Renting a car in Menorca is the best way to explore this beautiful island. It lets you admire beaches, villages, ravines, lighthouses and much more!
Here is my complete guide to renting a car in Menorca, based on my own experience:
- Which car
- Which car rental company
- Tips for driving
- Essential rules and advice
I’ve tried to list everything you might need to know to enjoy a worry-free car rental experience.
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Car rental in Menorca: what you need to know
After many travel rentals in the Balearic Islands (and around the world), here is a summary of my essential advice:
1. When should you rent a car?
Ideally, no later than 1.5 months before the trip.
However, the earlier you rent, the more cars and offers you have to choose from. Especially since most of them offer free cancellation!
Personally, I book as soon as I’ve booked my plane tickets.
2. Where to rent a car in Menorca?
The first thing we always do is compare deals on our favorite platform: DiscoverCars.com. It’s one of the best rated on Trustpilot, and I often find excellent deals there.
The pick-up point for your car is Menorca Airport, either on site or at a nearby agency with a shuttle service – see offers
Between the price of a car rental over several days, or just one or two days taking a cab to your hotel, it’s surely more interesting to rent a car over your entire stay.
3. Which car to choose?
- Choose a car with enough power (some of the roads between villages are steep, especially on the way to Monte Toro).
- But don’t choose a car that’s too big, so that you can park more easily, as some outdoor and underground parking lots have very narrow spaces and the roads are not always wide.
- a 4×4 or SUV is not at all necessary (a happy medium between a city car and a big car)
- most cars have manual transmission, book early to get an automatic
- don’t forget your air-conditioning, as it can get very hot in Menorca by car, even outside the summer months.
- GPS can also help you find your way around the island
4. Which rental agency to choose in Menorca?
There isn’t a single agency in the region that really stands out.
I particularly like Autos Menorca, but the international brands are just as reputable. The advantage with this agency: rates are more attractive than those directly at the airport, as a shuttle picks you up at your terminal and takes you a 10min drive to collect your rental car.
On the platform Discovercars.com, each rental company is rated out of 10 points. I advise you to choose car rental agencies that score above 8 (my price/service quality limit).
5. What insurance should I take out?
I have used the insurance of the DiscoversCars platform several times and everything has gone well. The reimbursement was efficient.
Advantage: cheaper than the rental company’s insurance, and an efficient way to get reimbursed.
Disadvantage: an amount will be blocked on your credit card for the duration of the rental, and the rental company will always try to get you to buy theirs.
6. What to check on the car
Whatever the country, always check the car before you leave, and take photos and videos of any damage (including the roof and underside of bumpers) – checklist later in the article.
7. The essentials for driving in Menorca
- Many rental companies do not allow you to take the ferry to the other Balearic islands (Ibiza, Majorca). Please check.
- Don’t drive in flip-flops
- A valid license in Latin letters is required
- There’s no point in driving fast on the roads because you’ll be forced to slow down at the many traffic circles.
- Call 112 in the event of an accident
- See the best offers
Do I need to rent a car in Menorca?
It all depends on what you want from your vacation…
See a bit of every corner and aspect of the island:
I highly recommend taking a car. It allows you to discover much more of the island’s beautiful scenery in all its nooks and crannies. I loved discovering less touristy places (and at less crowded times).
Mostly enjoy the beach:
However, if you mainly want to spend time at the beach, and visit only a few of the most famous places, you can choose accommodation in one of the southern or western resorts and join organized tours or cab tours (although the rates are still less attractive than if you hire a car).
Is it difficult to drive in Menorca?
Driving in Menorca is generally easy, with paved roads in good condition. There are no freeways, but one main highway (the Me-1) crosses the island from east to west.
The most difficult areas to drive are the very narrow roads with low dry-stone walls to certain beaches, to the lighthouses and to the Canyon d’Algendar. Drive slowly so that you can see the cars ahead, as visibility is not always good. Choose a car that’s not too big, so that you have enough room to pass.
