Car Hire in Madrid
This information is correct as of July 2015.
Madrid is more than the capital of Spain. It is also the centre of one of the richest culinary spreads in Europe, a splendid pantheon of artists, and a great place to strike out on a night at the bars. Spending a holiday here also exposes you to several structures that let you experience different facets of Spanish culture. You can go through its streets with a car, which can be convenient when you have your own itinerary.
Where to hire a car in Madrid
Several car rental companies are based in Madrid, which you can coordinate with. Avis, Budget Alquiler de Coches, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Europcar, Hertz, and Sixt are some of the international brands operating here, as well as a number of local operators. It is recommended that you book a rental before departing for Madrid, so you can get a car fit for your needs and budget.
Some of the documents to prepare include a driver's licence from your home country. An International Driver's Permit might also be called for, as well as some photographic IDs. An official translation of your licence can also be part of the requirements, especially if you will need to obtain a Spanish licence, depending on the length of your trip. Be sure to enquire with your provider beforehand and clarify the terms and conditions.
What to expect when hiring a car from Madrid
The traffic system in Madrid can be complex and demanding, so you will need to plan your routes carefully and familiarise yourself with the city. Road signage is often not good enough, with congestion a major problem during rush hours and holidays. Roadworks are also regular with limited and expensive parking in the city centre. To get around easier, you should use a GPS to navigate around. It can be particularly important in Old Madrid, which consist of a complex maze of streets. You should drive through this area using the main roads crossing the city such as the Gran Via.
The rush hours are generally between 8:00AM to 9:30AM, 12:30PM to 2:30PM, 3:30PM to 5:00PM, and 6:30PM to 8:30PM. Traffic jams can also last the whole day, if they are particularly bad, so be sure to check the traffic updates before going out on a road trip. Various toll roads can also be found in Madrid, such as A2, A4, A6, A7, A8, A9, A41, A61, A66, and A68. Drivers going to the city centre may also soon to be charged 90 euros (135.35 AUD) as part of a plan to rid the core city streets of cars.
Cycling lanes are also increasing, making it even more important to pay attention while on the road. Planning your parking spots should also be kept in mind, with metered spaces available on the streets with blue dotted lines showing where you can park. Underground car parks can also be found here, as well as blue and green parking lots.
Getting to your destination
A modern yet somewhat scruffy city, Guadalajara features the Palacio de los Duques del Infantado, where the Mendoza family used to hold court. This striking landmark is only one of the structures to check out here, as you can also venture to El Figon, a traditional building decorated with antlers and serving tasty Spanish fare.
To get here, take Calle de Alcala and Calle de O'Donnel to M23. Turn to exit 55 from A2, and continue on Calle Toledo to your destination. The trip can take around 45 minutes, depending on the traffic situation along the way.
A municipality in the province of Cuenca, Tarancon is the location of the Gothic church and a mansion built on the order of Queen Maria Cristina. The terrain is also beautiful, with rolling hills of wheat and sunflowers, as well as golden hay fields.
The route going here starts from Calle de Alcala and Calle de O'Donnell to M23. Follow R3 and A3 to Av. de Miguel de Cervantes in Castilla-La Mancha. Take exit 79 from A3 and at the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Av. de Miguel de Cervantes. The drive can be accomplished around an hour or so.
A great wealth of monuments can be found in Toledo, which is known as the city of three cultures. Christians, Arabs, and Jews built over a number of structures such as the Toledo Cathedral and many more. You can also find here the San Servando Castle, Toledo Army Museum, and the Tavera Hospital.
Take Carrera de S. Jeronimo, Paseo del Prado, and Paseo de Santa Maria de la Cabeza to A42. Follow A42 to Ctra. Madrid in Castilla-La Mancha and take exit 68B for A42. Continue on Ctra. Madrid and turn to Calle Marques de Mendigorria and paseo Merchan to Av. Reconquista in Toledo. The estimated travel time is an hour, as long as there are no traffic disruptions.