Mallorca is a Spanish island, the largest in the archipelago. Even the name of the island speaks for itself, as it means “larger island”. It has a pleasant climate, not too cold in winter and not too hot in summer, making this place ideal for tourists almost all year round. The nature here is very rich and varied to enjoy it while driving in Mallorca. There are 40 parks on the island, which attract visitors from all over the world.
But how to see all of Mallorca on your own, if you aren’t on a bus tour or something of that kind? How to visit the famous beaches and sights, see interesting and beautiful places and at the same time not go with a crowd of other tourists on organized excursions and not depend on public transport?
Mallorca is a great place to travel and you should rent a car here if you want to see all the beauty. There are free roads, short distances, a lot of vehicle rental points, petrol stations and traffic jams can only be found in the capital Palma.
Renting a car in Mallorca is not a luxury, but a necessity. After all, a car allows you to move more comfortably, and thus to see noticeably more and go even to the most remote corners.
Also, you will not depend on public transport timetables and will be able to go anywhere on the island. The options vary from picturesque wild beaches in orange groves to the main party areas.
The rules of the road in the Balearic Islands are the same as the traffic regulations of Spain, the main features of car rental are also the same. However, let’s see the main nuances!
Do I need a car in Mallorca?
An answer “To rent a car or not?” depends on what experience you want to get. If you choose:
- lying on the beach,
- the opportunity to relax,
- forget about driving in Mallorca, finding parking zones, and choosing routes,
- lose sight of rationing the use of beer, wine, or champagne.
Then the issue is removed by itself!
If you want:
- to find out why Mallorca, like a magnet, attracts millions of tourists from different continents,
- to discover 100% of the treasures of this paradise island, inaccessible to “horseless” tourists,
- to hire a guide with a car for several days.
The answer is also unambiguous – “take it!”.
In order to make your Mallorca road trip pleasant, we dare to give some useful tips and tell you about the main nuances of renting a car.
The list of required documents for driving in Mallorca
- Valid ID.
- EU residents can have just a driver’s license with 1 year of experience.
- All other nationalities must have an International Driving Permit (IDP). EU residents are also advised to have one. When renting, it is not required, but must be presented together with the license to police officers in case of verification of documents. In fact, this is a translation of your driver’s license into common foreign languages.
- A credit card in the main driver’s name (except Avis, Budget, Centauro, and SIXT agencies, they accept debit cards). Please note that this must be a credit card, i.e. having a credit limit and being embossed. Other types of cards, such as electronic or debit cards, are not suitable. The deposit amount (typically $200 to $300) will be blocked on the credit card for the entire rental period and will be released 10-15 days after the return of the car.
- A printout of the booking if you booked via the broker’s website.
The driver must be at least 21 years old and have more than a year of driving experience. In some rental services, a driver under 25 years old must pay an additional insurance “for a young driver” of €10-15 per day (this price depends on the company and type of a car).
Important reasons why do you need insurance
Driving in Mallorca is a fairly safe activity. Local roads are in good condition, drivers are mostly polite, and serious accidents are extremely rare, but, as they say, there are nuances.
If you do not take full insurance, the rental company will take a deposit from you, which is usually equal to the deductible on average €800-1200. This is the maximum amount that the driver pays in case of damage to the insured car, and, at the same time, this is the “first amount” from which payment for any damage begins.
That is, if the driver trashed the car, they will pay a maximum of €1200, but even if the damage is less than €1200, the repair will be paid first from the funds on the deposit.
Reasons why even an experienced driver can damage a rented car
Be sure to bookmark this driving guide so that you could always recheck our top tips for the first time driving in Mallorca.
- Features of the island movement. Local streets are narrow, traffic lanes match the streets, and there are still a lot of sharp turns or non-standard obstacles (for example, a tree on the roadway).
- Features of parking in Mallorca. The Spaniards quite often park immodestly, and leave the parking lot, pushing the neighbors with a bumper.
- Mountain roads. Pebbles often fall on the road. Also, there are a lot of wild goats on the island, which are not afraid of tourists and Mallorca cars and jump in the mountains next to the roads.
