9 must do’s for car rental in Spain

Renting a car in Spain. Window open, blowing hair and warm sea breeze on your cheeks. Delicious! The freedom to go wherever you want, without having to wait for a bus that doesn’t show up, that’s roadtripping. But also to get to the places you don’t get to quickly or easily as a backpacker using public transportation.

What should you think about when you want to travel around Spain by car?

1# Rent the car locally or far in advance

Search by offers. Estimate carefully whether you want scratch insurance or dual driver insurance, for example. When you rent a car locally, you can often negotiate. For example, instead of paying 80 euros, we paid 60 euros for an extra co-driver. All around? You will now check the car. Always look carefully in advance to see where the scratches are. Take pictures of the car before you drive away with the rental car.


2# Take a credit card with you

They automatically debit deposit from your credit card. They deposit the deposit back into your account after returning it (if there is no damage).

3# Pack a TomTom yourself. Or use the TomTom app on a phone

In fact, renting locally is very pricey. Do check that your Tom Tom has Spain coverage. What can also be done is to download offline maps on your phone through Google Maps. You then download those when you have wifi. You can then use the cards when you don’t have an Internet connection. Very easy. How do you do that?

  • Go to Google Maps
  • Find the area you want to use
  • Then type “Ok maps” into the search box and let Google search
  • Google Maps will then automatically download the area
  • If you don’t have the Internet but have Google Maps open, you can follow yourself on the map.

With us, that worked well. In advance, you then plot a route and then you go offline. Your phone then even remembers the route! Or use the app maps.me. Hear good stories about it, too.

4#Always check if you are allowed to park somewhere!


In cities, it is safest to park your car in the parking garages. Especially if you don’t have scratch insurance. Moreover, the street is often so full of cars that finding a parking spot is almost pointless and very frustrating. At least, in the larger cities. Count on an average of 15 to 25 euros per night. For example, we paid 17 euros in Almeria and 25 euros in Malaga. Or you look for a hotel with parking, but that’s often not free either. We almost always slept through Airbnb. Tip: ask your host in advance where you can park inexpensively. Saves you parking stress, too.

5# Car rental in Spain: the toll roads

There are several toll roads in Spain. Tolls can range from 3 to 15 euros. Want to stay low-budget? Then avoid these roads. And the nice thing is you get to see a lot more of the country.


Gasoline is cheaper than in the Netherlands. But you also consume more because the landscape is more hilly. Of course, gasoline consumption also depends on your driving style ;-).

7# International driving license when renting a car in Spain?

We have never had to show an international driver’s license. Always take your regular driver’s license with you, though. Sander had accidentally left it at home once…rara who stopped us along the road. Fortunately, we were allowed to drive through, but it wasn’t really relaxing.

8#Turn on the radio!

This way you will learn fun Spanish songs and learn a word of Spanish right away.

9#No money to rent a car?

Then check out blablacar.com. There you can ride with people on prearranged rides.

Lastly, have a lot of fun!