Renting And Driving In Spain

Published on 3/9/2008 in Driving in Spain

Car hire in SpainOnce you pick up your car, the important thing is to first understand some basic driving rules in Spain.

Required Documentation

A driving license from another country should serve for driving in Spain as long as it is legible in Spanish. Any other type of driving license must be accompanied by an International Driving Permit (IDP), issued by such organizations as AA, AAA, RAC, etc.

Don't forget to have your license with you every time you drive, as the police may ask for it at a moment's notice. If your driving license doesn't have a photograph, you must also have your passport on hand. Also be sure that all the documentation of the vehicle is in order, including having current insurance. Keep in mind that the police are normally very strict with beginning drivers.

Age Limits

Car rental companies in Spain have very stern rules in this respect, which may vary from one company to another. For this reason, it's advisable that the client check the price at rental time as well as examine any price increase as a result of the driver not meeting the established age range for each car hire company.

Keys to driving in Spain

Contact your car hire company and find out the local driving rules so that it will be easier to adapt to them once driving the rental car.

Always drive on the right and don't tie up the passing lanes.

On some highways and dual carriageways a temporary lane may be opened up on the left side in order to free up congested traffic.

In accordance with Spanish regulations both drivers and riders of the vehicle, including children, must without fail have seatbelts fastened. Children under 12 years may not travel in the front unless they are in special child seats adequate for their size.

Maximum velocity allowed on Spanish highways:

a. divided carriageways/highways ('autovias'), motorways ('autopistas'): 120 km/h
b. national highways: 90-100 km/h
c. urban areas: 50 km/h

Do not drive after consuming alcohol, as the authorities may impose strong fines and even prison time. In Spain the maximum blood alcohol content is 0.25 mg.

When it's refuel time, if you're unsure of the type of fuel the vehicle requires, contact your car rental company. Fuel types in Spain are: gasoline ('gasolina') of differing octane levels, unleaded gasoline ('gasolina sin plomo'), and various grades of diesel ('gasoil').
If you realize you have the wrong type of fuel in your car, do not start it, as this could cause serious damage. In this case you would have to pay any damages, since this would be classified as user negligence.

If some kind of fuel problem occurs, ask service station personnel because sometimes they can clean the tank or tell you where this can be done, and fill it with the proper fuel.
Most service stations in Spain are open 24 hours, and the majority are self-service. Schedules may vary depending on the region in which they're located as well as local customs. Credit cards are accepted for payment in the majority of service stations.

Written by: Susan Pedalino

About the author:

Women In Spain

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Iain Fraser said:
Saturday, July 16, 2011 @ 12:22 PM

I recently booked a car for Spain through Carhire 3000 who I have previously
used a number of times without problems. They booked me through to Auriga
Crown in Malaga airport.
Surly slow service doesn't begin to describe Crown's operators.
Queues were slow because everyone was complaining about their take full
return empty fuel requirement.

Having waited 45 mins after getting off the plane I was in no mood to argue
but when asked to sign the car condition papers I complained --- they said
"don't worry you've got full cover so it doesn't matter".
After taking our suitcases up 2 levels I saw the car which had been keyed,
had only 1 hubcap, and had 111000+ miles on the clock. I decided I couldn't
face arguing with the harridans downstairs to whom I had paid 300 euros for
tyre / windscreen depoisit and a further 84 euros for fuel.
I used the car and except for a dodgy 1st gear and an almost permanent
squeak I had no more serious problems.
On returning the car I asked how they had managed to get 84 euros of fuel
into a 51.7 litre tank when diesel was about 128 a litre. The attendant got
abusive (surprise !!!) and we had an altercation when he wouldn't give me a receipt for my 300 euros refund. He said it was automatic and they didn't
care about such small amounts!

I have complained to Carhire 3000 and asked for compensation. They deny any responsibility and say the contract is between me and the supplier once I
sign the forms in Malaga. The say the fuel discrepancy is because Crown
charge a "service fee" for filling the tank. They have agreed to forward my

Given the impossibility of returning a car empty & then charging a filling
fee I find absolutely disgusting. Carhire 3000 say this is normal there and
is required by the Spanish tourist office.

I have emailed that office to check--it is not true, it is up to each company

I await my refund.

Be very careful of conditions when hiring in Spain

Goldie said:
Wednesday, April 9, 2008 @ 8:22 PM

Does anyone know of cheap car rental for July
from Alicante Airport
thanks Goldie

astelle said:
Tuesday, March 11, 2008 @ 7:54 PM

Thank you I have found this very useful

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