Spain Guide

 

Santiago de Compostela Car Hire

If you hire a car during your stay in Santiago you'll be able to enjoy some wonderful excursions into the Galician countryside and nearby places of interest such as La Coruña, Vigo and Pontevedra, all easily accessible on the motorway.

This north west corner of Spain is one of the most beautiful regions of the Iberian Peninsula it boasts gorgeous green countryside, some fascinating architecture and a beautiful coastline.

La Coruña, about 60 kilometres north of Santiago, is a bustling and attractive harbour with some excellent beaches, an imposing Roman lighthouse and a lovely old quarter.

Take the small country roads south west along the coast from La Coruña to Cape Finisterre which is a delightful trip in itself, culminating at the End of the Earth (Finis Terrae) as it was thought to be in Roman times.

This is the westernmost point in all Europe and an ancient holy place for Druids, Romans and Christians. The landscape is dramatic with towering cliffs which make up the Costa da Morte (Coast of Death). Check out the open air grilled fish restaurants (sardiñadas) which serve superb fresh seafood dishes.

Pontevedra, 117 kilometres south west of Santiago, is well worth a visit an ancient but lively Galician town with a honeycomb of alleyways and beautiful colonnaded squares. From Pontevedra you're only 50 kilometres away from the Portuguese border.

If you plan to hire a car, check in advance that parking is available either at your hotel or within easy reach of it. And remember that when driving in Spain it's a legal requirement to carry your passport with you at all times (or identity card in the case of Spanish nationals) together with your car hire policy documents.

On the spot speeding fines are imposed on non residents (the police will accompany you to the nearest hole in the wall if necessary!). Children are not allowed to travel in the front passenger seat and the use of mobile phones while driving is banned.

When it comes to car hire companies, cheapest doesn't always mean best. These are some of the questions you should be asking before booking a car:

  • Does the company have a dedicated desk inside the airport where you can collect your keys and sort out the necessary paperwork and any 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?
 

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