See: Why hire a car in Alicante ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments
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.
|Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Alicante car hire advice, please use the comments form below.
Alicante is in car rental price band: 1/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)
General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Alicante?
Yes. Amongst cheapest in world during off-season, still good value year round.
Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Alicante between the peak and the off peak season?
8/10 (0 = stable prices)
Driving score: 6/10
Non car score:2/10
(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)
General comment -
Why? Visiting Alicante using a hire car
Why do you need 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
Why don't you need 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 – https://www.alsa.com/en/web/bus/home.
- 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.
Ratings: How does Alicante compare?
Is it worth hiring a car in Alicante? TBC
This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Alicante, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.
How does this compare if:
You are travelling:
Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc
Does car rental make sense on different budgets?
Do you need to hire a car in Alicante? TBC
This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Alicante (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".
Should you rent a car in Alicante? TBC
This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good.
See global comparisons
Hiring | Driving | Parking
Trains | Buses | Local travel
Car hire basics:
Public transportation basics:
Regular bus services: YES
Coach (inter-city): YES
High Speed Rail:
Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):
As you start ....
Does Alicante airport have a direct rail link?
(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No
Has our advice for Alicante car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?
2017 - 7
2019 - 8
2021 - 7
Average score - 7
Do you or don't you need a car in Alicante ?