You have chosen to go on a vacation in Barcelona and you are debating whether to rent a car? Do you need a car to tour only in the city? And how to find the best offer for you?
The purpose of this page is to help you decide whether and how to rent a car in Barcelona and in northern Spain and how to help you find the best offer.
Do You Need a Car in Barcelona?
The answer to this question varies from one tourist to another, and the main question you have to ask yourself is whether you plan to go out for tours outside of Barcelona or not?
If you plan to explore only the streets of Barcelona or even just drive to the Teatro Museo Dalí (Dalí Theatre and Museum) in Figueres or Montserrat – you absolutely do not need to rent a car!.
Just imagine the Gothic Quarter or La Rambla – The streets are small and crowded, there is no parking and the main roads are jammed. In addition, there is an excellent and efficient public transportation within the city (for additional information – Public Transportation in Barcelona).
There is a small exception when it comes to those who arrive in Barcelona for business or diplomatic reasons – then your considerations are certainly different, and it is worthwhile to decide according to the purpose of the trip and the sites you will visit.
When Should You Rent a Car in Barcelona?
When traveling in Spain, whether it’s the Pyrenees, Andorra, around the beautiful Catalonia or in Costa Brava – it is best recommended to drive a car in order to enjoy the tour properly and to be free to travel as you wish.
How to Get the Best Price?
Renting a car in the last minute, after arriving to the city, is definitely something you should avoid – many hotels are charging high commissions for this service, and for a touristic city as Barcelona – there are plenty of options to book a car online and to compare between the different offers of the different companies.
Car rental services in the Internet world have become very competitive and now allow cheap orders from home with local suppliers in comfort and simplicity. Customers can (and should) take advantage of that.
After reviewing several price comparison platforms over the course of a year, we chose to cooperate with Rentalcars.com, which will allow anyone to find the best offer. This site belongs to Jackson Travel, from the global tourism giant Priceline (which operates the largest hotel reservation sites in the world, such as Booking.com and Agoda.com).
In order to find the best price for a rented car in Barcelona it is recommended to follow the next four steps:
- What is more important to you? there are various parameters that greatly influence the cost of the vehicle. Think about what you can give up in order to get a cheaper car and what are the things you are not willing to compromise on.
- Manual gearbox? Manual gearbox greatly reduces the price, both of the vehicle and of the fuel. Excellent for traveling on the coast of the Costa Brava, but less recommended for those who prefer the mountainous Andorra.
- Air conditioning? Unlike other European destinations, it is not advisable to give up air conditioning in Barcelona, where the weather is mostly warm (for additional information – Weather in Barcelona).
- Number of doors? This parameter depends mainly on the number of passengers and your luggage.
- Location of the pick-up station – in Barcelona there are over 18 different pick-up areas, and sometimes a central pick-up location will be cheaper than pick-up at the airport. Returning the vehicle at a different drop-off point from the pick-up point will often cost an additional fee.
- Insurance? it is not recommended to skip on the insurance, not in Barcelona or at any other destination. One of the reasons we chose Rentalcars.com is the fact that they offer in many situations a theft insurance and a full damage cover includes in the final price!
- The type of the vehicle and the its magnificence.
- Understand the price range: Every tourist who searches for a vehicle has a question: What is the best bid for my needs? Car rental prices vary from season to season and by vehicle type. Enter your details in the search engine above and the Rentalcars.com system will search for you the best offers to rent a car from a variety of suppliers (Hertz, Avis, Europcar, Local suppliers etc.).
- Compare bids: Check the bids offered by the different companies. Compare the results and choose the one that works best for you.
- Now all you have left is to order! Place your order in the simplest way possible with a credit card, from home.
Pick-up Locations in Barcelona
In Barcelona there are over 18 areas where the offices of major car rental companies are located. The main rental areas of Barcelona, to which most of the tourists arrive, are:
- El Prat Airport, which is outside the city (about half an hour drive, for more information read about the Airport in Barcelona). If you are booking a car at the airport of the city, please note that you are ordering the vehicle at the correct terminal where your flight is landing in order to avoid a serious trip through the terminals.
- Plaça d’Espanya area and Barcelona’s main train station). This area is the most common area for car rental other than the airport. Note that some of the companies are located on the rooftops and hard to find. Take the address of the place, and talk with the contact person to understand exactly where is the pick-up location.
This information is valid for Barcelona and Spain (for additional information – Car Rental in Spain).
- Usually there is a requirement for a minimum age of 21, and at least one year on the road.
- Drivers over 25 years old has no limits on the license.
Important Traffic Laws in Barcelona:
- Speed limit – 50 Kph on urban roads, 55-90 Kph on inter-urban highway and 74-120 Kph on Speedway.
- In Spain you drive on the right side of the road and overtaking from the left.
Fuel in Barcelona:
- Gas stations are usually open from 08:00 am to 08:00 pm, the price of fuel is between 1.10 to 1.30 Euros per liter.
Parking in Barcelona:
- Green – For city residents only (08:00 am to 08:00 pm).
- Blue – Parking for all vehicles, limited up to 4 hours. There are different prices, from 1.08 Euros to 2.94 Euros, depending on the exact spot you have parked, with most areas free parking at night between 08:00 am and 08:00 pm.
- Yellow – This area is designated for loading and unloading during the day, between 08:00 pm to 08:00 am parking is free of charge.
For additional information – Hotels with Parking in Barcelona.