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    Car Hire Spain

    Explore the best of Spain with Car Hire

    Booking car hire in Spain is easy with Auto Europe. Compare all major car rental companies in one place to find the car that suits your budget. We’ve driven the world around and have access to some of the best deals, so book online or call us today.

    The Essentials

    Which Side?

    The Spanish drive on the right-hand side of the road and the driver sits on the left-hand side of the vehicle, the opposite of how you drive in Australia. Take some time to get used to driving on a different side of the road and familiarise yourself with the vehicle and controls before driving off.

    Driver's Age

    The minimum driving age in Spain is 18, however, most car rental companies impose a minimum driver age of 21. Driving must hold a full Australian driver’s licence and most rental suppliers charge an additional fee for driver’s under 25 years of age to cover higher insurance premiums. A very popular option for drivers under 21 is to lease a vehicle on our Peugeot Lease Program. The minimum age to drive a Peugeot is 18 years with NO young drivers surcharge to pay. Most suppliers have no upper age limit providing you hold a full drivers licence.

    International Driving Permit

    International Driving Permits are required in addition to a full, valid Australian driver’s licence. You must obtain the International Driving Permit before departure from Australia.

    Travelling with Children

    Travelling with children is a popular option for our Australian clients. Children need to be over the age of 12 years AND over 1.35m before they have travel without a car seat. Feel free to take your own or we are more than happy to arrange one to be available with your rental vehicle on arrival.Car Rentals

    Driving in Spain

    Speed Limits

    Speed limits vary in Spain depending upon the type of road you are travelling. Standard speed limits are as follows;
    - The speed limit on Motorways is 120km/hr
    - The speed limit on main intercity roads is 90km/hr
    - The speed limit in other built-up areas is usually 50km/hr
    - Some city centres have reduced speed zones of 20km/hr

    Tolls and Motorways

    Many of the roads in the Spanish motorway network are toll roads. There are two types of motorways, 'autopistas' and 'autovias'. Autovias are not toll roads. The autopistas can have quite high tolls compared to other European motorway networks. If desired, you can avoid most of the toll roads, as only about one-fifth of the motorways are tolled.


    Roundabouts are common on Spanish roads and major junctions. In theory, internationally recognised rules apply, meaning drivers approaching the roundabout have to yield to drivers on the roundabout. You should indicate to leave the roundabout and only use or move into the outside lane to take the next exit. In practice, not all drivers follow these conventions. You may find cars moving lanes unexpectedly, or using whichever lane they happen to be driving in, regardless of the exit they intend to take. Some good advice is to always check your mirrors when changing lanes or exiting the roundabout, and beware of drivers in lanes which you might not normally find them.


    Signposts in Spain are similar to what you will find in Australia, with most being designed to European recommendations. Signs inside a red circle are generally prohibitive, signs with a blue background are generally directive, and signs with a red triangle are usually warning signs.


    Fuel types are generally the same as throughout Europe. The main types of fuel available are;

    • Diesel (Gasoleo or gas-oil)
    • Unleaded 95 octane gasoline (gasolina sin plomo)

    We recommend you choose a diesel vehicle where available. Diesel is cheaper to purchase and more economical to run. Fuel stations can be found in all cities and towns along the main highways as well as in supermarkets. You will often find that Supermarket brands are cheaper to purchase fuel from than fuel stations along the major roads.


    Parking rules in Spanish towns and cities are decided by the municipal authorities, and the system can vary between towns, neighbourhood and street. Pay & display parking operates in most cities. Parking is usually charged from 9 am to 2 pm and again from 4 pm to 9 pm during the week. Sundays and Public Holidays are usually free for parking.

    The closer to the city centre, you are likely to see signs stating Estacionamiento Prohibido, or an “E” with a diagonal line through it, which means parking in prohibited. In some streets, parking is permitted on one side of the road for the first half of the month (1st to 15th) and on the other side for the rest of the month.

    Border Crossings

    Border Crossings are simple thanks to tourism VISA waiver programmes and the evolution of the EU. Internal borders are fading and it is now very straightforward to drive throughout all of Western Europe with very little complications. There are restrictions in place on crossings borders by some suppliers and on some vehicle types, such as luxury cars. Check at the time of booking if your itinerary is permitted with the supplier and car type you would like to rent. Additionally, if you are planning to drive your car to Eastern Europe there may be restrictions and/or additional costs, and you must say at the time of booking and picking up the car from the supplier. The costs are usually to cover increased insurance premiums.

    Driving Distances

    Driving times and distances in Spain are important to know when planning your self-drive holiday. Our top driving tip when planning a self-drive holiday in south-west Europe is to take your time and do not attempt to do too much in one day. There is plenty to see, but there is no need to rush, so relax and enjoy!

    The following driving times and distances should be useful;

    • Madrid to Barcelona (621km approx. 5hr 45mins)
    • Malaga to Seville (206km approx. 2hr 15mins)
    • San Sebastian to Santiago de Compostela (680km approx. 6hr 40mins)
    • Madrid to Granada (419km approx. 4hr)
    • Alicante to Valencia (179km approx. 1hr 50mins)

    Car Hire in Spain with Auto Europe

    Book your car hire in Spain with Auto Europe over our safe, reliable and secure online booking system. Our exceptional customer service and Beat Rate Guarantee assure the best savings and quality of service on your car hire. For more information, read our Car Rental FAQ page, read our Terms and Conditions, or Contact Us.

    Top Spain Car Hire Locations

    Auto Europe is proud to offer car hire in every major city in Spain. No matter where your travel itinerary brings you, Auto Europe has a local supplier with the best prices. Find your chosen city below or enter your details in the search form above.

