Barcelona Car Rental

Tips & Tricks to Have the Perfect Car Rental Experience in Barcelona

Rent a Car in Barcelona

Barcelona is known for its efficient public transportation system. Taxis, buses, subway and suburban trains handle convenient and fast transfers around the city. Nevertheless, a car rental is an entirely different story. Providing you with the independence you desire, a rental car can save you from all the hassle of trying to hail a taxi, catch the next bus or train route, disembark at the right stop and walk from there to your final destination. Hence, if you are thinking about renting a car for your Barcelona transfers, you should first take a look at the following guidelines:

Is it worth renting a car in Barcelona?

If you are planning on exploring just Barcelona city center, a car rental wouldn’t probably be the most convenient idea. The traffic levels and the limited parking spots would make your transfers longer and more tiring. However, renting a car is ideal for discovering the beautiful suburban areas or even more remote towns and attractions.

Is it difficult to drive in Barcelona?

Driving in Barcelona can be challenging, yet as long as you are careful and you follow the traffic rules, you won’t face particular difficulties during your journeys. If you are not intimidated by the heavy traffic levels during the rush hours, the often complicated roundabouts, and the fact that Spanish drivers aren’t known for giving way or particularly respecting the roads’ legislation, driving a car rental around Barcelona should be a piece of cake for you. On the other hand, please always be aware of the motorcycles and the bikes around you, as Barcelona is listed among the cities with the highest number of motos circulating.

What do you need to rent a car in Barcelona?

You are going to need 3 documents to rent a car in Barcelona: a valid driving license, a bank card and your ID or passport. However, please note that if your country of origin isn’t part of the EU, you’ll have to issue an International Driver’s Permit. Check out the necessary procedures to have your IDP issued on time.

How old do you need to be to rent a car in Barcelona?

The minimum age for renting a car in Spain is 21 years old. Thus, younger drivers aren’t allowed to hire a car, even if they have a driver license. Moreover, more age limits apply for certain car categories. Hence, luxury models are available only to drivers who are more than 25 years of age. On the other hand, “young drivers”, that is drivers between 21 and 24 years of age, may have to pay an additional fee to rent a car, no matter the type or the model.

How much does it cost to rent a car in Barcelona?

The cost for your car rental depends on the chosen type of vehicle and the duration of the renting period. In general, a long-term economy car rental can cost as little as 8€ (9.25$) per day, whereas a full-size car can cost up to 50€ (57.83$).

How much to rent a supercar in Barcelona?

A super-luxury car, such as an Aston Martin or Bentley, usually costs around 900€(1040$) for a day’s rent. Still premium yet not so luxurious cars, such as Audi A6 or BMW X5, are available at a 300€(347$) price per day.

Why is car hire in Spain so cheap?

Car hires in Spain, and particularly in Barcelona, may seem cheap. You can find economy cars at low prices, even at 3€(3.47$) per day. However, you should always be careful regarding the extra fees. A 3€(3.47$) basic fare can end up rather expensive if additional fees (insurance, fuel etc.) haven’t been included in the initial price.

What insurance do you need to rent a car in Spain?

In Spain, a third-party liability type of insurance is required for every car rental. This insurance covers damage caused to a third party’s vehicle or any injury to a third person.

Can I rent a car without insurance?

No, at least minimum insurance is required to rent a car. That type of insurance is usually included in the car rental fare. However, you can choose the full insurance package, which is far more expensive yet covers each and every occurring incident. Some credit cards also offer insurance coverage for car rentals. Still, you’ll have to be extra careful while going through the terms and conditions to be absolutely sure that you are properly covered.

How can I rent a car without a credit card?

Generally, a credit card is required to rent a car. Nevertheless, some car rental companies also accept payments via debit cards. In that case, some car types may be off-limits, though.

Is it cheaper to rent cars at the airport?

Airport car rentals are basically more expensive than downtown car hire options. Thus, although picking up your car rental as soon as you arrive at BCN Airport is extremely handy, it is recommended to prefer an out-of-the-airport location if you are aiming at a budget car hire.

Where to rent a car in Barcelona?

In Barcelona, there are more than 56 locations for picking up or dropping off a car rental. Depending on the chosen car rental company, you can reach any of these locations. In general terms, the most popular Barcelona areas for car hires besides El Prat Airport are Gran Via, Rambla de Catalunya and Sants rail station.

What is the most popular car in Spain?

The most popular car types for car rentals in Spain are the mini, the compact and of course, the economy cars. In Barcelona, Ford Fiesta, Fiat 500 and Hyundai i10 seem to be always in demand.

Is there free parking in Barcelona?

Free parking in Barcelona city center is allowed only at the marked Green Zones from Friday evening (10:00 pm) to Monday early morning (07:00 am). Certainly, finding a free parking spot there is extremely rare. Thus, it is preferable to park your car outside of Barcelona downtown, for example at University Zone or North Campus.

Is parking expensive in Barcelona?

Private car parks in Barcelona are considered rather expensive. Outdoor parking facilities, located outside the city center, are more affordable. In any case, if you have already planned your schedule, booking a parking space in advance can save you some money.

What’s more to know about Barcelona car rentals?

Besides the above-mentioned tips, here is some extra advice for an unwind car rental experience:

  • You should opt for a vehicle with a GPS system, as Barcelona streets are often one-way, narrow or dead-ends, and getting lost is highly possible. 
  • Please choose a fuel-to-fuel policy. The car rental companies charge a lot for refilling the car. 
  • You are going to rent your car per day. Thus, returning it during the 24-h deadline can save you from an extra day charge.
  • It is advisable to take a picture of your car rental before starting your journey. In that way, you will be able to prove the already existing damages.
  • Barcelona tolls are rather expensive. 
  • Illegal parking usually leads to a fine.
  • The alcohol limit is 0.05. However, young drivers have a lower limit of 0.03.