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    Cheap Car Hire in Spain

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    Car Hire in Spain at the best prices

    Spain is a very diverse and historically rich country located in the Iberia Peninsula, Western Europe. Spain is made up of 17 unique regions, which means it has something for everyone. Its capital city of Madrid, houses the Royal Palace amongst other palaces, museums and monuments. Towards the northern half of the country, the regions of Galicia, Basque and Catalonia all offer interesting places to visit. From the holy pilgrimage of Santiago de Compostela to Antoni Gaudi's Sagrada church in Barcelona. Heading south a visit to Seville is recommended. A beautiful city and the capital of the Autonomous Region of Andalucia, Seville is the home of Flamenco. From here, Malaga is never far away and provides an abundance of beaches, golf courses and Moorish landmarks.

    Picking up a car hire in Spain is a great way to discover this varied country. Pick-ups are available at airports, railway stations or city centres throughout Spain. Take a look at what vehicles Auto Europe have on offer, from our list of trusted top branded car hire partners, and we'll do the rest. We will not only provide you with an unbeatable quotation, but also useful local information.

    Road Rules, Driving Information and Petrol Stations

    • Cars in Spain drive on the right-hand side of the road and overtake using the left or middle lanes.

    • The use of seat belts is mandatory for the driver and for any passengers.

    • Don't be alarmed if the car behind you honks or flashes their lights; it is normal for Spanish drivers to do so to signal their desire to overtake.

    • If you need to exit the vehicle on the side of the road, you need to put on a reflective vest before exiting the vehicle. Rental companies in Spain provide their cars with reflective vests, but you should check their presence and location before leaving the depot.

    • The legal alcohol limit when driving is 0.5 mg/ml, which is stricter than the UK, where the limit is 0.8 mg/ml. Furthermore, drinks in Spain are normally stronger than those served in the UK, so if you drink, don't drive.

    • Petrol stations are usually manned, except along motorways where they tend to be self-service. Both cash and credit cards are normally accepted.

    Important note regarding fuel in Spain

    Most low cost car hire companies in Spain have a "full to empty" fuel policy, where you pre-pay for the fuel locally and return the car with as little fuel as possible, since there is no refund for unused fuel. It's important to note that the price charged for the fuel is higher than the pump price, since there is a refuelling charge added to it. Some people find this type of policy useful in that they don't need to refuel the car before returning it.

    Auto Europe also maintains partnerships with companies in Spain that still practice the more traditional "full to full" fuel policy, providing cars with a full tank for which they do not charge, and allowing clients to return the car with the same amount of fuel, thus avoiding a fuel charge by the car rental company.

    You can always check which fuel policy applies to each car on our booking engine. For more information about this simply visit our fuel option advisor.

    Must Do

    • La Tomatina, Bunol, Valencia: This tomato throwing festival has become a world renowned event and a very joyful day. Held in the Valencian town of Bunol, La Tomatina has gained in popularity year on year to be declared as a festivity of international tourist interest. The tomato fight itself lasts an hour and by the end the streets are covered in a sea of tomato juices. The event is now ticketed, so make sure you have one before you arrive. Around 145,000 kg of tomatoes are thrown during the event.

    • Valencian Paella: When visiting Spain it is always a good option, especially if you love rice based dishes, to try its famous Paella. What better place to do so, than in Valencia, where it is believed Paella originates from. This Valencian rice dish, although dating back to ancient times, is believed to have become part of the Valentian identity during the 19th century. The most common styles of Paella dishes are vegetarian, vegan, seafood or mixed (meat & seafood) dishes. It is highly recommended to try some during your visit.

    • Madrid: Spain's capital city is a must visit when in the country. A vibrant, modern but yet historical city, Madrid has around 3.1 million inhabitants and is the third largest city within Europe. Visit the Royal Palace, Almudena Cathedral, Royal Theater, Prado Museum and the National Library. At night, the city comes to life with bustling restaurants, bars, clubs and cafes.

