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    Car rental in Spain at the best price

    Sharing the Iberian Peninsula with Portugal, the country of Spain contains seventeen different regions - each with their own identities and traditions. This historically rich country has much to offer the curious tourist, from its capital city Madrid, full of national monuments, museums and cultural centers, to the Santiago de Compostela holy pilgrimage and Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Church in Barcelona. In the north you can visit the wonderful regions of Galicia, Basque, Asturias, Aragon and Catalonia, to name both a few – whilst in the south you may head to Andalusia, Murcia and Valencia. Wherever you decide to go with your car rental in Spain, you’ll no doubt be pleasantly surprised with all that this European country has to offer.

    When you decide to pay Spain a visit, consider Auto Europe as your provider for everything car hire related. With numerous collection points across the country, you’ll never be too far from your ideal vehicle. We have partnered with numerous local, national and international car hire suppliers to provide you with great deals, from a large selection of vehicles. Many of our suppliers are globally trusted brands, such as Sixt, Hertz, Avis and so forth. Contact one of our reservation agents if you’re planning to visit Spain. We will be happy to provide advice and talk you through the various car rental vehicles and offers available.

    What are the most important driving rules in Spain?

    Driving in Spain can be exciting but yet a little scary for those who have never driven in the country before. It is important to note, that Spain adheres too many of the driving rules and regulations as set out throughout Europe. For ease, here are some important things to note whilst driving in Spain:

    • Vehicles in Spain drive on the right-hand side and overtake on the left-hand side
    • Seatbelts are compulsory for both driver and passengers
    • Don’t worry if the drive behind you flashes its headlights or beeps – this is normal procedure in Spain and signifies their desire to overtake you
    • A hi-viz yellow vest must be worn if you breakdown or need to leave the vehicle via the side of the road
    • Alcohol levels are set at 0.5 mg/ml in Spain
    • Petrol stations can be found in numerous towns, cities and along motorways. They are generally manned, however some utilise a self-service system, especially at night.

    What to do in Spain

    Spain is the fourth largest country in Europe and as such has plenty to see and do. With so many unique regions, each as culturally and historically rich as the next, knowing what to do during your holiday can be challenging. Many tourists set their minds on beaches and partying, however, there is so much more to Spain then meets the eye. Here are our recommendations:

    • City of Mérida: As the capital city of the region of Extremadura, the city of Mérida once played an important role in the Roman Empire. With an abundance of architectural gems from this era still in existence today, the city now boasts an estimated 60,000 inhabitants. If you love history, then consider paying a visit to the Puente Romano, Acueducto de los Milagros and the Temple of Diana.

    • Camp Nou Football Stadium, Barcelona: With seating for 99,354 spectators, the impressive F.C. Barcelona Nou Camp Stadium is the largest on the European continent and second largest globally. Finished in 1957, this stadium has seen much of Spain’s football history played out on its pitch, including the 1982 World Cup. During your visit you could either watch a Barcelona game or take a guided tour of its impressive trophy room, or museum.

    • City of Madrid: With an estimated 3.1 million inhabitants, Spain’s capital city Madrid is Europe’s third largest city too. A historically and culturally rich city, Madrid has much to visit, including the Royal Palace, Royal Theatre, the National Library, Prado Museum and the Almudena Cathedral. Along with lush city parks, the city at night is vibrant and full of entertainment, bars, clubs and lively restaurants.

    • Paella Valenciana: Whilst in Spain we would recommend savouring the famous Valencian Paella dish. With numerous styles available, this exquisite rice dish can come as a vegetarian option, vegan, seafood or as a mixed meat and seafood dish. Believed to date back to ancient times, the Paella has now become not only a national identity of Spain, but also the region of Valencia – of which many people believe it originates from.

    • La Tomatina, Valencia: With an estimated 145,000 kg of tomatoes thrown, La Tomatina has become an international tourist attraction - A yearly event held in the Valencian town of Bunol and lasts around an hour. This ever so popular tomato chucking festival lends itself to an extremely jubilant day for the whole family. Due to its fame, the festival only allows people with tickets inside. Therefore make sure you book ahead before arriving. At the end, you and the surrounding streets will be painted red with tomato juice.

    Road trips with my car rental in Spain

    It would be a great injustice not to see all of what Spain has on offer. With such varied landscapes and great weather, the country is ideal for a road trip once you have collected your car rental in Spain. Head along its modern road network and numerous coastal roads, and explore off the beaten track. With our one-way option, you can start in one location and end in a totally different part of the country. We would suggest the following road trips:

    • Vigo to San Sebastian: At 761 km and taking you around seven and a half hours, the journey from Vigo in north-western Spain to San Sebastian in the north-east, will give you a totally different experience of Spain. Far from the Flamenco and white washed villages of Southern Spain, the north is not only architecturally different, but culturally too. This road trip will take you through many of Spain’s provinces, such as Galicia, Asturias and the Basque Country.

    • Malaga to Barcelona: Not a short road trip but a very exhilarating one, full of varied landscapes and picturesque Spanish towns along the way. Drive along much of the Mediterranean coastline and bask in glorious warm Spanish sunshine. This 968 km journey should take you around nine and a half hours, passing through historically rich cities such as Valencia and Granada.

    • Malaga to Seville: If you’d prefer a shorter road trip, then at only 336 km, consider driving from Malaga to Seville. Taking around 4 hours, this drive will take you through some famous towns - Marbella, Estepona and Gibraltar, where you’ll be able to see the iconic Rock of Gibraltar. From Gibraltar you can head up to Jerez and unto the Andalucian capital of Seville.