    Car Hire Barcelona Barcelona Car Hire Madrid Madrid Car Hire Seville Seville Car Hire Granada Granada

    Spain Driving Inspiration

    To make your Spain self-drive adventure that little bit easier we have a range of resources to assist! You can download Auto Europe's Spain Travel & Driving Guide for free which provide useful information and touring ideas to create your own holiday itinerary or for the latest and greatest in Spain events and itineraries check out our blog.

    Spain Driving Guide         Spain on the Blog                                                      


    We search & compare competitive rates and a wide range of choices with reputable suppliers in Spain. Our Suppliers are located throughout major cities of Spain. 


    • Barcelona to Valencia - 350 kms (3 hrs / 30 mins)
    • Barcelona to Madrid - 620 kms (6 hrs / 15 mins)
    • Madrid to Toledo - 90 kms (1 hr)
    • Seville to Malaga - 210 kms (2 hrs / 30 mins)


    A full valid driver's licence is required for a minimum of 1 year. An International Drivers Licence is required for Australian drivers licence holders.


    Generally, the minimum age is 21 years, but can vary between the car hire company and location. Maximum age limits apply in some locations, a young/senior driver surcharge may apply. Please check terms & conditions when making an enquiry or booking.


    General driving rules, laws and regulations in Spain;

    • Drive on the right hand side of the road.
    • Pass cars on the left hand side of the road.
    • Dipped headlights must be used while driving in tunnels.
    • Seat belts are mandatory and must be worn by all passengers and driver.
    • Using a mobile phone while driving is prohibited, with the exception of a hands-free system.
    • Radar detectors are banned.
    • Spare light bulbs must be readily available at all times.
    • It is illegal to use headphones or earphones while driving.
    • Must carry with you at least one spare glasses or contact lenses for drivers who use corrective eye-wear.
    • Snow chains need to be used when driving in mountainous areas during winter.
    • Drivers are to carry at all times while driving, a valid drivers licence, registration documents and insurance documents.


    The following equipment is required to be carried in the vehicle and which are to be used in the event of an incident, accident or breakdown:

    • Warning Triangle x 2 - to be used in the event of an accident or breakdown to warn following traffic.
    • Reflective Vest - to be used when getting out of the car at an event of an accident or breakdown on any road.
    • First-Aid Kit


    A child safety seat must be used by children under the age of 3 years old. Children under the age of 12 years old can only travel in the back seats of the vehicle unless they are over 1.5m in height.


    Traffic infringements such as speeding, are subject to on-the-spot fines which must be paid immediately in cash. Police will commonly use this rule with foreign licence holders to ensure fines are paid. Below are the speed limits in Spain, unless signed otherwise:

    • Urban Roads (built up areas): 20-40km/h
    • Rural Roads (outside towns): 90-100km/h
    • Motorways: 120km/h


    Motorists with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.05mg/100ml is considered to be driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). Random alcohol tests are carried out regularly by authorities on motorists to ensure that drivers are not under the influence. Drivers found over the limit will receive a fine, a possibility to lose their vehicle and licence and may even be imprisoned.


    Most Spanish motorways charge a toll fee for usage of the motorway. Most motorways are charged on distance travelled, tickets are to be collected on entry and returned at the toll gates when exiting for a fee to be determined. Tolls can be paid in either cash or by credit/debit card. There is also the option of electronic toll collection for speedy transactions. An On Board Equipment (OBE) is fitted to the vehicle which allows drivers to pass through the toll gates without stopping.


    Road signs in Spain are very similar to the signs used in other European countries but with differences in colour, shapes, typeface or arrows. Most signs will be shown in the countries local language, however English is also used on most major signs. Signs with symbols are used the most in Spain which provides easier understanding and simpler to read. It would be a good idea to bring along a map or navigation unit while driving in rural areas as sign tend to be non-existent through these areas.

    • Warning Signs are generally triangular in shape with a red border, white background or and a black symbol or text in the middle.
    • Prohibitory Signs are signs which motorists must follow. These signs vary in shapes from a circle, octagon and a box. You will find these signs in either blue with a white symbol in the middle and white with a red border.
    • Information Signs are indicated with a blue or green background and white text providing motorists with information.


    Street parking within major cities of Spain is permitted in areas signed with a white 'P' or 'E'. Parking is not allowed in areas marked with a slash across the sign or in red or yellow zones. Parking tickets will need to be displayed on the front windscreen and can be purchased from nearby machines, in other areas vouchers will need to be bought from newsstands or tobacco kiosks.


    Visa, passport and entry requirements for Australians visiting Spain:

    • Australian passport holders do not require a tourist visa for stays up to 90 days within a 6 months period. Contact the Spanish Embassy or Consulate in your local state for additional information regarding working visa's or stays exceeding 90 days.
    • A valid passport is required with at least 3 months validity from the date of departure from Spain.


    There is no legal requirement for the use of snow tires or snow chains. However, driving in winter conditions may be hazardous for the unprepared driver. Although Spain is not as well known for extreme winter, such conditions may be extremely hazardous and many drivers might need to consider driving in situations where they do not feel confident.

    Top Spain Car Hire Locations

    Auto Europe is proud to offer car hire in every major city in Spain. No matter where your travel itinerary brings you, Auto Europe has a local supplier with the best prices. Find your chosen city below or enter your details in the search form above.

    Car Hire Barcelona Barcelona Car Hire Madrid Madrid Car Hire Seville Seville Car Hire Granada Granada
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