Seville

By | 16th January 2018

Do you need a car in Seville?

Do you need a car in Seville > Should you rent a car in Seville Spain > Seville ( SVQ ) Do you need a car in Seville? Is it worth hiring a car in Seville? Should you rent a car in Seville?

Seville Car hire summary


Overall drive rating

Based on a weighted score across all cost and quality factors. [Full notes - drive rating]

30%

  • Price alone isn't the only factor in determining whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Seville but clearly it's an important one. See our "why" section for more figures.
  • Cost factors include - price of car hire (peak and off peak season), car hire extras, fuel, tolls and parking costs.
  • Quality factors include - scenic drives, road quality and upkeep, general safety and congestion levels.
  • A complete index of all 10 factors will be uploaded shortly.

Cheapest rate for one week

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

€55

 #22/300

  • This is the very lowest price we could find for a one week car rental period in Seville during the quiet season.
  • You will almost always end up paying more than this figure, but any extra costs or supplementary charges are usually determined by the renter, so we cannot easily compare like with like.
  • In many cases, rental companies will offer a cheap rental and then expect you to take out expensive insurance waivers. There are always ways to avoid this!

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]

 €190

122/300

  • During the peak holiday season, public transport is often better value, as many train and bus fares are fixed throughout the year. See our "why not" section for more suggestions.
  • For most featured destinations, the peak season will be during the summer, typically July and August for northern hemisphere destinations. However, peak demand might occur at different times, for example in some ski resorts or winter sun destinations etc.


Free parking score

Based on the number of hotels which offer free parking. Total 560 - of which 35 have free parking. [full notes - parking]

6%

#290/300

  • Free hotel parking is very useful to have when you are hiring a car, and it's always worth checking ahead beforehand.
  • If free hotel parking is not available, you might want to consider renting a car for a single day, rather than for your whole trip.
  • The availability (or lack of) free hotel parking can be a really important factor in determining whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Seville, as it can be a significant extra daily cost which you won't usually be paying at home!
  • Parking costs play a very major part in our consideration of whether or not it's worth hiring a car in each destination.
  • By using public transport, walking or hiring a bicycle, you can avoid having to worry about parking charges altogether! See our "why not" section for more suggestions.

Seville public transport quick facts

Train score

Higher scores go to the systems which don't just take you to the most amazing places, but also to the ones which are easy to use, fast, reliable and frequent. A good train system on its own is usually enough to determine that you don't need to hire a car in many destinations.

70%

  • [full notes trains]
  • Trains include all kinds of urban rail system from trams up to metro and suburban networks.
  • Trains also include mountain railways and cable cars.
  • Generally, places with a good rail network will automatically mean that you don't "need" to hire a car, but you can still might find that on balance you are better off by having one.

Water travel score

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

00%

  • [full notes - water score]
  • The water score looks at means of transport on water - it does not consider water based activities like surfing or kayaking.

Overall public transport score

This is a more practical rating based on bus and rail travel, and also including ferries and other boat services, where they are part of the public transport network.

60%

  • [full notes - overall transit] buses | trams | metro | local & regional rail | national rail
  • Is public transport in Seville good value, or is it worth hiring a car just because it is cheaper overall?
  • Even if public transport is cheap and reliable, you might still feel that you should hire a car in Seville because it will still give you more flexibility to reach out-of-the-way places, especially in rural areas.

Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score

This overall rating considers walking and cycling in and around Seville. It includes factors such as the quality of the street environment, and whether you are likely to feel safe walking or cycling, together with the availability of bicycle hire and the ease of linking walking or cycling routes with public transport.

90%

  • [full notes - active score] walking (city) | hiking | cycling (city /  country).
  • A high active travel score means that you might not need a car in Seville, because you can see everything you need to see using a combination of your own two feet and the public transport system.

Car rental in - Seville Need v worth & should!

Whether you have come here asking "do I need a car in Seville", "is it worth hiring a car in Seville", or whether or not you "should" hire a car here, these are all slight variations on a similar theme. Here we break each one down according to the criteria we use for each question. This is a weighted score based on the values above. These are explained further in the text which follows - [#why] [#whynot]. Do you need a car in Seville?

Do you need a car in Seville?

