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Santander car hire tips

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    Where to pick up your car

    The most popular car hire location is Santander Airport (SDR), which is just under 15 mins' drive from the centre (about 5km).

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    Top car rental brands

    The most popular car rental brands in Santander are Dollar, Alamo, Goldcar, Budget and Thrifty.

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    Local currency

    Euro (EUR)

  • Average temperatures

    Warmest month: July (20°C)
    Coldest month: January (11°C)

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    Side of road


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Hire a car in Santander

A sunny getaway spoton the north Spanish coast,Santander sparks withwelcoming fiesta spirit.

The capital of the Cantabria region of Spain, Santander is a coastal resort that is as popular with Spanish natives as it is with international visitors. Having suffered extensive damage due to a great fire in 1941, the city has rebuilt itself as a modern mecca for a break in the sun.

The city today has a vibrant night scene, with countless bars and restaurants serving a heady mix of tapas, cocktails and music until the early hours. Santander is also lively during daylight hours – the busy plazas, beaches, promenades and atmospheric attractions all keep visitors engaged. When you want a quieter day out, just jump in your hire car and head for smaller towns nearby – Comillas is full of cultural charm.

Car rental in Santander – the numbers

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Frequently asked questions

Q. What is the most popular rental length in Santander?
A. Seven to eight days.

Q. When is the most popular time to rent a car in Santander?
A. August.

Q. What's the best value car hire brand in Santander?
A. Goldcar is the cheapest car rental brand in Santander, offering cars from just £6 per day.

*Based on easyCar real booking data.

Fast facts

Cheapest month / most expensive month Average cost per day of car hire in Santander
Car typeAverage cost per day of car hire in Santander

Local knowledge

Top restaurants

Best known for its seafood dishes, Santander boasts a range of restaurants serving traditional as well as fusion cuisine. Our picks cover all tastes and budgets.

Casa Lita
Pinchos are a popular snack throughout the Cantabrian region and Casa Lita serves some of the best. As a result of its popularity, it is best to arrive before 8pm in order to get a seat.

Overlooking the Plaza de Cañadίo is this tapas bar, restaurant and drinks bar all rolled into one. Pinchos naturally feature heavily on the bar menu and further examples of traditional Cantabrian cuisine are served in the restaurant.

El Machi
This restaurant is a seafood-lover's paradise. The crisp blue and white seaside-inspired décor complements the fresh fish that is served here every day.

Días Desur
Combining Cambrian, Andalusian and Asian cuisines is this contemporary tapas bar and restaurant. Burgers, samosas and pasta all feature on the menu alongside seafood dishes. There's also a wide variety of salads – ideal for vegetarians.

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Driving tips

Where to collect your car
Santander Airport is the ideal place to get your hire car from. The airport is just a 10-minute drive from the city centre.

Toll roads
Toll roads are common in Spain and will add additional costs to your journeys. You will encounter several tolls, particularly if you decide to drive from Santander into France.

Not flying in?
If you're coming into Santander by ferry, the railway station is just a short walk away and you can get a hire car from here to continue your journey.

Why hire a car?
Santander is a sprawling city and attractions are scattered throughout. Having a hire car lets you get around them all with ease.

Drive safely
The Cantabrian region has mountainous terrain, so roads can be narrower and more winding the further you get from the coast. Keep this in mind when venturing outside of Santander to more inland locations.

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A drive back in time

Historic Santillana del Mar

Santillana del Mar is known as the 'city of three lies'. This is because its name is made up of three components, none of which are true of the land it stands on: holy (santo), flat (llana) and by the sea (del mar). This picturesque medieval town about 30 minutes west of Santander by car.

You'll discover how important religion was in the origins of Santillana del Mar as you walk along its cobbled streets and charming stone and brick buildings. The Romanesque Collegiate Church of Santillana del Mar is one of the most striking features in the town.

Other beautiful places of interest include the Calle de Juan Infante, a shopping street lined with houses that have balconies blooming with flowers in the spring and summer months. Here you can browse for souvenirs whilst feeling like you're in a living, breathing medieval town.

There are also numerous museums that help you understand more of Santillana del Mar's history. They include the Museo de Altamira – a museum that also has a reproduction of the ancient caves nearby.

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