Driving in Mallorca

Old Aug 27, 17, 4:30 pm
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Driving in Mallorca

I will be visiting in a couple of weeks, and am thinking about renting a car for a day to see more of the island. Anything special or unusual I should know about renting a car there? This will be my first time driving in Spain.
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Old Aug 27, 17, 4:54 pm
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You'll want to pay attention to the fuel policy - see my comments in this thread: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/spain...ar-rental.html

Also note that queues for Goldcar in PMI can be horrific. If going with them at peak times, I'd recommend paying for queue-jump. Some of the other cheapo operators can have very long queues too.

Actual driving in Mallorca is fine, as long as you're not expecting American roads. If you're staying at a villa, it may be down a very narrow track - always take care.
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Old Aug 27, 17, 5:30 pm
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Originally Posted by DavidDTW View Post
Anything special or unusual I should know about renting a car there? This will be my first time driving in Spain.
Rules of the road are a bit different in Europe than in the US.
If you don't drive standard transmission be sure to reserve an automatic.
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Old Aug 27, 17, 7:03 pm
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Originally Posted by Palal View Post
Rules of the road are a bit different in Europe than in the US.
If you don't drive standard transmission be sure to reserve an automatic.
Already done. I have driven cars with standard in other European countries, but went with an automatic since I'm not sure what to expect this time.

(Have a car reserved....just not sure yet if I will take it)
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Old Aug 28, 17, 3:46 am
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If you've driven in other European countries, Spain is not much different.
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Old Aug 28, 17, 7:32 pm
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A number of years ago, we found that the Garmin GPS maps ignored pedestrian zones in several small towns, which made for some interesting "recalculating" - but I expect that's been cleaned up by now.
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Old Aug 29, 17, 6:53 am
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Mallorca is fine. If you're driving in the old towns, you probably don't want anything much bigger than a Seat Ibiza to keep parking easy. The driving is pretty relaxed for Southern Europe - you see the odd bit of idiocy on the main motorway round Palma, although half of that is tourists in rental cars...

Don't know where you're picking the car up from, but be aware that the queues for non fast-track service at PMI can be horrendous in anything approaching peak season.

If you're visiting Palma or any of the popular towns, plan your parking - get an app like Parkopedia. It's not always that obvious or simple to find.

If you're driving the west coast road along the Sierra Tramuntana (highly recommended, by the way), do expect it to be slow going. You won't be the only one, and you'll be accompanied by a lot of unpowered 2-wheelers!

Insurance generally won't include glass and tyres, so expect this to be pushed (particularly if you're at one of the local hire companies) and a deposit/hold taken if you decline. This is normal procedure - the majors do it too, but tend to be less shouty about it.
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Old Aug 29, 17, 10:10 am
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Thanks for all the advice. My main concerns are narrow roads and watching out for other tourists!

If I do rent the car, it will be in Palma, not at the airport. Will need some time to recover from jet lag before getting behind the wheel.
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Old Aug 29, 17, 1:22 pm
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The other tourists are easy to spot. They're mostly in Fiat 500s and Seat Ibizas with cheap replacement wheels (all black no trim) doing a flat 60km/h.
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Old Aug 30, 17, 3:01 am
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Oh, one other point to remember... Although most of the instructional signs are pictograms like in most of Europe (red circle for prohibition, red triangle for warnings, etc, etc), bear in mind that the primary language isn't Castilian here, it's a local dialect of Catalan, so the road signs and town names may not match what you're expecting (English language guide books often use the Castilian equivalent).

It's not exactly indecipherable - expect a lot of Platjes instead of Playas - but may confuse you at first, especially if you're relying on road signs to navigate (which I do - I've never liked GPS). At least it's better than the days when the road signs were manually 'corrected' into Catalan/Mallorquín!
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Old Aug 30, 17, 5:58 pm
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Actually, one of things I found fascinating when I went to Barcelona years ago was the language. Knowing some French, and recognizing Catalan as a combination of Castilian Spanish and French, I was able to read and understand more than expected. (My Spanish skills are almost non existent.)

I realize Mallorca has its own dialect, so don't really expect the same to happen there. Hopefully it is enough to get by without too much trouble!
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Old Aug 31, 17, 12:54 pm
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A number of years ago, I found shopkeepers in Palma far happier to speak French than Spanish, if you didn't know Catalan! And yes, the Catalan language is delightful, esp. if you enjoy linguistic shifts and cognate-spotting...many official highway signs were in Spanish AND Catalan (with two different names for the same town)...an improvement over the days of unofficial editing-by-graffiti (to switch languages again).
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