One of the best ways to explore the beautiful Balearic island of Mallorca is by car. In this article, I’ll focus on rental cars in Mallorca.
Hiring a vehicle gives you 100% flexibility to explore the island’s secluded coves and fishing villages, long, pristine sandy beaches, traditional markets, lush citrus valleys, and blond stone hilltop villages.
I’ll cover how to rent a car in Mallorca, which companies to rent from, the pros and cons, any documents you’ll need, and my top 10 tips for island driving. So, if you’re planning a trip to Mallorca and want to discover the hidden corners of this magical Mediterranean island, keep reading!
Hi, I’m Timon!
I’ve experienced the heartbeat of Spain firsthand. Over the last five years, I’ve immersed myself in the dynamic cities of Spain, truly living the Spanish way. My insights into this beautiful country are rooted in genuine experience.
Why Rental Cars in Mallorca Are a Must
Renting a car in Mallorca enhances your vacation experience. It allows you to travel where you want when you want, and there are no bus or train timetables or excursion schedules to adhere to!
It’s a compact island at 3,640 square kilometers, and driving from north to south or east to west takes less than two hours! The major road networks are well-maintained, and most lead to or from the capital Palma.
So what’s so great about renting a car in Mallorca?
Well, one day you can drive through valleys filled with orange trees, stopping to explore the pretty mountain villages of Serra de Tramuntana. You can discover the museums and cobbled streets of Sóller, Deià, and Valldemossa or navigate hairpin bends en route to Sa Calobra – and that’s just the west coast!
Check out historic lighthouses and secluded snorkeling coves in the far north or experience the rich history of Pollensa or Arta.
Along the east coast of Mallorca, picture-postcard fishing villages and caves with light shows await aside white sandy beaches. And in the south, Palma, the island’s capital, enchants visitors with palaces, castles, and cathedrals. This coast is also home to Mallorca’s buzzing tourist resorts and lively nightlife.
Even for inexperienced overseas drivers, this island is one of the best places to hire a car, and with hundreds of things to do in Mallorca you can easily fill your vacation itinerary!
Discover-cars.com: Your Ideal Car Rental Service
The process of renting a car in Mallorca is a breeze with Discovercars.com. This is the company I always use when visiting the island. I find the ease of website use, their transparency, and the collection process seamless, and having a car at my disposal contributes to a memorable trip.
If you’ve rented a car before, you’ll already know that some websites hide fees and additional costs. Discovercars.com doesn’t. They add all mandatory fees, taxes, and extras to your quoted price so there are no unpleasant surprises when you collect your vehicle.
Their 24/7 customer service is reliable – they have multilingual staff, plus, you can cancel for free up to 48 hours before collection if your plans change.
They offer cost-effective, quality vehicles ranging from economy and compact to SUVs and elite cars, and all come with a full tank of gas to set you on your island journey.
Booking Your Rental Car in Mallorca with Discover-cars.com
So, how do you rent a car with Discovercars.com? Well, the website process is super easy. Let me walk you through these seven easy steps.
1. Making Your Online Reservation with Discover Cars
Step 1: Enter the pick-up location in the country you’re traveling to.
Step 2: Enter the pick-up and drop-off dates and times – then press “search.”
Step 3: Choose the car for your trip. You can sort the list by price or supplier rating.
You’ll see a short description of the car, whether it has manual or automatic gears, air conditioning, and the number of seats. You can use the filters in the left-hand column for specifics.
Below the description are details regarding fuel policy, pick-up location, and shuttle services. Plus, it tells you that unlimited mileage, collision damage waiver, and theft protection are included in the price. To the right – it gives you the last date to cancel the booking before being charged.
Step 4: When you’ve chosen your car, click the “View” tab. You’ll be transported to a page with a map. This is your vehicle collection point with the time available for you. If you opt to collect from Palma Airport, a free shuttle bus transports you to the car park a few minutes away.
2. Importance of Full Coverage with Discover Cars
Step 5: The next step on the webpage concerns full coverage. Do you take it? I always do. It only costs €6.36 per day, and I think it’s always worth it for peace of mind.
Full coverage protects you from the following:
- Any excess deductible charges for damage or theft;
- Repair costs include tires, windows, locks, mirrors, and suspension (if they result from a collision);
- Any towing and taxi expenses;
- If you lose your keys or lock yourself out of the vehicle;
- Any admin charges.
Step 6: Now you have everything in hand, you can check any optional extras, from including additional drivers to a GPS or baby seats.
