Mallorca Driving and Renting a Car: The Complete Guide (2024)

With its charming villages, gorgeous mountains, and turquoise water, Mallorca—not Majorca—is one of the most picturesque and romantic locations we’ve ever seen. It’s the ideal location for adventurous couples, laid-back beachside drink couples, or couples that want a little bit of everything!

Renting a car in Mallorca and driving about is the greatest way to take in all that this Spanish island has to offer in terms of adventure, beauty, and romance. That’s precisely what we did for over a week. It’s a great way for couples to make the most of their vacation time!

We’ll teach you all you need to know to enjoy a fantastic driving holiday in Mallorca, along with some things we wish we had known before our trip!

Mallorca Driving and Renting a Car: The Complete Guide (2024)

Also Read: Mallorca Schedule: 7 Days to Cherish

The “Too Long Didn’t Read” Essential Driving Information In Mallorca

This is a long piece because I want you to feel as comfortable driving around Mallorca as we did—since we just found out this information on the fly. The following are the top 10 points to keep in mind when driving in Mallorca, in case you don’t have time to read the complete essay:

  1. You drive on the right side of the road and pass on the left, much as in the United States.
    It is prohibited to drive while wearing flip-flops, so plan accordingly.
  2. While locals are used to tourists driving slowly, they sometimes grow annoyed, and tailgating and overtaking are common. You will be OK if you drive defensively.
  3. Cyclists are extremely common, especially on mountain roads. Slow down while approaching blind corners.
  4. To drive an automobile, you must be at least 18 years old, and you must be 21 to rent one. You must also have a valid credit card.
  5. The roads are rather narrow, and the Ma-10 is perched on the edge of a big cliff, so you want the smallest vehicle possible.
  6. The number to call in case of an accident is 112.
  7. When driving, you must display your rental agreement on the windscreen. We do recommend covering it when parking so you don’t shout, “I’m A TOURIST, STEAL MY STUFF!”
  8. The speed limit on highways is 120 km/h, however, in other areas, it ranges from 30 to 90 km/h. Metropolitan regions are frequently assigned speeds ranging from 30 to 50 km per hour.
  9. There are a lot of speed bumps and roundabouts (without signals).

Is Driving Safe in Mallorca? Is it simple?

We didn’t love driving in Mallorca, and we always want to be honest with you. Although the roads in Mallorca are substantially different from those in the US, driving there isn’t very difficult.

Driving over mountain ranges, beside a broad cliff with little barrier to falling into the ocean, and around hairpin corners was a little disconcerting, even if it didn’t seem like we were going to die the entire time.

Best Driving Locations in Mallorca

The majority of the roads are in decent condition, and several of the main thoroughfares seem to be the same as those in the US. If you stay on the main routes outside the mountains, such as the Ma-1 or Ma-19, you will be completely safe. It’s easy to navigate and very level.

Mallorca’s Worst Driving Spots

Conversely, things get risky as you approach the Serra de Tramuntana. On the brink of cliffs, there are little roads with hairpin bends. This is particularly true on the Ma-10, the route that leads to Valdemossa, Deià, and Soller and is the most hazardous on the island.

Continue on a little farther to Sa Calobra, where the MA-10 becomes the Ma-2141. This is referred to as the “Snake Road” and can be hazardous, but for some island visitors, it’s a must-do!

Peak Tourist Season vs. Shoulder Season Driving

Driving in the high tourist season (June to August) is very different from driving in other seasons. During these months, Mallorca sees an influx of tourists and an increase in the number of automobiles on the road.

The more inexperienced drivers there are on the road, the slower and riskier driving becomes. Driving will be easier if you visit Mallorca in the spring or autumn.

Everything You Need to Know About Driving in Mallorca

Now that all of the confusion has been removed, let’s examine the basic rules and regulations governing driving in Mallorca. By driving, you will be able to take advantage of all the attractions that make the island so worthwhile!

Driving Requirements in Mallorca (Spain)

Mallorca has the same driving regulations as the majority of Spain and much of Europe.

Although you must be 18 years old to drive in Mallorca, several vehicle rental businesses insist on you being 21 years old or older to avoid charging you a “young driver fee.” It also requires a current driver’s license from your nation. In addition, a legitimate form of identification is required by most rental car businesses, and this is often your passport. Lastly, you need a working credit card to hire an automobile.

