By | 16th January 2018

Do you need a car in Alicante?

Do you need a car in Alicante > Should you rent a car in Alicante Spain > Alicante ( ALC )
Do you need a car in 3? Is it worth hiring a car in 3? Should you rent a car in 3? Should you rent a car in 3?

Alicante Car hire summary

Overall drive rating

Based on a weighted score across all factors, including driving roads, hire and fuel costs, road safety etc. [Full notes - drive rating]


Cheapest rate for one week

Based on cheapest economy car hire deal with no added extras. [full notes - basic costs]



  • Price alone isn't the only factor in determining whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Alicante but clearly it's an important one. See our "why" section for more figures.
How much should I expect to pay in the peak season? Based on cheapest deal during the summer holiday season. (Unless otherwise noted) [full notes - seasonal variations]




  • During the peak holiday season, public transport is often better value, as many train and bus fares are fixed throughout the year. See our "whynot" section for more suggestions.
Free parking score Based on the number of hotels which offer free parking.Total 1956 - of which 440 have free parking. [full notes - parking]




  • During the peak holiday season, public transport is often better value, as many train and bus fares are fixed throughout the year. See our "whynot" section for more suggestions.

Alicante public transport quick facts

"Top trumps" train score

Higher scores go to the systems which take you to the most amazing places.



  • [full notes - top trumps trains]
  • A good rail system doesn't mean you shouldn't hire a car, but it often means you have a decent range of options.

Overall public transport score

This is a more practical rating based on bus and rail travel.



  • [full notes - overall transit] buses | trams | metro | local & regional rail | national rail
  • Is public transport in Alicante good value, or is it worth hiring a car just because it is cheaper overall?

Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score

This overall rating considers walking and cycling in and around Alicante



Take to the waters!

This is a general rating for all types of water travel, including scheduled ferries, sea / rivers cruises and excursions in Alicante


Need, worth & should!

Whether you have come here asking "do I need a car in Alicante", "is it worth hiring a car in Alicante", or whether or not you "should" hire a car here, these are all slight variations on a similar theme:

Do you need a car in Alicante?

This is essentially based on whether or not public transport and other "non car" options are good enough to get around and beyond the city.

Is it worth hiring a car in Alicante?

Is car hire good value, especially during the peak season? How does this compare with transit fares?

Should you rent a car in Alicante?

Weighing up the above questions, if you are here for the first time AND asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?

Generally, we would say that a hire car is a good idea if you are flying into Alicante and then heading for one of the various coastal resorts in the area. Additionally, we would say that it’s more the case here than it is in any other destination in mainland Spain.

Do you need a car in Alicante? Introduction

When someone asks "Do you need a car in Alicante?", this often breaks down to two key questions:

  1. Can you actually get around using public transport, or is a car all but essential?
  2. Is it worth hiring a car in Alicante? Is it good value for money, compared with non-car options?

Over the next few sections, we wil look at the pros and cons of driving in Alicante as a tourist, and ultimately weigh these up, so we can answer the key question of Should you rent a car in Alicante?

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Do you need a car in Alicante?

Benidorm at sunrise. You don’t need a car in Alicante just to get to and from, or around the resort, but it’s very useful for all other reasons.

Why should you rent a car in Alicante?

What are the main reasons for hiring a car here? Do you just want to drive locally? Do you want to go further afield, or should you even look at taking a road trip?

In terms of factors like the cost of the hire itself, fuel costs, road tolls and parking charges, is it worth hiring a car in Alicante?

Do you need a car in Alicante? Here are a few reasons why:

  • We would advise getting a rental car in Alicante for all of the obvious reasons you would expect here. Alicante car hire is cheap, the roads are of a good standard, and with a rental car, you will have a huge amount more flexibility.
  • In terms of specific places to visit when you hire a car in Alicante, this is mainly a matter of exploring coastal scenery and beaches in either direction from the city. Also,  a car can also be useful for exploring inland, and particularly for heading to attractive local towns like Teruel. (See also Valencia – you can do some of this by train).
  • There have been some improvements in the tram network around the city of Alicante in recent years, but there’s still nothing stretching out as far as the airport. Most of the more recent holiday resort development has been very much based around serving tourists who either have their own hire cars, or who are more likely to use and taxis and resort shuttles.