    • Camp Nou, Barcelona: For those football fans among you, and even those that aren't, a visit to Barcelona's Nou Camp is a must. With a seating capacity of 99,354, this stadium is the largest in Europe and an impressive second largest in the world. Sitting in the stadium you can't help but be impressed by its magnitude. Completed in 1957, the stadium has seen many successes and failures throughout its illustrious existence. It was even one of the stadiums used during the 1982 World Cup games. You would be forgiven for thinking that the only thing you could do was watch a Barcelona game, but stadium tours are also available, together with a look back into FC Barcelona's history within its museum. It's trophy room is also a must.

    • City of Mérida: Situated in western Spain, Mérida is not what normally springs to mind for a visit. It is however, a beautiful and historical city to visit, but one less known by tourists. This landlocked city, although containing a river, is the capital of the autonomous region of the Spanish Extremadura and has a population of around 60,000 inhabitants. This city was one of the most important cities in the Roman Empire and much of its ancient architecture is preserved here. From Roman temples and theatres, to bridges and fabulous museums.

    Road Trips

    Spain is so varied from north to south that to stay in one location would be a big injustice. We would therefore recommend once you have collected your car rental in Spain taking your very own journey of discovery along its vast road network. With our one-way option, you are able to collect in one location and drop off at another location, meaning your road trip can be as varied as you like.

    Why not consider flying into Malaga and driving up to Barcelona. The journey will take you through varied landscapes, via the wonderful cities of Valencia and Granada. For a shorter road trip, try from Malaga to Seville, via Gibraltar and Jerez. The journey will take you through mountains, lakes and beautiful Andalucian white washed villages. Alternatively, you can fly into Vigo and drive your car hire towards San Sebastian in the north west of Spain. This journey will take you through many regions, Galicia, Asturias and the Basque country.

    For even more road trip ideas in Spain, click here.

    Age Requirements

    Generally speaking, the minimum age to book a car hire in Spain is 21 years old. Drivers younger than 25 years of age may have to pay an additional fee. Some companies require that drivers older than 75 years of age also pay an additional fee or acquire additional insurance. Please note that these ages are merely an indication, and they may vary depending on the supplier and the car category. For more information on this matter, please refer to the Product Information, the Terms & Conditions and Local Fees of your chosen vehicle.

    Tolls

    Tolls are collected on some Spanish motorways, which are called "Auto Pistas". You can pay with money or a credit card (most international credit cards are accepted). If you wish to pay with money, make sure you choose a manual lane, where there are toll collectors. If you wish to pay with a credit card, you can choose either manual lanes or "Vias Automáticas", which are exclusive for payment by card and are indicated by a sign displaying the image of a magnetic card.

    A bit of history

    Spain has a varied and rich history dating back to the middle ages. Once the Reconquista had ended, in which the Catholic kings had fought to regain lands conquered by the moors. A united rule was established in 1516. During this period commenced the Golden Age of Spain, with its expansion into the New World and the setting up of various colonies, Spain's global influence made it amongst one of the most powerful global powers.

    In the late 17th century Spain's influence started to diminish. With numerous wars, the death of its ruler and subsequent war of succession - all taking their toll on the ever fragile country. With the Peninsular war and the countries instability, its overseas empire quickly started to crumble and many of its Latin American colonies started to gain independence. The 19th century didn't fare much better. With a civil war and a dictatorship, Spain found it hard to unite all its regions. With the death of Franco, Spain's dictator, the country returned to being a constitutional monarchy in 1976. In the 1960s onwards Spain's economy grew sharply, entering the EEC (EU) in 1986 and Eurozone in 1992. Spain currently remains a moderate influencer on the global scale. Being only a guest participant in the G20 but a member of the G6.

    Currency

    The currency used in Spain is the euro. ATM machines are widely available. Normally, you will be charged by your home bank every time you make a withdrawal, so it's advisable to withdraw enough for a few days, to minimize the amount of extra fees. Spanish ATM machines will usually give you the option to charge your account in euros or in pounds. If you choose pounds, the exchange rate will be set by the Spanish bank, while if you choose euros, the exchange rate will be set by your UK bank. The exchange rate of your own bank will invariably be more favourable, so given the choice we would advise you to choose to be charged in euros.

    Time Difference

    Madrid time is one hour ahead of London time: GMT+1. The Balearic Islands are also on this time zone, but the Canary Islands are in the same time zone as the UK. Daylight Saving Time applies all over Spain (continent and islands), from the last weekend of March to the last weekend of October.

