A complete guide to car rental in Madrid

guide car rental in madrid

Going through a car rental in Madrid is the best way to explore the country and its beautiful regions.

Whether you are planning short trips in and around Madrid or driving huge distances across the length and breadth of Spain through the beautiful Andalusian countryside, a car is a great option that you should consider for your next trip.

Here is our complete guide to car rental in France, covering a long list of topics, such as:

  • What type of car to choose.
  • The best car rental agency online.
  • Tips and tricks to get cheaper car rental rates.
  • Official documents you may need.
  • Insurance recommendations based on my personal experience.
  • Rules and regulations.
  • Driving tips.

I’ve tried to list everything you might need to know to have a worry-free car rental experience.

A complete guide to car rental in Madrid

I love exploring a country by car. Even if it’s my own one…

In my opinion, the best way to truly appreciate Spain’s cultural and natural diversity is to get a rental car and make your own adventure.

That’s why after many years using rental cars myself to explore most of the country, I decided to come up with a complete guide related to car rental in Madrid based on my own experience.

The following section contains all the information that you need to know to make the most out of your rental car while in Madrid.

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

Why should you consider a car rental in Madrid?

When traveling to Madrid, you can stick to the city and thoroughly explore it, or you can spend a week or two and go to several cities so that you can see more of the country and get a sense of all that makes it great. There can be great differences from city to city or province to province, so traveling around will give you a much better sense of the Spanish culture.

There’s also something that I love about driving in a different country: it gives you a number of new experiences that will become great stories. Don’t stick to the typical roads. Get off the main highways and explore the unknown.

Save time and money booking your car rental in advance. You can book it online right now!

Where should you pick up your car rental in Madrid?

Most visitors to Spain prefer to pick up a rental car at the airport.

Madrid’s airport, called Barajas, offers flights to and from most parts of the world. Many low-cost companies like Ryanair, easyJet, and Vueling, fly to and from Spain offering cheap connections with other European countries. Actually, Madrid-Barajas is among the busiest airports in Europe.

So depending on how you’re getting to Madrid, picking up and dropping off your rental car at the airport can be extremely convenient, especially if you intend to leave the city right away and start a road trip.

If that’s the case, take into account that ,any car rental companies in Spain offer one-way rentals. While it usually requires a small extra fee, many travelers use this opportunity as it gives them the freedom to explore as much of the country as they want without the hassle to return to their point of entry.

For how long should you rent a car in Madrid?

Spain is so diverse and fascinating that you could easily spend months visiting its impressive cathedrals, climbing the mountains, enjoying different beaches, and sampling regional varieties of delicious cuisine.

However, given you’ll probably have some sort of time limitation for your trip, these are the approximate number of days that you’d need for visiting different famous Spanish destinations.

To get an exhilarating first taste of Madrid’s region, 3 or 4 days may suffice. This time frame will give you the opportunity to see some of the most famous sites (such as El Escorial in San Lorenzo or La Granja de San Ildefonso) and perhaps have a short dive into the beautiful countryside.

However, this only scratches the surface of what these amazing towns have to offer; a visit of at least 5 to 7 days would be optimal — it would give you the time to explore them at your own pace, visit the famous landmarks at less busy times, make your own small discoveries and drive around at a leisurely pace.

It’s probably fair to say that you also need close to a week (or two if possible!) to really explore other parts of the country like Andalucía, Castilla y León or Cataluña as there are still plenty of landmarks to see and things to do.

How much does a rental car cost in Madrid?

The cost of a rental car in Madrid obviously depends on what time of year you visit – as you can imagine, prices will be steeper during the high season.

Madrid has a pretty stable daily car rental rate of 50€ from June to August, but it drops to around 35-40€ from September to February. March stands out as an unusually expensive month with an average daily rate of 55€.

One-way rentals (e.g., picking up a rental car in Madrid and dropping it off in Málaga) will be more expensive as it will include an additional one-way rental fee.

All that being said, Spain is a great place to get a rental car as prices tend to be quite affordable.

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