We have more than 10 years of experience on car hire in Spain. You will be surprised by our tips:
1. Reserve in advance.
Spain is one of the most important tourist destinations par excellence. Car hire prices usually increase when high seasons approach: Easter Week and Summer time. Tourists come to Spain, prices rise as demand is growing, less cars are available, and the remaining are much more expensive. And if you plan to travel to Baleares Islands (Mallorca, Ibiza, Menorca) or Canary Islands (Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Lanzarote) be aware that there is a chance there aren't any car left.
2. Make several bookings at the same time
We recommend to book in advance but, what if you are not sure about the dates of your trip? Most of the car hire companies allow to book and pay just a small amount and cancellations are usually free.
3. Change the dates of your bookings if you are not travelling
If you decide not to hire a car at the last moment, change the dates of your bookings instead of cancelling. Why? Because changing the dates of your bookings is free. However, if you cancel a prepaid booking, they may charge you up to 100% of the price.
4. Add an additional driver if you don't have a credit card
Most of the car hire companies request a credit card payment. If you don't have any, you won't be able to pick your car up.
5. Get married
There's an additional driver extra charge because car hire companies have to pay for each driver's insurance. Some countries don't consider the spouse to be an additional driver.
6. Don't drive if you are younger than 25 years old
If you are younger than 25 years old, or held a driving license for less than four years, some companies will charge you an extra charge, so it won't be cheap.
7. Hire a comprehensive coverage with no deductibles
Most of the car hire companies will block some money in your credit card to cover the car hire company’s possible damages or charges as traffic fines, special cleanings... That amount of money depends on the category of the car, but it may come to one thousand Euro.
8. Hire a full/full policy
Each car hire company have a different fuel policy. The most used are: Full/full: means the cars are picked up with the tank full of fuel and needs to be returned full as well. Full/empty: You pay for the fuel at the pick up time and return the car tank as empty as possible. Pre-purchased: You pay for a full tank of fuel when you pick your car up, and you drop it off at your convenience. Besides all this, to pay the car hire company for the fuel is more expensive than refuelling at the petrol station.
9. Don't give in to the pressure
The car hire assistants earn a commission depending on the additional extras or better insurances you hire at the counter.
10. Hire the car for a few more days
Most of the car hire companies charge the same price for a three days car hire than a two days car hire. It's more difficult for the company to manage the fleet and have the documents ready for you, than extending the time of your booking. Besides, if you get late to the dropping off time, it will be very expensive.
11. Be brave, but only in the low season
We offer the best prices and additional discounts in our webpage. Even so, car hire companies' fleet is almost stopped in low season since there's no demand. They usually offer good on line deals, but not always.
12. Take pictures of the car at the pick up time
Having a car accident while driving is more common than you may think, even if you are an excellent driver. And not only accidents, but car panel, window, mirrors or even tyres damages... All these small damages will be charged in your account. If the car is already damaged but the car hire assistant doesn't have it on record, you will have to pay for it.
13. Take pictures of the car at the drop off time
After dropping the car off, a car hire assistant will check the car condition and he/she will compare it with the condition the car was supposedly delivered. If the car is already damaged but the car hire assistant doesn't have it on record, you will have to pay for it. But there can always be some damages that aren't yours... The most common charge is the special cleaning, if they think you left the car dirty.
14. Check the charges after dropping the car off
After dropping the car off, the car hire companies can still hold your deposit or charge extra charges even after several weeks. The most usual charges are: traffic fines, motorway receipts, parking or blue zones fines, service charges, special cleanings or damages in the car. The problem is that they don't usually send you the documentary evidences that prove you are responsible of those offences.
15. How to file a complaint
Many people end up filling an official complaint against the car hire company. It's a long and boring process, and you have to fill in many documents and forms, which might be difficult to understand. If you are a foreigner is even more difficult since the documents are in Spanish and in the other co-official language of each Autonomous Community. It's a difficult process especially if you don't speak Spanish or if you live in other Autonomous Community.