Driving in Spain and hiring a car
This brings us to the general subject of car hire in Spain. These days we only use a car hired from a family run business in Alicante, but they will also bring a car to Murcia airport. No hidden extras, your quote is what you pay, and no long wait at the airport to fill out forms.www.edirentacar.com have looked after our needs for many years now.
The big car hire companies are well known for adding ‘extras’ to your bill. You arrive at the airport, queue for 40 minutes with 3 bored children, desperate for a decent cuppa and weary from the hours of travel. When you finally get to the desk you have to confirm all the information already supplied, then you get offered an ‘up-grade’ and you say no. They make the up-grade sound more attractive and you feel awkward still saying no. Then they say there is extra insurance cover required for the windscreen and tyres, or whatever, but there is always an extra. And don’t forget the charge for the child seats required by Spanish law. And they want your credit card details for the deposit.
Then you pay for a full tank of fuel, being told to return the car with an empty tank. Everyone knows that there is no way you will risk running out of fuel on the way back to the airport so every car is returned with some fuel in the tank, so why should you pay for a whole tank? If you are only visiting for short time, or only doing local trips to the shops and beach, you probably won’t use a whole tank of fuel. However if you do need to refill the tank the chances are you will find the same value in fuel for which you were charged at the airport won’t actually all fit into the tank!
The targeting of hire cars is the subject matter of several newspaper articles each year, both by the criminals and the traffic police. You are advertising by the un-removable sticker on the car that you are probably on your holiday, so relaxed about personal security and unsure of the Spanish road laws, making you an easy target. Removing the sticker will mean damaging the paintwork and therefore being ‘fined’ for damaging the car by the hire car company. The rules are simple: never leave valuables on display, no matter what the temperature shut all windows and lock the car when not in it, drive according to road conditions and within speed limits, wear your seat belt, carry your documents (if you can, also keep a photocopy back at your accommodation), the driver must carry his/her passport, spare glasses and wear sensible footwear for driving. After collecting your car from the airport drive straight to your accommodation and don’t at any time leave all your cases and belongings unattended in the car if you have to stop en route for refreshments.
Best advice, use local, small, recommended businesses rather than the big companies. If you become a regular customer they will look after you.