Barajas Airport Car Rental - Madrid

Airport Basics.....

The Barajas Airport in Madrid is by far the busiest airport in Spain.  In fact, it falls within the top 12 of the busiest airports in the entire world.  Serving the entire world, it has served near 50 million passengers annually for several years.  And, although a global recession put a damper on most of the world, this airport has held up with annual passenger decreases of less than 10%.  Well, the airport has a capacity of over 70 million, so maybe that won't be a problem for a few years.

The new terminal construction began sometime around 2000.  Terminal 4 was then finished in 2006, and most travelers have pretty positive experiences with T4.  The problem is T1, T2 and T3.  What is the problem?  Well, they're considered dark and crowded, and the restaurants are not always clean.  On top of that, many travelers report rudeness of staff regardless of which terminal is used.


Madrid Airport New Terminal

Barajas Airport Car Rental.....

There are a total of six car rental companies.  Five of these can be found bunched together in the arrivals area in Terminal One, near the baggage claim area.   They can also be found in the Terminal 4.  These five include Europcar, Hertz, Avis, National and Sixt.  A sixth company, AeroCity-Ares Mobile, which is not exactly a rental car company, offers door to door passenger delivery service to the airport from the City of Madrid and to the City of Madrid back to the airport.  All car rental agents and desks are currently closed in Terminal Two.

Location of the rental cars at the Madrid Airport will again depend on which terminal you are at.  Cars are situated at both T1 and T4. 

Directions from T4 to Madrid…

The cars at T4 are positioned in the multi-story car parking area across from the terminal.  Walk from the terminal to the garage, locate your vehicle and you’re ready to go to Madrid.  If leaving the T4, exit the car parking garage to the north, stay in the left hand lane, and follow the signs for Madrid.  Soon you will hop on the toll road.  After the toll both, you should lean to the right towards Madrid.  After going thru a tunnel, you will continue on towards Zaragoza by staying right towards M-40.  Drive over 8 km and then take the AB-15 exit towards Madrid.

Directions from T1 to Madrid…

The cars at T1 are outside of the terminal as well – but on the surface parking lot.  When you walk out of the arrivals are of the terminal, you will immediately see the many rental car company signs and banners next (and in front of) the terminal.  Locate the rental car company that you booked with you and you’re good to go.  Once you get in your car, you will travel North to get out of the airport area.  Soon you will need to make a decision on whether you want to travel via Avda America or Pza Castilla.  Stay left and travel towards Avda America towards M14.  After driving over 9 km, you will exit on 15-AB towards Avenida Mediterráneo/​Valencia.  Madrid is within 5 km.

Car Rental Return to T4…

When returning to the T4 terminal you will pick up rental car return signs early after exiting off of M-12.  As you drive down to the airport, you will notice several car rental signs at the bottom of the hill pointing you to pull into the garage area.  Getting your car back is a breeze.

Car Rental Return to T1…

Returning a rental to T1 isn’t any more difficult than returning to T4 above.  Just watch for rental car return signs as you approach the terminal.  Signs are overhead and well-placed.  You will essentially drive right into the ground-level, surface parking lot that sits in front of the T1 Terminal.

Amenties Inside the Barajas Airport.....

On practically every terminal, there is an Ars Restaurant.  Sandwiches and Baguettes are the mainstay of an Ars, and if you've ever eaten one, they're not bad.  Other restaurants such as the Cafeteria Colubia serve similar type food.  If you're looking for something more familiar, you might try a Subway in the Terminal Three, departures area or a McDonald's in the Terminal Four departures area.  If you're looking to drop some serious cash, you might try the finest dining in the establishment, called the El Modrono.

Other amenities (besides car rental and restaurants) include banking services - offered by the BBVA in T4 and T2, and Caja Madrid in T4 and T2 as well.  Pharmacy's are located in most terminals (If not all - Not sure about T3) and complete medical service areas are located on  T2 and T4.  There is no free Wi-Fi in the area.  Costs are dependent on the option you choose.  Options are:


  • 30 Minutes at a cost of 5 Euros.
  • 1 Hour at a cost of  7.5 Euros.
  • 24 Hours at a cost of 15 Euros.

Madrid barajas WIFI

Car Rental Driving Distances.....

There are tons of things to do in Madrid.  First, you need to know that when you come out of the Barajas Airport, things may be a little different than you're used to.  A rigid traffic fine system was put into place a few years ago, and before that it was pure madness.  But with the recently initiated road rules, you may have a chance of surviving.

Parking is expensive. Seat belts are mandatory and punishable by fines.  Drinking and driving is more strictly enforced than in the U.S.  Do not park illegally, or your car will be towed.  Talking on a cell phone while driving is illegal.  There's more restrictions, but I think you get the point.  And the point is, be very, very cautious when driving a rental car in Madrid.  

For your assistance, we have compiled some rental car driving distances to help on your journies in Madrid.  There are many attractions in the area, and we have identified a few (along with some nearby towns) that may give you an ideal of what kind of distances to expect.  All distances below are FROM the Barajas Airport in Madrid.  These are estimates only.  For exact driving distances, we always recommend a GPS.

Retiro Park 14 km.
Prado Museium, 15 km.
Museum Thyssen Bornemisza 15 km.
Royal Palace of Madrid, 23 km
Queen Sofia Arts Center, 15 km.
Museum Sorolla Paseo 13 km
Zoo Aquarium de la Casa de Campo, 28 km
Gateway of the Sun (Puerta Del Sol) 15 km
Alcala de Henares, Spain 25 km
Fuenlabrada, Spain, 38 km
Zaragoza, Spain, 315 km
Valencia, Spain 358 km
Albacete, Spain 276 km.
Valladolid, Spain 226 km
Caceres, Spain 313 km

Types if Cars Available.....

When renting a car from the Barajas Airport you should have several choices.  The most popular choice (and probably the cheapest) will be some sort of economy car with a standard shift and a diesel motor.  When reviewing choices on our booking engine, these options will be both visible and helpful.  SUV's, 7-Passenger Minivans, or 8-Passenger Minivans are also usually available.  The key with these is to book early.  Also, luxury-type cars are often available as well, if you're wanting to travel Madrid in style.  Thank you for using Eurocar Rental for your rental car needs.

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