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. For the lowest "need" score, the destination should have a combination of excellent all-round public transport, great opportunities for walking and cycling, together with poor value car hire or generally poor quality roads. 
  • In destinations where both public transport and car hire options are excellent, the verdict for "do I need a car in  Seville " will swing towards a strong no, because you can do absolutely fine without one).
Is it worth hiring a car in Seville?

Is it worth hiring a car in Seville?

Is car hire good value, especially during the peak season? How does this compare with transit fares? This question mainly looks at issues of cost and practicality.
  • In destinations where both public transport and car hire options are excellent, the verdict for "is it worth hiring a car in  Seville" will swing towards whichever option offers the lowest overall cost for a group of 2-4 people travelling together.
Should you rent a car in Seville?

Should you rent a car in Seville?

Weighing up the above questions, if you are here for the first time AND asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?
  • The final "carometer" swing is much more opinion based, and it takes into account which options will give you the truly best travel experience (n our humble opinion of course). Where a destination offers an excellent score with or without a car, the swing will go towards whichever option we feel gives the most truly unforgettable experience.
  • Ultimately, it's your choice whether or not you rent a car here. We're trying to give you something that's sufficiently far enough away from a "maybe" to help you make that choice. Ultimately, people only come to us because they are uncertain, but we don't really know what each person's preferences are. Whether we say you should or you shouldn't rent a car in  Seville, you might also want to look up some of our other cities to see how  Seville compares with other destinations in  Spain or  Europe.
  • By using public transport, walking or hiring a bicycle, you can avoid having to worry about parking charges altogether! See our "why not" section for more suggestions.


What does everyone else do?

Do most people hire a car in Seville?

This is based on our observations of (a) car rental facilities and (b) what we think most people will do here. It's not an exact figure, just an estimate of how likely people are to get hold of a rental car here.
  • his is based on the percentage of people "in the market" who we think are likely to hire a car. This includes anyone arriving on holiday here who would usually hire a car on their travels, so it doesn't include people who don't usually drive (or don't drive), people staying with friends etc.

20%

Visitors per year (million)

  • Cities with more visitors are more likely to have more complex airport car rental arrangements, and generally they will also have better public transport, but this is not always the case, especially in North America.

0.5

  • [full notes - do as everyone else does?]
  • You may wish to go with the flow, or you might prefer to avoid doing the most popular or obvious option. This will vary according to the range of choice available. This tends to be much higher in destinations which are closer to the middle of the car or no car scale.

Who is travelling?

Your group size and travel budget has a major impact on whether or not getting a rental car is good value compared to using public transport as your main means of getting around. Ultimately, these are all "worth" questions:

Is it worth renting a car in Seville if I am a solo / budget traveller?

Generally, hiring a car is not good value for solo travellers for multiple reasons, especially as most of the costs of renting apply to the car, not the occupants. With public transport, the reverse is usually true! However, there are always some places where you will need a car, simply because they are almost impossible to reach using public transport.

Is it worth renting a car in Seville for 2 people travelling together?

A rental car can be good value for couples or for friends travelling together, but since most cars come with at least four seats, it's often still better value to use public transport. However, if you prefer to keep yourselves to yourselves, then you might still want to rent.

Is it worth renting a car in Seville for families?

Families of groups of 3-4 people travelling together will always get the best value from a rental car. However, you may also be burdened with extra costs for car seat hire, and you well also prefer to use local trains and buses, if they are quicker than getting stuck in heavy traffic.

Where are you staying?

The place you are staying, together with the sort of places you want to see, will have a large impact on whether or not you "need" to rent a car:

Do you need a car in Seville if we are staying in the city centre / main resort area?

Most large towns or purpose built holiday resorts will have some kind of public transport, whereas parking provision will vary greatly from one place to the next. 

Do you need a car in Seville if we are staying on the edge of the urban area?

Typically you may be staying in an apartment or hmall house on the edge of a resort or urban area. These places usually have some level of public transport, but not as much as city / resort centres.

Do you need a car in Seville if we are staying in a rural area?

Rural proprties might include larger villas or apartments, but they can still be within a short walk of a bus stop or local railway station, and the opportunities for hiking and cycling might also be substantial, depending on the destination.

What is your attitude towards driving?

We can give you suggestions based on whatever we consider to be a "typical" visitor to Seville, but ultimately your decision is also going to be influenced by whether or not you ususally prefer to hire a car in the first place.

