Things you need to know before Renting a Car in Marbella

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The best way to explore Marbella and the Costa del Sol when holidaying

Car rental is the best way to explore the Marbella area and the Costa Del Sol region in general. Here there are plenty of car hire companies with fantastic rates and a range of vehicles to choose from.

Make a comparison and check out the latest deals here

Below you can find tips on driving in Spain, the best scenic roads to scout out, those all-important documents you need for car hire, what to do when encountering tolls, and how to search for the best car hire deals in Marbella.

Why hire a car in Marbella
Marbella and the surrounding area may seem small, however, it offers so much to see from behind a wheel from ocean drives to Fuengirola to the east, the views to Africa and the grand beaches of Tarifa in the west; winding mountain roads to Monda in the northeast and Ronda in north-west; or, venture a little inland to see the picturesque villages of Benahavis, Casares, Mijas and beyond.

Travelling around Marbella is easy. The A7 motorway runs the length of the coast with stunning views around every corner or, if you want to skip some of the traffic then the AP7 (toll road) runs parallel.  These two main artery roads within the Costa del Sol take you whenever your heart desires!  Along the A7 there are beaches at every turn or just take one of the exits and head inland for 10 – 15 minutes and you will find the wonders of the Spanish countryside.

Of course, there is public transport available to all, however, why limit yourselves to inflexible timetables and uncomfortable journeys? Feel the wind in your hair, and enjoy the freedom of travel where you want and when you want! Choosing to hire a car opens up all those inaccessible places, allowing you to sample the best of Andalucia.

If you are staying in a holiday rental villa you will always need a hire car for those everyday trips, supermarket runs, restaurants and beach visits, as a lot of these villas may be located in a resort and not have amenities on your doorstep.

Car prices are competitive in Marbella. The seasons do affect the cost of course due to demand so booking in advance is key to getting those great deals. Leaving this to the last minute can dampen any plans you may have.

How to book a hire car in Marbella
Always use a comparison website. Check the types of cars and rates you are happy pay. You will easily find different deals, prices and insurance to suit your needs. There are a few further things to consider before making a decision such as...
How long you want your car? Where do you want to pick up your car from? Who is going to drive the car? If you have children travelling- do you need booster seats?  All of these things affect the pricing so it's important to consider them before making a selection.

Remember if you find that great deal months in advance our advice would be to book it!! You can always cancel it up to a set number of days before your holiday free of charge, obviously check the small print with your hire company but generally leaving car hire until the last minute isn't a good idea.

Rates do regularly change depending on the season, booking in advance is always a good idea as the closer it gets to high seasons the high the price will be. The is no such thing as waiting for a last-minute deal with car rental it will normally ends in not having a car or pay over the standard rate.

Documents you need to hire a car in Spain
1. Driving Licence
A valid and current driving licence is needed to hire any car in Spain. EU Licenses are accepted, thisneeds to a photo licence. UK Licences are accepted as a tourist (non-residence), currently, you do not need an International driving permit (IDP).
2. Passport or Photo ID
A valid passport or a National ID card or EU ID card.
3. Credit Card
Nearly all companies require a credit card when hiring a car, this should be in the name of the main driver of the car. Visa and Mastercard are commonly accepted, check first with the hire company for others such as Amex. Debit cards are not widely accepted (in case of further charges)

Do I need an International Driving License?
In simple terms no, this applies only if your trip is longer than six months. If crossing borders always check with the hirer company.

Do you need a credit card to hire a car in Spain?
Yes, as there will be an insurance deductible hold on the card for the duration of the hire and removed once the car is returned successfully.

Do you need an international driving permit?
As a British tourist no, in line with the UK government website, as long as your trip is no more than six months. However, if you have an old paper UK driving licence you will need to have one as the permit has a photo ID. EU citizens do not need a permit.

Is there a minimum or max age to hire a car in Spain?
The minimum age to rent a car in Spain is 21, however, most car hire companies make the age restriction 23. There is no maximum age, however, if one is under 25 there is usually a charge of around 20 euros a day, depending on the rental car company.

Collecting your hire car or accessing the delivery
Always check the paperwork is what you have requested when booking. Ask if they have included all you have requested if you do not see it written, as there could be an error and you don’t want to one be paying for something you don’t need or two get caught out on something you do need that has not been included.
Check your hire car over thoroughly, look for scratches, dents, bring anything you demean as abnormal to the attention of the employee. Even video the car from all angles when collecting, as proof if you get charged for something that has been done to the car by a previous renter.
Finally check the safety equipment in the car, there needs to be a safety vest for each possible occupant and two warning triangles for car safety in a breakdown situation. Also make sure you have a copy of your rental agreement with you in the car, as you should have this when driving.

How to return your hire car
You should return your car to the location you picked it up from unless agreed otherwise. Most car hire companies have a full-to-full fuel policy, so make your last stop is the closest petrol station on route to the drop off point. If returning your car to Malaga Airport, there is a BP petrol station on the roundabout just before entering the final road to the entrance of the airport. If you choose to return your car with less than a full tank of fuel, you will most likely be charged a high fuel price and an administration fee on top!

Most insurance for hire cars is generally, loss, Damage waiver and third-party liability for the quoted rate of hiring your car. You can choose other options if you want. Your rental rate will change from your booking.

What type of car should I choose?
Depending on the number of people you are travelling with and the number of bags you have packed will depend on the size of the car you need. A medium size car for a group of 4 people is advisable in Marbella. Parking can be tricky in Marbella, especially in summer, for larger cars and of course, these will be more economical to refill.

Automatic or Manual?
Both options are available, the automatic always being more expensive, do make sure you have a manual driving licence if you choose a manual hire car as you can only drive a manual car on a manual licence not both.

Toll roads and how to pay them
In the area of Andalusia, there is one main toll road AP7 which can take you from the airport directly to Marbella. This is payable at the booths along the road and if you come off before the main one there will be a small booth on the slip road off. You can pay these in cash or via credit card. You can purchase a VIA – T electronic toll if you are here for a while, just to make your things easier and avoid queues but these are linked to bank accounts so generally it is just a resident that invests in one.

Baby and Child seats in your hire car
Spanish law states a baby or child should be secured by a safety seat up to the age of 12. If they are under 5 foot tall they also have to sit in the back of the car. This is a mandatory law.

Driving in Spain – Quick round-up
 Always have the rental agreement in the hire car
 Always have your driving license and ID with you
 Seat belts must be worn in the front and back of the car
 Always have access to the high-vis vests and warning triangles
 Always make sure your pet is securely restrained in the car
 Driving in Spain is on the right and property of right of way is to be given to the right
 Generally, one-lane roads in urban areas in Spain have a 30 KPH speed limit, with two
lanes having 50 KMP
 Motorway speed limits are 120 KMP (minimum speed of 60 KMP)
 Drinking and driving is not tolerated in Spain the legal limit is 0.5 milligrams per millilitre
of blood so essentially ZERO tolerance and best to avoid a drink completely if you are getting behind a wheel
 Using a mobile phone whilst driving in Spain is prohibited and carries a 200 euro fine