Car rental in Spain


Apr 5th, 2011, 04:19 PM
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Car rental in Spain

We will be spending a week in Costa Del Sol at end of May. It looks like from reading the forum that it is recommended to rent a car so that we can move around more easily. We will be flying into Malaga. My question is is it better to rent at the airport or somewhere local and do the rentals include unlimited mileage. Should we rent online prior to arriving there or can it be done upon arrival, which is better. Also, can we use our car insurance in US or are we required to get European car insurance? Has anyone had a bad experience renting a car in Spain?

Thanks for any suggestions or recommendations.
panda2ac is offline  
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Apr 5th, 2011, 04:30 PM
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If you need a car or not depends on your itinerary and where you will be staying (center cities? outskirts?small towns?).

If yo are renting a car you should get it at the airport - for the best chance of the type of vehicle you want - esp if you want an automatic. Definitely shop around for the best deal and reserve in advance. For insurance you need to check your credit cards to see what coverage it provides. I have never heard of a US insurance company that will cover a rental car in europe.
nytraveler is offline  
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Apr 5th, 2011, 04:31 PM
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Oh - and be sure all of the quotes you get include taxes and whatever insurance you may decide to buy - so you aren;t comparing apples and oranges.
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Apr 6th, 2011, 06:50 AM
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If you book beforehand on a site like carjet or autoeurope you will get a very good price. If you wait until you arrive in Spain you will pay a lot more.
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Apr 6th, 2011, 06:55 AM
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Egbert is correct. Rent you car before you go. It is much cheaper and you will have better choices on the car you want. I always use They are a broker based in the States and I have used them for years all over Europe. Also, it is more expensive to pick up a car at the airport.

Have a great trip. I will be in the Costa del Sol as well in May with a rental car pre-booked.
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Apr 6th, 2011, 11:42 AM
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Thank you for your replies and suggestions.

Ich7326, when you rent your car thru, do you get insurance through them and do you get both collision and basic liability?
panda2ac is offline  
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Apr 6th, 2011, 12:10 PM
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Check with Autoeurope or Kemwel to see if they offer a "basic" rate for Spain. If so, your Visa or Mastercard will probably carry the CDW, although there is some discussion whether a deductible is involved or not--it is not with mine. This probably would be the cheapest rental with full coverage and unlimited mileage. A heads up: some have reported cheaper rates from the European branches of Autoeurope, but when I looked at the French site, it had a deductible and the mileage was not unlimited.

If the above mentioned brokers do not offer a "basic" rate, the will probably offer the best rate, with no deductible in case of accident and unlimited mileage.
Michael is online now  
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Apr 6th, 2011, 04:04 PM
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Panda2ac, I put my rental on my credit card and it carries the CDW. When you go to the Gemut website get their phone number and talk to either Andy or Bob. They will answer all of your questions and give you good advice. They held my hand all the way through my first European rental. It is the only place I use now. Good luck!
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Apr 7th, 2011, 01:25 AM
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In spain you need to watch out for the fuel contitions - a lot of suppliers now charge for a full tank on arrival, at inflated prices, and expect you to return it empty. If you can try and get a full to full policy.

As stated above, check your credit card company to see if they will cover your CDW and TW. If not, then gemut, auto europe and holiday autos etc can quote you an insurance inclusive price. Also watch out for an airport charge - I believe it's around EUR35
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Apr 7th, 2011, 08:39 PM
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We just got back and we rented from Auriga Crown through Cartrawler online. We picked the car up at the Malaga train station. The car was exactly what I picked out online and in good condition. They did charge us up front for a full tank of gas, but we brought the car back full and they immediately refunded us the money. We paid an extra $20.00 Euros for the full insurance and an extra $15.00 for an additional driver. We had a good experience.
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Apr 10th, 2011, 09:51 AM
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Thank you so much for all of the information. I will need to dig in this coming week and make some final plans on where we are visiting, when and where to rent a car and for how long. I will definitely try to book ahead of time.

