One of the best ways to truly get to know Mallorca is to hire a car and drive around the island. To make your experience run as smoothly as possible, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about car hire in Mallorca.
Which type you choose largely depends on how many of you are travelling together, whether you’re travelling with luggage, your budget and where you plan to visit in Mallorca. If you’ve got limited finances to work with and are travelling as a couple with only hand luggage, a Fiat 500 or something similar will do the trick perfectly. But if you’re travelling as a large group with a lot of luggage, a tiny three-door car isn’t going to cut it. You don’t need to know exactly which model you want to hire. Just having an idea of your requirements will be enough to help you make an educated choice.
It’s always best to book Mallorca car hire online in advance. This way, not only do you get to book your car hire at your own leisure when it suits you, but you also get access to a much greater range of cars and discounted early bird rates. You can also compare prices between different car hire companies using a price comparison website to guarantee you’re getting the best deal.
👍The phrase, “If it seems too good to be true, then it usually is” definitely applies when it comes to booking car rental online. If you see a price that seems too cheap to be real, have a thorough read of the terms and conditions before you click ‘pay’. Chances are there’s a clause that says you agree to pay their extortionate rates for petrol or something similar. Don’t get caught out!
If you completely forget about car hire or you jet off on a spontaneous trip, you can always hire your car directly from Palma airport after you land. There are plenty of desks in the arrivals lounge run by various operators. So whether you want something cheap and cheerful or luxurious and flash, someone will be able to help you.
Keep in mind that car rental rates are much higher when you book on the same day in person compared to online ahead of time. So whenever possible, always plan your car hire for Mallorca well in advance and book online to save money.
Be aware that prices can differ greatly for car hire at Mallorca Airport depending on the time of year, type of car, fuel policy and extras.
Below we show some example daily car hire prices with different car rental companies at Palma de Mallorca Airport. The daily car rental prices are based on hiring a car in June 2019 for a period of 14 days. Prices are rounded up to the nearest euro.
|MINI (FIAT 500)||€21||€25||€12||€11||€10||€12||€14|
|ECONOMY 5 DOOR (IBIZA)||€24||€31||€14||€13||€12||€14||€16|
|STANDARD 5 DOOR (GOLF)||€31||€35||€16||€16||€15||€16||€18|
Insurance and breakdown cover are two more things that can hugely affect the price of your car rental from Palma airport. Most companies include cover for damage and theft in the price and some even include basic breakdown cover. But remember, if you claim on the insurance, you’ll have to pay some excess. As always, check the small print so you know what you’re up against and drive with caution.
👍 When you collect your car, make sure you’ve got a credit card (not a debit card) on you. This card will be used to block the excess amount until you return the car. Return the car without any problems and the block will be removed. But if you return the car with damage, some or all the money could be deducted.
You can usually get out of paying the excess by increasing your insurance level. When you pick up the rental car, the staff will probably try and upsell you enhanced insurance, but they’re never the cheapest. You can pay much less if you arrange fully comprehensive cover with zero excess for your rental car in advance with a third party.
There are plenty of optional extras you can add to make your driving experience in Mallorca smoother and more comfortable. Most extras are charged per day and they can sometimes end up doubling the cost of your car rental! That’s why it’s worth thinking about whether you really need the extras and if there aren’t other alternatives available, such as bringing your own child seat from home or using Google maps to navigate.
Here are some of the types of extras available:
Fuel policies largely differ, not only between rental companies, but between the type of rental contract you take out, too. Gone are the days when your car rental price included a full tank of fuel. Now you’ve got to carefully read the fine print and weigh up your options. To help you make the right choice, here are the most common fuel policies.
This means you collect your rental car with a full tank and you return it with a full tank. These rules are easy to follow because there are plenty of service stations close to Palma Airport where you can fill up. Don’t make the mistake of forgetting to fill up, otherwise you’ll likely be charged the cost of a full tank, even if you were short just one litre. This option usually works out the cheapest overall, even though you may pay more to begin with.
A pre-purchase fuel policy means you have to buy a full tank of fuel when you collect your hire car from Mallorca airport. The car hire company has the final say in the cost of a tank of petrol and you have no say. With this option, you want to return the car with the tank as empty as possible, since you won’t get any refund for unused petrol. This definitely isn’t your best option for short-term car hire, but it can work out over a week or a fortnight if you’re going to be doing a lot of driving.
You hire car will have a full tank of petrol when you pick it up from Palma Airport and you’ll have to pay the full cost for it. Again, the car hire company can charge what they like. When you return the car, the cost of the remaining fuel will be calculated and refunded to your card, minus an admin fee according to the rental contract. Because it’s impossible to know exactly how much petrol is in the tank, you might be left a little out of pocket with this option.
If you need to return your car with a full tank, the closest petrol station is a Repsol garage close to the airport’s exit. To get there, you’ll need to drive past the car rental drop-off point, past departures, take the first exit on the right and continue along that road until you reach it.
