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Driving in Madrid

Spain’s driving rules

To drive in Spain, you must be 18 years old to drive, but you must be 21 to rent a car. Visitors from outside the EU also need an international driving permit, which is a translated copy of your driver’s license. You can get one at AAA before you leave for your trip. Make sure to use a hands-free system if you need to make a call, as talking on your mobile while driving is a no-no in Spain.

Picking up a rental car at the Madrid airport

It’s easy to pick up at your car when you arrive at the Madrid-Barajas airport. Just follow the signs to find your rental agency. You’ll need to show your international driving permit, passport, and major credit card. You’ll also want to either purchase insurance from your agent or use the plan you have back home.

Drive a rental car from Madrid to Barcelona

Hoping to hit the coast while you’re in Spain? Jump in your rental car and drive to Barcelona it’s about 6 hours to the northeast of Madrid. If you have time to spare, stop along the way and experience more of the country. Swim at the Fuente de los Baños hot springs, or take a dip in the stunning pink lake Laguna Salada de Torrevieja—both are great spots to stop in between Madrid and Barcelona. The memories—and photographs—will be worth the detour!

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