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Driving in Spain is easy as the roads are in good condition and well signed, and there's no better way to visit small and medium sized cities. All the major car rental companies are represented at most airports and in most cities, and there are several local companies which vary by region.
It is very important to get more than one price quote, to be sure you know the insurance options, to check the reputation of the car company and to book ahead. Only accept the full-out / return-full fuel option. If you have an AMEX card, use the Premium Car Rental Protection service. DO NOT BOOK A CAR WITHOUT KNOWING WHICH RENTAL COMPANY PROVIDES THE CAR. On pick-up, make sure ALL damage is noted on the 'Condition Report'. Photograph the car well on pick up and drop off, including the fuel gauge and keep the last gasoline receipt.
Widely Available in Spain are the reputable chains:
Note: Goldcar, Locauto, Firefly, and Advantage have numerous complaints on the TA Forums.
Car Rental Broker Listings Not Allowed Here
When hiring a car in Spain beware of the change in car insurance that several car hire companies have now introduced. They used to offer full insurance with zero excess. Now they have removed the zero excess element and just say full insurance. They will now take a deposit of up to 1200 euro on your card which you will lose if you damage the car at all even if it is not your fault even scratches. When you return the car it will have to be inspected before your deposit is returned. Beware of hire companies offering just full insurance. Beware of the Companies who block as much as 1500 euros on your credit card to cover any damage even though you have taken out their full insurance cover.
Note: There is a very hard sell to take the additional insurance at approx 18 euro/day, even if you have full cover taken out through an insurance broker in advance. When hired with Firefly at Malaga Airport in July 2016 ended up, practically forced, to be needlessly double insured - 165 euros with Firefly and the 100 euros already insured through UK insurance company. The tactics covered: You are not covered for breakdown, even if mechanical failure of the car. Will not recover you if the car breaksdown for any reason. The airline you hired the car through cannot offer the insurance. There are problems with your credit card taking a large deposit, so you need to pay the additional 165 euros.