Hiring a car whilst on holiday opens up the possibilities of where you want to visit and when you want to go. It’s a flexible way to travel, just pack up the trunk and fill the tank and you are ready to explore Mallorca. Care hire agencies are found across the island, with a concentration at and around the airport and in Palma.
It is best, especially if you are coming to Mallorca during the summer, to book your hire car in advance, the supply is limited and prices rise as the cars get booked up. Check whether your airline company offers any special deals or discounts on car hire, most of them have an ongoing relationship with a particular company, and you may even be able to book your car at the same time as you book your flight.
There is a huge selection of car hire companies at the airport in Palma, you need to walk outside the terminal building once you have come through arrivals and walk all the way across the roads along the static escalators, the car hire companies have their offices just beneath the car park, on either side of the bar. (There is also a limited number of car hire offices inside the baggage reclaim area).
If you are staying outside of Palma and don’t need a car everyday, you might prefer to rent one for just a day or two, for a special outing. Many of the towns across Mallorca have a small selection of car hire agencies where you can walk in and rent one on the spot.
We have put together the essentials for hiring a car on the island to ensure your holiday is as carefree as it should be.
Platform or direct booking?
Similar to hotels, it’s possible to book your car direct on the company’s website or via a reservation site (e.g. Billiger-Mietwagen.de or Check24.de). The platforms offer many advantages such as a good overview of all the providers with a detailed listing of what the rental cost includes. In addition, the platforms offer comprehensive insurances at a significantly cheaper price than if purchased from the car hire company direct. The rental costs alone from the platform and the car rental company are usually the same although you may get the odd extra thrown in if you book direct e.g. extra driver at no additional cost. However, this won’t be worth as much as the insurance.
Booking via a reservation platform will get you a cheaper comprehensive insurance as these are usually more expensive with the car rental companies. It is, meanwhile, possible to get insurance from a third-party provider which can provide comprehensive cover for a year for all your rental car bookings – cost ca. 60-100 euros. Many credit cards also offer a similar insurance although attention should be paid here as the cheaper car rental deals, in particular, will also try to sell you an insurance even if you already have comprehensive cover from an external provider or the platform. Don’t let yourself get talked into anything! It is also important to ensure that you have a credit card with you.
Don’t forget your documents and credit cards!
You must present a valid driving licence when you collect the car and the same applies for any additional drivers. It is also particularly important that you have a credit card with you. If you don’t, the car rental company may force you to take out an extra insurance even though you may already have one or don’t want one. If you only have an EC / debit card, car rental companies may deduct the deposit straight from your account.
Fuel tank and child seats…
When it comes to the extras, it’s similar to insurance. Firstly, make sure that you choose the fuel tank option “full-full” which means you will get the car with a full tank of fuel but will also have to return it like this. All other fuel tank options will probably involve a financial disadvantage for you. Any extras should be chosen with the online booking and check the prices carefully otherwise you may end up paying more for the child’s seat than the car itself!
Car rental prices in Mallorca are especially low in the off season, sometimes even cheaper than one euro per day! With a comprehensive insurance from a third-party provider you can, therefore, hire a car for several months at a low cost and save yourself the hassle of the MOT and repairs etc. It is only in the peak season when the prices will increase.
Which car is suitable?
Rental cars on Mallorca are generally in a good condition. If you’re driving in Palma, a smaller car is recommended as there are many small roads and it also makes parking much easier. If you’re staying on a finca in the countryside, a bigger car or 4×4 might be a good idea as the roads leading to these are often stony or not properly paved.
Collecting your car
Most car rental companies don’t have their fleet at the airport but at a nearby industrial estate. A bus will pick you up from the airport and take you here – these shuttle buses are usually very frequent which means you won’t have to wait long. After you have completed the formalities at the counter you will receive the keys for your car. Carefully check the vehicle for damage! Scratches on the side and damages on the bumper, in particular, are quite common. Ensure everything is as it should be inside the vehicle and whether there is also a reflective vest and breakdown triangle.
Beware of shameless tricks
The car rental company may even try to deceive you – take care, for example, when signing on digital sign pads where you are often only shown the sum and not the services which you are acknowledging with your signature. Extra services which you didn’t ask for may be added. Ask the employee to tell you exactly what you are signing for and which services are included and do this in the presence of a witness.
And a final bit of advice: read the contract details carefully which will vary depending on platform and car rental company. And don’t use the companies which only have 1-3 stars on the review websites – there’ll be a reason for this!
Are you visiting Mallorca soon? Click here to see our articles related to all what you need to know for your trip.