Car Rental in Santander
Cheapest Car Rental Rates
Most Popular Car Rental Deals
Why rent a car in Santander?
Santander is a great place to visit. The capital of Cantabria region, it is home to interesting museums, impressive old architecture, and high-quality restaurants. Some of the nicest beaches in Northern Spain are located nearby, as are many caves with paintings dating back to prehistoric times. With a rental car, even famous cities and nature areas in neighboring regions like the Basque Country, Asturias, and Castile and Leon are within your reach.
One-Way Car Rentals in Santander
The most popular one-way rental options for pick up in Santander and drop off in another city include:
- From Santander to Bilbao - 54 offers from $18.29 per day
- From Santander to San Sebastian - 36 offers from $18.27 per day
- From Santander to Malaga - 32 offers from $32.70 per day
- From Santander to Flensburg - 10 offers from $208.26 per day
- From Santander to Madrid - 54 offers from $18.66 per day
Top ways to enter Santander
- Santander Airport: Also known by its full name, Seve Ballesteros–Santander, the only international airport in the region of Cantabria served just over 1 million travelers in 2018. In addition to domestic connections, Santander Airport also hosts flights to and from Belgium, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Poland, and other European countries. Santander Airport is located right on the coast of the Bay of Biscay, some 6 km (3.7 miles) south of the city center and can be reached in 10-15 minutes.
- Bilbao Airport: Serving the largest city of the neighboring Basque Country region, Bilbao Airport handled 5.4 million travelers in 2018. The airport is a hub for low-cost carriers Vueling and Volotea, and is also served by around 20 other airlines. Bilbao Airport is located only 105 km (65 miles) east of Santander and can be reached in about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
- Asturias Airport: The main airport of the region, it is located about the same distance from Oviedo and Gijon, the two largest cities of Asturias. The airport handled 1.4 million travelers in 2018 and is especially active during the summer months. The vast majority of routes served are domestic, but the airport also has flights to and from Italy, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Asturias Airport is 210 km (130 miles) west of Santander and can be reached in two hours, with the largest portion of the road taking your right along the coast.
- Vitoria Airport: Also known as Gasteizko Airoeportua in Basque, this small airport only has flights by low-cost carrier Ryanair. As of November 2019, it provides flights to and from Palma de Mallorca and Seville in Spain, Bergamo in Italy, and Cologne in Germany. Vitoria Airport is 164 km (101 miles) southeast of Santander and can be reached in 1 hour and 40 minutes.
- Madrid Airport: The largest airport in the country, Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas served 57 million travelers in 2018. The airport is the sixth-busiest in Europe and the second-largest by size (after Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport in France). In addition to countless European connections, the airport also hosts flights to and from Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Located 438 km (272 miles) south of Santander, Madrid Barajas Airport can be reached in four hours by car.
- By rail: If arriving in Santander by train, you can conveniently pick up your rental car at the Santander main train station.
- Located right on the coast of the Bay of Biscay, Santander has an oceanic climate. The average high temperature is 24°C (76°F) in August, the warmest month, and 14°C (57 °F) in January, the coolest. Precipitation is quite high throughout the year, with November being the rainiest month and July - the driest. Although Santander gets long and enjoyable summers, the city is, on average, one of the least sunny and most rainy cities in Spain (it’s weather being comparable to that of London and Paris). On the other hand, the amount of precipitation ensures that Cantabria has some of the greenest and wildest forests in the country.
- Inhabited since prehistory and later ruled by the Romans, Visigoths, and Moors, Santander became a large transportation and trading hub. It’s harbour was one of the most important ports of the Crown of Castile and it was from here that many ships set out to explore the Americas. Santander Harbour is still active to this day, providing regular ferry service to other destinations in Spain as well as the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Top destinations and activities
- Prehistoric and Archaeological Museum of Cantabria. The region of Cantabria is home to some of the oldest known human settlements in Europe, and this museum does its best to tell the story of this fascinating ancient history. There are many video and audio displays, with many artifacts dating back to the Paleolithic era. Separate exhibits are dedicated to Roman and medieval times in Cantabria.
- Santander Cathedral. An impressive gothic building, Santander Cathedral is one of the symbols of the city. The first stone of it was laid as early as the 12th century; later, the church suffered during a number of attacks and has been rebuilt and renovated a number of times. Visitors can also see the inside of the church and the adjoining cloister.
- Municipal Museum of Fine Arts. Spain has always been a hotspot of world-class art, and even outside cities like Madrid and Barcelona, many high-quality museums can be found. The municipal museum is one such example, hosting a great number of medieval and Renaissance artworks by masters from all over Europe. The highlight of the museum is an original painting by the 18th century Spanish romanticist Francisco Goya.
- Museum of Man and the Sea. Santander is a port city, and its history and growth have been intimately tied to the Bay of Biscay on which it sits. The best place to learn about the fishing, trading, and other naval aspects of Cantabrian life is this small, but fascinating museum which is open every day except for Mondays and public holidays. Appropriately located right on the coast, it is near a number of other famous landmarks like Magdalena Palace.
