Renting a car in Mallorca is the best way to explore this magnificent island.
Below is my complete guide on how to rent a car in Mallorca, covering:
- which type of car is best,
- best rental companies, reviews,
- tips on reducing costs,
- insurance recommendations,
- essentials to avoid any scam,
- rules and regulations,
I have tried listing everything you may need to know to enjoy a worry-free car hire experience.
This article contains affiliate links (Disclosure page). If you purchase using my link, I get a commission at no extra cost to you.
Renting a car in Mallorca - Overview
Should I rent a car in Mallorca?
It depends what kind of holiday you want.
You can stay at the beach and party. You don't need a car for that.
But that would be a shame, because the island is magnificent with mountains, cliffs, caves, hidden beaches and coves...
Renting a car is the best option to:
- Enjoy some of the hidden gems such as arches, viewpoints, rock formations
- Visit a place early before the large crowds such as the Formentor peninsula, Sa Calobra, the Tramuntana villages, stunning coves...
- Be flexible to adapt to the weather
Car rental essential tips - from my personal experiences
If you don't want to read the entire article with the step-by-step to renting a car in Mallorca, here is a short summary of my top tips:
- My main recommendation is to pick a small car. There are many narrow roads where you can have to cross path with other cars and with buses. Driving a narrow car is less stressful.
- Book early to get the best prices and the choice of cars
- Always check the car upon arrival and take pictures of anything you see (don't forget the roof and under the bumper)
- On Mallorca, I do recommend taking the complete coverage for the outside. As I wrote there are narrow roads, and some with stone walls. The risk of scratching the car is higher than in other destinations
The booking platform I personally use
You will see a lot of mentions of Discovercars.com throughout this article.
This is the platform I personally use and one of the best customer-rated comparison sites on the market.
As soon as I decide on a destination and dates, I go check their deals and car types.
I have found some really good deals many times.
Plus, they have a practical coverage option at great price that will cover you in case of damage to the outside of the car.
Is it difficult to drive in Mallorca? Is it safe?
To be honest, Mallorca is not my favorite destination for driving.
It is not dramatically difficult, but it is not the most comfortable experience.
Roads are overall in correct conditions, and the island is not huge, so you never drive for too long.
However, when you leave the main roads, there are many very narrow roads. And it is very crowded with lots of tourists (who don't know the size of their rental cars)
Check out my article about driving in Mallorca.
#1 to 3 - How to rent a car in Mallorca - required elements
Tip 1 - License to rent a car in Mallorca
To drive in Mallorca / Spain you need a valid driving licence from your country.
- People with EU licenses can drive on their holidays with only their valid national licenses
- All other nationalities must have an International Driving Permit (on top of their national license)
Tip 2 - Extra age requirements / years of driving
Official driving age in Mallorca / Spain is 18.
However, most car rental companies in Mallorca:
- will require you to be 21
- will require you to have held a license in your home country for a year or more,
- may add charges, if you are under 25,
- may add charges, if you are over a certain age.
On the platform Discovercars.com you can enter your age, to see any limitation in rental cars available and any additional fee.
Tip 3 - A credit card that can handle the hold charge
Remember that unless you have decided to purchase a full coverage insurance directly with the rental company, you will be asked for your credit card to hold a deposit. This amount s blocked on your account via your credit card (until you bring the car back without damages).
As it is on top of the payment, you may be hitting the limit of your credit card daily/weekly or monthly protection limit.
So be prepared! Your options are:
- Use a different credit card for the hold charge,
- Contact your bank prior to traveling to change your limits,
- Purchase a full coverage insurance with a 0 excess charge.
On the platform Discovercars.com:
- once you open one option, you can click on Rental Conditions, and you will see the Security Deposit amount.
- And if this is an issue for you, you can pre-select the amount you are willing to have blocked as security deposit in the filters
#4 & 5 - When and where to hire a car in Mallorca
Tip 4 - Best period
The island of Mallorca is a very popular destination, especially in Summer.