    Dictionary

    The language we normally think of as Spanish is actually Castilian, which is the language of Castile, the largest region of modern-day Spain. While this language is widely spoken and understood all over the country, there are several other dialects spoken in the different regions, such as Catalan in Catalonia or Basque in the Basque country. Here are some commonly used Spanish phrases that may come in handy:

    Hello - Hola
    Good morning - Buenos días
    Good afternoon - Buenas tardes
    Good evening - Buenas tardes
    Where is the closest police station? - ¿Dónde está la comisaría de policía más cercana?
    Where is the closest hospital? - ¿Dónde está el hospital más cercano?
    Where is the closest ATM machine? - ¿Dónde hay un cajero automático?
    Where is [location]? - ¿Dónde está [location]?
    Can I pay by credit card? - ¿Puedo pagar con tarjeta de crédito?
    Can I pay by debit card? - ¿Puedo pagar con tarjeta de débito?
    How much does this cost? - ¿Cuánto cuesta?
    Thank you - Gracias
    Keep the change - Quédese con el cambio

    Electricity

    The voltage is 220-240 Volts. The type of socket is the Europlug, also commonly used in Portugal, and the Schuko. If you wish to plug in any UK appliances while in Spain, you will need a power adapter.

    Visa & Embassy Information

    Spain is a member of the European Union and part of the Schengen area. As such, British Nationals do not need a visa to enter the country, merely a passport valid for the duration of their stay.

    The UK maintains diplomatic relations with Spain and has diplomatic missions all over the country, including the Embassy in Madrid and Consulates in Alicante, Barcelona, Ibiza, Gran Canaria, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife, and Bilbao.

    British Embassy in Madrid
    Torre Espacio
    Paseo de la Castellana 259D
    28046 Madrid
    Email: spain.consulate@fco.gov.uk
    Telephone: +34 917 146 300
    Fax: +34 917 146 301

    British Consulate Alicante
    Edificio Espacio
    Rambla Méndez Núñez 28-30
    6ª planta
    03002 Alicante
    Telephone: 965 21 60 22
    Telephone from outside of Spain: +34 965 21 60 22
    Fax: +34 965 14 05 28

    British Consulate-General Barcelona
    Avda Diagonal 477 - 13
    08036 Barcelona
    Telephone: 93 366 6200
    Telephone from outside of Spain: +34 93 366 6200
    Fax: +34 933 666 221

    British Consulate Ibiza
    Avenida Isidoro Macabich 45
    1º1ª (corner with Calle Canarias)
    07800 Ibiza
    Telephone: 93 366 6200
    Telephone from outside of Spain: +34 93 366 6200
    Fax: +34 971 301 972

    British Consulate Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
    Calle Luis Morote 6-3º
    35007 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
    Telephone: 928 26 25 08
    Telephone from outside of Spain: +34 928 26 25 08
    Fax: +34 928 267 774

    British Consulate Malaga
    Calle Mauricio Moro Pareto, 2;
    Edificio Eurocom
    29006 Malaga
    Telephone: 952 35 23 00
    Telephone from outside of Spain: +34 952 35 23 00
    Fax: +34 95 235 9211

    British Consulate Palma de Mallorca
    Carrer Convent dels Caputxins, 4
    Edificio Orisba B 4ºD
    07002 Palma de Mallorca
    Telephone: 93 366 6200
    Telephone from outside of Spain: +34 93 366 6200
    Fax: +34 933 666 200

    British Consulate Santa Cruz de Tenerife
    Plaza Weyler, 8, 1º
    38003 Santa Cruz de Tenerife
    Telephone: 928 26 25 08
    Telephone from outside of Spain: +34 928 26 25 08
    Fax: +34 922 289 903

    Campervan hire in Spain

    If you wish to spend more time on the road, Auto Europe also provides campervan in Spain. Explore the Iberian Peninsula with one of the "homes on wheels" that we have on offer at numerous Spanish destinations, including Barcelona, Madrid and San Sebastián. Choose from a large fleet of campervans available for rent and find a motorhome for your next holiday in Spain.

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