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Barcelona Airport Car Hire

Barcelona Airport is perfectly placed for a visit to the attractions of the city, but it is also an ideal stepping off point for exploring further afield. By hiring a car, you can discover the delights of Catalonia with its wonderful scenery, ancient cities and the Costa Brava. Also within easy reach are Andorra, the Pyrenees mountains and the south-west of France.

The car rental offices are situated in the arrivals halls of Terminal 1 and Terminal 2B. It is generally cheaper and more convenient to book your hire car online in advance. You are also more likely to get the class of car that you want, especially at the busiest times. You can compare prices from all the suppliers at the airport by filling out the form at the top of this page.

Fuel Policy & Insurance

Be careful when using car hire comparison websites as what might appear to be the cheapest option can often have additional charges that you will not discover until you turn up to collect your car.

Most common is the 'full to empty' fuel policy with which you are charged for a full tank of fuel at a higher price than local fuel stations, and then you are told to bring it back empty. You inevitably have fuel left which is then sold on to the next customer. Opt for a company that operates a 'full to full' policy whereby you only pay for the fuel that you use and at the going rate.

Insurance is another means of adding to the cost of the hire, which generally only includes a basic level of cover. The rental company will try to sell you additional insurance cover, such as excess insurance, or secure a large deposit against your credit card. You can get around this by adding insurance at a cheaper rate at the time of booking.

Another option is to buy your own rental car insurance. This can be for a single hire or, if you hire cars on a regular basis, an annual policy which is a fraction of the price the rental companies charge.


When you arrive to collect your car, you will need to provide the following:

  • Your passport, and the passport(s) of any additional drivers
  • Your driving licence, and the driving licence of any additional drivers
  • A credit card in the name of the main driver with sufficient credit to cover the excess amount
  • Your booking voucher

If you have a UK licence, since the paper counterpart was replaced by an online service, you will be asked for a code that enables the rental company agent to check your driving record. It is important that you get this code, as you could be refused the rental without it, and no refund will be given. You can find out more information about getting this code at

Before Setting Off

Whatever level of insurance cover you have, it is worth giving the car the once-over to check for any major defects which should be reported. If you only have basic cover or your own insurance, take photos and note down every dent, scratch and stain, no matter how minor. Pay special attention to the wheels. This takes time, but you will be glad you did if there is any dispute over'existing damage'.

It is also worthwhile to familiarise yourself with the controls in the car. It is important to know where the indicators and light controls are, as well as the window wipers.

Barcelona airport is very busy so make sure you know where you are going before you set off. Most companies will issue you with a local map, so look at this is you are new to the area.

Recommended Places to Visit

The region of Catalonia has some fantastic scenery along with historic towns and quaint villages, which are well worth exploring.

The Costa Brava (meaning Rough or Wild Coast) begins at Blanes 60 km north of Barcelona and extends 158 km to the border with France. The rugged coastline is interspersed with secluded coves, beautiful beaches, fishing villages and the more developed tourist resorts such as Lloret de Mar.

The principality of Andorra is around a three-hour drive and has the highest capital city in Europe, Andorra la Vella. As well as being a popular winter sports location, the stunning mountain scenery makes it a great place to visit in the summer. If you are not interested in travelling too far, have a look at our top 10 attractions around Barcelona for some great ideas.

The French border is only a two-hour drive from Barcelona Airport and the historic cities of Perpignan, Carcassonne and Narbonne are within easy reach.

Before travelling check that your hire car is covered for cross-border travel if you indent to travel to France of Andorra.