Traffic and parking
- Spain drives on the right hand side of the road.
- Speed limits - 50km/h (31mph) in built-up areas, 90km/h (56mph) on most standard roads, 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).
- The car documentation and insurance always has to be inside a vehicle.
- The driver and all passengers are required to wear seatbelts.
- Children up to the age of 12 and measuring less than 135cm travelling on 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.
Most 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 available methods of payment 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 Spanish toll road website for prices and more information.
Ideas for day trips
- Beaches. Although Northern Spain is cooler than the Mediterranean coast at the other end of the country, the beaches of the Bay of Biscay are just as beautiful and during summer months, just as enjoyable. Highlights include the famous El Sardinero resort area and the tranquil Playa de El Bocal Beach, but there are countless spots near Santander where you can swim, get a suntan, or relax in one of the beach bars or restaurants. If you’re looking for something more active than lying on the beach, Cantabria also offers some of the best surfing in Europe. There are enjoyable options for everyone from seasoned pros to first-timers, with many surfing shops and schools doting the coastline. The surfing season is at its height from July to September. Many great spots can be found east and west of Santander in towns like Suances, San Vicente de la Barquera, and Somo, with the latter just 25 km (16 miles) east of Santander.
- National Museum and Research Center of Altamira. The Cave of Altamira, located near the Cantabrian town of Santillana del Mar, is the location of world-famous cave paintings. Dating back to the Upper Paleolithic more than 35,000 years ago, the caves offer a fascinating insight into the lives and imagination of some of the first humans in Europe. Although the main cave is now closed to preserve its original state, visitors can still see its purpose-built replica, some smaller sights, and a museum dedicated to the cave art of Cantabria and the ancient people who created it. Located 36 km (22 miles) west of Santander, the museum can be reached in about 40 minutes.
- Santillana del Mar. Guaranteed to feature in every tourism video of Cantabria, the cozy coastal city of Santillana is one of the region’s most popular day trips. Located right next to the aforementioned Altamira, it is known for its scenic architecture and many historical landmarks, though the bravest visitors will also risk a visit to the morbidly fascinating Torture Museum which retells the history of the Spanish Inquisition.
- Cabarceno Natural Park. With some of the highest precipitation and lowest population density in all of Spain, Cantabria is home to many stunning forests. One of the best places to explore is the Cabarceno Natural Park - made up of hills, gorges, and mixed woodlands, the area has many hiking trails and is home to a number of protected species of flora and fauna. Many other animals are also kept in semi-wild conditions, so if you’re lucky, you might even get to spot a tiger, a warthog, an African elephant, or a pygmy hippo in a distance behind the fence. Located just 19 km (12 miles) south of Santander, Cabarceno Natural Park can be reached in some 25 minutes.
Most popular cars
The most popular rental car in Santander is the Ford Fiesta, closely followed by the Toyota Aygo and the Fiat Panda. The most popular rental car types are economy, mini, and standard.
- Basque Country. The neighboring region of Cantabria, shared by Spain and France, is home to so much more than one of the most unique languages in the world. Some of the area’s attractions are the beaches and restaurants of San Sebastian (or Donostia, as it’s known in Basque), unique traditions and cultural centers, and the truly stunning Pyrenees mountain range. Bilbao, the largest city of the Basque Country and a worthy destination in its own right, is just 100 km (62 miles) east of Santander and can be reached in about 1 hour and 15 minutes. You can explore the rest of the region from there.
- Asturias. Located to the west of Cantabria, the region of Asturias is best known for its two great cities, Gijon and Oviedo. The former has a beautiful coastline and many sites dating back to Roman times while the latter is home to one of the most beautiful old towns in Spain. Other attractions of Asturias include Picos de Europa National Park, little fishing villages, and former mining sites recently turned into tourist attractions. Gijon is 175 km (109 miles) west of Santander and can be reached in about two hours.
- Madrid. The capital of Spain has more famous landmarks than it’s possible to mention, but most travelers agree it would be a crime to miss its holy trinity of art museums, the Prado, Reina Sofia, and Thyssen-Bornemisza. After taking in all the culture, head to the hip Malasaña neighborhood to enjoy a great Spanish meal and visit a local concert. Located 450 km (280 miles) south of Santander, the Spanish capital can be reached in about 4 hours and 30 minutes.
- La Rioja. One of the hidden gems of northeastern Spain, the autonomous region of La Rioja is a lovely off-the-beaten-track destination. Primarily known for its strong winemaking traditions, it is also home to some of the quaintest countryside and most delicious regional cuisine in all of Spain. Logroño, La Rioja’s charming capital, is roughly equidistant from Burgos, Vitoria, and Pamplon, and can be reached from Santanderin about 2 hours and 40 minutes from.
