If you're planning a trip to sunny Spain, hiring a car can give you a great amount of freedom to see, do and experience as much as possible. Those of you hoping to travel to the province of Malaga, for example, will find a car gives you the chance to do everything from explore the city to visit far-flung beaches without having to navigate public transport. And of course, a car will let you visit places that the buses and trains don't go to, which means you can get off the beaten track too! Here are a few tips for making the most of the road during your holiday to Malaga.
First things first, you need to familiarise yourself with the Spanish rules of the road. Presuming you haven't driven in Spain before, here's a quick overview of the basics:
You must carry your driver's licence, insurance documents, a reflective jacket and a warning triangle in the car with you. It is also worth bearing in mind that the Spanish tend to drive quite aggressively, so as a rule of thumb it's best to stick to the right-hand lane on motorways and only overtake if it's absolutely necessary. Another thing to remember is that the signage in Spain can be poor, so always plan out your route (as well as an alternative) in advance.
For information on car hire fuel policies, you can read more here.
You need to be at least 21 to hire a car in Spain, and to have had your licence for a minimum of a year. Presuming you're flying to Malaga, it makes most sense to pick up your hire car at Malaga Airport. This way, you get maximum use out of it - and you also avoid hauling your luggage on to airport transport!
Just as a quick note, younger drivers might need to pay a bit extra for their hire car in Spain. This isn't always the case and often depends on the type of vehicle you're hiring, but it is worth keeping it in mind just to avoid any surprises!
If you're planning on spending some or most of your break in Malaga city, the key thing to remember is that it's wise to plan ahead. You'll likely find you don't need your car to visit lots of attractions within the city centre (though it will be fantastic for all those located just outside!), but if you do want to drive to any, check out the parking situation first.
This is because, as with a lot of cities, parking isn't always easy, and you'll usually have to pay for your space. When hunting for a car park near your chosen attraction, it's always a good idea to note down the location of several, just in case your chosen car park is full.
Of course, you should also make sure you're aware of general parking rules before you travel. You need to avoid parking on red or yellow lines, while road signs will let you know when your space needs to be paid for, and will point you towards a machine where you can pay. If you come across a Zona Azul or Blue Zone, you'll be able to park there for two hours, provided you display a parking disc that can be picked up in hotels.
Having your own set of wheels gives you so much more freedom on holiday than relying on public transport, so it's well worth making the most of this by looking up some great places to drive to. One of the major advantages of driving is that it makes it really easy to travel between beaches - and even reach a few out of the way spots that are far from the crowds.
A few of your options include:
Of course, there are plenty more places to drive to than beaches alone. If you fancy seeing the greener side of the province, for instance, why not drive to Montes de Malaga Natural Park, which is just north of Malaga city? This stunning reserve is home to some of the best local scenery, and is a brilliant place for walking and wildlife spotting. To get there, just take the regional highway MA-345 from Malaga city and follow the signs.