You can find several car hire companies dotted throughout the Costa Brava region. For convenience, you could choose a rental directly from Barcelona Airport (BCN) or alternatively, Girona Airport (GRO) which is located nearer to the northern Costa Brava resorts. Connections for major routes are generally good in both locations, however, bear in mind, if you chose to rent locally, the hire offices will tend to fall within regular Spanish opening times, unlike the airports.
As the Costa Brava region is not so far from the French border, you may be considering driving between the two countries on your road trip. If this is the case, you should check with your chosen provider for additional cross border fees which usually entails either a daily fee or a one-off payment to cover you for insurance purposes. It is not necessarily illegal to take a vehicle over the border, but it is illegal to drive without the correct insurance policy which covers both countries.
Wearing a seatbelt in Spain is a mandatory requirement for all passengers. Also, children under 135cms in height are not able to sit in the front passenger seat and must have an approved car seat arrangement up until they reach 150 cm.
If you are unlucky enough to be hit with a parking fine in the Costa Brava, it is worth knowing that you can reduce the fine by 50% if it is paid within the first 20 days following the offence. Payments can be made either at a Spanish Post Office or at any branch of La Caixa bank. If you have received the fine through the post, rather than a parking ticket, you can also choose to pay online or by phone with a credit or debit card.
Book your rental car in Costa Brava at least 1 day before your trip in order to get a below-average price
FAQs about hiring a car in Costa Brava
Car hire in the Costa Brava region will give you many advantages for exploring this diverse region of Spain from the mountainous northern regions of Catalonia to the vibrant cities of Barcelona and Girona, and the long stretches of coastline, where you can discover bustling resort towns or more secluded coves along the Mediterranean coast. The coastline stretches all the way up to the French border in the north and connects down to the Costa Blanca region in the south, which gives you endless opportunities for exploration in the comfort of your own vehicle, without the need to rely on busy public transport and timetables.
The Costa Brava road networks are numerous and well-maintained, meaning you can have an enjoyable journey with the freedom to connect to many places. Most roads are toll free, although you may find a few motorways which include tolls of varying costs, which can be paid by cash or with credit card. Be aware of parking restrictions, especially in the cities and busier tourist resorts as they are not easily identified. A general rule is to look out for the no parking arrow signs or check for parking meters nearby. Driving is on the right-hand side of the road in Spain and the region of Catalonia is generally considered to be courteous in terms of driving, as opposed to some other areas of Spain. Do not be surprised to see cars parked bumper to bumper with rarely any space to get out and many a dent in the bodyworks, so you may want to bear this in mind with your hire vehicle.
To hire a car in Spain, you will need to be at least 21 years of age. Expect to pay higher rates or a surcharge however, if you are under 25 years old. You will need a full valid driving licence and an International Driving Permit to comply with EU regulations if you are outside of the European Union, which now includes the United Kingdom. You must also have held your licence for at least one year and it is advisable to provide another form of ID such as a passport.
Based on ratings and reviews from real users on KAYAK, the best car hire companies in Costa Brava are Silvercar (8.7, 129 reviews), Driving Force (8.6, 180 reviews), and Apex (8.5, 74 reviews).