Car Rental Prices in Santander
- Station wagons - from $30 per day
- Large cars - from $36 per day
- Medium cars - from $27 per day
- Vans - from $49 per day
- Premium cars - from $52 per day
- Small cars - from $24 per day
- SUVs - from $29 per day
Land a great rental car in Cantabria by following these simple rules:
- 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 Santander is the cheapest in March when renting a car is about 62% cheaper than the yearly average and 84% cheaper than renting a car in January.
Top 20 Cities near Santander
Bilbao Car Rentals from $7.11 per day74.8 km / 46.5 miles away
Burgos Car Rentals from $27.68 per day118.1 km / 73.4 miles away
San Sebastian Car Rentals from $24.62 per day149.9 km / 93.1 miles away
Oviedo Car Rentals from $18.72 per day164.5 km / 102.2 miles away
Leon Car Rentals from $29.20 per day170.5 km / 105.9 miles away
Asturias Car Rentals from $16.41 per day179.3 km / 111.4 miles away
Pamplona Car Rentals from $28.96 per day188.3 km / 117.0 miles away
Valladolid Car Rentals from $31.36 per day211.9 km / 131.7 miles away
Lugo Car Rentals from $29.26 per day307.1 km / 190.8 miles away
Zaragoza Car Rentals from $29.28 per day308.9 km / 191.9 miles away
Salamanca Car Rentals from $24.38 per day311.7 km / 193.7 miles away
Madrid Car Rentals from $4.83 per day327.9 km / 203.7 miles away
A Coruña Car Rentals from $25.12 per day368.6 km / 229.0 miles away
Santiago de Compostela Car Rentals from $14.42 per day377.3 km / 234.4 miles away
Vigo Car Rentals from $39.53 per day413.8 km / 257.1 miles away
Castellon Car Rentals from $27.63 per day481.7 km / 299.3 miles away
Reus Car Rentals from $17.53 per day482.1 km / 299.6 miles away
Salou Car Rentals from $58.87 per day483.9 km / 300.7 miles away
Valencia Car Rentals from $6.93 per day518.7 km / 322.3 miles away
Barcelona Car Rentals from $6.80 per day539.2 km / 335.0 miles away
Top 20 Locations near Santander
Santander Airport Car Rentals from $28.72 per day
Downtown Car Rentals from $28.90 per day73.1 km / 45.4 miles away
Bilbao Airport Car Rentals from $7.11 per day74.8 km / 46.5 miles away
Burgos Train Station Car Rentals from $28.96 per day118.1 km / 73.4 miles away
Asturias Airport Car Rentals from $16.41 per day179.3 km / 111.4 miles away
Zaragoza Train Station Car Rentals from $29.28 per day308.9 km / 191.9 miles away
Madrid Airport Car Rentals from $4.83 per day327.9 km / 203.7 miles away
Madrid Chamartin Train Station Car Rentals from $24.76 per day328.7 km / 204.2 miles away
Madrid Atocha Train Station Car Rentals from $15.23 per day336.1 km / 208.8 miles away
A Coruña Airport Car Rentals from $38.99 per day368.6 km / 229.0 miles away
Santiago de Compostela Airport Car Rentals from $14.42 per day377.3 km / 234.4 miles away
Vigo Airport Car Rentals from $39.53 per day413.8 km / 257.1 miles away
Castellon Airport Car Rentals from $51.54 per day481.7 km / 299.3 miles away
Reus Airport Car Rentals from $17.53 per day482.1 km / 299.6 miles away
Valencia Airport Car Rentals from $6.93 per day518.7 km / 322.3 miles away
Valencia Train Station Car Rentals from $15.28 per day525.9 km / 326.8 miles away
Barcelona Airport Car Rentals from $6.80 per day539.2 km / 335.0 miles away
Barcelona Train Station Car Rentals from $22.93 per day539.6 km / 335.3 miles away
Downtown Car Rentals from $69.98 per day540.0 km / 335.5 miles away
Barcelona Rambla de Catalunya Car Rentals from $68.56 per day540.6 km / 335.9 miles away
Map of Car Rental Locations
What is the cheapest month to rent a car in Santander?
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 Santander?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Santander?
Car Rental Information
|Car rental locations||4|
|Popular suppliers||Ok Mobility, Alamo, Goldcar, Thrifty, Keddy|
|Popular car categories||Small cars, Medium cars, SUVs, Large cars|
|Lowest price||$24 per day|
Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers
|Ok Mobility||Seat Ibiza||5||1||Small cars|
|Goldcar||Volkswagen Polo||5||1||Small cars|
|Alamo||Seat Ibiza||4||2||Small cars|
|Ok Mobility||Peugeot 2008||5||3||Small cars|
|Goldcar||Fiat Panda||3||2||Small cars|
|Alamo||Toyota Aygo||3||1||Small cars|
|Ok Mobility||Fiat 500||3||1||Small cars|
|Thrifty||Peugeot 208||4||2||Small cars|
|Dollar||Peugeot 208||4||2||Small cars|
|Keddy||Toyota Aygo||4||1||Small cars|
Our Customers' Reviews
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