Widely considered one of the most beautiful and historically diverse European countries to visit, Spain is ripe with travel opportunities, offering a variety of attractions guaranteed to excite and charm tourists of all backgrounds. From the vibrant colors of Barcelona's city architecture, to the brisk snowy peaks of the Alps, Spain's incredible geographic and cultural diversity lends itself well to travelers keen on enjoying an eye-opening, memorable vacation.
In order to maximize your time discovering the ins and outs of the Spanish locale, a rental car is a basic necessity. Experience an unwavering sense of freedom and exploratory possibility at a pace that best suits your travel style, without having to rely on the seemingly arbitrary schedules of public transit. Check out the information on driving in Spain below, provided free of charge by Auto Europe, in an effort to help you be fully prepared to drive your car rental in Spain.
Like many European countries, travelers from the United States and Canada can pickup a rental car in Spain and drive off the lot with nothing more for documentation, than a domestic driver's license in good standing from your home country. With that said, there are some legal discrepancies worth noting. While it's not technically a requirement to posses an international driver's license, if you are stopped by police without one, you may be fined.
In the end, it's up to the discretion of the police officer on the scene to decide if a traffic fine is applicable, and for that reason, Auto Europe strongly recommends all travelers planning on driving in Spain, acquire an international driver's license to supplement your domestic license, before heading abroad. This is inexpensive to obtain and a little planning ahead will allow you to be sure that you're covered in the event of an accident or traffic infraction.
When traveling abroad it can be tempting to share the driving responsibilities amongst your companions - a popular way to lighten the load on the primary driver. Despite the obvious upsides to this strategy (such as getting some much needed rest, or enjoying some freedom to photo-document the landscapes as you drive), this decision should be avoided if possible, as it can compromise your car rental insurance contract, and result in significant fines.
If having multiple drivers is an absolute necessity, be aware that all drivers beyond the primary, must sign onto the rental contract locally, and will be assessed an "additional driver fee" at the pick-up counter. This fee usually ranges from €8.00 EUR - €15.00 EUR per day, per additional driver.
The minimum driving age in Spain, in most cases, is 21 years of age, although a few rental suppliers have amended this driving age requirement to 23. Be sure to check with Auto Europe, and your individual supplier if you are unsure of the specific car rental age requirements. Drivers within the ages of 21-24 are required to pay an additional fee, called a "young driver surcharge," which is usually upwards of €20.00 EUR per day, on top of the already expected rental costs.
As many have experienced, driving can be a stressful endeavor on familiar home roads and freeways. Driving in Spain is no different, and travelers visiting for the first time may struggle to adapt to the foreign driving culture, especially in busy or unfamiliar traffic circumstances. This is why Auto Europe recommends that the most experienced driver in your party is the primary driver of your rental.
While the roadways in Spain are excellent, the Spanish locals seem to drive with what could be perceived as little regard for traffic regulations. Expect to be passed on both the right and left side lanes, with little or no notification other than a brief flash of the headlights.
Fortunately, the roads are very well maintained, and as long as you follow the rules of the road, stay hyper-vigilant, and drive with confidence, you should experience a smooth travel experience with your rental car. Auto Europe's tips for driving in Spain page is a great resource for those eager to prepare for a worry-free driving experience while vacationing in Spain.