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Why rent a car in Spain?

A country of rolling mountains, coastal plains and rich history, Spain is wonderful to explore by hire car. Whether you’re driving along a wide stretch of coastline, eating tapas al fresco in a terraced restaurant, or exploring an old chapel hidden in hills, Spain will enchant your senses. There are wonderful cities to see too, including historic Madrid, vibrant Barcelona and atmospheric Seville. You can even visit neighbouring countries by rental car, such as Portugal and France.

How to get to and around Spain?

If you’re flying into Barcelona Airport, then you can take your hire car north to the Pyrenees mountain range, or drive along the Mediterranean coastline to visit resort destinations like Benidorm. Or you can journey north to Madrid to soak up the culture of the capital.

What brands are available?

There are various hire car providers across Spain to suit your budget and preferences, including Firefly, Avis and OK Rent A Car. Many offer extras like free cancellation, unlimited mileage and shuttle services to your rental car.

Must-sees within an easy drive of Spain

On the border of Spain and France, the Pyrenees mountain range is 267 miles in length. This wild landscape is perfect for exploring by hire car as it’s dotted with rivers, castles and postcard perfect villages.

Spain’s Mediterranean coastline stretches for 1,031 miles and offers many resort destinations to see by rental car. Some are busy tourist towns buzzing with nightlife and entertainment, others are more tranquil, under-the-radar villages. You can also take a ferry to one of the Balearic islands such as Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca. Barcelona is also on the Mediterranean coast. There you can visit a world-class museums or art gallery, including the Fundació Joan Miró, Museu Picasso and Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, sample tapas in a famous square, or simply watch the sunset settle over the port.

The Spanish capital, Madrid, is the passionate heart of the country. The central square of the Plaza Mayor is surrounding by historic architecture, while the Museo Nacional Del Prado holds a vast art collection. The 18th century Palacio Real is an ornate Bourbon palace with over 2,800 rooms. For shopping, the glamorous Salamanca district has many upmarket boutiques and the Sunday morning flea market at Ribera de Curtidores is perfect for finding quirkier souvenirs.

Tips and tricks for driving in Spain

Spain is wonderful to explore by rental car as the scenery is stunning and varied. The minimum driving age is 18 and all passengers must wear seat belts. Bear in mind that in more rural areas, petrol stations often aren’t open on Sundays (or during lunchtime siesta), so make sure your tank is topped up. If you’re driving through the Pyrenees during winter, take care in snowy and icy conditions. Always keep an eye on local area speed limits.

Ready to plan your Spain city break?

Feeling inspired to explore Spain? Check out this Holiday Guide and use the Expedia search tool to help you find the best car hire, flight and hotel deals and to research the best attractions and activities.