The major roads along the Costa de la Luz are generally in exceptionally good condition and there are tolls on the motorways. If you are visiting the cities and coastal towns then a standard car will be fine. If you aim to go further inland, into the mountains or off the beaten track in national parks or forests, then you might want to consider getting a four-wheel drive car. Air conditioning is important, and you should also consider getting GPS. Most car hire firms in Spain offer manual transmission but you can get an automatic if you book early and are willing to pay a surcharge.
In Spain you drive on the right and overtake on the left. Everyone must have a seat belt and small children need to be in restraints so make sure these are available from your car hire company. Children under 135cms (4.4ft) can’t sit in the front seat. There are mandatory items that you need to always carry in your hire car and your car hire company can advise on making sure that you have all of them. These include: your passport or ID card, your driving licence, the car’s insurance certificate, two warning triangles for emergency stops and reflective jackets.
Spanish car hire firms generally allow you to travel across borders within the European Union in their cars. Some of them will have a surcharge but many are free. So, you can travel between Spain and Portugal, for example, and you will be covered by your insurance once you alert your hire company. Travelling between Spain and Gibraltar on the other hand is slightly different. If you fly into Gibraltar, make sure your car is covered for travelling in Spain. This is particularly important since the UK left the EU.
Doñana National Park makes up a large piece of the coastline along the Costa de la Luz route, essentially stretching from just after Cadiz towards the Portuguese Border. You can’t drive through the park as it’s protected so you will have to detour through Seville if you want to complete the route. It looks like a large detour but it’s well worth it as you get to visit Seville as well as reach the towns on the other side of the national park near the border.
Book your car hire in Costa de la Luz at least 1 day before your trip in order to get a below-average price
Mini car hires in Costa de la Luz are around 53% cheaper than other car types, on average
FAQs about hiring a car in Costa de la Luz
The Costa de la Luz region is an incredibly diverse landscape. It is perfect for touring by car because, although there is public transport available, it doesn’t easily connect you with the small villages, national parks and coastal towns that you will want to see. You will save a lot of time and frustration by hiring a car. The route itself is only 300 km (187 miles), stretching from nearby Gibraltar to the Portuguese border, but this isn’t a route that you drive through quickly. Every detour and stop along the way will be a surprise and you’ll want to move slowly and visit inland destinations as well as the coast.
Tourists travelling in Spain are advised to stay in the right-hand lane on the motorways unless they have experience of driving in Spain. This is the slowest lane and opposite to the system in the UK as Spain drives on the right. On the minor roads along the coast you’ll meet a lot of local and rural traffic. It’s important to be alert for the changes in traffic speeds and driving cultures as you move in and out of different parts of the route.
The minimum age to rent a car in Spain is 21 and there is a daily surcharge for drivers under 25. Some companies may extend that to drivers under 30 years old, so check this if you fall into this age bracket. Older drivers over 75 may also have to pay a surcharge and provide documentation such as a letter from their GP stating that they are competent to drive.
Mini (Smart Fortwo or similar) is the most frequently booked car hire type in Costa de la Luz.