Car Rental in Bilbao

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Bilbao, Spain
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Driver's country of residence is United States of America (USA) and age is 30-65
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700+ Trusted Suppliers:

Cheapest Car Rental Rates

Bilbao Airport
Mini
Fiat 500 or similar
Fiat 500
  • 4
  • 1
  • 3
  • A/C
  • Man.
Record-go
$2.24 / per day
Bilbao Airport
Intermediate SUV
Skoda Karoq or similar
Skoda Karoq
  • 5
  • 2
  • 5
  • A/C
  • Man.
Goldcar
$4.71 / per day
Bilbao Airport
Economy
Fiat 500 or similar
Fiat 500
  • 4
  • 1
  • 3
  • A/C
  • Man.
Click&Rent
$6.49 / per day
Bilbao Airport
Compact
Renault Megane or similar
Renault Megane
  • 5
  • 2
  • 5
  • A/C
  • Man.
RentByCar
$9.20 / per day

Most Popular Car Rental Deals

Bilbao Airport
Mini Elite
Fiat 500 or similar
Fiat 500
  • 4
  • 1
  • 3
  • A/C
  • Man.
Drivalia
$9.30 / per day
Bilbao Airport
Compact Elite
Renault Captur or similar
Renault Captur
  • 5
  • 2
  • 5
  • A/C
  • Man.
GoByCar
$15.76 / per day
Bilbao Airport
Economy Elite
Opel Crossland or similar
Opel Crossland
  • 5
  • 2
  • 5
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Ok Mobility
$19.51 / per day
Bilbao Airport
Standard
Opel Insignia or similar
Opel Insignia
  • 5
  • 3
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Man.
Alamo
$39.65 / per day
The above prices are only approximate and were last updated at 11:53 on 2024-06-17. Prices may vary based on the booking dates, length of rental, and car class.

Travel Information

Languages
Spanish, Catalan
Currency
EUR
Drive on
Right-hand side
Country code
+34
Average car rental price
$13 per day
Average car rental length
6 days
Speed limit within town
20 - 50 km/h or 12 - 31 mph
Speed limit out of town
90 - 120 km/h or 56 - 75 mph
Acceptable limit of BAC
0.05%
Rating
9.3 / 10
Average gasoline price
$1.74 per liter or $6.59 / 1 gallon
Lowest gasoline price
$1.59 per liter or $6.02 / 1 gallon
Highest gasoline price
$1.93 per liter or $7.32 / 1 gallon

Why rent a car in Bilbao?

Bilbao is one of the most interesting cities in Spain. Sophisticated and modern, yet with a touch of exciting history and some of the best restaurants in the country, it offers something for every visitor. Better yet, its proximity to other cities like San Sebastian and Pamplona, traditional villages, stunning mountains, and some of Europe’s best surfing spots makes it a great hub from which to explore the rest of the Basque region and northeastern Spain.

One-Way Car Rentals in Bilbao

The most popular one-way rental options for pick up in Bilbao and drop off in another city include:

  • From Bilbao to Barcelona - 101 offers from $19.06 per day
  • From Bilbao to Madrid - 101 offers from $20.29 per day
  • From Bilbao to Malaga - 154 offers from $20.29 per day
  • From Bilbao to Santander - 61 offers from $17.82 per day
  • From Bilbao to A Coruña - 98 offers from $20.29 per day