To notify the police, you must also have your vehicle registration paperwork and your rental agreement visible on your car’s windscreen as you drive. When parked, feel free to take it, but don’t forget to put it back!

Do You Require An International Driving Permit (IDP)?

To drive in Mallorca and Spain, Americans need to get an International Drivers Permit. You also need your US passport and driver’s license in addition to this. It’s possible that the rental vehicle business won’t ask to see your IDP, but it’s against the law, so be prepared with one.

SUGGESTIONS FOR PROS Obtaining an International Drivers Permit in the US is simple, quick, and reasonably priced. Before leaving on vacation, we normally pick ours up at any BCAA store. Obtaining an IDP in the US requires presenting two passport-sized pictures and costs around USD 20. Obtain an IDP even if you’re not sure if you want to drive in Mallorca.

If you are a citizen of the European Union, you may use your ordinary driver’s license throughout your road trip to Mallorca without the need for an International driver’s Permit.

Mallorca Speeding Penalties

If you live outside of Spain and are caught speeding in Mallorca, you will probably have to pay the fine right away. If a camera, not a civil guard, catches you speeding, your rental car company will be notified.

The amount of the fine varies according to how much you violate the speed limit, from €100 to €600.

In Mallorca, which side of the road do you drive on?

On Mallorca, the right side of the road is used for driving. On the island, there are a few single-lane roads; kindly yield and stay to the right.

General Traffic Regulations

The general driving rules in Mallorca are similar to those in the United States:

  • Seatbelts are necessary.
  • Using a mobile phone while driving is strictly prohibited.
  • Overtaking is only feasible on the left.
  • Slow traffic should stay in the proper lane.
  • When driving, flip-flops are not authorized.

Driving While Intoxicated

While on vacation in Spain, it is inevitable to drink, and the legal driving limit in Mallorca and across Spain is 0.05%. It is against the law to drive while intoxicated anywhere in the world, thus we advise against drinking and driving. On the twisting roads, you need also to be alert and cautious.

Insurance is required.

Unlimited third-party liability insurance is required when driving in Spain.

Highway Conditions

We discovered Mallorca’s roadways to be well-maintained, with distinct lanes. Of course, driving in the mountains makes things much riskier, but summertime driving should not present any issues with road conditions.

Highway Signs

We were a little confused by the traffic signs in Mallorca because they aren’t all that different from what we’re used to. Here are a few pain road warning signs to be aware of: There are circular signs with a number and a red border that display the speed restrictions.

PLEASE NOTE THAT SPEED LIMITS ARE IN KILOMETRES PER HOUR, NOT MILES.

  • Brown signs represent sites of interest.
  • Other signs, such as roundabouts, no-passing zones, and no U-turns, are self-explanatory.
  • Sometimes traffic lights are installed in strange locations, such as on a pole immediately beside your vehicle rather than in the air in front of you. If you don’t see your light, look to the side!

To help you drive safely and confidently in Mallorca, I’ve created a graphic featuring some of the traffic signs you should and shouldn’t be familiar with!

Roundabouts

Mallorca is a big fan of roundabouts, especially on major thoroughfares. On a road, roundabouts are often encountered. Since there are no indications when leaving the roundabout, unlike in this instance, we found them to be a little more chaotic than American roundabouts.

Therefore, proceed cautiously, giving, and slowly across the roundabout. Drive defensively, like I’ve mentioned, and everything will work out.

Speed Limitations

The fact that speed restrictions are expressed in kilometers rather than miles is among the most crucial things for us Americans to comprehend. There is no need to perform any calculations because the speedometer on your automobile should read in kilometers.

The speed limit on highways is 120 km/h, whereas the restrictions at all other locations range from 30 to 90 km/h. Cities are usually given speed limits between thirty and fifty kilometers per hour.

Tolls

Mallorca doesn’t have any tolled roadways! Hooray!

Driving in Specific Locations

Driving in Palma de Mallorca

The best way to characterize driving in Palma de Mallorca’s city is chaotic. We didn’t enjoy traveling here because of the practically constant traffic and the potential for nasty situations.

Driving Outside The Mountains On The Mainland

Once you go past Palma and travel the whole length of the island, except the North Mountain region, the roads are excellent. They are lovely, calm, and quiet. Our favorite place to drive was this.