So, if you want the choice of your vehicle types and good prices, it is better to rent your car as early as possible.
You won't find any last-minute deals in Summer.
As soon as you have picked your dates, book the car!
Tip 5 - When and where
Cars can be rented for all major beach towns and from the airport.
If you want to see only a couple of things, you could rent only for a few days from the place where you are staying.
However, to be able to explore the entire island and see all its magnificent landscapes, the best option is to rent from the airport.
You can find all the main rental companies at the airport.
The island also has some locals renters in the touristic seaside towns. Be careful with prices that seem too low to be true!
The main car rental hubs in Mallorca are:
- Mallorca airport - see car rental deals
- Palma beach area - see car rental deals
#6 to 10 - What type of car to choose
Tip 6 - Recommendations for size of car / power - does size matters?
I know it depends on how many people are traveling and how much luggage you are traveling with.
But here are a few things to keep in mind when traveling in Mallorca:
My main recommendation is to pick a narrow car.
Around the island, there are many narrow roads: in the countryside, to reach beaches and in the mountains.
Driving a narrow car is less stressful when you have to cross path with other vehicles.
Any size of cars will be able to drive all around the island. No roads are extremely steep.
However, It will be more comfortable in the mountains, if you don't choose the smallest engine.
Tip 7 - Transmission type - Manual vs Automatic
Most cars to rent in Mallorca have a manual transmission.
Rental companies have automatic cars, but they are often more expensive. And there are less of them, so book early.
On Discovercars.com, you can use the filter "Automatic transmission" on the left, if this is a must have for you.
Tip 8 - Fuel choice - Diesel, Gas or electric
- Petrol station in Spanish is "estación de servicio"
- Petrol is on green pump - called "gasolina" and if unleaded "gasolina sin plomo"
- Diesel is on Black pump called "gasoil"
- See the concentration of electric car charging station, where you are going in Mallorca on this website
Tip 9 - Is it useful to have a 4WD?
Not really. Road to almost all attractions are paved.
There are a couple of beaches / coves that are only accessible by tracks. But know that even if you have a 4WD, the insurance protection associated with the rental probably does not cover use of the car out of paved roads.
This is frequent in many countries. Read the fine print.
Tip 10 - Consider vehicles with sleeping options
Another idea is to rent a vehicle in which you can sleep.
Overall, this could save you money compared to booking extra accommodations.
However, Mallorca is not the ideal destination for that because:
- Wild camping is not allowed
- Campsites are rare on the island
All my favorite locations are included (with GPS coordinates, map and tips) in my travel guide eBook that helps you easily plan your Mallorca road trip:
Plan your dream road trip around Mallorca!
- 8 easy-to-plan maps
- 140+ pre-selected scenic locations
- Planning tips to make the most of your time
- 270+ large photos to decide where to go
- GPS coordinates direct to the carparks
#11 to 17 - Best rental car companies in Mallorca - Reviews
Tip 11 - Cost of car rental in Mallorca
To give you an idea, based on data from Discovercars.com, prices are around:
- There are big variations throughout the year - The average prices vary from 13 to 55 USD per day
- The cheapest prices are generally for when you travel in February and March
It is very easy to compare prices online on a single platform - but if comparing between sites, remember to check all hidden fees.
Tip 12 - Things to consider when choosing your car rental company
- First, of course, the company must have the type of car your needs
- Then, check out the cancellation fees - on Discovercars.com, cancellation is free
- Authorized milage - depending on what you are planning, have a look at unlimited or defined daily milage allowance
- The pickup location - some require a shuttle to the get to the rental area
- And if you plan on visiting Menorca with the same car don't forget to check if it is allowed - on Discovercars.com, once you selected a car click on "Rental Conditions" and head to "geographical restrictions".
Tip 13 - Best rated car rental companies in Mallorca - reviews
When reading reviews, don't forget that on Tripadvisor or Google for example, anyone can write a review even if they have not used the company.
On the platform Discovercars.com, each rental company has a mark on 10 points. This is an average of the marks given by actual customers.
