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Driving in Spain - June/July 2017

Driving in Spain - June/July 2017

Old Jun 1, 17, 5:46 pm
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Driving in Spain - June/July 2017

Hey everyone -

I will be in Spain for the better part of a month (June thru July) and I am a complete novice on renting, driving, etc., city by city.

My first "road trip" is planned for Alicante to Granada and from Granada to Seville.

1) how difficult are driving conditions in Spain (or in this region of Spain)?

2) should I train vs drive?

3) what am I not asking

Thanks in advance ...
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Old Jun 2, 17, 3:36 am
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1) Driving in general is fairly easy in Spain as things are (generally) well signed and while people may go fast, people are usually pretty good about staying right and all that. You'll probably want a GPS and of those place, particularly Granada can have some narrow streets if you're not comfortable with that.

2) Driving is a good option here. Trains are good, but don't really do the route you want too well.

3) If your hotel is in the center of the city, definitely ask about parking and any restrictions. You may have to let them know the number plate of the car to be allowed into the restricted areas of the city. And again, definitely get a GPS.
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Old Jun 3, 17, 3:52 pm
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Do you know how to drive a standard transmission? That's what most cars are - automatics are super expensive.
Have you ever driven in Europe? Then the conditions are similar to most other European countries.
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Old Jun 6, 17, 10:00 am
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Originally Posted by LupineChemist View Post
1) Driving in general is fairly easy in Spain as things are (generally) well signed and while people may go fast, people are usually pretty good about staying right and all that. You'll probably want a GPS and of those place, particularly Granada can have some narrow streets if you're not comfortable with that.

2) Driving is a good option here. Trains are good, but don't really do the route you want too well.

3) If your hotel is in the center of the city, definitely ask about parking and any restrictions. You may have to let them know the number plate of the car to be allowed into the restricted areas of the city. And again, definitely get a GPS.
GPS is a great idea. Figured having Waze would (also?) suffice.

With respect to the hotel, I did look at one AirBnB and it stated I'd need to park 10 mins away for free. Kind of odd. Decided to stay at nice hotel with parking instead.

Originally Posted by Palal View Post
Do you know how to drive a standard transmission? That's what most cars are - automatics are super expensive.
Have you ever driven in Europe? Then the conditions are similar to most other European countries.
Never driven in other EU countries. But I am comfortable with stick shift.

We are trying to secure the largest/reasonable car right now.

Thanks for your replies and thoughts ...
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Old Jun 6, 17, 10:13 am
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Just got back from there. Roads are very good, stick to the speed limits as they have cameras. If you are renting a car at the rental counter they will likely try and upsell you insurance. I do not know what you will do to cover any excess/damage on the vehicle. I have no connection with either of these, but to rent the car I went through rentalcars.com and rented from Goldcar. At the Goldcar counter they will try to sell you their insurance and my assumption is that all car rental companies will do the same. So, I took out an annual policy with a company that covers any excess and damage which was less than the price that rentalcars.com wanted to offer me for their "full protection". So what I am saying is that you might want to have a look around.

The other thing is to make sure you know whether your car is diesel or petrol before you fill up !
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Old Jun 6, 17, 10:25 am
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Originally Posted by nhila View Post
Never driven in other EU countries. But I am comfortable with stick shift.
And that means what in terms of driving experience?
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Old Jun 6, 17, 3:02 pm
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Originally Posted by nhila View Post
We are trying to secure the largest/reasonable car right now.
This is not the US, don't go for the largest as parking will become an issue. Get something like a class C car.

Someone upthread mentioned Goldcar - they're not a very honest provider as their lowest prices include all sorts of hidden costs.
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Old Jun 6, 17, 3:31 pm
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Originally Posted by Palal View Post
This is not the US, don't go for the largest as parking will become an issue. Get something like a class C car.

Someone upthread mentioned Goldcar - they're not a very honest provider as their lowest prices include all sorts of hidden costs.
I mentioned them. They always try to upsell their insurance/protection for sure, but what are the hidden costs? I paid $75 USD for a Nissan Qashqai for 6 days - no hidden costs, had excess protected via a third party. They ringfenced the excess on the credit card, but nothing else that I have ever found now or in the past. What is your experience?
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Old Jun 6, 17, 4:37 pm
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I would not recommend using Goldcar either. I had a very poor experience with them. I got a flat tire (completely flat), and the spare included was not good for driving very far. They told me I needed to drive back to one of their offices to get a new one, and that was more than 100 miles away. I was not comfortable driving that far on a very poor tire and so had to go to a tire shop at my own expense. They might be a little cheaper, but I think that could cost you in the end.
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Old Jun 6, 17, 5:57 pm
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From what I remember they have a fuel charge scam for their lowest rates.

FYI I routinely book from consolidator sites such as rental-cars and economycarrentals but always check fuel policies (and read the reviews) before booking. I've had lots of rentals from no-name local places without any problems as well as problems with local franchises of brand names - so it really depends on the provider.
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Old Jun 7, 17, 12:10 am
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Goldcar does ringfence the damage cost but the other thing they do is if there is any damage, they will just charge you and then it's up to you if you have third party coverage or not.

I'm currently in a dispute with them with my credit card over some dodge damage since they made me sign the damage report in the terminal and then rushed me out of the parking lot so I didn't get more than a cursory look. Turns out a wheel was scratched but in a way that would have been impossible for how I drove that day.
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Old Jun 7, 17, 12:49 am
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I hear you about Goldcars and sorry to hear about your experiences with them. Although I haven't had a bad experience (fuel, allegations of damage, and so on) I will certainly think twice the next time. I will admit to going around the car and videoing it when I handed the car back in just in case, and have been watching my credit card like a hawk just in case.

On the positive side, and for the future, is there any in Spain that you would certainly recommend based on something that happened and them doing "the right thing" with little or no fuss?
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Old Jun 7, 17, 9:32 am
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There are a couple U.S. car companies that operate, such as National (called Europcar in Spain) and Avis.
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Old Jun 7, 17, 3:22 pm
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Originally Posted by spainlover View Post
... such as National (called Europcar in Spain)
Nitpick: Europcar is a completely different company. The bought the Europe division of Alamo and National and there's probably a cooperation agreement in place, which is frequent in some countries (particularly Japan).
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Old Jun 7, 17, 4:01 pm
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Originally Posted by WorldLux View Post
And that means what in terms of driving experience?
My intention was to share that even though I am an Automatic driver, I do know how to work a stick shift.

(I couldn't tell you the last time I was in a car here in the states that had a stick)

Regardless, I was taught how to drive on one, and my 1st two cars were SS so I am comfortable if I need to rent one
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