Step 7: Enter your driver details, read, and understand the rental agreement, and when you’re happy, book your vehicle to gain immediate confirmation!
Rental Cars in Mallorca: FAQ
I get asked many questions about renting a car in Mallorca – relating to safety, road conditions, where to rent from, and rental requirements. The following answers are based on my own experiences.
Is it Safe to Rent a Car in Mallorca?
Yes. The road conditions are pretty good for the most part, particularly if you stick to driving Ma roads – motorways or dual carriageways.
However, some country roads, especially in the mountains, tend to be narrow and require extra care.
Which Rental Car Company Should I Use?
When using Discovercars.com, you can select rental cars in Mallorca from various well-known providers such as National, Enterprise, Sixt, Alamo, Avis, and Hertz.
I always filter the search (left-hand side of the screen) to find companies with 8 or 9+ customer reviews to ensure I have a seamless experience.
Also, check the small print, as some car rental suppliers have more favorable terms than others.
Can Americans rent cars in Mallorca?
Absolutely! If you are over 21 and have held a valid driver’s license from your home country for over a year, you can drive in Mallorca.
As you are traveling from outside the UK or European Union, you may also need an IDP or International Driving Permit. This translates your license ID into 10 languages so local authorities can understand it.
How much does it cost to rent a car in Mallorca?
Renting an economy or compact car (Fiat 500, Ford Focus, or equivalent) from Discovercars.com starting from €13 a day is possible. However, you should book well in advance to achieve rates like these.
Need a bigger vehicle? A standard SUV (Jeep Renegade or similar) starts from €17 per day. Intermediate and Elite vehicles (Nissan Qashqai or Renault Captur) cost €25 daily.
All vehicles come with unlimited mileage, collision damage waiver, theft protection, and third-party liability, and local taxes are included in the price.
The cars have a full gas tank and a free shuttle transfer to the pick-up location is included.
Is it easy to drive in Mallorca?
Yes! There are several main routes – the Ma-13 – Palma to Alcúdia. The Ma-15 – Palma to the northeast coast via Manacor. The Ma-19a and Ma-1 along the south coast. There are also major roads along the north coast, and from Palma to Sóller in the west.
If it’s your first time driving in Mallorca, rent a smaller car. There are lots of narrow roads shared with buses and other cars. Navigating them with a smaller vehicle is much less stressful and reduces your risk of scrapes and dents!
Is it hard to get around Mallorca without a car?
Public transport is good in Mallorca – buses connect most large towns, cities, and tourist resorts. There are also two overground train lines, taxis, and bicycles. Additionally, you can book organized guided excursions to various island attractions.
However, I find that driving gives me the flexibility to explore where and when I choose, with no time constraints.
I can stay as long as I want at markets, relax on secluded beaches, drive to that sunset spot only locals know about, and head deep into the mountains to explore beautiful villages off the tourist path.
If you’re considering which island to visit, you might want to read my comparison of Ibiza vs Mallorca.
Is parking difficult in Mallorca?
Finding parking is relatively easy in Mallorca, except on weekends and holidays. Parking in the capital city of Palma is trickier. However, even if you have to park a mile or two outside the center, regular buses transport you to the attractions.
How long does it take to drive around the whole of Mallorca?
If you want to, you can navigate Mallorca in a day. However, that would mean few stops and very little coastal driving, which means you miss all the best locations!
If you plan to explore Mallorca fully, I recommend 4-5 days minimum to explore all the key highlights and natural beauty the island offers.
Credit Card Deposits
When hiring a car, anywhere in the world, you’ll be asked to leave a deposit on a credit card to cover any potential damages to the vehicle. The card should be in the same name as the lead name on your booking.
The amount can range from a few hundred euros to over a thousand euros. This depends on the type of car, the rental company, and the country you’re in. Always make sure you have enough funds to cover the deposit. It will be refunded within 15 days of returning the vehicle, provided there is no damage.
If necessary, use a different card than the one you intend to spend during your vacation or speak with your card supplier before your journey to increase the limit.
Car Hire Companies and DiscoverCars.com Insurance
When you collect your rental car from the desk, the supplier may attempt to pressure you into taking their insurance policy in addition to the full coverage you have with Discovercars.com.
They legally have to accept the policy you already have. Discover Cars insurance satisfies Mallorcan car rental requirements. However, if you decide to take the supplier’s own insurance policy, you may get away with paying a lesser deposit on your credit card.
Photograph the Vehicle Upon Collection
I’ve never had a problem with this, but unscrupulous rental companies may attempt to charge you for damages already present on the vehicle.