Thank you Suru11 for posting your recent experience with car rental. If anyone else has recently rented in the Malaga area, please post and let us know of your experience with it. We are not sure yet if we should rent at the airport yet or not. The problem is that my husband and I will be arriving at different times (almost 5 hours apart). So I'm debating on going ahead and getting a transfer and go to the resort first and check in and let my husband pick up the car when he arrives and drive to the resort, or wait for him at the airport and either get a transfer together or pick up a rental at that time. He won't be getting in until about 9PM. We'll be staying at Crown Resorts at Club Marbella which is about 39km from the Malaga airport. There doesn't seem to be an easy way to get there other than using a transfer, taxi or car rental. Has anyone stayed there and had to get there from the airport? If so, what means of transport worked best for you?

Appreciate any input. Thanks!
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Jun 13th, 2011, 12:43 AM
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We had very bad experience with in Alicante. I do not know if it was only some dealer or the main office had bad services, but this should not be our problem as we suppose to get good services. When we arrived in airport nobody was there to wait for us as we were informed in email that somebody will be there. It was really hard for us to manage with kids, tired and after long flight with all the stuff at the airport gate. We did our reservation in detail with exact flight, hour to arrive and hour to bring back the car for the hour of leaving Spain. I left my family waiting and I was searching for somebody representing Solmar in all airport for almost an hour. They are not even bothering answer at any phone they provided in reservation papers. Finally, I found one of their car with the driver not speaking english who thought we are not coming anymore. He was driving us to their office and car parking at 1,5 km from airport to pick the car. Not a nice way to start your holiday. But now it comes the best part. Leaving very early in the morning returning home (we had flight at 7 AM), and being informed that I have to bring the car exactly in the same place, I was really shocked about what happened. They suppose to drive as back to the airport the same way we came. But, surpise, nobody was there in the Torrelano CV-852 direction at 1,5 km from airport at the office and parking place (by the way, difficult to reach). I forgot to say that the man in the office who made us our contract was speaking very good english, so, no way I could understand him wrong. After trying to find a way to contact them with no success, being in the situation to run to catch our flight in that morning we had no choice than leaving the car in the parking place in airport. No call until now from this company. I missed to say that costs for renting were bigger than what was on our reservation because we paid car insurance even if nobody was saying anything about that when we booked. So, RentSpain/Solmar Alicante Spain I would not recommend to anybody traveling to Spain. Nice holiday to you all and have a nice summer!
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Jun 14th, 2011, 04:42 AM
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Autoeurope is fine, last visit to Spain and Andorra, we found out that Avis had a much better offered which Autoeurope graciously matched.

Please note that to be able to cancel your Autoeurope without penalty it has to be done initially by phone not by the internet.
THis means that in the case you forsee the possibility of a cancelation you are better off with a reservation by phone,it might be slightly more expensive than the one by the internet but you can cancell with no charge.
The reservations on the internet can be cancell with no charge only for two or three days after you made them.
We allneed different things and I belileve it is good to know the rules of the game. Anyway check before using them.
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Jun 14th, 2011, 06:05 AM
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Driving from Malaga airport to Marbella is easy.
Just follow signs for Cadiz or Algeciras until you got from the airport premises on motorway A-7.
After 20 or so kilometers, you will come to the only tricky intersection: The road splits into two motorways, one is A-7, the other AP-7. Both have signage to Marbella.
You want to take AP-7, which is a toll road but avoids going through all the resorts like the narrow mini-motorway A-7 does for the next 20kms with often heavy traffic.
You can pay the toll in cash, but have some smaller bills €5 or €10 ready.

If you decide to go to Marbella first, I think the direct bus to Marbella plus taxi from Marbella bus station to your resort would be the most cost-efficient.
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May 14th, 2014, 08:13 AM
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Not all US auto insurance covers in Europe. Ours does not. Be sure to check with your agent.
crckwc1 is offline  
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May 14th, 2014, 08:46 AM
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This is a three-year old post dug up to promote two different car rental agencies by first time posters!
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Oct 9th, 2015, 03:29 AM
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Our research has indicated also that hand controls in Europe definitely can still be a problem. For what it's worth many Americans travel with portable ones but even then they often have to use them without the knowledge of the rental company which is not the best situation. Are hand controls available on rental cars in your country.
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