Information on Car Rental in Spain, including advice on whether it is practical to hire a car in Spain, some Spanish car rental companies and information on combining car rental with a train pass.
Booking Your Car Rental in SpainWith so many car rental companies to choose from, the best place to look is on an aggregator site like Travelocity. Travelocity searches all the big car rental companies, including Hertz, Budget, National and Alamo, and show the prices for a number of different car classes in an easy to read table.
Compare Prices on Car Hire in Spain
A good way to keep the costs down is to consider Car Sharing.
Is it Practical to Hire a Car in Spain?Hiring a car in Spain will never be your cheapest option, but it might be the most convenient. The basic rental will cost more than your train or bus ticket and then on top of that you'll be paying for road tolls and petrol.
Renting a car is essential if you want to explore some of the harder-to-reach regions like the Alpujarras, the Rías Bajas (to the west of Santiago de Compostela) or the region around Cadiz and Tarifa.
However, if you're going to be sticking to the big cities in Spain, renting a car is a bad idea. For a start, parking in most big cities in Spain is a nightmare. A journey that would normally take 15 minutes by car often takes double that as you look for a parking space. Another problem is traffic - it's a well known fact that you can see traffic jams in Madrid at 5am!
Also, if a city is big enough for a car to be handy, it will have a metro system. Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Bilbao all have a metro and one is currently being built in Seville. The cities that don't have a metro system - and that includes Granada, Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Toledo & Segovia - are small enough to not need a car.
However, if you really want to hire a car, there are some factors you will need to remember. James Martin, About's Guide to Europe looks at Car Rental in Europe. For more specific details on the rules of the road in Spain, read Driving in Spain.