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Car rental is a nice option for moving around this beautiful country. It´s very easy to rent a car in Spain.
The advantage of using a car is that you can move around from Costa Blanca to Costa Del Sol without having to worry about the expensive costs of using a taxi or the discomfort of public transport. You can also use the car for going from the city center to the airport once you are leaving the city, as car rental companies operate also within the airport.
With the current recession, car hire companies in Spain are not renewing their fleets; therefore during the busy months there is a shortage of hire cars, and unless you book as early as possible, they can sometimes cost twice as much as normal. As soon as you know what your travel arrangements are, reserve your car to get the best possible price.
There are big multinationals like Hertz , Avis, Budget... A lot of negative feeback was received for the company Record Rent a Car ( see comments below and at http://www.reviewcentre.com/reviews76...
Be careful with the fuel and CDW policies which can add huge amounts to the headline rental cost.
Some of the cheaper operators have a "bring back empty" fuel policy and charge you for a full tank of fuel at the start of the rental. This is OK as long as you are aware of it and don't mistakenly fill the tank up before you return it and also if you are renting for a couple of weeks. However, if you're renting for the weekend only you will probably bring the vehicle back with 3/4 of the tank still full and you will lose the cost of the fuel.
Also be careful for CDW/ theft/breakdown surcharges. Some of the cheaper companies charge E15 per day for this. You can either take the risk (they will want another E600 from your credit card to pay for possible damage) or buy an annual CDW policy for about E65 for the whole year. Some car hire companies offer cars online with a promise of full excess cover. This is not actually the case and only partly covers you. When you arrive to collect the car you find a further level of excess is on offer at the desk; a rather essential element in Spain involving tyres and glass!. This company is not cheap when all the extra cost is added on.You are much better off taking a full excess cover policy with a British firm before you leave. Not only will it be cheaper than the rate you are offered in Spain but it will last for a full year and cover all your other car hire over that period. Don't be fooled by claims that excesses are completely covered, it's just a hidden charge.
When renting from airports with more than one terminal such as Barcelona, make sure your car hire pick up is at your arrival terminal and not the other terminal.
BE AWARE!Car hire fuel rip off charges
People being outrageously scammed by car rental operators (RECORD RENT A CAR) seem too ready to suck it up. The demand for €99 euros for full tank of diesel on a Seat Ibiza from GOLDSTAR at Gerona airport was specifically asked for as payment for fuel. Local pump prices quickly show to fill 45 litre tank the true cost was €63. This is therefore fraudulent misrepresentation! This kind of naked profiteering is outlawed by EU statute - don't sit back and wait for the men in Brussels to fight your battle!
Complain long and loud to the rental firms operating the full on pick up (surcharged to you at 30%) and return empty policy. Name the guilty companies and write to relevant trading standards depts. It is always good to complain long and loud at airport rental desks. Demand to know the policy in operation from on-line consolidators and then decline to give them your business, and tell them why.