 people and luggage so my friend went by train as they literally said they had no other cars. I should've walked away and just lost my €32 which I pre-paid as they then demanded a €400 deposit which the other girl in the office told me, "No one gets it back so you would be better selecting our full insurance deal". The insurance was twice as much as the vehicle rental but I agreed as at that stage I hadn't seen the car and she did say, "It is not expensive for an automatic car". Then after picking up the key I noticed another €58 was taken from my card ON TOP of the insurance which she said was for Petrol. I was annoyed that they took this without my permission as it states, "Cars will be supplied full, bring back full." On my trip I completely ran out, rolling into the garage in San Pedro (yes queues) and filled it to the brim for €43. To add insult to injury when I returned the car half a day late after a misunderstanding they had already taken a €60 late return charge and the smug staff seemed quite pleased about it. So real cost of a tiny smart car from Advantage was €160 for a week, I could have had a nice Seat from my regular place for much less.

I usually use Europcar who have always been really good, I've learned a hard lesson!

krabi said:
Friday, November 17, 2006 @ 6:19 PM

been told that cars devalue slower, but in effect does this mean that changing yoiur car is cheaper or do tax,s, salesmen and extras tend to swallow up any savings. Are new cars the same price as uk?. We are all told that neverything in Spain is cheaper, which on investigation usually in,nt the case. Does this apply to cars also.

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