Driving Through The Villages

Driving through the little villages exposes you to several speed bumps and narrow roads, however none of them are particularly scary. Speed bumps and roundabouts are Mallorca’s obsession.

Driving Through the Mountains

To the north and northwest of Mallorca is the Serra Tramuntana Mountain Range, which is traversed mostly by the Ma-10 (see above). Because the Ma-10 is twisting and a little dangerous, drive carefully and yield to buses as they navigate hairpin corners. Driving in the mountains had the unexpected benefit of having one lane in each way; these are not one-lane roads. It’s less intimidating because the lanes are marked.

Mallorca Car Rental

Renting a Car Requires Insurance

You need unlimited third-party liability insurance, which is covered by the rental price, to hire a car in Mallorca. It is advised that you obtain a credit card that provides secondary insurance, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve, to avoid having to pay for full coverage while renting an automobile.

Where Can I Rent a Car?

The greatest spot to hire a car in Mallorca is at the Palma airport (PMI). Since you will need to fly into this airport, pick up your car, and drive into town right away, this is the most convenient option.

You may hire a vehicle at Palma Beach or any of the other main beach villages on the island if you choose not to rent in PMI.

We used Discover Cars to hire a car from Click and Hire; the process was easy and quick, even though the automobile was outside the airport. The fact that the staff spoke English made us feel comfortable renting there.

Other well-known rental firms include Sixt, National, Alamo, and Enterprise if that makes you feel better.

What Kind of Car Should I Rent?

One thing you’ll notice about Europe is that most rental cars are manual since manual automobiles are significantly more common than automatic ones. But we did come upon an automated vehicle.

Even if you are accustomed to driving a manual and are at ease with it, we advise renting an automatic car whilst in Mallorca. You want to minimize the difficulty and tension associated with driving on mountain roads.

Car Rental Costs

We discovered that renting a car in Mallorca was far less expensive than we had thought! Remember that the cost of renting a car varies depending on the season; summer car rentals will be far more expensive than winter ones!

In Mallorca, daily vehicle rentals range from $15 to $60, with January through March being the least expensive.

The Cash Deposits

Even if you rented the automobile from a third party, the rental company will want you to present a credit card to cover hold charges if you damage the vehicle if you choose to forego full coverage.

It should be noted that hold fees may be rather high. We had to pay $1,000 for it! If you return the vehicle in excellent operating order, you’ll get this back! To make sure it has been refunded, just make sure to check your credit card.

NOTE: You will not need to carry out the hold if you would like to obtain full coverage from the rental car company directly.

Picking Up and Returning Your Rental Car

Picking up and dropping off your rental automobile is a rather simple process. To have the best possible experience, bear the following suggestions in mind:

  • We prefer renting cars at the airport since they are frequently open during the same hours that planes are.
  • If you hire a car outside of the airport, keep in mind that it may be closed at specific times. Make sure this will not interfere with your flight time.
  • Dropping off your rental car may be in a different location than picking it up, so always double-check with the supplier before taking it.

Is it necessary to book a rental car ahead of time?

We made our rental vehicle reservation on the day of the trip rather than in advance. But since we went to Mallorca in the shoulder season, fewer people were renting automobiles.

In the busy summer months, we advise booking a car well in advance of your trip. If you’re visiting in Mallorca’s shoulder season and aren’t sure whether to rent a car or not, you should be able to wait.

What If You Get a Ticket While Driving a Rental Car?

If you receive a ticket for a rental car from a police officer, you will probably have to pay it right away. It might take many months for the rental vehicle business to record a camera-generated ticket and then forward it to you for payment.

What Happens If You Have An Accident In A Rental Car?

In the event of an accident, dial 112 to request assistance. For this reason, we choose Google. Since they offer mobile coverage in practically every country on the planet, this phone service provider was our first choice! This guarantees service (as well as your safety) when traveling without WiFi. Since we moved away from Sprint, we have fallen deeply in love with it!

Please let your Mallorca car rental company know if you make emergency contact as well.

