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About Madrid

Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain, located in central Spain along the Manzanares River. Madrid is considered the second-largest city in the European Union, right after Berlin. It is the cultural, economic, and political centre of Spain and also the residence of the Spanish royal family.

Madrid is a city that offers pretty much everything that the capital of the country has to offer. The city has a wide variety of faces and is, in a way, Spain in a nutshell. Here you can experience the chaos of a metropolis full of locals and tourists pushing through the city centre at rush hour and on weekends, while at the same time enjoying one of the many green parks at the other end of the city where you completely lose the sense of scale. From the park, you can walk to parts of the city that are full of small colourful narrow streets, which in turn lead to the large promenades where monumental architectural landmarks are located. You can visit countless different squares, museums, galleries, theatres, opera houses, monuments, shopping malls, markets, and much more, just to name a few.

So, if you have decided to take a road trip through Spain, Madrid is a must-see as the capital of this beautiful country. Despite its size, Madrid has a very well organized transport system and most importantly, a large number of parking garages where you can park your car at your leisure and then ride around the city by bike, which you can rent at various places in the city. You can also use the metro and bus services or simply set off on foot to explore this unique city.

Many say that Madrid has a day and night image. This is probably true, as at night the streets and squares come to life in a completely different light, living their nightlife and the different cultural communities that populate this Spanish capital ensure that you have a really wide range of different ambiences in which to enjoy music and dance or just sit in peace, listen to live music and chat over a glass of wine and a bite of tapas. If you are interested in Spanish culture and tradition, you can visit one of the many festivals that take place in the city throughout the year.

Madrid is also a city of football, as it is home to one of the most famous football clubs in the world, Real Madrid, and of course, a visit to the mythical Santiago Bernabeu stadium, where you can watch the Spanish La Liga or the UEFA Champions League, is compulsory. you might also be interested in the Spanish King's Cup, the Copa del Rey. However, if you are not excited by the crowds at the stadium, you can tour the stadium at your leisure, even when there are no football matches taking place, as there are plenty of guided tours of this beautiful facility. However, if you are not interested in Real Madrid and are more into Atletico Madrid, you can check out the new stadium that was built a few years ago by Wanda Metropolitano.

Since the city is located in the centre of the country and is the cultural, economic and financial centre of Spain, in this city you will meet people from all over the country and also from all over the world. It is this mixture of different cultures that gives Madrid a special atmosphere that you simply must experience and once you get to know the city well, you will return here again and again.

Basic info and car hire in Madrid

  • Location: Central Spain
  • Population: 3.265.038
  • Official language: Spanish
  • Currency: Euro
  • Weather:   Madrid has a continental Mediterranean climate
  • Holidays in Madrid:   For public holidays in Spain click here
  • Internet coverage: Hotels, bars, restaurants, and cafés offer Wi-Fi.
  • Road conditions:  Most roads in Madrid are in good condition.
  • Car hire in Madrid:  The most common pick-up point for vehicles in Madrid is Madrid airport. Please note that prices vary frequently. It is best to book a car 3 to 8 weeks in advance of your desired pick-up date - this will ensure you get the cheapest rental rate. Alternatively, it is also possible to find cheap last-minute car hire. Find the best deal on car hire in Madrid!

 Driving in Madrid

To drive a car in Madrid you must be 18 years old, have a valid driver's license, and show valid proof of insurance for the vehicle you are driving. In Madrid, vehicles drive on the right-hand side of the road. The speed limit on the motorway is 120 km/h (75 mph). On normal roads the speed limit is 90 km/h (75 mph), on urban roads, it is 50 km/h (50 mph), and on all other through roads, there is a speed limit sign.

It's good to know that Spain has strict drink-driving laws, allowing only 0.5 milligrams of alcohol per millilitre of blood - stricter than in the UK, where the limit is 0.8. Novice drivers are effectively banned from driving under the influence with a very low limit of 0.1 mg/l. Seatbelts front and rear are compulsory everywhere.

 One thing: for those not used to roundabouts: There are a lot of them in Spain! And the following rules apply: The driver who is already in the roundabout has the right of way unless there is a traffic light at the roundabout that regulates the flow of traffic. Before leaving the roundabout, you should put on your right turn signal to indicate that you are leaving the roundabout.

If you are caught speeding in Madrid, the Spanish police act very quickly, and the lack of Spanish is not considered an excuse. The police do not mind that you are a tourist on holiday, and fines are often issued immediately unless you can prove that you are a permanent resident in Spain. If you receive a fine, make sure the officer gives you an official receipt and if you pay immediately, the fine is usually reduced by 20%.