I recommend filming or photographing the vehicle inside and out before you drive away. Always use a date and time stamp, and if you find any dents or issues, let the company know immediately, in writing, if possible. It’s a failsafe way to avoid being scammed and is worth five minutes of your time.
Navigating Rental Cars Insurance in Spain
There are different insurances available when renting a car, but the paperwork can be confusing, littered with legal jargon and abbreviations that are difficult to understand.
It’s important to know what you’re committing to; therefore, I’ve compiled some helpful information to make the process easier.
Understanding Insurance with Discover Cars
When you book a car on the Discovercars.com website, you’ll see that the policy covers these essentials as standard.
TP – Theft Protection limits your liability if the car is stolen (you will need to get a police report if this happens).
CDW – Collision Damage Waiver limits your responsibility and sets a fixed amount you have to pay in the event of damage to the vehicle.
TPL – Third Party Liability gives you extended protection. It covers material and personal damages to other drivers’ cars, property, and medical expenses. This is mandatory in Mallorca, even if you are driving your own car.
What Isn’t Covered in the Basic Insurance
- Excess charges for damage or theft;
- Repair costs from windows, bodywork, suspension, mirrors, and tires;
- Towing expenses or taxis to transport you back to your hotel;
- Cost of calling out a mechanic for locking yourself out of the vehicle or losing your keys;
- Additional admin charges.
If, like me, you enjoy exploring off the tourist trail, the roads are narrow, especially in Serra de Tramuntana. The roads are edged by rocks and walls, thus increasing the likelihood of scrapes and dents – full coverage gives me peace of mind that I’m protected for all eventualities!
How the Full Coverage Policy Works
When booking a rental car through a website that deals with dozens of car hire companies, it can be unclear to know what to do if you need to claim your full coverage policy. However, as you can see below, the process is straightforward.
- If your rental car is stolen or damaged, you should pay any related charges to the rental agency you collected the vehicle from.
- Then file a compensation claim with Discovercars.com in the website’s ‘My Booking’ section. It’s important to do this within 28 days of dropping off the vehicle or when the car was damaged, stolen, or broken down.
- Discover Cars will compensate you for the amount stated on the document receipt showing the date you were charged.
What doesn’t the Full Coverage Policy Cover?
While it’s important to know what the full coverage policy covers, it’s also good to know what it doesn’t.
Your full coverage policy does NOT cover the following:
- Any damage arising from unforeseen events;
- Cleaning costs;
- Third-Party Damage;
- If you show up late (without calling) or don’t collect the vehicle at all;
- If you don’t have adequate funds on the lead driver’s credit card for the security deposit;
- If you arrive without the correct documentation (booking voucher, IDP, passport, driver’s license, insurance, etc.);
- If you don’t use all of your booked rental days;
- If the provider has previously blacklisted you;
- If you don’t cancel the booking more than 48 hours before vehicle collection;
Do I Need Spanish Car Insurance?
It will still be valid if you have your own car or travel insurance covering overseas driving. It’s unnecessary to have specific Spanish car insurance – the country legally has to recognize your own policy as long as it covers the basic requirements – i.e. third-party liability.
5 Rental Cars in Mallorca Tips
If you’re considering renting a car in Mallorca, these five tips will ensure a seamless driving experience.
- Book in advance to get the best deals. If you leave it until the last minute, prices may rise, and the choice of vehicles will be less.
- Car hire prices are usually lower in the low season than peak season. Learn more about the best time to visit Mallorca.
- Choose a narrow, smaller car with a decent size engine for easy driving. A 4WD is not necessary in Mallorca – most routes are paved.
- The following items are mandatory for your vehicle: a reflective vest, warning triangle, light bulbs, your license, documents, and insurance.
- Always drive on the right-hand side and give way at roundabouts to the right.
Spanish Car Rental Policies: What to Expect and Avoid
If you decide to book through Discovercars.com and choose a supplier with good feedback, it’s unlikely that you will encounter issues when renting a car in Mallorca. However, as with any country, there may be a few unscrupulous people to profit quickly by tricking travelers.
Knowing these familiar scams in advance will give you a stress-free vacation!
- Some companies try to penalize drivers for not taking their insurance policies. Remember, the rental vehicle supplier is legally obliged to accept your policy – you shouldn’t be charged extra.
- Always film or photograph every inch of the car, before driving away and when dropping the car off to avoid being charged for damage already existing.