Should I hire a car in Seville if I prefer not to drive?

This is especially the case when there is only one main driver in the group, and it's based on the attitude of the driver rather than their passengers! The main driver may also simply prefer to use public transport, or they may prefer to take scenic train journeys where available.

Should we rent a car in Seville if we are easy either way?

This is more aimed at the typical visitor who isn't that bothered about how they get around, as long as it is the most convenient / best value option.

Should I rent a car in Seville if I prefer to drive?

For people who usually prefer the freedom and flexibility of having a hire car. Is it still best to rent a car in Seville, or are there good reasons not to?

Many people heading for the Spanish Costas forget that Andalusia also has some fantastic cities in its interior, and these should never be overlooked. Some people just make day trips to cities like Seville and Granada from the Costa Del Sol, and this can easily be done in a hire car, but what if you are looking to fly into Seville and base yourself here for a few days at least?

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Why should you rent a car in Seville?

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 Seville?

  1. Limited options for public transport — Seville sits at the end of the fantastically fast AVE high-speed train line from Madrid, but like many places that are at the end of the line, opportunities to continue beyond the city by train are relatively limited, especially when compared with other major Spanish cities like Barcelona or Bilbao, which both have excellent networks of regional railway routes, including some very scenic day trips.
  2. Granada— having lent its name to a popular Ford car from the 1970s, the city of Granada itself is a nuisance to get to if you don’t have a car. Although the train journey will take a similar amount of time to driving (from around 3 hours), there are just six train connections each day between these important Andalusian cities, and two of these will require a change. Coaches are available between all the major cities in Andalusia, but they have neither the comfort of a train nor the flexibility of a hire car. It would be very challenging to make a visit to Granada and back to Seville in the same day, allowing enough time to fully appreciate Alhambra.
  3. Jaen – if you are touring around to the east of Seville, then it is also well worth trying to include the city of Jaen on your itinerary. In a car, you should be able to travel between Jaen and Granada in just over an hour, whereas to travel between these cities by train would take well over four hours. Like Granada, Jaen is also about a 3 hour drive from Seville.
  4. Beaches — although most people stay on the Costa Del Sol and then travel inwards to the interior, if you do want to travel in the other direction and visit some of Andalusia’s beaches, this is always going to be far easier to do in a hire car. As you are already a long way west, you have the opportunity to visit some great secluded beaches around Huelva, and a car is certainly best for this.
  5. Donana National Park – a hire car is essential to visit this scenic area to the south west of Seville.
  6. Gibraltar — forget about trying to visit Gibraltar by train, as it will take half a day to get there as you zigzag around the various rural lines, which still only take you to the edge of the town of La Linea. There are still no bus services crossing between Gibraltar and anywhere on the Costa Del Sol (see our Gibraltar car hire advice page for more about this).
  7. Ronda – Heading back from Gibraltar, you could also take in the absolutely stunning clifftop town of Ronda – although these are probably better as separate day trips. Take some good walking shoes to appreciate this area — and be glad you have a hire car to go back to, as Ronda is still a very slow train journey from Seville, even if a little bit less cumbersome one than getting to Gibraltar.
  8. Medina Azahara (west of Cordoba) – this site is largely ruins, but some of the walls are still intact, and it is well worth a visit. This vast former palace-cum-fort can easily be included in an excursion to Cordoba. Although Cordoba itself is much easier to visit by train (see below), getting out to the Medina Azahara by bus can only be done once or twice per day, and advance booking is needed. Alternatively, you could take a local bus heading west on the A431, but you would still have to walk half a mile to reach the site. Much easier to do this one in a hire car!

Why not? Visiting Seville without a car

What is public transport like in Seville? 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 Seville?


