Car rental Madrid
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Why rent a car in Madrid?
Madrid is a great place to visit by car. Historic and impressive yet cozy and hospitable, it has countless sites to visit and things to try. Being in the very center of Spain, Madrid also provides easy access to its unique cultural regions.
Top ways to enter Madrid
- Madrid Barajas Airport: One of the busiest in Europe, Madrid Airport offers connects to virtually all European countries, as well as many destinations in Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
- Valladolid Airport: Although much smaller than Madrid Barajas and mainly active during the summer months, this cozy airport provides great connections with other destinations in Spain and is just two hours drive north of the capital.
- By rail: If you’re arriving in Madrid by train, you can conveniently pick up a rental car at Madrid Atocha Railway Station and Madrid Chamartin Railway Station.
Useful city facts
- The main language of Madrid is, of course, Spanish. Many locals also speak English, especially those working in the service industry.
- Since Madrid is further away from the sea and at a higher elevation than other large Spanish cities like Barcelona or Valencia, the winters can be colder, with frost and snow sometimes occurring (although rain is rare). The summers can be very hot, and the weather is the mildest in autumn and spring.
- Madrid is made up of 21 districts that are further divided into barrios or wards.
Top destinations and activities
- The Prado Museum. One of the most famous ones in the world, Spain’s national art museum features works of Francisco Goya, El Greco, Hieronymus Bosch, Peter Paul Rubens, and many others. Museo del Prado is part of Madrid’s museum district and you’ll also find the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, the Reina Sofia Museum, and other museums here.
- Puerta del Sol. Sometimes referred to as the heart of Madrid, this plaza is the most active part of the capital city and has landmarks like the statue of the Bear and the Strawberry Tree and the famous clock tower of the Royal Post Office.
- Mercado de San Miguel. The famous indoor market is the best place to stack up on truly Spanish delicacies like dried ham and wine, as well as vegetables and fruits, and to experience the everyday atmosphere of Madrid.
Traffic and parking tips
- Speed limits - 50km/h (31mph) in built-up areas, 90km/h (56mph) on most standard roads, 100km/h (62mph) on standard roads that are either one-way roads, roads with more than two lanes for at least one direction of traffic and roads with shoulders more than 1.5m wide, and 120km/h (74mph) on motorways (called autovías in Spain).
- The car documentation and insurance always has to be inside a vehicle.
- The driver and all passengers are required to wear seatbelts.
- Children up to the age of 12 and measuring less than 135cm travelling on the front seat of a car must be seated in a child restraint system adapted to their size and weight.
- Unnecessary use of audible warning devices (horns) is prohibited.
- The legal alcohol limit is 0.05% for experienced drivers and 0.02% for novice drivers.
- The emergency number is 112.
Most of the roads inside the country are toll-free. Toll roads are called ‘carretera de peaje’. On maps and road signs, all toll roads have to include a letter P after the road type. The payment method may vary depending on the road, but most will accept cash. Regardless of the region, the average estimated price is €9.5 ($11.25) per 100km by car. See the official website for prices and more information.
Ideas for a day-trip
- Toledo: Just an hour’s drive south of Madrid, this cozy city on Tagus River is full of history and can be experienced at a much slower pace than the capital.
- Cuenca Alta Manzanares Regional Park: Full of hiking trails, small lakes and cliff boulders, this nature area is a place where you can observe large birds like pilgrim hawks and griffon vultures.
- Sierra de Gredos: Low in population, but full of stunning views, this mountain range is a great place to explore and relax in when you get overwhelmed by everything that Madrid has to offer.
- Slamanca: Taking just two and a half hours to reach by car form Madrid, Salamanca is one of the most spectacular renaissance cities in Europe.
Most popular rental types and cars
The most popular rental car in Spain is the Ford Fiesta, followed by the Fiat 500 and the Ford Focus. The most popular car types are economy, compact and mini.
- Andalusia: Unique in culture, cuisine, and mentality, this nearby region in Southern Spain has everything from long beaches along the Mediterranean to ancient cities like Granada and Cordoba.
- Northwest Spain: Castile and Leon, Asturias, and Galicia are sometimes overlooked by international travelers, but these three regions have plenty to offer if you explore them at a slower pace.
- Portugal: From cities like Porto and Lisbon to wine-making Alentejo and wild Algarve, Spain’s smaller neighbor can be just as fascinating.
How can I save money on my rental car?
- There’s many things you can do to get a good rental car deal in the capital of Spain:
- Compare rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit on the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Madrid is the cheapest in January when renting a car is about 23% cheaper than the yearly average.
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Top 20 Locations near Madrid
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