    • Madrid, Spain to Lisbon, Portugal: If you fancy something a little different then consider a drive from Madrid to the capital city of Portugal, Lisbon. Covering 628 km, the journey should take you around six hours and through much of internal Spain. With cowboy like canyons and rugged dry landscapes, the internal parts of Spain are wonderfully glorious and beautiful. As you drive eastwards you’ll pass Mérida and the frontier town of Badajoz before entering Portugal. In Portugal you’ll pass through Elvas, Evora and Setúbal until you ultimately reach Lisbon.

    How old do I have to be to rent a car in Spain?

    In general, in order to rent a car in Spain, you’ll need to be at least 21 years of age, with anyone younger than 25 years of age possibly being subjected to a young driver’s fee upon pick-up. Likewise, if you are older than 75 years of age, you may also have to pay a senior driver’s fee or be required to obtain additional insurance cover. Please take note that age limits and fees charged can vary between car suppliers and vehicle categories. For more information please consult your vouchers terms and conditions, local fees and product information sections.

    Do I need to pay tolls when driving my car hire in Spain?

    Spain has some toll motorways but not many in comparison to neighbouring Portugal and France. These motorways are known as “Autopistas” whilst Spain’s free motorways are known as “Autovias”. Tolled motorways are generally located along the outer parts of the country and accept Euro currency and major international credit cards. Upon approach you will either need to enter the manual lane if paying by cash, or the credit card lane, if paying by card. The credit card lane is automatic; simply insert the card into the pay machine.

    A Bit of History

    The Iberian Peninsula, in which modern day Spain sits has signs of human civilisation dating back to prehistoric times. The earliest traces of Western European humans, dating back 1.4 million years, were found in Atapuerca, Spain. From there on end, the peninsula has been occupied by various tribes and peoples. The Celtic tribes, Lusitanian, Carthaginian, Phoenician, Greek, Moorish and the Roman Empire (Hispania) – all have left their mark upon the country’s culture and landscape.

    Modern day Spain can be traced back to the middle ages and primarily to the Reconquista wars in which the Catholic kings fought to regain lands lost to the Moors, and ultimately unite all of Spain in 1516. Around this period Spain entered its Golden Age of discovery and expansion. It colonised much of South and Central America, the Caribbean and parts of North America. Its global dominance placed it amongst some of the most influential and powerful global powers.

    During the 17th Century, much of Spain’s influence and power started to waiver due to succession wars, increased global competition and other European wars. This together with the Napoleonic wars and its fragility, the country’s overseas influence started to crumble and many of its territories sought for independence. As a weakened Spain entered the 19th Century, it fell into greater turmoil with civil war and General Franco’s dictatorial regime.

    The dictatorship came to an end with the death of Franco and subsequently in 1976 it became a constitutional monarchy. Economy wise, Spain saw significant gain from the 1960s onwards. In 1986 it entered the EEC (now the EU) and in 1992 it became a Eurozone member. Present day Spain is regarded as a moderate influencer internationally being a member of the G6. It is however a guest participant of the G20. Much of its infrastructure is modern with its main powerhouse being in the Catalonian region.

    What is the currency in Spain?

    Spain is part of the Eurozone and therefore has adopted the Euro as its national currency. Cash machines are located throughout the country, in major transport hubs, shopping centres, town & city centres and bank branches. If you are withdrawing in Euros, then generally cash machines are free. If you’re home currency is anything other than euros, then you may be charged for your withdrawal and an exchange rate. ATM machines and in-store card terminals normally give you the option to pay either in euros or your home currency.

    What time zone is Spain in?

    Spain mainly falls under the Central European Time (CET) zone or GMT+1, this includes the Balearic Islands. However, the Canary Islands come under the GMT time zone, which is the same as Lisbon and London. Daylight Saving Time is observed throughout mainland Spain and its islands. This comes into force during the last weekend of March until the last weekend of October.

    Which are the most common phrases in Spanish?

    Official Spanish is actually known as Castilian, which originates from the Spanish region of Castile – the country’s largest region. Other regions along with Castilian Spanish also speak local dialects, such as Basque in the Basque country, Catalan in Catalonia and Galego in the northern Galician region. If you want to be welcomed it is advisable to learn a few of the following simple common words and phrases:

    Hello - Hola
    Good morning - Buenos días
    Good afternoon - Buenas tardes
    Good evening - Buenas tardes
    Where is the closest police station? - ¿Dónde está la comisaría de policía más cercana?
    Where is the closest hospital? - ¿Dónde está el hospital más cercano?
    Where is the closest ATM machine? - ¿Dónde hay un cajero automático?
    Where is [location]? - ¿Dónde está [location]?
    Can I pay by credit card? - ¿Puedo pagar con tarjeta de crédito?
    Can I pay by debit card? - ¿Puedo pagar con tarjeta de débito?
    How much does this cost? - ¿Cuánto cuesta?
    Thank you - Gracias
    Keep the change - Quédese con el cambio

    Electricity - Do I need a power adapter in Spain?

    Spain has a voltage system of 220-240 volts and uses like many other European countries, the Schuko - Europlug. If your country of origin does not use this plug type you will more than likely need to purchase an adapter. Adapters can be bought at all major international transport hubs and some major shopping centres or travel shops.

    Do I need a visa to travel to Spain?

    Spain is a member of the European Union and forms part of the Schengen area. If your country of origin also forms part of the Schengen area, then you may not require a visa. Some other non-EU countries also have agreements in place with Spain, allowing you to travel visa free. We would recommend contacting your countries consulate to get up-to-date information on visa requirements and travel restrictions. You should do this before you travel to Spain.

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