Top ways to enter Bilbao

  • Bilbao Airport: Located just 9km (5.4 miles) north of Bilbao city center, the largest airport in the Basque country hosts many flights to and from Southern and Western Europe, as well as some flights to the northern and eastern parts of the continent. One of the best airports in Spain according to various surveys, it served 5.5 million travelers in 2018.
  • San Sebastian Airport. Serving the neighboring city of San Sebastian (which is also known as Donostia in the native Basque), San Sebastian Airport is 120 km (75 miles) west of Bilbao, a drive that can be made in less than 90 minutes. The airport is served by low-cost companies like Volotea and Vueling, and it also serves several domestic routes, as well as flights to and from London and Edinburgh in the United Kingdom.
  • Santander Airport: Serving the capital city of the neighboring Cantabria region, Santander Seve Ballesteros Airport is much smaller than its counterpart in Bilbao, yet offers many flights by low-cost carriers. The airport is just an hour’s drive west of Bilbao along the Bay of Biscay.
  • Biarritz Airport: Another small and cozy airport near Bilbao, Biarritz Airport is located in nearby France. It offers convenient connections to Paris, Lyon, Geneva, London, and other Western European destinations. Biarritz Airport is just a 90-minute drive from Bilbao, but keep in mind that you’ll be crossing an international border, so first make sure your car rental provider permits it.
  • Pamplona Airport: The capital city of the neighboring Navarre region is only served by two airlines, but offers year-long flights to and from Madrid and Frankfurt, as well as seasonal flights to the Balearic Islands. Pamplona Airport is less than two hour’s drive southeast of Bilbao.
  • By rail: If you arrive in Bilbao by train, you can conveniently pick up your rental car at Bilbao Train Station, Bilbao-Abando.
  • By sea: If you arrive in Bilbao by ferry, you can easily pick up your rental car at the Port of Bilbao.

City facts

  • Bilbao enjoys an oceanic climate. Its summers are warm (but rarely extremely hot) and quite dry, while its winters are mild and wet. The average temperature is 21°C (69°F) in August, the warmest month, and 9°C (48°F) in January.
  • Because of its proximity to the Bay of Biscay, the average altitude of Bilbao is only 19m (62ft). However, there are two impressive mountain ranges nearby, the Cantabrian Mountains to the west and the Pyrenees to the east. Both offer excellent hiking, skiing, and wildlife-watching opportunities.

 

Top sights and activities

  • Guggenheim Museum. A landmark of Bilbao, it is also one of the most famous modern art museums in the world. Paying homage to Bilbao’s many sailors and fishermen, the museum’s largest gallery was projected to resemble the fins of a fish (and was for a time, indeed, called the Fish Gallery). Works by Mark Rothko, Francesco Clemente, and many other famous artists can be found inside. A visit to Bilbao is incomplete without seeing the Guggenheim.
  • La Ria Maritime Museum. Located in the former shipyard of the city, this museum is made up of both indoor and outdoor exhibitions telling the story of the proud Basque seafaring history. Even if you’re not particularly interested in the topic, seeing this unique building is an awesome experience.
  • Santiago Cathedral. First built during the 12th century and heavily enlarged over later centuries, this gothic church is named after the patron saint of Bilbao. In the center of a larger architectural complex that also includes a fountain and a square, the cathedral is also an important milestone for those who walk the Way of Saint James (the Camino de Santiago).
  • The Basque Museum. Known for a unique culture and a language that’s not related to any other living tongue, the native inhabitants of the Basque region are considered to be one of the oldest cultures in Europe. From archaeological findings to national costumes, this small, but interesting museum is dedicated to all things Basque. In 2021, the museum celebrated its 100th anniversary.
  • La Ribera Market. In the heart of the old town, you’ll find Bilbao’s central market which is home to a fantastic food court where you can taste delicious pintxos, similar to tapas, and traditional Basque desserts, such as Carolina pastry.
  • Artxanda Funicular. Just a ten-minute walk from City Hall, the Artxanda cable car takes you to Mount Artxanda, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city.

Traffic and parking

  • Speed limits - 30km/h (19mph) for all roads in the city of Bilbao (this started in 2020), 90km/h (56mph) on most standard roads outside of the city, 100km/h (62mph) on standard roads that are either one-way roads, roads with more than two lanes for at least one direction of traffic and roads with shoulders more than 1.5m wide, and 120km/h (74mph) on motorways (called autovías in Spain).
  • Despite being close to the sea, Bilbao is a surprisingly hilly city. Many of its streets are very steep and narrow, so be extra cautious, especially if you’ve chosen a large vehicle.
  • The car’s registration and insurance documentation always have to be inside the vehicle.
  • The driver and all passengers are required to wear seatbelts.
  • Children up to the age of 12 and measuring less than 135cm traveling in the front seat of a car must be seated in a child restraint system adapted to their size and weight.
  • Unnecessary use of audible warning devices (horns) is prohibited.
  • The legal alcohol limit is 0.05% for experienced drivers and 0.02% for novice drivers.
  • The emergency number is 112.