- Crime. Yes, unfortunately, as in all resort places, Mallorca has people who want to profit at someone else’s expense.
- Banal vandalism. In some tourist areas, quite drunk individuals roam who can harm your car.
Therefore, we sincerely recommend paying a little more for a car rental, especially if you decide to rent a luxury car at Mallorca Airport. This would give you a carefree car vacation without worrying about the safety of the vehicle and saving you from possible financial losses.
Main driving rules in Mallorca for your safe trip
As in many other European countries, Spain, including Mallorca, has quite impressive fines for traffic violations. If you plan to rent a car in Mallorca, then you need to know at least the main rules of the road.
Mallorca driving side
One of the most useful Mallorca driving tips we give to tourists is that here we have right-hand traffic. In other words, you should move on the right side of the road. It is even more important to remember while on the one-lane roads.
- On motorways – 120 km/h;
- On main roads – 100 km / h;
- On secondary roads – 90 km/h,
- On urban roads – 60 km/h.
Front seat belts must always be fastened, and rear seat belts must be fastened only when fitted (most vehicles have seat belts in the front seats).
Drunk driving in Mallorca
Occasional encounters between a police officer and a breathalyzer can occur at any time of the day, especially at night. Although you can drink a little before you drive, it’s best not to do so, as you can’t know exactly what the breathalyzer will show.
Petrol stations are usually open from 6 am to 10 pm, except on Sundays, although larger gas stations are open 24/7. Most petrol stations accept credit cards. Please note that there are not many stations in the mountainous areas.
In case of a breakdown
If your car breaks down, then you will need to call the company where you rented it. So be sure to write down the company number, otherwise, you will have to solve the problem yourself.
Road fines in Mallorca
Minor traffic offenses
- Stopping for more than two minutes at a pedestrian crossing or disabled parking spaces.
- Transportation of children under 12 in the front seat.
- Use of headphones by the driver while driving. Also, while driving, it is forbidden to smoke, eat, or use the radio or navigator.
Serious traffic offenses
- Inattentive driving. For example, a car in front stopped at a red light, and the driver behind crashed into it, or the driver started a maneuver and did not notice a motorcyclist passing by.
- Throwing items out of the car can provoke accidents. For example, an empty pack of cigarettes may well be regarded as a threat.
- Failure to comply with the rules on speed limits, the priority of movement, changing the direction of movement, and driving in the oncoming lane in prohibited places.
- Parking that creates dangerous situations or causes traffic problems.
Very serious traffic offenses
- Exceeding the speed limit by 50% and not less than 30 km/h. For example: driving at speeds above 60 km/h, where the maximum allowed speed is 30 km/h.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in excess of the permissible limit. Previously, this item was purely formal with a low blood alcohol content, and tourist drivers could afford two or three glasses of wine during lunch. But every year the control and responsibility for driving in this condition are tightened. So, from May 9, 2014, for exceeding the permissible level of alcohol or drugs in the blood, the fine has been increased to €1,000.
- Transportation of passengers in an amount higher than 50% of the available seats. For example, if there are seven passengers (including a child of any age) in a car with five seats.
Sizes of traffic fines in Spain
- for minor violations – from 0 to €200
- for violations of moderate severity – from €200 to €400
- for very severe violations – from €500 to €1,000
Mallorca parking rules
Our Mallorca driving guide wouldn’t be full-fledged unless we talk about parking rules in detail.
Most parking zones in the central part of settlements, near tourist attractions and beaches, are paid. It is universally prohibited to park on freeways, sidewalks, lawns, pedestrian areas, private properties, and places for the disabled, at the exits of parking lots and garages. Non-residents are prohibited from parking in the central part of the old cities, this is especially strictly monitored in Palma. Municipal employees impose fines, and may also call a tow truck.
Parking in Mallorca according to the colors of the marking lines
Follow the next rules:
- Yellow lines – parking is prohibited. It can be a zigzag, a dotted line, or a solid line, depending on the type and time of the ban. The ban may not be permanent, but may be valid, for example, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 7 am to 11 am and from 4 pm to 7 pm, specific parameters should be indicated on the signs. But understanding this is often very difficult even for residents, it’s better to just remember the ban on parking near the yellow line.