On the search page, you have a filter to select only the best rated ones:
Some of the best rated rental car companies in Mallorca are:
I have personally selected Centauro. There have a lesser rating, probably because you have to use a shuttle to reach the cars. However, it went very smoothly.
Tip 14 - How to save money - cheap car rental in Mallorca
If keeping the cost down is your main concern, you should:
- Book very early
- Return the car where you picked it up
- Book a smaller car
- Pay attention to pick-up and drop-off times - Car hire is typically charged per 24-hour period
- Choose a rental without cancellation or with limited cancellation
- If renting for 6 days, check the price for 7 days - sometimes companies have a discount for 1 week rentals.
- Book with limited milage
Tip 15 - Check opening hours if picking a company not at an airport
If you are picking up your car at the airport, the companies are normally open as long as flights are arriving.
However, if you are renting a car from a town, especially a smaller one, they will have shorter opening hours (especially on weekends). This may mean that you have to rent for an extra day if you can't drop off the car.
Tip 16 - Car rental scams in Mallorca
There is no specific scam in Mallorca, that I am aware of.
As in most country, if the price is very very low, then there must be conditions and tricks behind it.
And some companies do try to charge more for damages. My advice is to always take the time to check the car and take date pictures at pick-up and drop-off.
Tip 17 - Be careful if changing island
From Mallorca, you can take a ferry back to the mainland or to other islands such as Menorca or Ibiza.
Most of the companies do not allow you to change island with your car. And you will be in big trouble if you do go and have a technical issue or accident.
So best to do a comparison:
- Cost of ferry for the entire party + car with company that allows it
- Versus - Cost of ferry seat without car for the entire party + rental
If renting with Discovercars.com, once you selected a car you can click on "Rental conditions" and then again "Rental conditions" or "Additional conditions" to find the "geographical restrictions".
If it is not documented, you can add the question to customer support.
#18 to 20 - Understanding Insurances
Tip 18 - Choose the types of insurance you need + requirements in Mallorca
Many levels of insurances are available. And their wording is often not very clear.
Here is a high-level overview of the different types of insurances - which are not really insurances, but waivers to limit your liability:
- Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) - It limits the customer’s responsibility during the rental period and sets the maximum amount of money the customer will have to pay in case of damages -
- Theft Protection (TP) - this waiver limits your liability up to the vehicle’s deductible/excess amount in the event the car is stolen (proof required are a police report and the car keys). TP is frequently included in the car rental price.
- Third Party Liability (TPL) - also known as Supplemental Liability Insurance, Extended protection, liability protection... - it covers personal and material damages caused to other people’s cars, property and even medical expenses. They have different limits.
- and many others...
The mandatory insurance in Mallorca / Spain is: unlimited third-party liability insurance - it is automatically included in the price of all car rentals.
If you are visiting with your own car, don't forget to bring proof of insurance.
Mallorca is a destination where I do recommend taking extra insurance to cover all damage to the exterior of the car. This is because of the narrow roads with rocks walls and the density of touristic traffic. The risk of damaging the outside of the car is higher than in other destinations I have visited. In my opinion.
Tip 19 - 4 ways to purchase insurance
- Option no insurance - apart from the mandatory one, you don't have to take extras. Just know that in case something happen, you can be liable for your entire deposit.
- Option 1 - Use your credit card insurance/ or your own car insurance
Many credit cards have some kind of coverage for rental cars. They all differ.
Similarly, your home car insurance can be covering you as well when renting a car.
You need to read all the fine prints to clearly understand what is covered or not.
- Option 2 - Purchase upon booking your rental car
When you book your rental car, you normally have the option to select the insurances you want. The deals are most of the time better than at the counter (I have seen 3 times less, once).
On direct websites, you get the dealer's insurance, but on platforms, you get a special insurance created by the platform.
For example, on Discovercars.com, they have their own Full Coverage Waiver Insurance Option
Personally, this is what I used. I know I may already be covered by my credit card and all, but this just seems the easier route, more straightforward in case of an issue. Personal feeling.
