Spain Guide

Alicante Car Hire

If you decide to hire a car during your holiday in Alicante make sure your accommodation includes parking. The traffic congestion in the city is bad throughout the year and particularly during the summer. As for parking, it's a nightmare! But many hotels and self catering apartments and villas have parking spaces and or garages for visitors so check this before you arrange a rental car.

There's plenty to keep you occupied in and around the city but a hired car, either for some or all of your holiday, will give you the freedom to enjoy the many attractions on offer up and down the coast and in the mountainous hinterland.

If your accommodation doesn't provide parking you can still enjoy some fascinating day trips and excursions just pop along to one of the many travel agents in the city and ask for details of coach trips to local places of interest.

If your holiday deal includes airport transfers, you can wait until your arrival and then use one of the local firms to hire a car for a few days of exploring. But if you're visiting in high season, it's advisable to book a car in advance or you may find your choice of vehicle is limited (or non existent!).

If your budget runs to it, try to get a car with air conditioning especially if your holiday is in July and August when temperatures can nudge 40C.

Places of interest within easy driving distance of the city include Europe biggest palm gardens at Elche, 22 kilometres south of Alicante. Visit the Caves of Canalobre with their magnificent stalactites and stalagmites or the town of Jijona, the home of Spain's famous "turron".

The city of Orihuela, 54 kilometres from Alicante, offers an impressive variety of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings. Or for some great family days out, pop up the road to Benidorm where you'll find Spain's biggest theme park, Terra Mitica, the Aqualandia water park and the exotic bird and marine life centre at Mundomar.

These are some of the questions you should be asking yourself before choosing your car hire company:

  • Does the company have a dedicated desk inside the airport where you can collect your keys and sort out any necessary paperwork and problems? There's nothing worse than arriving in the middle of the night to find no car.and no one to complain to!
  • Does the company give a commitment on the quality of its cars are they, for example, all under a certain age?
  • Will you have to pay the local IVA tax (Spanish VAT) of 16% or is it included in the price?
  • Does the company offer "no quibble" insurance to cover such things as collision damage and theft? Is unlimited third party insurance and basic personal accident damage for the driver and occupants included?
  • Will you have to pay an "excess" charge in the event of an accident?

A good way to get around the city and its outskirts is by motorbike, scooter or bicycle. All these can be hired from local agents a perfect solution to Alicante's traffic congestion and parking problems!