Why not? Visiting Alicante without a car

What is public transport like in Alicante? What about local conditions for walking or cycling? Can you rely on public transport and maybe a few taxis for most or all of your trip? Are there some times of year when it's easier to get by without a car than others? When should you rent a car in Alicante?

The one place where you really will find that public transport is more than adequate is in the city of Alicante itself.

Alicante city & resorts without a car

  • With the tram work network having expanded massively in recent years, you should have no problem getting around using either this system or the local buses. However, there is a sharp decline in service standards the moment you get outside the city.
  • Historic Alicante is also easy enough to walk around.
  • Various bike hire options are ideal for gentle cycling along the beach.
  • Since you will often be walking in narrower medieval streets, there’s always plenty of shade – but be warned that much of the old town is hilly.
  • Alicante is popular with road cyclists, but there aren’t so many off road trails, and designated cycle paths are limited to a few areas around the waterfront.
  • There are a few urban cycling routes in Alicante.
  • Most of the central area in Alicante is also either pedestrianised, or on streets which are closed off for through traffic.
  • Within major resorts like Benidorm, you will find adequate local bus services, including tourist buses.
  • Most major resorts have a huge range of activities within easy walking distances of the main hotels.
  • Local buses and suburban trains are also more than adequate for reaching some of the nearby coastal towns.

Beyond Alicante without a car

  • To reach Benidorm from the airport, you can take an hourly coach service, bookable online from ALSA –
  • The same company also offer direct buses from Alicante to Murcia via the airport. In both cases, the airport transfer will take about an hour.
  • The local trains might not take you to anywhere particularly useful. However, you can certainly fly into Alicante and then continue on by express train to other parts of Spain.
  • If you are looking for a fast link to Madrid or Barcelona, or if you want to take a day trip to Valencia (see those pages for further details).
  • Alternatively, you can also travel onwards from Alicante to any of the Balearic Islands by ferry.


A key factor to consider when trying to get around Alicante without a car is whether or not public transport services are well integrated with each other.

Generally, in Alicante, this really isn’t the case, although with a bit of research, you’ll find your way around easily enough.

  • The centre of transport in Alicante is the main station, which will be labelled “Terminal” or “Estacion Intermodal”. This station has been expanded to cater for new fast AVE services to Madrid, taking around 2 1/2 hours.
  • Local mainline train services will all use the Terminal station.
  • However, the train to Benidorm (change there for Denia) is operated as part of the tram system. By all means take it to enjoy the ride, but the bus is much quicker!
  • Trams currently terminate in an underground station at Luceros, which is around 300m walk from the main station. There is a plan to extend this to the main station, but this project is currently on hold due to budget constraints.
  • There’s a bus station at Avenue Loring. Again, this isn’t quite at the railway station, so allow time for a short walk.
  • The old railway station next to the bus station is now an impressive arts space and tourist centre. However, you won’t find any trains here, so don’t fall into this  trap!
  • You’ll see the Alicante-Murcia mainline just behind the car rental lots at the airport. The nearest station is at Torrelano, about 2.5km / 30 minutes walk away. Generally, buses will be quicker for getting from the airport to Murcia, but if you want to take the train, budget for a short taxi ride.


Do you need a car in Alicante?

  • Unless you are planning on spending most of your time in the city of Alicante itself, then everything in this region lends itself towards getting a hire car.
  • Because so much of the tourism here is centred on resorts like Benidorm, rather than on the city proper. If you want to do anything other than shuttle to and from the beach, then an Alicante hire car is going to make sense.


Our slider ratings range from 0 (it isn't even possible to hire a car, e.g. Hong Kong) through to 10 (you really must rent a car here, e.g. Phoenix, Tampa). However, most places are somewhere inbetween these extremes, and this is where it gets more interesting! Further ratings breakdowns, including a much more detailed public transport rating, are currently being added. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.

Would you hire a car in Alicante?

Have you driven in Alicante? Do you agree with our advice on whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Alicante?

Do you need a car in Alicante? For some or all of the time? 

Tell us what you think using the comments section below:

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