Laws and Regulations

Car hire in Spain is one of the cheapest in Europe and the best option for transport if travelling any distances while here on holiday or business. When choosing to rent a vehicle you will need to be aware of the laws and regulations in place regarding minimum and maximum age, licence requirements etc.


Although the minimum age to hold a driver’s licence in Spain is 18, car hire firms usually insist on a minimum age of between 21-23 and a maximum of 65. For those who offer the option, drivers younger than 25 or older than 65 will incur a young/senior drivers surcharge.

Licence Requirements

Although an International Driving Licence (Permit) is highly recommended, if you live in an EU country and have an EU licence then all car hire firms will accept a full driver’s licence held for at least 1 year.


When picking up your car hire vehicle it’s recommended before signing and driving off, you check the vehicle for damage or obvious faults e.g. dents or scratches; lights, wipers, gauges etc. working and inflated spare wheel and jack present. Take photos of existing damage with your phone even if it’s marked on their paperwork and it’s highly recommended to take out the full insurance so you don’t need to worry about the car while you have it.

General Car Hire Advice

When visiting Spain with the intention of hiring a vehicle, it is often cheaper to book the hire car in advance, prior to leaving home. Fly-drive deals offered through airlines and travel agents may be an economic option. Car hire prices vary with supply and demand so the best deals are available during off-peak periods. During peak periods such as summer and school holidays, it’s advisable to book your hire car well in advance of your arrival. Be aware that most reputable car hire firms will insist on payment by credit card. Those that don’t will require full payment in advance as well as a hefty cash deposit.

Hidden Extras

Car hire companies are listed locally in the yellow pages (Automoviles Alquiler). When deciding on a company, especially small or lesser known firms, carefully check the credentials of the car hire company before committing. Automatic transmission vehicles are far fewer in number than manual gearbox vehicles and so attract a higher premium. Ensure all specified drivers names are on the hire agreement. With regard to charges and ‘hidden extras’, it’s highly advisable to check that your quote includes the following where applicable: pick up and drop off charges, insurance, collision damage waiver, unlimited kilometres, personal accident insurance and any extra charges for taking the vehicle outside Spain’s borders.

Last, but not least. Be aware when choosing to rent a car in Spain, you’ll be driving on the right hand side of the road. Obvious to some, but a real consideration if you are used to driving on the left.