There are also lots of bends on all the roads, and traffic circles at virtually every major junction, so take care and keep to the speed limit. Most of the roads to the villages and inland are not lit at night.
Rent a car at Menorca airport (MAH)
Menorca Airport isn’t huge
As soon as you collect your luggage, you’ll see the rental agency offices all lined up directly opposite the carpets before exiting to the arrivals hall.
And once you’ve finished the paperwork, the parking lot is just across the road to find your car, just follow the signs.
No stress, it’s very easy.
See airport offers
How to rent a car in Menorca: requirements
To drive in Menorca / the Balearics / Spain, you need a valid driver’s license from your country.
If you have a valid driver’s license, which includes:
- a license number,
- a photo,
- a validity date
- and is written in Latin letters,
then you don’t need an international permit.
If you do, you do.
Additional age requirements / years of driving experience
The official driving age in Menorca (as in Spain) is 18.
However, many car rental companies :
- ask you to be 21 or 23 years old
- will require you to have held a license in your home country for a year or more,
- may add fees if you are under 25,
- may add fees if you are over a certain age.
- It’s best to make sure you read all the clauses in the fine print.
On the Discovercars.com platform, you can enter your age, to see any limitations on available rental cars and any additional charges.
A credit card that can handle expense deductions
Don’t forget that, unless you’ve decided to take out comprehensive insurance directly with the rental company, your rental agency will ask you to withhold a charge, i.e. a deposit (in addition to payment). This amount, the ” surcharge “, is blocked on your account via your credit card (released on return of the car).
Since it’s in addition to the payment, you may reach the daily/weekly or monthly payment limit on your credit card.
I’ve seen many people at car rental companies be surprised by this situation and have trouble dealing with it.
How do you manage it?
- Use a different credit card for hold fees,
- Contact your bank before you travel to change your payment limits,
- Take out comprehensive insurance with a zero deductible.
Mandatory insurances in Menorca / Spain are :
- unlimited liability insurance is required by law – and is therefore included in the car rental price.
Then there’s insurance to cover potential damage to the vehicle. Your choice has an impact on the deductible that remains to be paid following repairs:
- Option 1 – Use your credit card insurance / or your own car insurance. Some have a clause for rentals. You need to read all the fine print to fully understand what is and isn’t covered.
- Option 2 – Buy when you book your rental car
Deals are mostly better than over the counter (I saw 3 times cheaper, once).
On direct sites, you get the dealer’s insurance, but on platforms, you get special insurance created by the platform.
For example, on Discovercars.com, they have their own ” Full Coverage Waiver ” insurance option.
Personally, that’s what we use because they’re cheaper. I once had to use it because of windscreen damage and got my money back quickly.
- Option 3 – When you collect the car
This is the most expensive option, but if you’ve never done it before, you could buy it when you pay for your rental. The advantage is that the deductible drops to zero, so there’s no deposit deducted from your card.
- Option 4 – Travel insurance
Buy travel insurance that includes comprehensive car rental coverage from one of the classic insurance companies.
Other tips for your rental car
Cost of car rental in Menorca
To give you an idea, based on data from Discovercars.com, prices are about the same:
- The average price of a rental car varies widely throughout the year, from EUR 12 to EUR 30 per day.
- The cheapest prices are usually for when you travel to Menorca in winter.
It’s easy to compare prices online.
How to save money: cheap rentals?
If keeping costs down is your main concern, you should :
- Book early
- Return the car to where you picked it up
- Book a smaller car
- Pay attention to pick-up and drop-off times – Car rental is generally charged per 24-hour period.
- Choose a rental with no or limited cancellation
- If you’re renting for 6 days, check the price for 7 days – sometimes companies have a discount for week-long rentals.
Choice of fuel: diesel, gas or electric
- The service station in Spanish is ” estación de servicio ” and in Catalan “estacio de servei”.
- Gasoline is found on the green pump – called ” gasolina ” and if it’s unleaded ” gasolina sin plomo “.
