Driving holidays in Spain are easy with Discount Rent A Car. Simply book online to get the best deals for car hire rentals. Airport pickups offer independence and flexibility for your holiday – wherever you’re planning to visit in Spain. The panorama of landscapes range from the majestic peaks of the Pyrenees to glittering beaches and popular oceanfront playgrounds.
Visit the capital Madrid with its artistic treasures and legendary nightlife. Hip Barcelona boasts medieval palaces, baroque cathedrals and some of the most daring architecture in the world, including Gaudi’s magnificent La Sagrada Familia. North of Barcelona, stretching to the French border, the rocky shores and blissful beaches of Costa Brava are a perennial favourite for summer holidaymakers.
Blessed with a gorgeous Mediterranean climate, Spain’s beaches extend all along the coast. Between the mountains and the sea on the Costa Blanca, Alicante is a top destination, with plentiful resorts, palm-lined boulevards and a multitude of beaches. Costa Cálida extends over 250 km in the province of Murcia, boasting some of the best seafood in the country. Andalucía is home to the national treasures of Spain – flamenco, bullfighting and tapas. The vibrant port city of Málaga is one of jewels of the Costa del Sol.
Famous for its fresh local seafood, artisanal cheeses, excellent wine and irresistible tapas bars, each region has its own gastronomic specialties. Gourmands adore the exciting Spanish culinary scene in San Sebastián, which boasts Michelin-starred restaurants serving the latest innovations in molecular gastronomy.
In the mood for an island holiday? The Balearic Islands have a wealth of archaeological and natural attractions. Simply pick up your car in Mallorca’s charming capital, Palma de Mallorca, and explore the island’s golden beaches and spectacular mountains.
If you’re travelling to the Canary Islands, the destination guides to Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura offer detailed information and expert advice to help you plan your trip.
Essential information for your driving holiday in Spain
Basic driving rules
- Drive on the right hand side of the road and overtake on the left lane.
- Use dipped headlights when driving through tunnels.
- The use of mobile devices while driving is prohibited, unless a hands-free system is employed.
- GPS devices should be programmed only when the vehicle is stationary.
- Give way to buses and taxis at all times.
Essential Documents and Equipment
When driving in Spain, always carry your passport, driving licence, car rental contract, car registration and insurance certificate. An International Driving Permit is required for residents of foreign countries, while EU residents generally only require their domestic drivers licence. A warning triangle and reflective vest should be provided by the car rental company in case of emergencies.
Drinking and driving
The maximum blood alcohol level is 0.05% and drinking and driving is heavily penalised. Breath tests can be carried out randomly, especially during the holiday seasons. Fines for traffic offenses are strictly enforced in Spain and non-residents must pay traffic fines on the spot.
Petrol stations (gasolineras) in Spain are generally open from 08:00 to 20:00. Some gasolineras in larger cities and highways are open 24 hours. Unleaded petrol is called gasolina sin plomo. Diesel is called gasóleo. Remember to keep your tank topped up as many petrol stations close for siesta in the afternoons.
Theft and Damage
In case of theft or break-in, get a police report for your insurance claim. Do not leave anything of value in your rental car (even in the boot).
Third party insurance is compulsory in the EU and should be included in your car rental agreement. Comprehensive insurance is available from Mondial Assistance for less than €6.00 per day, including €3,000 excess for any insurance claim.
Seat belts are mandatory for drivers and passengers when driving in Spain. Children under the age of 12 cannot travel in the front seat.
The speed limit is 50 km/h (30 mph) in villages and urban areas, 90 km/h (54 mph) on open roads and up to 120 km/h (72 mph) on motorways (autopistas).
Roads and tolls
Many motorways in Spain have tolls (peaje). Each motorway has its own pricing structure, so tolls vary. On the mainland, many major cities are linked by toll roads. Simply take a ticket from the machine at the start of the route and present it at the exit. Cash and credit cards are generally accepted.
The emergency number for the Police/Fire/Ambulance in Spain is 112. In case of emergency or breakdown, put on the safety vest before leaving the car. The reflective warning triangle should be placed at a safe distance from the rear of the vehicle to alert oncoming drivers. Orange SOS telephones are positioned about 5 km apart along motorways in case of emergency.