The Spanish law on the use of indicators on motorways is strictly enforced. You risk a fine if you fail to signal before overtaking and after overtaking if you move back into the adjacent lane. Traffic coming from the left always has the right of way. If you see a solid white line in the middle of the road, do not cross it. Continue until you either see a dotted white line or look for a sign that says "Cambio de Sentido" where you can safely and legally turn around.

  • Age limits: The minimum age to drive a car in Spain is 18 years. However, most car rental companies require you to be at least 21 to rent a car and at least 25 years to avoid paying an additional young driver fee. 
  • International Driving Permit:  Yes, if you are a non-EU licence holder.  
  • Additional papers:   Identification(passport), a valid driving licence, and valid proof of insurance. (It is advisable to buy insurance at the car hire agency in case your policy doesn't cover you while driving in Spain)
  • Additional requirements:  Glasses (in case you need glasses, you must always have a spare pair in the car), light bulbs (are usually already in the car and are provided by the car rental company), warning triangle (2 are required for all vehicles registered in Spain and 1 if coming from abroad), high visibility vest (recently made compulsory)- First aid kit (not compulsory, but we strongly recommend you have it with you, just in case).
  • Children in the car:  If you are travelling with children under 12 or less than 135cm tall, you are required by law to have a child seat in your car. If you do not have your own, most car rental companies will provide one for a fee. However, it is advisable to request such a seat before collecting the vehicle, otherwise one may not always be available.
  • Driving side of the road: Right
  • Lights:  Check that all lights are working, clean, and correctly aimed.
  • General speed limits:  The speed limit is 50 km/h in cities, 90 km/h on rural roads, and 120 km/h on the motorway.
  • Parking suggestions:  Parking is prohibited in Spain in all areas where the curbs are marked yellow. The parking spaces marked in blue usually have a parking meter and you must buy a parking ticket to park in these spaces. You will usually find a machine nearby where you can purchase your parking ticket. Most of these blue areas have a parking limit of 2 hours, but this is displayed on the machine.

Car Hire in Madrid

Most popular car hire at Madrid

The most selected hire car in Madrid is Ford Fiesta, with Renault Clio and Seat Ibiza also being a popular option. The most popular car types in Madrid are mini, economy, and compact.

Popular Driving Routes

Popular One-Way car hire from Madrid

Want to rent a car for a one-way trip? No worries! Orbit Car Hire offers a variety of one-way Car Hire options in many locations outside of Madrid. One-way car rental is ideal for cross-town or cross-country travel, saving time by not returning to your original location. Start your reservation with Orbit Car Hire and find great options on one-way car hire at locations across the Spain.

  • Madrid- Toledo (75km with approximately  1 hour of drive)

  • Madrid- Segovia (90km with approximately  1-1,5 hours of drive)

  • Madrid- Barcelona (620km with approximately  6-6,5 hours of drive)

  • Madrid- Valencia (360km with approximately  3-3,5 hours of drive)

What to see in Madrid

Plaza Mayor

Many also call it the main square of Madrid. The intertwining of rich tradition and history can be felt in this square. Bullfights and fiestas took place here, convicts were beheaded here, trials took place here, royal speeches were made here ... today it is one of the main tourist attractions because here you can enjoy various street performers, sit in bars and enjoy snacks. and drinks. 

Royal Palace of Madrid

Today, the Royal Palace is only used for some official ceremonies. The royal family lives on the outskirts of the city in a small mansion, while part of the Royal Palace is open to the public, where you can see museum collections of furniture, books, and other items mainly related to the Spanish royal family. You can also opt for a guided tour of the palace where you will learn even more about the history of Spain and of course the Spanish royal family with the help of a guide.

Retiro Park

Madrid is known for its parks. The city has a lot of green spaces where you can relax after a busy day and feel like you have escaped from the big city to the countryside or nature. One of the biggest and most beautiful parks is Retiro Park, where you can relax under the treetops, amidst flower plantations or overlooking the lake inside the park. If you like rowing, you should rent a boat and row on the beautiful lake in the middle of the park. 

Temple of Debod

A unique monument that you must see. It was donated from Egypt to Madrid in 1970, from where it was brought to Spain piece by piece and built here in Madrid. It is an Egyptian temple that is considered one of the most popular places to watch the sunset, as it is slightly elevated on a hill and offers a breathtaking view of the sunset. 