- Option 3 - At car rental
This is the more expensive option, but if you have not done it before, you could purchase it as you are paying.
- Option 4 - Travel Insurance
Get a travel insurance that include comprehensive car rental insurance with one of the classic insurance companies.
Tip 20 - Consider taking roadside assistance, if not included
Technically, it is not an insurance, but it is offered at the same time.
Conditions of coverage vary but they normally include:
- Loss or damage of car keys
- Keys locked inside the car
- Flat tire
- Rental car not starting
- Car out of fuel
If you are in a country you don't know, traveling alone and not good at changing tires, this could be a great option.
This is something you can get at the counter when getting the car.
#21 to 23 - Extras
Tip 21 - Do I need GPS?
To navigate, a GPS can make your experience smoother. So that you can focus on the driving.
- Option 1 - Bring your own GPS
This is my favorite options. I know well how it works, plus I can pre-enter all my destinations which saves me a lot of time.
On my travel guide eBook you get the GPS coordinates of the carparks of all my favorite locations
- Option 2 - Use your phone
If you have a phone, don't forget that the roaming charges abroad can be very expensive.
However, you can download a map beforehand, when you are connected to wifi, so that you can navigate without spending money.
Don't forget the charger and your phone holder so that it is comfortable!
- Option 3 - Take the GPS extra
I don't recommend it. I think this is a last resort if you don't have your own or a good phone. I always find it very expensive.
Tip 22 - Additional driver charges
Decide beforehand whether or not you will need more than one driver.
If so, take this into account when comparing rental deals between companies.
Some companies have deals that has a free extra driver.
On the platform Discovercars.com, if there are any, it can be selected on the filters:
Tip 23 - Child safety seats rules in Mallorca
The law indicates that:
- children under 18kg (39.7 pounds) in weight must be in child seats
- and children under 135cm (4.4ft) tall should be in the rear seats on a booster.
#24 to 31 - How to collect and return the car to avoid issues
Tip 24 - Check your vehicle at pick-up
For a worry-free exchange with the rental car company, I recommend you do a thorough check of the car before leaving the carpark.
Sometimes it is done with an agent. Sometimes they just give you a form with the state of the car before renting. Sometimes they tell you nothing...
Make sure all dents and scratches are noted, if not, make sure they add it.
Plus, for peace of mind, you can take pictures before leaving (like in every country).
Things to look for:
- Check all the exterior of the car for dent and scratches
- Don't forget to check the roof!!!! It is often forgotten, but they might check it when you return
- Don't forget under the bumper
- And don't forget the back of the mirrors
- Check the interior for any damage
- Check the state of the tires
- Check the state of the fender (mud wing above the wheels)
- Make sure the spare tire is in place and in good condition
- Check that gas level and milage match the record
Tip 25 - Check the mandatory equipment is in the car
In Mallorca, the following pieces of equipment must be available in the car:
- 2 warning triangles
- Reflective vest or jacket
- Spare wheel and tools to change it
- First aid kit (advised, not mandatory)
- Flashlight (advised, not mandatory)
Tip 26 - Ask about the management of tolls
There are no roads, tunnels or bridges with a toll.
The Soller tunnel (often listed by articles) does not have a toll anymore.
Tip 27 - What to do in case of fine or tickets (speed / parking)
You are responsible for any parking tickets or driving fines that you receive during the rental period.
If you are aware of it right away, you can go and pay at the police station or online, as indicated.
But know that it can take up to 3 months for a fine to be reported to the car owner (the rental company). In that case, they will send you proof and charge you for it and maybe add an administrative fee for managing the fine.
Tip 28 - What if there is a problem with the car
Don't lose your rental agreement.
On it, you will find the steps to take if you have a problem with your car.
Most use a breakdown assistance service and the number will be listed on the agreement.
Then you can contact the rental company to see how to car can be replaced.