 

Toll roads

Most of the roads in Spain are toll-free. Toll roads are called ‘carretera de peaje’. On maps and road signs, all toll roads have to include a letter P after the road type. The acceptable payment methods may vary depending on the road, but most will accept cash. Regardless of the region, the average estimated price is €9.5 ($11.25) per 100km by car. See the official website for prices and more information.

Ideas for day trips

  • San Sebastián. Located on the French border and also known by its Basque name Donostia, this city is famous not only for having the most Michelin three-star restaurants per person in Europe, but also for its long impressive promenade, history of human settlement dating back as far as 25 thousand years, and as an important center for Basque language and culture. San Sebastián is about 100km (62 miles) east of Bilbao, a distance that can be traveled by car in a little more than 1 hour.
  • Vitoria. Also known as Gasteiz, the capital of the Euskadi Province gets less attention than its other two cities, Bilbao and San Sebastian. It is nevertheless a charming and relaxing place to visit thanks to its Medieval town center, modern museums, and many cultural events. Located just a 45-minute drive south of Bilbao, it’s easy to go there and see for yourself. 
  • Mundaka. An otherwise calm, pretty, and quiet place like many other small towns in Spain, Mundaka also offers some of the best surfing opportunities in Europe. The impressive waves coming from the Bay of Biscay have set some serious records and are an impressive sight to behold, let alone surf; however, beginners can also find plenty of opportunities in the area. Mundaka is just a 40-minute drive northeast of Bilbao.
  • Pamplona. Home of the Running of the Bulls and the capital of the neighboring Navarre region, Pamplona is one of the most interesting cities in northeastern Spain. The famous festival takes place during the second week of July, but there’s also plenty to enjoy during the rest of the year, including the city’s interesting architecture that includes the Pamplona Cathedral, a gem of Gothic architecture. The drive from Bilbao takes about an hour and 50 minutes.
  • Santander. An hour and 10-minute drive from Bilbao, Santander is a tranquil but beautiful city to explore on a day trip. Some of the main attractions are the Centro Botín, Santander Cathedral, and Palacio de la Magdalena. If you visit in summer, Santander also has incredible golden sand beaches.
  • La Rioja. Best known for Rioja wines, the small inland province is one of the best-kept secrets of northern Spain. In addition to bucolic vineyards and well-preserved historical towns, the region also has lovely nature preserves, including three UNESCO World Network of Biosphere reserves. Logroño, the picturesque capital of the region, is only about a 90-minute drive south of Bilbao.

Most popular cars

The most popular rental cars in Bilbao are the Nissan Pulsar, the Ford Fiesta, and the Opel Corsa, while the most popular rental car types are compact, economy, and intermediate.

Further destinations

  • Cantabria. Less populated and more remote than the neighboring Basque Country, Cantabria is famous for its beautiful natural areas, from its long, pristine beaches to the green Cantabrian mountains that have wildlife like European bison, brown bears, and wolves. More than anywhere else in Spain, it feels like true wilderness. The area also has a unique culture and set of beliefs that are still alive in small villages and can be learned about in its towns. Santander, the region’s capital, is just 100km (62 miles) west of Bilbao.
  • Biarritz. Located in the Basque country, but on the other side of the border, Biarritz feels both similar and different to places like Bilbao and San Sebastián. While undoubtedly Basque, its French influences are also clearly noticeable when it comes to food, buildings, and lifestyle. Traveling further up the coast, you’ll soon reach France proper, starting with the famous city of Bordeaux. Coming from Bilbao by car, Biarritz can be reached in 1 hour and 40 minutes. Keep in mind that you’ll have to cross a national border, so first, ask your rental car provider if they permit it.
  • Madrid. Large and modern, Madrid is one of the very few European capitals that can also feel extremely cozy and accessible. Come here in June or July when most local inhabitants are away on their summer vacations, and you’ll have the city’s impressive boulevards, museums, and churches practically all to yourself. Madrid is exactly 400km (250 miles) southwest of Bilbao and can be reached by car in four hours. 
  • The Pyrenees. Forming a natural frontier between Spain and France, the Pyrenees is a stunning place to visit. A large part of the mountain range is located inside Basque Country and can be easily reached from Bilbao. Other attractions, like the Valles Occidentales and Ordesa y Monte Pedro National Parks, are a three-to-four-hour drive away.