- The diesel is on the black pump called ” diesel “.
- There aren’t many electric charging stations yet, but you can find a few on the island.
Check opening hours if you choose an agency that is not located at the airport.
If you pick up your car at the airport, companies are normally open as long as flights are arriving.
However, if you rent a car in a city, especially a small one, opening hours will be shorter (especially at weekends). This may mean that you’ll have to rent for an extra day if you can’t drop the car off to return it.
Car rental scams in Menorca
As in most countries, if the price is very, very low, there must be conditions and tricks behind it.
But there are no specific scams for Minorque apart from some rental companies who may present tax-free prices at the time of booking. Check the final amount before the payment stage.
Always take dated photos and videos of the car on arrival and on return (if you can’t get the document confirming no problems immediately).
Take care when changing islands in the Balearic Islands
From Menorca, you can also visit the neighboring Balearic islands of Mallorca, Ibiza and Formentera.
However, this involves taking a ferry.
Most rental companies on the island of Menorca do not allow you to take the ferry. But a few do.
If you rent with Discovercars.com, once you have selected a car, you can click on ” Rental conditions “, then again on ” Rental conditions ” or ” Additional conditions ” to find the ” Geographical restrictions “.
If they are not documented, you can add the question to customer support.
Pick up and drop off your car to avoid problems
Check your vehicle at pick-up
For a trouble-free exchange with the car rental company, I recommend that you carry out a thorough check of the car before leaving the parking lot. Sometimes this is done with an agent. Sometimes they simply give you a form with the condition of the car before you rent it.
Make sure all dents and scratches are noted, if not, make sure they’re added.
What’s more, for peace of mind, you can take photos and videos of the damage, or simply of the car from all angles, before you leave (as in all countries).
Damage to be checked/examined at time of pick-up :
- Check the entire exterior of the car for dents and scratches.
- Don’t forget to check the roof!!! It’s often forgotten, but it may be checked when you return.
- Don’t forget the underside of the bumper
- Remember to check the trunk
- And don’t forget the rear-view mirrors
- Check interior for damage or dirt
- Check tire condition
- Check the condition of the wing (mud wing above the wheels)
- Check that the spare wheel is in place and in good condition
- Check that fuel level and mileage correspond to the file
Check compulsory equipment
In Menorca, in the Balearic Islands (Spain), the following equipment must be available in the car:
- 2 warning triangles
- Reflective vest or jacket
- Spare wheel and tools for changing it
- First-aid kit (recommended, not mandatory)
- Flashlight (recommended, not mandatory)
Rules for child safety seats
The law states that :
- children weighing less than 18 kg must be placed in child seats
- and children under 135 cm tall must be installed in the rear seats on a booster seat.
Find out more about toll management
There are no toll roads in Menorca.
What to do in the event of a fine or ticket (speeding / parking)
You are responsible for any driving tickets or fines you receive during the rental period.
If you are notified immediately, you can go pay at the police station or online, as indicated.
But be aware that it can take up to 3 months before a fine is reported to the car owner (the rental company). In this case, they will send you proof of the fine and charge you for it, possibly adding an administrative fee for handling the fine.
What to do if there’s a problem with the car?
Don’t lose your rental contract (if possible, keep both the paper version with you and the electronic version on your phone).
On it, you’ll find the steps to take if you have a problem with your car.
Most rental companies have a breakdown assistance service, and the number will be indicated on the contract.
You can then contact the rental company to find out how to replace the car and under what conditions.
Don’t forget to manage your tank
These days, more and more companies have introduced a policy whereby you have to return your car with the same level of fuel (instead of taking a full tank and returning a full tank).
It’s very annoying, but it’s easier for them to manage.
Therefore, you need to understand how much the car consumes and how many kilometers/miles you have left, if you don’t want to waste money.
Parking the car
For peace of mind, try to drop the car off during opening hours so that the checks can all be carried out and validated. Get a document certifying that everything is OK.