Tip 29 - Don't forget to manage your tank
More and more company now have a system where you must bring back the car with the same level of fuel (not full to full tank but same to same).
This is very annoying, but it is easier for them to manage.
Therefore, you need to understand how much the car consumes and how many kilometers / miles you still have to do, if you don't want to waste money.
Tip 30 - Drop off
For peace of mind, try dropping off the car during opening hours so that the car checks can all be made and validated.
If not possible, take pictures of the car before leaving it.
So don't be stressed. If you have taken a reputable company, are respecting the rules, it should go very smoothly.
Tip 31 - What if you damaged the car
If your rental car gets damaged, the first thing to do is to contact the car rental agency.
- If your rental has only basic insurance, you will have to cover the damages up to your deductible amount.
- If you have purchased a full coverage with the rental company, check with them and it should be covered
- If you have purchased with Discovercars.com, contact them and provide all info (within 28 days of dropping off the car). They with refund you for charges and costs related to the damage, if warranted
- If you are using your own insurance, contact them and provide all info. They with refund you for charges and costs related to the damage, if warranted.
#32 to 36 - Get ready to drive in Mallorca
Below is a snapshot with the main things to know.
You can learn more on my article about driving in Mallorca.
Tip 32 - Understand the rules
- Minimum age in 18 (but 21 for renting a car)
- Driving in on the right side of the road
- The legal alcohol limit here is 0.05%. Driving under the influence is considered a serious offence.
- Roads are overall in OK conditions, but not excellent
- Wearing flip-flops to drive is prohibited (like in many countries)
- There are many narrow roads, don't choose a wide car
- Part of the island is mountainous
- Locals can be impatient, don't forget to check your mirrors for locals overtaking you
Tip 33 - Watch videos
To get familiar with the driving you can watch videos of people road tripping in Mallorca.
Below is my short video to give you an idea of what it looks like:
Tip 34 - Know the potential dangers
Apart from you driving too fast, the main dangers on the Mallorca roads are:
- The cyclists
Mallorca is a dream cycling destination. Therefore you will have to overtake many of them, but you don't always have to visibility... Patience!
- The animals
In the mountains and the countryside, you can have animals appearing on the side or on roads. Pay attention!
- Pouring rain
After intense rain, water can have difficult draining. Be extra careful.
Tip 35 - Plan your itinerary
It can be fun to go an adventure.
But if you want to see many locations on your road trip, better to plan ahead to balance your days and book accommodations.
Check out my 5 itinerary suggestions on how to spend one week in Mallorca.
And find all my favorite locations and tips in my travel guide eBook:
Plan your dream road trip around Mallorca!
- 8 easy-to-plan maps
- 140+ pre-selected scenic locations
- Planning tips to make the most of your time
- 270+ large photos to decide where to go
- GPS coordinates direct to the carparks
Where to stay in Mallorca?
- For a choice of restaurants and a main town - see best rated accommodations in Palma
- For beach + practical location to explore - see best rated accommodations in Port d'Alcudia
- For a party area - see best rated accommodations in S'Arenal
- For a quiet in the mountains - see best rated accommodations in Valldemossa
- For a quiet, charming seaside place - see best rated accommodations in Canyamel
- For access to the best calas - see best rated accommodations in Cala d'or
- For families - see best rated accommodations in Cala Millor or in Colonia Sant Jordi
More tips on my article about where to stay in Mallorca
Tip 36 - What to do in case of accident
In case there are people hurt or there is a conflict, the emergency number in Mallorca is 112:
The best order of actions is:
- contact emergency services
- contact the police
- contact your rental provider
Want to see more of Mallorca?
- 40 most beautiful landscapes in Mallorca (with pictures) - read article
- 7 Best Mallorca caves - read article
- 10 best calas in Mallorca (coves) - read article
- 12 Mallorca hidden gems, off the beaten path - read article
- 21 most beautiful views in Mallorca - read article
Planning a trip to Mallorca?
Check out my travel guide to help you plan:
And keep track of your own trip!
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