The Prado

Certainly one of the best and most famous museums in the world. In addition to the greatest Spanish artists in history, you can also admire the works of other painters and sculptors from all over the world in this museum. On display are works by authors such as: Velázquez, El Greco, Rembrandt, Brueghel, van Dyck, Rubens, Titian, Caravaggio, Botticelli and Tintoretto. In addition to the paintings and statues, the museum also has an extensive collection of objects from different periods and parts of the world that you must see.

  • Visit Madrid

    Explore Spain 

    Drive your rental car beyond Madrid

    If you have decided to rent a car and explore Spain, then you will certainly stay in the capital city of Madrid. Madrid can be a great starting point for your road trip through Spain or just one of the stops on your way through this colourful country on the Iberian Peninsula.

    The roads in Spain are in excellent condition and offer real pleasure to all lovers of driving on unknown roads and countries. One of the most popular places among tourists exploring the surroundings of Madrid is the Sierra de Guadarrama, where you can see the monastery and palace of El Escorial, which are on the World Heritage List UNESCO. The next point that will enchant you is the city of Toledo, where the Spanish painter El Greco lived and created, putting the city on the map of tourist attractions with his works. A picturesque and mystical city where Islam, Judaism, and Catholicism have intermingled throughout history, Toledo invites you to visit its charming streets surrounded by picturesque buildings with different facade colours and different architectural styles. You can admire churches, convents, monuments, squares, a library, a mansion, and more, just to name a few. Like Toledo, which is located on top of the hill, Segovia is also a very tempting city. One of the main attractions is the fortress, which is the heart of Segovia, but of course, you can also walk through the mystical streets of this beautiful city and get to know both local culinary delights and architectural approaches that reveal what is happening in this city.

    For those who are most interested in nature and long walks in the mountains, the Guadarrama Mountains is one of the top destinations. It is a natural park where there are many hiking trails with different levels of difficulty, and there is a route for everyone that will excite them. Another picturesque destination for nature lovers is Salamanca, where you will be impressed by the panorama and especially by the windmills scattered over the hills of Salamanca. Near Madrid, there is also a famous wine route that you can visit and taste real top Spanish wines.

    Of course, for those who like to travel a little further, it is also recommended to visit Barcelona, which is considered the opposite of Madrid, at least if the locals have their way, as the differences between the two centres of Spain are strongly felt. Madrid is the centre of Spain on one side and Barcelona is the centre of Catalonia on the other.

  • Explore Madrid

    Enjoy the culture in Madrid

    Where to eat, drink, and party in Madrid

    In Madrid, you can find just about any food from all over Spain. Since the capital is inhabited by people from all over the country, they have also brought recipes and traditions with them, and today you can enjoy the flavours of Spain and the world in many restaurants.

    Of course, Madrid also has some culinary specialities of its own that are worth trying. If you have decided to get to know the capital of Spain, you should also get to know its tastes. Cocido Madrileño comes to the table on cold days, when large pots of pork are cooked as the main ingredient, along with large amounts of vegetables and spices. Huevos Rotos - This typical Madrid dish is a plate of potatoes freshly fried in Spanish olive oil and tossed with sea salt. The potatoes are topped with perfectly fried eggs. Depending on where you go, you either break the yolk with the edge of a crusty piece of bread.

    If you are in Madrid, you absolutely must try Madrid's most famous sandwich, Bocadillo de Calamares. The simplest version of this sandwich is freshly baked bread filled with fried calamari. Of course, then different restaurants have different variations of this sandwich with different ingredients that make it even better and more delicious than it already is.

    A few more dishes that are typical of Madrid: Callos a la Madrileña, Churros con Chocolate, Oreja a la Plancha, Tortilla de Patatas, Croquetas, Gambas al Ajillo, Pisto,

Best restaurants in Madrid:

Los Montes de Galicia

SteakBurger Gran Via 55

Kathmandu Tandoori House

Astor

Pizzart Fuencarral

Lettera Trattoria Moderna

FAQ

What you need to know about renting a car

faq
How to make a booking with Orbit Car Hire?

You can easily book your vehicle with Orbit Car Hire. First, you have to choose the date and location of your rental in our booking form. In the next step, you can pick out the vehicle you want from the list provided. After filling out the personal information form there is a step where you choose the payment method and you simply fill in your credit card information. In the end, you can print out your voucher, which is needed at the time of pick-up.

What are the charges for security deposits?

Every car rental has its security deposit policy. You will find the information about the security deposit while booking the vehicle or on your voucher. 

What if I would like to change my booking?

