20 sept 2018

Driving and Renting a Car in Madrid

I have to admit not owning a car while living in Madrid is wonderful, but there are a couple times I thought having an SUV to pile a bunch of recent purchases from IKEA might not be a bad idea. An another time is when you plan to tour a couple of cities outside of Madird. My husband calculated the time vs value of taking the train to a destination vs. renting a car. We found that for most daytrips, where the train trip was less than two hours each way, it was more economical and easier to take the train. If however you want to combine seeing a couple of small cities or pueblos into a long weekend or an even longer trip, then renting a car is the way to go.

After searching online for our last car rental, we went with Avis. They were at the time the most economical and they offer unlimited mileage, and for 13 euros extra a day you can rent a GPS. This is something that I strongly recommend because all of the roads even the autopistas or highways are not well marked. Plus, getting in and out of a city, no matter how small, and back on the highway can be difficult. Avis has pick up sites in Terminal One of the Madrid Airport (also Hertz and Europcar) as well as sixteen other locations in Madrid. Also, some pickup sites costs more than others, and you usually need to return the car to the same pickup site.

For another trip we went with Eurocar, because we we’re renting two cars for a trip, so they were the more economical choice. They also have a pick up site near Plaza de Castilla, which is quick metro ride from most barrios or neighborhoods in Central Madrid.

For all car rentals they require a valid driver’s license and a valid passport, visa, or NIE card. Some require that you have proof of insurance, otherwise they may ask you to pay for the additional insurance. Also, if you prefer a Diesel engine, you need to specify when you make the reservation, and remember almost all the cars rented in Madrid are five speeds.

The speed limits are clearly posted, usually 120km/hr on the highway, and anywhere from 20 to 80 km/hr in the city (plus the GPS here have radar detectors). The roundabouts for us were the most confusing part. We just learned to yield to your neighbor on the left, hold your breath and enter the round about, and stay in the outside lane so it’s easy to exit.
  • Car rental Agencies: Avis Aeropuerto De Madrid Madrid, 28042 , ES (34) 902 200162 (other Madrid locations)
  • Eurocar many Madrid locations

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