Car Rental Prices in Bilbao

  • Station wagons - from $23 per day
  • Large cars - from $29 per day
  • Medium cars - from $9 per day
  • Vans - from $34 per day
  • Premium cars - from $26 per day
  • Small cars - from $2 per day
  • SUVs - from $5 per day

Money-saving tips

Try these tricks to get a great car rental deal in the Basque Country:

  • Compare  the rates of different rental car providers
  • Book your rental car well in advance
  • Plan your route before you go
  • Know your fuel and mileage requirements
  • Visit during the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Bilbao is the cheapest in January when renting a car is about 70% cheaper than the yearly average and an entire 85% cheaper than renting a car in April. Come visit the Basque coast in winter!
This information was written, fact-checked, and/or translated by our content creators.

Learn more about our Editorial Policy.
Fact checked by
Cristina Reina
This article was reviewed and updated by travel blogger Cristina, who loves discovering new destinations, new foods and cultures. On her blog, My Little World of Travelling, she shares exclusive local insights, detailed destination guides and hidden gems for those who want to explore Spain like a local.

Top 20 Cities near Bilbao

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Map of Car Rental Locations

What is the cheapest month to rent a car in Bilbao?

Car rental prices in Bilbao vary by time of year. This graph shows the average prices per month to help you find the best time of year to rent.
Average rental costs per day in Bilbao
$16.15
January
$16.59
February
$27.28
March
$28.27
April
$28.40
May
$25.46
June
$39.92
July
$39.37
August
$29.95
September
$21.84
October
$16.42
November
$30.98
December
The cheapest month to rent a car in Bilbao is January (when prices average $16.15 per day). This is 40% cheaper than the yearly average and 60% cheaper than renting in July (when prices average $39.92).

This information can help you identify the low season. But these are only average numbers. How much your car rental will cost will depend on the type of vehicle you rent, how long you’ll rent it for, and how far ahead you book. Simply enter your dates in the form at the top of the page to see the exact prices.

What’s the usual rental length in Bilbao?

How long travelers keep their rental cars for varies from month to month: in June, the average renter keeps their car for 8 days, and in January, they keep their car for 5 days.
Average number of rental days in Bilbao
5
January
7
February
6
March
6
April
6
May
8
June
7
July
7
August
7
September
5
October
6
November
5
December

What's the most popular month to rent a car in Bilbao?

Based on the number of searches by our customers, the most popular month for renting a car in Bilbao is August, and the least popular is January.
Monthly searches in Bilbao by pick-up date relative to the average
50%
January
57%
February
82%
March
93%
April
78%
May
141%
June
148%
July
164%
August
138%
September
129%
October
63%
November
58%
December

Car Rental Information

Car rental locations 5
Airport locations 1
Popular suppliers Record-go, RentByCar, Centauro, Ok Mobility, Alamo
Popular car categories Small cars, SUVs, Medium cars, Vans
Lowest price $2 per day
Cheapest supplier Record-go

Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers

Rental Supplier Model Doors Luggage Type
Record-go Fiat 500 3 1 Small cars
RentByCar Renault Clio 5 2 Small cars
Centauro Fiat 500 3 1 Small cars
RentByCar Fiat 500 3 1 Small cars
Record-go Opel Corsa 5 1 Small cars
Record-go Seat Arona 5 2 SUVs
RentByCar Renault Megane 5 2 Medium cars
Record-go Fiat 500X 5 3 Medium cars
Centauro Ford Focus 5 2 Medium cars
Drivalia Opel Mokka 5 2 SUVs

Our Customers' Reviews

Because we want to make sure each review listed here is left by a real customer, we don’t have an option to post a review here. Instead, we ask each and every customer to leave a review after they return their rental car. This way, you know that all reviews are authentic, verified, and trustworthy.