If you need to change your booking you have made through Orbit Car Hire please contact our customer support team at customerservice@orbitcarhire.com or by phone at +354 823 0165. You can cancel your booking free of charge at least forty-eight hours before your rental is due to start. For further information please read the Terms of Use. 

How do I cancel my booking?

You can cancel your booking free of charge at least forty-eight hours before your rental is due to start. For further information please read the Conditions of Use. Our customer service team will address your requests in due time:

When do I pay for the rental car?

You pay a small deposit when making the booking as a guarantee. The remaining balance is paid when you pick up your rental vehicle. Please keep in mind that the payment at the counter is paid in local currency. 

What is included in the price?

Most of the reservations made by Orbit Car Hire include unlimited mileage, local tax, mandatory fees, and collision damage waiver. In steps 1 and 2 in the booking process or on your voucher, you can see all the details about your booking inclusions.

Are there any hidden fees?

There are no hidden charges! All mandatory surcharges and fees are presented in the 3rd step of the booking process and our Terms and Conditions. Please note that additional charges may apply for some rentals in case of:

  • Out of hours surcharge (when picking up the vehicle out of office hours),
  • One way fee (when returning the vehicle at a different location),
  • The service charge for fuel (prepaid fuel policy),
  • Young/senior driver fee (this condition is set by the car hire company and is usually not about the regulation of the specific country),
  • Excess and deposit amount (before hiring you to need to make sure your credit card limit is high enough for the deposit amount to be blocked which usually equals the excess amount or higher).

We advise our clients to read the Terms and Conditions carefully before the rental to avoid any surprises. Our knowledgeable customer service agents will gladly help you with any questions via phone, email, or live chat during our opening hours.

What is a voucher and why do I need it?

A voucher is a document that confirms your booking, the price for your booking, and the payment of your booking. It is mandatory to have your voucher with you at the time of pick up. If you do not have the voucher with you at the time of pick up, the vehicle provider may refuse to release the vehicle to you or can change the price of the rental.

What is an airport or premium location fee?

Premium location/airport fee is a fee that covers the location service costs. This fee is usually included in the price but may still occur at some locations and is charged locally.

What is Premium Coverage and how does it work?

Premium Coverage is an optional service by Orbit Car Hire which, if accepted, covers your financial accountability for damage or theft to the hired vehicle. This is not insured with a car hire company that reduces the excess amount, but a cover that refunds you in case the car hire company charges you for damage or theft. With this option, you will be reimbursed up to 3000 EUR. For more information, you can read the Terms and Conditions or contact us.

How do I get the cheapest car hire?

Prices vary frequently. It is best to book a car 3 to 8 weeks in advance of your desired pick-up date - this will ensure you get the cheapest rental rate. Alternatively, it is also possible to find cheap last-minute car hire. Find the best deal on car hire in Alicante!

How many countries does Orbit Car Hire compare?

We at Orbit Car Hire compare car hire prices in over 140 countries, including popular destinations within Europe such as Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Iceland, Croatia, Malta, France, Slovenia, Germany. 

What currency should I use to pay for the car?

You can pay the confirmation fee on Orbit's page in EUR, GBP, ISK and USD. When you pick up your car hire you will pay the remaining balance in the currency that is in the country of pick up. 

Can I rent a car from inside the terminal?

You can hire a car from inside the terminal. When you compare our offers, you can filter "In Terminal" to see all the offers we have that are inside the terminal. 

What is the cheapest car to rent?

The cheapest car to rent is the Fiat 500, Volkswagen Up and Fiat Panda. 

Can I add an additional driver to my booking?

You can always add an additional driver to your booking when you are finding your deal on Orbit Car Hire. If you have already made a booking, you can contact us to add the additional driver. You can also add an additional driver to your booking when you pick up the vehicle. 

What payment methods are accepted by Orbit Car Hire

You can pay with a debit card and credit card when making a booking with Orbit Car Hire. We accept Mastercard and Visa. 

Can I drop off my car at a different location?

Yes, you can. When you look for car hire deals on our webpage you can press "Yes" to "Different drop off location" and you will see all the best deals for a one-way car hire. 

Car Hire Locations in Madrid 2 location(s) found

Find The Best Car Hire Companies In Madrid

  • Ace Rent A Car
  • Alamo Car Hire
  • Car Hire with Keddy by Europcar
  • Centauro
  • Enterprise Rent a Car
  • Europcar
  • GoldCar Rental
  • National
  • OK Mobility
  • SurPrice

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