Rental Car (Leiebil) and Driving Tips When Visiting Spain

Guest Post, Travel

Last Updated on: Sep 28, 2021 

So you are travelling to Spain! You have also watched the Bollywood epic travel movie Zindagi Milegi na Dobara. And now you want to have that epic road trip as well. What better than to experience your holiday in Spain by hiring a car to independently travel through the small towns at leisure.

It’s unlikely that you will see everything the beautiful country offers in one visit. You will probably travel and concentrate on one specific location, experience the place, people and culinary delights there, and then travel back again to a different area.

Driving on Highway in Spain

Car rental in Spain or España boasts the ideal way to see the charming sites and attractions each town has to offer, but there are specific guidelines when hiring a vehicle and driving in the country as well.

It’s essential to familiarize yourself with these rules before making the trip so that you have pertinent documentation and the capacity to drive the cars since these will likely have a manual transmission.

Tips For Renting A Car When Visiting Spain

When visiting the lovely country of Spain, the recommendation is to hire a car upon your arrival (or book a few months ahead online). In this way, you can independently travel through the charming towns, taking in the sites and attractions at leisure.

Of primary importance is ensuring you familiarize yourself with the rental car rules and regulations well enough ahead of time, so you have everything ironed out before you arrive to pick up the car.

Driving on Highways

There are many guidelines drivers must follow as international travelers and driving regulations those operating vehicles need to abide by. Some things to consider with car rentals in the country:

Manual: Drivers coming from other countries where the cars are fitted mostly with automatic transmissions might find themselves handicapped since most vehicles rented will have a manual transmission. If you cannot drive a stick, you will need to request an automatic, but this will come at a great expense.

Diesel: If you spend a fortune on an automatic engine, you might be able to get some of your money back by asking for a diesel car to save some costs on fuel. Some car rental companies will provide a full tank upon pick up, but they expect a full tank then when the car comes back to them as well, or there will be exorbitant fees.

Streets of Madrid Spain

Train: The recommendation is to use the train instead of maneuvering through hectic city traffic to pick up the rental vehicle in a smaller city. It is also possible to pick up a vehicle  in one town and drop off in another, but it’s wise to avoid doing either in an airport setting.

Size: Some of the roads in Spain are exceptionally tiny, meaning you’ll want to keep the size of your rental to a minimal option rather than going large, especially if you intend to explore the various villages and towns throughout the country.

Driving Laws While On Holiday In Spain

Whether having your own vehicle or hiring a car, traveling by roadway is the ideal way to experience Spain or any country unfamiliar to you. It allows you to explore independently, deciding when to leave each day and when to return to your lodging, as well as where you’ll explore.

Spanish Highways

You can also choose to extend your stay in the country a bit longer if you feel you haven’t been able to see as much as you’d like. Of utmost importance when arriving is to ensure that you become familiar with the driving laws to avoid penalties for not complying. Let’s check out a few things of which tourists need to be aware.

Glasses: If you wear glasses for vision impairment, it is a requirement that you have a spare pair in the glove compartment of your automobile at all times when driving.

Kids: If you’re traveling with children, they must sit in the back of the vehicle unless they are over the age of 12.

Belts: A seatbelt is required at all times while riding or driving in a vehicle.

Phones: Using a mobile device is stringently forbidden while operating an automobile in Spain.

Lights: Spain uses the three-color international light system for maneuvering traffic.

Age: Drivers must be over the age of 18 to drive a car regardless of their license permissions.

Sign: When you see a white sign with a red circle (sometimes it might also include a slash), this means either “no,” “do not,” or “stop.”

Operating: Most vehicles use manual, but, again, you can request an automatic transmission for a much higher cost. When exploring the country, you must drive on the right side of the road. If this is unfamiliar to you, it’s essential to take some time during the day or evening when it’s not busy and practice driving slowly to attempt to get the hang of it.

Suppose you’re coming from the United States. In that case, the driving speeds are somewhat faster than what you might be accustomed to, so it’s essential to get your bearings before setting out among the regular traffic to avoid the potential for an accident.

In most cases, lodging locations will offer parking garages for their guests, but these are often associated with extra fees. The cost is genuinely worthwhile due to the convenience of having a place to park right there where you’re staying.

Streets of Madrid

Final Thought

As an international traveler unfamiliar with the territory and the language, it’s wise to have a map in the vehicle. And also take advantage of the car rental GPS system availability. You might get lost on the way, especially if you don’t have these things available and also not ask a local for guidance.

When it is the time to rent a car for your holiday in Spain, learn as much as you can about the driving requirements or get advice on where you can learn these details.

Planning well ahead of time is wise so you can gather the information before leaving for your trip. Otherwise, you could be dealing with language barriers making the rental process and driving guidelines much more challenging.

Reproduction of the content, including the photographs without prior consent/permission of the writer and photographer, is not encouraged at all and a violation of the same will attract legal action. If you need anything, Contact Us.

Agni Amrita Travel Blogger

Hey! we’re Agni & Amrita.

We have been travelling together since the last 15 years and writing independent and personal travel content since 2014. Travel is one of the best teachers and through this blog, we aim to share our experiences and travel tips. We encourage you to travel more and see the world through your eyes and not through filtered templates.

Find more about us.


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  1. Shubam Singh

    Great Blog, Keep posting such amazing articles.

    • Agni Amrita

      Thank you!

  2. Aashumi Vora

    Hi Agni & Amrita,
    Thank you for such an elaborate article on the car rentals in Spain.
    My sister and I are planning to visit Spain but we both aren’t confident drivers and were thinking to travel by train/bus for intracity sight-seeing and hire a car with chauffer services for inter-city travel. But I couldn’t find anything about this on any website. Can you tell me if this is a good idea and if you know anything about the expense of such a service or if you have any recommendations for such service providers?

  3. Jose

    It’s España not Spania

    • Agni Amrita

      Thank you for pointing it out. We have corrected it.


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