I'm renting a car in Barcelona. And i would like to make a trip at the Pyrenees, both the Spanish and French sides. Are there any special requirements needed for the rented car?

3 Answers 3


You have to confirm with your rental agency that you're allowed to do that. In Europe most agencies allow you to travel in all countries of central and western Europe, but forbid you to visit countries in the East, like for example Belarus, Poland, Croatia, etc.

However, it will be likely that your rental agency will bill you an extra fee if you want to cross the border. Normally it is around 100 Euros.

Then a personal hint from me which you have to be careful about: There is no real border between Spain and France, so the chances are high that you're rental agency will not notice if you drive to France. However be aware if you have an accident in France and didn't tell the agency that you will cross the border, you will have big trouble.

Btw if we are talking about the Pyrenees: When planning your trip you should keep in mind that the roads there are really hilly and you will need much time to get from one place to another, even if it looks close on the map. And there are only a few passes between France and Spain which you can pass by car.

However I can really recommend the region. Was there this summer with my own car, and it is really nice there and worth the trip!

  • Thanks Roflcoptr! So beside the permission of the rental company, there is no need of a regional car sticker or things alike?
    – MichaelS
    Commented Aug 25, 2011 at 12:42
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    No. In France you pay a fee if you're using the highways. But this fee you pay at stations every x kilometers. And in the Pyrenees there are no highways ;) But maybe if you're using a big tunnel or something like that, it could be that you have to pay a small fee there. I personally drove from Barcelona to Andorra and then to France. From Andorra to France I used a tunnel to pass the mountains and this costs some euros. But you could also avoid the tunnel and drive over the mountains. Commented Aug 25, 2011 at 12:43
  • If you're a country counter Like Mark Mayo you can go via Andorra.
    – Stuart
    Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 15:02

I have no administrative advices, but just some suggestions for great sightseeings along the road:

  • avoid the highway between Barcelona and Perpignan: prefer the coastal route where the Pyrénées meet the sea. Landscapes are wonderful and you can stop at Figueres and Cadaqués, the home region of Salvador Dalí, then at Banyuls and Collioure for wine and anchovies.

  • Don't forget Andorra and Cerdagne, a region where the borders are more blurry than what is depicted on maps - people soul is more catalan than french or spanish. Odeillo and Mont-Louis are worth visiting.

  • The whole region is full of cathar castles worth visiting. The most famous is Montségur. If you don't mind going north, make a stop at Carcassonne.

  • Thanks mouviciel, I was looking for this kind of advice! Defenatley will make the trip better.
    – MichaelS
    Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 10:40
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    With my family we drove from France to Spain. On the border, there was a sign: "France" this way; "España" that way. Someone had scribbled over it with spray paint: "Catalunya" both ways.
    – TRiG
    Commented Oct 5, 2012 at 11:59

If your vehicle has a European style licence plate (i.e. EU flag on the left hand side and country code, e.g. E for Spain), you can legally drive all over EU. Some countries (Ireland) always have an EU style plate, some countries (UK) do not always have this style.

Car insurance should cover you all over the EU (normal car insurance anyway, I don't know about hire cars)

Ask/Tell your car hire company.

The Pyreenes are very nice. Try to take some scenic roads, rather than the main motorway.

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