How to Rent a Car in Spain

It is not difficult to rent a car in Spain

Car rental in Spain: what do you need to know? What documents required, deposit, insurance, deductible, prices 2023. Is it possible to rent a car in Spain without a deposit, current rules and penalties – in the material of good Time for Trip.

Spain is the second largest country in Europe. Therefore, it is not surprising that every second foreigner arriving in the kingdom has the idea of autotravellings.

Why not, really?! After all, there are a lot of interesting cities and attractions here, and the distances between them are sometimes great.

Again, renting a car in Spain is no longer a problem today. Moreover, this can be done not only in the main airports and large megacities like Madrid and Barcelona, but also in literally tiny towns!

Renting a Car in Spain

However, as in any case, there are nuances. Which it is better to learn before the start of the lease than to grieve about the consequences after.

Cheap Car Rental

Documents and Age

Some rental companies in Spain limit the minimum age of rental drivers to 21 years. Although the standard requirement are 22 or 23 years old and no older than 60. The minimum driving experience is 2 years.

If you do not meet these requirements, the rental company may refuse to provide the service.

To rent a car in Spain, you will only need a valid national driver’s license with transliteration in Roman letters. However, this is not enough for American or Canadian tourists – you need to additionally provide an international driver’s license.

If a credit or debit card is required to pay for the deposit, it must be registered and issued in the name of the main driver.

The full requirements for the documents can be found here –


The distributor needs your credit card number for a reason. Since they block a certain amount of money on the account – a deposit.

Which is a deposit and can be withheld partially or completely if the vehicle is damaged. Deposits are also used to pay traffic fines.

Deductible is the amount up to which all damages are paid out of your pocket. At the conclusion of the contract, you may be offered both to lower the threshold and to reset it altogether.

  • Which, of course, leads to a significant increase in the cost of renting a car. In Spain or anywhere else!

This is a general principle that is at the forefront of the rental business. In fact, you additionally insured someone else’s vehicle. Having received in return a portion of confidence and a certain guarantee of saving nerves.

Renting a car in Spain is not expensive

Note that the damage caused to the rented vehicle is covered only when buying CDW insurance. Except for the damage that the windows and headlights, wheels, hood, bottom and roof of the car will receive.

Thus, a chip on the windshield, a broken headlight, damage inside will lead to the retention of part or all of the deposit by the distributor.


Usually the amounts are small (one or two hundred euros), but here everything depends on the size of the deposit left. If it exceeds 700-800 €, the motivation of the rental office in terms of pocketing the client’s money increases markedly. And you may have to argue with the rental company, proving that the real damage does not correspond to the claimed.

Note that car rental in Spain through the Localrent service recommended by us, significantly reduces such risks. In any case, we have never encountered any problems and requirements when returning a car with a scratch or chip that arose through no fault of our own, but was not noticed when it was received.


There are several options. The most common, basic one is CDW insurance. It is usually included in the cost of car rental in Spain by default.

CDW covers the damage up to a certain figure. In case of minor accidents, body damage, etc., the traveler will have to pay for repairs additionally. Usually his liability is limited to the amount of the deposit initially frozen on the account by the rental company. But not always – we look at the franchise!

Full insurance, SCDW, is designed to minimize the responsibility of the driver. When it is issued, the franchise can be reset, the requirements for the size of the deposit are minimal. Usually it does not exceed 250 €.

In what amount does the rental company hope to cover possible damage to glasses and other parts not covered by insurance. And also – fines for violations of traffic rules by you.

  • Therefore, always be interested in the terms of the lease!

We recommend not to save on insurance and buy


Thus reducing to a minimum the amount that remains at the disposal of the distributor.

Because even if you consider yourself a neat driver and are one in fact, no one is immune from accidents, accidents and hooligans.

A chip on the hood or door from an incoming stone, a dent from a cart that arrived in the supermarket parking lot, a dented bumper – do you want to pay for it?

In case of an accident that did not happen through your fault, the deposit will not be returned until the circumstances are clarified. And with the insurance company of the culprit, sometimes you have to explain yourself. Which is not always easy due to the language barrier. the desire to communicate with foreigners on a cell phone.

Did someone tear down the mirror at night or break the glass? In the case of a heated windshield – a very expensive part? In such a situation, you only risk a deposit.

To rent a car in Spain you need a license

Prices 2023

First of all, they depend on the season – going on vacation to Barcelona in March, you will be able to rent a car for much more modest money than in May or June. The period from November to February is also considered a perfect off-season, when prices are almost halved. Except for a brief period that includes Christmas and New Year.

Also, the cost of renting a car in any city of Spain is affected by its duration. Do you need a vehicle for 1-2 days? Pay the maximum.

Do you rent it for a week or more? You can count on a decent discount!

In general, the cost of renting a small car with a manual transmission starts from 45-50 € if you book it 2 months before the trip. Options with an automatic box, to which US citizens are accustomed, start from 60-65 € per day.

Extended insurance will significantly increase the price. But, as mentioned above, it will be a good protection against unexpected troubles.

Traffic Rules and Fines in Spain

The speed limits on the country ‘s roads are as follows:

  • 30 km/h – in residential areas
  • 50 km/h – in cities
  • 90 km/h – outside of them
  • 100 km/h – on highways with more than one lane in each direction
  • 120 km/h – on motorways

The penalty for exceeding up to 20 km/h in the city or outside it is 100 €. If you exceed the speed limit by 21-30 km/h, you can pay 3 times more. Depending on whether you break in the city or on the highway.

Talking on a cell phone while driving, if noticed by a traffic policeman, can lead to a loss of 200 €. Exactly the same fine in Spain is issued for driving at a red traffic light.

Standard automatic cameras on the tracks are gray-painted booths, slightly towering over the bumpers. They stand in the opposite direction of movement. There are always blue shields warning about speed control.

Relatively recently, the arsenal of the Spanish Civil Guard, which keeps order on the roads, has been replenished with miniature cameras. They are attached to the supports of the bumpers and are extremely inconspicuous.

The permissible norm of alcohol in the blood of a driver in Spain is 0.5 ppm. The low beam of the headlights must be turned on only in tunnels or at night.

Foreign drivers are invited to pay a fine on the spot, in which case a 50% discount applies. In case of failure, the vehicle may be delayed.


Car Rental in Madrid

About STen 184 Articles
Traveling is like a life: the further you go, the more understand. I am not a writer or a journalist, but believe that my real & reach experience gained on trips can be useful. The whole Europe and Turkey are enough for me so far... Spent a lot of time in Turkey, lived in Italy and Spain, visited France and the Czech Republic, Greece and Hungary, now I am exploring Montenegro)

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