Are you looking for different options to get around Madrid? Rental car is definitely not the best one.
The traffic system in Madrid is complex and demands careful planning if you’re not familiar with the city.
So is it worth renting a car in Madrid?
To put it simple: no.
The only reason to rent a car in Madrid, or use a rental car while being here, is either because
Without a doubt the city is better explored by foot!
But if you still need to get around Madrid by rental car, check this complete guide on the best online car rental.
While it may seem like renting your own vehicle allows you more freedom and accessibility, a Madrid rental car is definitely not recommended to get around within the city. Why?
You should consider using any other means of public transportation:
And all of them are much cheaper than a rental car.
The conclusion here is that once you arrive, you should leave your car in a safe place and use the public transport system.
OK. You plan to travel around Spain or Madrid’s region by car.
Let’s see the different case scenarios:
1. Madrid is the start or the end of your road trip around the country.
2. Madrid is one of the stops along the road.
So you plan to arrive to Madrid by car, visit the city and then continue your trip.
If that’s your plan, find a secure place to park your car. It can either be a public car park or your accommodation’s parking. Make sure you take all your personal belongings with you.
3. Madrid is your home base to explore the surroundings.
In this case you have 2 options:
If you plan to go on some day trips from Madrid, read my recommendations for each destination.
Yes, it’s incredibly easy.
And the best piece of advice that I can give you is to do it online.
I suggest you have a look at my complete guide on the best online car rental.
One of the best ways to explore is by doing a Spain road trip.
With vibrant cities, charming towns and white villages, many historic landmarks, and diverse landscapes, Spain is a great country to explore on road trips.
Whether you choose stunning Andalucía in the south of Spain, or one of the beautiful coasts, or parts of northern Spain, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to places to see and things to do on your road trip.
Thanks to Madrid’s convenient location right in the center of the Iberian Peninsula, it has traditionally been the hub between different areas of Spain and is therefore connected to all major Spanish cities and even smaller destination by an amazing road network.
To help you plan your road trip around Spain, have a look at
Finally, I always recommend getting an international driving permit even if it isn’t always enforced.
Renting a car in Madrid does have its advantages if you want to explore the surrounding area in around 100 km.
Even if most towns in the region have straight short distance train connections to Madrid downtown or even high speed train connections, they’ll take you just to the main city spots.
If you want to visit the Sierra (the beautiful mountains to the North of Madrid), and historical cities like Alcalá de Henares, San Lorenzo de El Escorial, El Pardo, Aranjuez, Chinchón, La Granja de San Ildefonso, Buitrago de Lozoya, or even nearby cities in other provinces like Ávila, Segovia or Toledo, then renting a car could be a good idea.
The main advantages of renting a car to visit the Madrid region are:
Nevertheless, keep in mind that if you just want to visit a particular city and not a region tour, still public transportation is surely the best option when available.
This article is part of a complete tutorial about car rental in Madrid where you can read all the information you need to organize your road trip around the country.
Here is a complete summary of all the guide:
1. Traveling to Madrid by car
2. How to book your rental car online
3. How to find cheap rental rates?
4. Do you need an International Driver’s Licence?
5. Getting around Madrid: rental car
6. 6 tips for driving in Madrid
7. Car parking in Madrid