Italy
Kia Cerato
August 28, 2023
we drove always safe and in comfort.
Ireland
Peugeot 308
August 22, 2023
Everything was lovely.
Denmark
Renault Clio
August 10, 2023
The whole Atlantic coast of northern Spain is one gigantic natural wonder.
Poland
Fiat 500
June 12, 2023
Travelling to the North of Spain, camina del norte. For nature - national parks and beaches.
United States of America (USA)
Fiat 500X
April 29, 2023
Bilbao and its surrounding locations are excellent.
Israel
Opel Crossland
August 23, 2022
the trip had been lucky.from Bilbao to Logrnio and Santander
Slovenia
Seat Ibiza
June 13, 2022
I receaved a better car than expected.
Netherlands
VW Golf
October 4, 2019
Not if you only stay in Bilbao, because parking in downtown Bilbao is difficult and expensive
× Full Size Image

Car Rental Statistics

Highest rated company
RentByCar
8.9 / 10
)
Lowest rated company
Surprice
6.9 / 10
)
Total number of reviews
29
Total rental companies
24
Average daily price
$13.36
Lowest daily price
$2.24
Total cars available
1166

Top 24 Suppliers in Bilbao in 2024

RentByCar
RentByCar
Very good 8.9 / 235 reviews
2 locations
$7 - $96
SIXT
SIXT
Very good 8.6 / 22 reviews
3 locations
$44 - $108
Budget
Budget
Very good 8.6 / 17 reviews
2 locations
$33 - $225
Centauro
Centauro
Very good 8.4 / 59 reviews
2 locations
$7 - $25
Enterprise
Enterprise
Very good 8.3 / 31 reviews
4 locations
$24 - $251
Ok Mobility
Ok Mobility
Very good 8.2 / 116 reviews
1 location
$12 - $68
Hertz
Hertz
Very good 8.2 / 13 reviews
3 locations
$36 - $156
Dollar
Dollar
Very good 8.2 / 7 reviews
2 locations
$31 - $74
Record-go
Record-go
Very good 8.1 / 307 reviews
2 locations
$2 - $244
Alamo
Alamo
Very good 8.1 / 75 reviews
2 locations
$26 - $232
Keddy
Keddy
Very good 8.1 / 26 reviews
3 locations
$29 - $39
Europcar
Europcar
Very good 8.1 / 12 reviews
3 locations
$36 - $52
National
National
Very good 8.1 / 11 reviews
2 locations
$32 - $263
Alquicoche
Alquicoche
Very good 8.1 / 3 reviews
4 locations
$49 - $134
GoByCar
GoByCar
Very good 8.1
1 location
$11 - $30
Drivalia
Drivalia
Good 7.9 / 30 reviews
1 location
$9 - $27
Click&Rent
Click&Rent
Good 7.9 / 6 reviews
1 location
$6 - $138
Avis
Avis
Good 7.9 / 5 reviews
2 locations
$34 - $225
Key'n Go
Key'n Go
Good 7.9
1 location
Flizzr
Flizzr
Good 7.8
1 location
$44 - $67
Thrifty
Thrifty
Good 7.7 / 7 reviews
2 locations
$27 - $64
Goldcar
Goldcar
Good 7.4 / 68 reviews
1 location
$3 - $5
Flexways
Flexways
Good 7.4
2 locations
Surprice
Surprice
Satisfactory 6.9 / 1 review
2 locations
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