Car hire or rental in Galicia
The cost of car hire in Galicia has dropped in price over the last 2 to 3 years and is now quite reasonable. Weekly hire/rental prices seem to vary from year to year, but budget for between £100 (200 US dollars) and £140 (280 US dollars) per week (including CDW, taxes etc) for a Ford Fiesta/Peugeot 206/Renault Clio class model with A/C. You will normally end up with something bigger. There may be an excess payable locally in the event of an accident and that may be something that you choose to reduce in advance, or with the local branch of the rental company through an additional "one-off" or daily payment.
The 4 links below will take you to rental companies operating in Galicia who have offices at either Santiago de Compostela, la Coruna, or Vigo airports.
This is the company that we have used the most. They arrange your car hire with their partners (e.g. Hertz etc), but can often offer better rates than booking direct.
Hertz need no introduction. We have used them in the past through bookings with Holiday Autos (above).
Record rent a car are Spain's largest car rental company. Again we have used them ourselves (in Mallorca), but not in Galicia.
This company are called Sixt rent a car and we have used them when visiting other parts of Spain. They are a large national chain.
If you organise your car hire and flights separately, we have found "Holiday Autos" to be the cheapest and most inclusive. They act as an intermediary and the car itself will be picked up from, and supplied by, a third party rental company, normally Hertz or Avis in Galicia. On arrival, make sure you have all your documentation at hand and know who the rental company is - they will be specified on your comfirmation details.
Problems and accidents
Make sure any damage is noted before you take the car, remember it is unlikely that anyone will speak good English and in our experience the English of car hire staff deteriorates rapidly if there is a problem on return. Whilst most car rental companies are "honest" (i'm not too sure about that) some do try it on and the things to look out for are:
- Full tank of fuel - make sure you return "full" if that is in the your agreement.
- Chips or minor damage occuring from general ware - If the care hire outlet tries to charge you for this, get an employee of the company to place their finger next to the chip and take a photo. We had this happen a few years ago in southern Spain. They with-held the excess (£80 for a chip mark of around 1mm on the front skirt). In this instance the rental arrangement was made with Holiday Autos and we were reimbirsed when we got home after some correspondence with the photo as support.
- Make sure your rental agreement is completed and signed off when you drop the car off (and that you get your copy). Do not, under any circumstances, leave the car without an employee having checked it in front of you first.
- If you are given (or offered) an automatic upgrade at no extra cost, make sure the CDW and other insurances do no get increased to the level of the upgrade (if it is a "free" upgrade, then free means free) - this is the "big scam" American rental companies play on European holiday makers and I have personally been brought to the point of making a physical threat agianst someone for deviously trying to pull this trick off against me - It did not work!.
- This point is very important, especially for people like me. I tend to have the shortest of fuses with car rental companies because I have experienced first hand several attempts to scam me. I always approach them with distrust and I always assume they are up to something. As a result,I approach them in the most intimidating manner possible and make it clear that any attempts to sell me services that I clearly do not need will not be in anyones interests.
In Galicia however, few people speak good English and genuine mistakes and missunderstandings can occur as a result. So, if it looks like you might be getting something you did not want or alternatively, not getting something that you did, be patient and try to explain, it is probably a genuine mistake resulting through language difficulties. Car rental in Galicia is not yet on a large commercial scale and I do not think that the unethical practices of other territories have reached them yet - although that might be tempting fate!
If you want to visit Galicia, but do not want to hire a car, their public transportation system is well serviced with buses, and taxies are readily available, though usually only at taxi ranks.