- If your vehicle supplier says your reserved vehicle isn’t available and tries to swap it, insist on an upgrade without further charge.
Best Car Rental Companies in Spain
I’ve used a lot of car rental companies in Spain. Some have been great, some average, and some I won’t go near again! Here are some that I recommend so you don’t have to go through the same trial-and-error process as I did!
Discovercars.com offers a selection of vehicles at good prices ranging from economy to elite. There are no hidden costs; they search all the main providers for the best prices.
You can filter the reviews from car rental suppliers, and their full coverage insurance is cheap and extensive.
However, what sets this company apart is their customer service. They are available 24/7, offer multilingual assistance, and have a 4.6/5.0 rating from over 115,000 reviews on Trustpilot!
AutoEurope.com is another car hire company with great feedback (4.5/5.0). Customers can collect and drop off their vehicles in various locations, and the prices are similar to those of Discovercars.com.
Rentalcars.com connects you to the largest car rental brands and doesn’t charge any hidden fees. I also like the fact that they have a price match guarantee.
If you’re looking for a cost-effective option, there’s Economybookings.com. They also have a pretty good feedback score, great deals on car hire throughout the year, and easy online booking.
10 Driving Tips for Mallorca
Driving in Mallorca for the first time? These handy tips will keep you on the right side of the law and safe on the roads!
- When on the road, it’s cheaper to fuel up in non-touristy towns and cities (Inca and Sineu are two). Most gas stations stock super unleaded 95 or 98 (sin plomo in Spanish). Diesel is not always available.
- It’s always wise to learn some Spanish driving phrases. Here are a few helpful ones:
Autopista – Motorway
Gasolina – Petrol/Gas
Carretera – Road
Obras de Carretera – Road Works
Plaza de Parking – Parking
- Don’t use a mobile phone when driving unless it’s hands-free. The Civil Guard won’t hesitate to fine you. The same goes for headphones.
- Don’t drink and drive. Mallorcans have zero tolerance for drinking/driving; if caught, the offense is enforced with large fines.
- If you’re unsure of the roads, add a GPS to your vehicle rental. You can also bring your own.
- Speed cameras are operating throughout Mallorca. Always adhere to the limits as detailed below in tip 7.
- The maximum speed on Mallorcan motorways (Ma roads) is 120 km/h, 90km/h on other roads, and 30 km/h in residential and built-up areas.
- Always have access to your third-party or full-cover insurance, passport, driver’s license, and International Driving Permit if required. If you’re stopped, you will be asked to present them.
- Young children should not sit in front of a rental vehicle. Hire a baby or booster seat with a proper harness to secure the back seat.
- Even on the shortest journey, passengers should always wear a seatbelt. This goes without saying.
Best Places to Visit in Mallorca with a Rental Car
Sóller, Mallorca is a charming old-world town around 40 minutes drive from Palma. It’s home to museums, botanical gardens, pretty plazas, and a gateway to the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range. It’s home to fabulous specialty shops and fine restaurants, plus the coastal resort of Port de Sóller, with its beautiful beach, is just 5 minutes along the road.
While in the west of the island, don’t miss a trip to the celebrity retreat Deià, Mallorca. The characterful hilltop town is picture-perfect and brimming with arts and crafts. It has some amazing restaurants and was once home to the famous poet Robert Graves. If you’re exploring this part of the island, also consider visiting Valldemossa, another picturesque town with its own unique charm.
If you love spending a day by the beach, check out our article on Snorkeling Beaches in Mallorca, detailing where to see the best marine life. Calo des Moro and Cala Santanyi are two of my favorite spots.
If you’re traveling with kids, you may enjoy venturing to the Caves of Drach in the east, or for a romantic day out, head to the beautiful fishing village of Cala Figuera or Cap de Formentor lighthouse at the northernmost tip of the island.
Final Thoughts: Rental Cars in Mallorca
In conclusion, renting a vehicle in Mallorca is the best way to get around the island. It allows you the flexibility to explore the places on your itinerary without having to stick to rigid schedules.
The roads are easy to drive, there are no tolls as of 2023, and as destinations are relatively close together, you don’t have to spend the entire day driving!
I always book my rental car via Discovercars.com when visiting Mallorca and have never had any problems. The transaction was seamless, and the compact car I chose was an ideal size for navigating island roads.
I would recommend them to anyone renting a vehicle in Mallorca and hope you enjoy your Balearic adventure as much as I did! If for some reason, you aren’t convinced to rent a car in Mallorca, there are also some great roads for cycling in Mallorca!
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