Tips We Wish We Had Known Before Renting a Car in Mallorca

Although picking up a car rental in Mallorca is simple, there are a few things we wish we had known before we went:

  • When you pick up your car, take pictures of everything – inside, outside, top, bottom, and so on. Driving on Mallorca’s steep roads often results in scrapes and scratches, and you don’t want to get penalized for something you didn’t cause.
  • If you don’t have Google, you may consider getting a GPS device for your car to avoid getting lost. You don’t want to be driving the Ma-10 in the middle of the night with no idea where you are.
  • Only the main driver is protected. If you wish the other person in your pair to drive sometimes, let the rental car company know ahead of time.

Parking on the island of Mallorca

Because of heavy traffic, parking in Mallorca, especially in the main city of Palma, can be difficult. The actual parking restrictions are simple and are shown by color:

  • Parking is free in the white zones.
  • Blue zones indicate paid parking.
  • Parking is not allowed in yellow zones.

Street parking is notoriously hard to locate and may require special approvals. Parking in a public garage is what we advise. Because Palma’s SABA parking garage is centrally placed in the city center and easily accessible from several areas, we prefer parking there.

IMPORTANT: Parking was more expensive than we had anticipated, even though the parking garage made it easy. A day’s parking in a garage is roughly $35.

Numerous small communities provide complimentary public parking. Make sure you have some spare coins with you if you have to park in a paid lot. Although they often accepted credit cards, we noticed that the credit card option was regularly broken.

Purchasing Gas in Mallorca

Make sure your rental car works on gasoline (gasoline) or diesel (oil) when you pick it up.

How to Go About It

Recall that the black pump is for diesel and the green pump is for petrol when you fill up at a service station. The simplest solution is to ask them to fill up the car or you, as there is usually a gasoline station worker around. This guarantees that you won’t damage the automobile by doing it wrong!

Petrol Prices

Keep in mind that because petrol costs are listed per liter rather than per gallon in Europe, they appear lower than in the US. Once converted, though, the price goes up a lot. Around $1.70 per liter or more than $7 per gallon is what you should budget for.

Tips for Driving in Mallorca Based on Our Own Experience

We picked up the following driving tips while traveling across Mallorca:

  1. Rent a tiny car to fit into tight areas and navigate narrow highways.
  2. As previously said, parking is costly if you want to park in garages for convenience.
  3. Cycling is really popular in the mountains, and they are constantly coming around the curves, so you must pay attention and travel even slower than you think.
  4. Turn signals appear to be suggestions.
  5. Stop signs can be placed in strange positions, so look about if you don’t see one right in front of you!

Making the Most of Your Driving Experience – Travel Tips

Most Beautiful Drive

The Ma-10 coast road is one of the most picturesque routes, connecting Palma with Port de Soller. The vistas of the Mediterranean in the Alps are something you won’t want to miss if you feel comfortable driving twisting roads along cliff edges!

The hairpin twists of the Sa Calobra Road (MA-2141) have earned it the nickname “snake road” for those seeking a little extra thrill. If you are not a highly experienced driver who is accustomed to driving in the highlands, we strongly encourage you not to do this.

Visit the Most Beautiful Villages

Mallorca is home to an almost endless number of charming villages. Still, our favorites were:

  • Valdemossa
  • Santanyí
  • Deià

Even if Soller was less enchanted and romantic than the other three villages, it was still really beautiful! This is a map showing the locations of the four cities and the journey between them; Santany is best explored alone as it is located independently of the other three towns.

Is a Car Necessary in Mallorca?

So, to enjoy Mallorca, is a car necessary? The answer is as follows:

If you want to stay in Mallorca for more than three days, if you want to see everything the island has to offer, or if you want to do more than just laze about the beach and visit areas other than the town center. There are tonnes of sights to see that are more challenging to get to without a car!

No, if all you want to do is spend a day or two on the island and unwind on the beach. You might then choose to stay in the city and take an alternate mode of transportation from Palma airport to the city.

Mallorca Driving and Renting a Car: The Complete Guide (2024)

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Conclusion

Guys, we’ve made it to the finish line at last! If you are familiar with the area and are aware of some of the more dangerous routes so they don’t catch you off guard, driving and renting a car in Mallorca may be very easy.

We highly suggest that you hire a car if at all possible when deciding how long to stay in Mallorca. This will enable you to fully enjoy the island’s variety, from the breathtaking, lush green mountains to the turquoise-blue beaches and charming villages.

We hope you’re ready for a road trip to Mallorca after reading our guide on driving and renting a car in Mallorca!

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