👍Airport petrol stations are never the cheapest. So you’re better off filling up at one of these garages close to the airport instead:
A lot of car rental companies at Palma Airport won’t accept drivers under the age of 21. Anyone aged 21-25 should expect to be restricted to entry-level cars and be required to pay a young driver supplement. Senior driver supplements also exist. The age of the driver required to pay them changes from company to company and some even request additional insurance be taken out.
You can easily save some cash by being clever about your pick-up and drop-off times for when hiring a car at Mallorca airport. One day is a full 24 hour period. So if you collect your car at 10am on Monday and return it at 11am on Tuesday, that works out at 25 hours and you’ll be charged for two days’ rental. Save cash by arranging to return your car at least one hour earlier than you picked it up.
It’s also important to note that you’ll be charged extra for collecting your car during certain hours. Most companies charge a huge fee for collections between 11pm and 7am, while some don’t let you pick your car up at all out of office hours. So be aware if you’re planning on arranging car hire when you land after a late flight, your options are going to be expensive and restricted.
Most companies let you cancel your car hire for free up to 24 hours before you’re due to pick it up. Others will charge a fee. Make sure you check the company’s cancellation policy on the rental agreement before you book to avoid nasty surprises.
When it’s time to collect your car from Palma Airport, have your passport, credit card, driving license and booking confirmation (if you booked in advance) handy to speed things up. If you’re from the UK, you’ll also need to obtain a code from the DVLA and show it at the rental desk.
If you’re happy with the conditions you booked online or negotiated in person, don’t let a member of staff bully you into paying for things you don’t want. You don’t need to take out pricey insurance policies or pay for fancy GPS equipment if you don’t want them. Also be aware that you might be offered a car upgrade for a small daily surcharge. This daily fee quickly adds up and could end up doubling the cost of your car rental if you’re not careful.
Take the time to carefully read the rental contract before you sign it. Check that the figures are what you expect them to be and no added extras have been sneaked in. A car rental contract is legally binding, so don’t sign it until you’re completely happy.
Before you drive away, inspect the hire car and get any damage noted on your paperwork. To protect yourself further, take photos of the damage in case you have to use them as evidence later. Check the boot for a warning triangle and high visibility jacket. If they’re not there, request them or get the lack of them noted on your paperwork, so you don’t end up being charged for losing them.
Speed is measured in kilometres per hour (KPH) in Mallorca, not miles. Here are the usual limits:
Type of road KPH limit equivalent MPH limit:
Mallorca is more strict than some European countries when it comes to driving under the influence. Blood alcohol limit for drivers and cyclists is 0.05%. New drivers with fewer than two years of experience and those driving vehicles with 8+ passenger seats are restricted to a blood alcohol limit of 0.03%.
Obligatory breathalyzer tests are carried out at random times and places by police and if you refuse, your hire car will likely be taken off you and you could even be sent to prison. Driving under the influence of any illegal drug is totally prohibited.
If you’re stopped by police and issued a fine, you have to pay it immediately with cash or a card.
But if you receive a fine on your hire car’s windscreen after staying too long at a pay car park, you can waive it by paying a comparatively small fee at one of the nearby ticket machines within 60 minutes of the time on the fine. If it’s been over an hour, you’ll have to pay the fine. Take a look at the ticket and pay the amount at one of the banks listed. You can sometimes pay the fine online if you prefer.
Paying the fine quickly yourself really is the best option. If you pay it within 20 days, the fine is reduced by 50%. If you wait until you return the car to pay the fee, the car rental company will likely add an admin fee onto the fine for their trouble.
Occasionally, people receive parking fines they don’t have to pay when they’re using a hire car. To prevent the rental companies from filling up public car parks, the law states that they’re only allowed to be parked in these spaces when they’re being used by customers and not for storage. So if you think you were parked legally in a public car park and don’t deserve the fine you received, query it with the rental company. You might just be right!
Here’s what you need to know about parking in Mallorca:
If you park in any of the places above, assuming you don’t have a blue permit badge/sticker in the final situation, it’s likely your car will be towed away and you’ll be stuck with a fine of around €150 to get it back.
Here’s some info worth knowing before you hit the road in Mallorca:
When you return your hire car at the airport, get the person checking the car to confirm it’s been returned without any damage and with the correct amount of petrol. If you return your car out of hours when there are no staff members present, take a few photos (including one of the fuel gauge) to prove you returned it in good shape.
A few days after you return home, check your credit card statements to make sure the excess block has been removed and you haven’t been charged more than you expected to pay. If there are unaccounted for charges, challenge them straight away with the rental company and back up your claim with the photo evidence you took.
Avis, Alamo, Enterprise, Europcar, Goldcar, Hertz, Record Go, Rhodium, Sixt and Thrifty are car hire companies based inside Palma de Mallorca Airport. Each car hire company has offices inside arrivals on the ground floor.