If this isn’t their process, or if you’re in a hurry and can’t get a document, make sure you take dated photos of the car before you leave it.
It’s true that you can read some horror stories and scams on the Internet about car rentals.
However, keep in mind that the thousands and thousands of people who have no problems don’t write that everything went well with their rental…
So don’t be stressed. If you’ve hired a reputable company and followed the rules, everything should go smoothly.
And if you’ve taken out the rental company’s insurance with a zero deductible, you can drop the car off with no worries.
What to do if you damage the car
If your rental car is damaged, the first thing to do is contact the car rental agency.
- If your rental only has basic insurance, you’ll have to cover damage up to your deductible.
- If you have taken out comprehensive coverage with the rental agency, check with them and the damage should be covered.
- If you purchased with Discovercars.com, contact them and provide all the information (within 28 days of the car’s deposit). They will reimburse you for any charges and costs associated with the damage, if justified.
- If you use your own insurance, contact them and provide all the information. They will reimburse you for the costs of the damage, if justified.
Get ready to drive in Menorca
Here’s an introduction to driving in Menorca. See my full article here.
Understanding the rules
- Driving is on the right-hand side of the road, which means that traffic circles are taken counter-clockwise.
- Road signs are easy to understand, nothing special to note.
- The blood alcohol level is 0.05%, which is lower than in the UK.
- Seat belts are compulsory for all front and rear passengers.
- No cell phones at the wheel
- Don’t wear flip-flops when driving
- And of course: come to a complete stop at stop signs, do not cross solid white lines, traffic on the carriageway has priority over your entrance, respect the speed limit…
Understanding potential hazards
There are 4 main dangers to be aware of when driving in Menorca:
- The scenery – The main danger is getting distracted by the magnificent landscape. The island is still unspoilt and wild, on the road you’ll sometimes see the beauty of nature and want to look at it better, but there’s nowhere to stop. That’s when you become dangerous.
- Locals – Because you want to look at the scenery, locals on their way to work can be impatient. They can be a bit crazy when overtaking. Therefore, always look in your mirrors, especially when turning left (towards your accommodation, for example) in the middle of a long straight road or when you’re on narrow roads with bends.
- Cyclists – During weekends and vacation periods, cyclists invade the roads. Be very careful when overtaking.
- Narrow roads – Many roads are really very very narrow with sometimes room for only one car, so avoid driving fast especially when the light is low. The many twists and turns increase the risk of accidents.
- The traffic in seaside resorts – Many roads are really very very narrow with sometimes room for only one car, so avoid driving fast especially when the light is poor. The many twists and turns increase the risk of accidents.
What to do in the event of an accident
If people are injured or there is a conflict, the emergency number in Menorca is 112 (or 061 for a medical emergency):
The best order of action is as follows
- contact the emergency services
- contact the police
- contact your rental supplier
Where to stay in Menorca?
I recommend staying either close to one of the 2 main towns, Ciutadella or Port Mahon, or in one of the charming little villages all over the island. You’ll enjoy good restaurants, typical markets and their picturesque atmosphere. For example, you could opt for:
- Hotel Gran Melia Villa Le Blanc Hotel in Santo Tomas – View photos & availability
- Hotel Catalonia Mirador des Port, overlooking the natural harbour of Mahon – View photos & availabilities
- Hotel Smoix Hotel, in the old town of Ciutadella – View photos and availability
Plan your trip to Menorca:
- 35 best things to do in Menorca
- Menorca’s most beautiful landscapes
- Menorca’s most beautiful villages and towns
- Best beaches in Menorca
- Menorca hidden gems
- Best museums in Menorca
- Best caves
- Best calas
- Markets in Menorca
- Best restaurants
- Where to stay in Menorca
- Best luxury hotels in Menorca
- Best family hotels in Menorca
- Best boutique hotels
- Tips for driving in Menorca
- Renting a car in Menorca
- My itineraries in Menorca – coming soon
- Road trip in Menorca – coming soon
All my advice in this article was put into words with the help of Myriam.