  1. Cycle friendly city– in recent years, Seville has made amazing progress towards becoming one of the most cycle friendly cities in Spain, and arguably anywhere in southern Europe.In less than half a decade, the city has gone from having virtually zero cyclists to around 7% of journeys being made by bike (about twice as many as London), with bikes being particularly prominent in the city centre. To enjoy the city itself, you can pick up a bike from the automated community bike scheme (Sevici), or to get out of the city, you can rent a bike from several different locations.
  2. Metropol Parasol – Seville is a city with plenty of fascinating ancient and modern architecture, and the Metropol Parasol is one structure that I think truly stands out. I last visited Seville in 2006, so this one is right at the top of my Andalusian to-do list, rather than an experience I have done, as it only opened in 2011.The Parasol is the largest structure in the world made entirely out of wood, and it houses the central market, and shelters archeological sites below, yet the real ingenuity is that this very public building also has a roof terract on top to enable users to get fantastic views of the city. Naturally, this is a place to, well, quite literally walk all over. Hire car certainly NOT needed!
  3. Old town – the historic core of Seville is a tightly woven mesh of Moorish delights, and this is strictly to be enjoyed on foot. The city has three UNESCO World Heritage sites in the centre.
  4. Combine with Cordoba — the nearby city of Cordoba has what is surely the finest example of Moorish architecture anywhere in Spain — the beautiful Great Mosque, which also incorporates a cathedral within the centre of the complex — making it totally unique. The high speed AVE line connects Cordoba with Seville in just 45 minutes, making it much easier to visit Cordoba by train than in a hire car.
  5. Traffic — even relative to other European cities of its size, traffic is still a big problem in Seville, so be prepared to spend time in queues anywhere near the city centre, not to mention parking costs. If you are going to get a hire car for your visit to Seville, you will be better off staying in a hotel on the edge of the city.
  6. Alamillo Bridge — for anyone with even the slightest appreciation of architecture, the (deliberately) leaning Alamillo bridge on the edge of the centre of Seville, crossing the Alfonso VIII canal is well worth a visit. There are various parks along the banks of the canal, so this is a good place to go on a bike or on foot.
  7. Isla Magica – also to the west of Seville, Isla Magica is a theme park built on the site of Expo 92. This is easily accessible from the centre of the city without needing a car.
  8. Cadiz — the historic city of Cadiz is easily reachable in around 80 minutes by train from Seville. A hire car will give you the flexibility to stop of in a few places along the way (such as Jerez), but as Cadiz itself is very compact, it is much easier to arrive there by train and not have to worry about parking.
  9. Vias Verdes — between Cordoba and Seville you will find a disused railway line which has been converted into a walking and cycling track, and is part of the Vias Verdes (Greenways) network which covers many parts of Spain. This route is a personal favourite.
  10. Two city trip — as flights to Seville (from UK airports at least) are relatively limited, you might find it easier to fly into Malaga or Madrid instead, and to travel on to Seville by train. This gives an opportunity to explore two or more cities during your stay.
  11. Cost — a hire car in Seville is usually more expensive than the equivalent hire car in Malaga, and you will probably still have to pay for parking on top. You may well get much better value without having a car, especially as Andalusian cities are the type of places where you can easily end up spending more time than you initially expected.
  12. Metro – Seville has the most modern metro in Spain, although only one line is currently open.
  13. Seville Santa Justa station is a great gateway to the city for anyone with an interest in architecture. Like the airport terminal, it was built in time for the Expo in 1992. If you want to see what London Euston station might look like if it was designed to allow light in, take a train from Seville.From Seville, you can reach Madrid here in as little as 2 hours 20 minutes, or Malaga in a touch under 2 hours. Bear in mind that long distance trains in Spain tend to be extremely popular, so trains can sell out of seats at busy periods, and unlike their British equivalents, standing is not allowed. Book well in advance for the cheapest option.

Ratings

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.

Verdict

What is our final score for Seville on the Carornocar scale?

Remember, this isn't so much a rating of the road network, or a score for what we think of the buses or trains, but it's simply a scale showing the swing between whether or not we think a rental car is a good idea here.

3


A hire car will provide flexibility, but it will only do so at a cost, not just in terms of the cost of the hire car itself and parking, but also because you may well get stuck in one of Seville’s infamous traffic jams.

If you are already thinking about staying in Seville, then the chances are that you’re the sort of person who appreciates the inherent richness of cities, and who is less interested in driving around rural areas or driving from one beach to the next.

There are plenty of reasons why a hire car in Seville might be useful, but Seville equally has enough to offer both within its boundaries and in nearby places which are reachable by train or bike.

When you weigh all this up, there is really no need for a hire car in Seville.

Would you hire a car in Seville?

Have you driven in Seville? Do you agree with our advice on whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Seville}? Do you need a car in Seville? For some or all of the time? Tell us what you think using the comments section below:

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