- Green, orange, brown lines – parking for residents only.
- Blue dotted or solid line – parking is allowed to everyone, but it is paid. Usually, when parking in Mallorca blue lines, payment is required on weekdays from 9 am to 8 pm, and on Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm. But there are exceptions, in some places the schedule may be different. There is always a parking meter nearby, look at the information on its screen about the parking mode and tariffs.
- A white line or no colored line means free parking.
Parking meters do not give change to pay for parking, they do not allow you to pay less than the minimum time (usually 30 minutes) and more than the maximum time (usually 2 hours).
If you are not sure how long you want to leave your car in paid parking, park in underground parking lots.
The price there is slightly higher than on the regular one but without a time limit. Please note that underground parks are full at the peak of the season, then the red signal “COMPLET” is lit before entering, but if the places are free, you can find the green inscription “LLIURE”.
Toll roads in Mallorca
There is only one toll road in Mallorca – the tunnel on the Palma Soller highway, the fare is 3.5 euros. It can be bypassed along the Ma-11A mountain view road. Drive along it at least once and enjoy the most beautiful landscapes!
By the way, you can save on passenger van rental even if you travel with a big family.
12 Popular places in Majorca and their driving distances
Let’s start with Mallorca’s length and width. The island is about 75 km long from north to south and 100 km wide from west to east.
Hence, driving in Mallorca won’t take too much time. To say in more detail the most popular routes are:
- Palma to Alcudia = 47 min (61.3 km, 4.27 liters of gasoline)
- Palma to Soller =37 min (31.5 km, 2.21liters of gasoline)
- Palma to Andratx = 50 min (46.8 km, 3.28 liters of gasoline)
- Palma to Colonia de SJ = 40 min (47.9 km, 3.35 liters of gasoline)
- Palma to Puerto Cristo = 57 min (63.9 km, 4.48 liters of gasoline)
- Palma to Arta = 1 hr 2 min (71.2 km, 5 liters of gasoline)
- Palma to Manacor = 45 min (51.4 km, 3.6 liters of gasoline)
- Alcudia to Pollenca = 19 min (12.0 km, 0.84 liters of gasoline)
- Pollenca to Soller = 54 min (62.3 km, 4.36 liters of gasoline)
- Soller to Andratx = 1 hr 5 min (56.6 km, 4 liters of gasoline)
- Arta to Alcudia = 46 min (34.3 km, 2.38 liters of gasoline)
- Colonia de SJ to Puerto Cristo = 51 min (50.8 km, 3.57 liters of gasoline)
Attractions to visit in Mallorca by car
The picturesque nature of the island hints that you can see everything and even more. Local beaches have always attracted tourists. But besides them, you can visit a lot of observation platforms that will open your eyes to the city.
Even though people go to Mallorca for the sea and the party, one cannot ignore the numerous attractions, among which are must-see:
- Bellver Castle. It was built in the Gothic style in 1300-1311 as the summer residence of King Jaime II. From a height of 140 meters, it gives a view of the beautiful bay, and its towers point in the four cardinal directions.
- Gaudi’s creation – Palma Cathedral. It is recognized as one of the most amazing Gothic temples in the world during the Early Middle Ages. This could one of your the best Palma de Mallorca driving experiences)
- Cuevas del Drach. As legends say the dragon guarded his treasures here. The total length of the cave is 2200 meters.
- Almudaina Palace. Residence of the Spanish Kings since the XIII century. The palace is located in a picturesque place, next to the Cathedral of Palma.
A quick hint – you should rent a Jeep if you want to go off-road driving in Mallorca.
Find your best car for driving in Mallorca!
Overall car rental Mallorca services are well worth it. Driving west will give you a ton of pleasure as well as your family. Especially when you can rent a car at Mallorca Airport for the lowest price.
Indeed, it seems like Mallorca was designed especially for driving trips!