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renting car in spain

San Francisco Bay...
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renting car in spain

In May/June, we will be covering quite a bit of territory over 3 weeks in Spain, from Madrid to Analucia and then up north, from San Sebastian through the Pyrenees to Barcelona and back to Madrid, with a mix of cities and hiking. Usually one or two grown daughters will be with my husband and I. Does it make sense to rent a car for the whole time? Are car rentals with a different pick-up and drop-off location feasible? What is it like to have a car in cities? Parking fees?

Thanks.

Malaga, Spain
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for Malaga, Andalucia, Madrid, Zaragoza, Valencia, Seville
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1. Re: renting car in spain

Harvard:

Read the Driving Guide for Foreigners.

Many car rental companies allow you to drop off the car at other locations. There is no free parking in cities and hotels usually charge around 11 euros a night for parking. Parking garages are expensive and may cost 25 euros a day for parking.

Train travel is very good in Spain. Read Buying Renfe Tickets Online.

Adelaide, Australia
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2. Re: renting car in spain

You could take the train www.renfe.es from Madrid to Seville and rent a car, to enjoy Andalucia.

Fly Seville to Bilbao www.vueling.com and rent car, for the Basque country and the Pyrenees.

Car rental www.auto-europe.com www.auto-europe.co.uk

Route planner www.viamichelin.com

www.andalucia.com

Note that non EU citizens require an International driving Permit in Spain.

Edited: 25 February 2012, 07:27
London, United...
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3. Re: renting car in spain

If you enjoy driving then Spain has some very good roads and you can easily enjoy discovering some wonderful places but do not overlook train or bus travel totally because firstly it is a great way to see life and secondly having a car in some large cities is quite frankly an annoyance. America was designed for the automobile and hotels and places have services for the auto. In Spain do not always expect that the car rules, especially in an area like the Casco Antiguo in Seville.

A car is really useful when you visit the out of the way places for example take off into the Sierras and the white villages of inland Andalucia. or getting down to some remote beach. But having a car in places like Seville Cordoba and Granada is frankly a waste of time because you are able to explore on foot or use the local transport and taxis.

So weigh up the pros and cons and see if your itinerary could have a mixture of local car hire either drop off somewhere else or return to base then take public transport.

Some of the best fast railways in Europe are in Spain. The fastest one is called AVE and is the way people like to travel now between Madrid and Barcelona or Madrid and Andalucia.

Taipei, Taiwan
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for Barcelona
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4. Re: renting car in spain

The three TA members above give the very best advice on TA Spain! So it sounds like a combination of flying, driving and taking the train/bus. Plus your hiking, of course.

Do you know how to drive a manual transmission? Automatic transmission is very expensive in Spain and not every rental agency supplies this. If you are renting for only a few days (per the above combined transportation idea) and dropping off the car at different locations, it may be difficult to reserve an automatic.

Northampton, MA
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5. Re: renting car in spain

No, high speed train to Seville. It's a long boring drive. You don't need a car to see Andalucia. They are a hassle to have while you are in Seville and Granada. For hiking around Ronda area you will need a car so maybe upon leaving Seville pick one up. From Andalucia fly to Bilbao, take the bus to San Sebastian. Upon leaving San Sebastian it might be a good place to rent a car if you want to drive through the Pyrennees to Barcelona. (You could also fly for about $40 and it takes an hour). Definitely drop the car off in Barcelona and take the AVE train back to Madrid. If you rent a car before your trip and reserve ahead of time you will pay a lot less than if you rent once you are there. I think rental cars in the Basque country are expensive at any time.

San Francisco Bay...
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6. Re: renting car in spain

Thanks, all, for your very helpful advice. I do know how to drive a manual, though it's been awhile. Trying to weigh the pros and cons of train/bus costs for 3 or 4 versus one car. But really good to know it's possible to mix and match.

Malaga, Spain
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for Malaga, Andalucia, Madrid, Zaragoza, Valencia, Seville
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7. Re: renting car in spain

When I lived in California, I would rent automatic cars from Hertz. They were more expensive than the manual drive. However at that time I had already forgotten to drive manual.

Chemainus, Canada
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8. Re: renting car in spain

hello: we are travelling in spain for 3 weeks. our itinery is Barcelona, toledo, granada, ronda, seville, then a free week. at what point would you suggest we pick up a car. we are planning on going from barcelona to toledo on the train but want to have the freedom to visit some white hill towns while staying in ronda. This is our first time to Spain so we are newbies. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.

9. Re: renting car in spain

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