Car hire is available from many different agents and hotels. Always ask the total price of your requirements, so that you are fully aware there are no hidden extras right from the start. In order to hire a car in Mallorca you need to be over 21 years of age, hold a full driving licence from your country of residence, and have two years driving experience.
Just take it steady at first - you will soon get used to driving on the ‘wrong side’ of the road. All you have to remember is ‘the centre of the road should always be on the driver’s side’ - just as it is ‘back home’. Beware of people overtaking on the ‘inside’ - it is commonplace over here!
The police are ‘red hot’ on speeding over here so stick to the limits. There are ‘on the spot’ fines and if you do not have the money on you to pay there and then you will be taken to the nearest Guardia headquarters where you will be asked to make arrangements for payment. It is also illegal to use a mobile phone whilst driving.
The speed limits are clearly indicated on most roads, in built-up areas and on motorways.
Police make random checks over here and you must have your passport and driving licence available for inspection. The breathalyser limit is nearly half that in the UK. It is 50mg of alcohol to 100 mililitres of blood. In the UK it is 80mg.
In the event of an accident or breakdown red triangles must be placed to the front and rear of the vehicle and flourescent vest must be worn whilst doing this.
Many Mallorcan filling stations are not self-service. If they are not, then just sit in your car and hand your keys to the attendant, he or she will do the rest. They will expect a tip in the region of 50 centimos for their efforts.
If you are filling up at night you must switch your lights off - mobile phones must be switched off at all times in filling stations ... and don't smoke, but this only applies to you, not the attendant!
When ordering petrol do so by specific amounts, i.e. 10, 20, 30 euros etc. If you want your tank filling up all you have to say is: lleno (pronounced ‘Yeno’)
In some towns car parking is free, but check the signs and also for yellow road markings which indicate no, or restricted, parking. The Pay and Display parking system which is in use in the centre many towns is indicated by blue road markings. You get your ticket from a nearby machine and you must display the ticket in the front of your vehicle. Parking is normally limited to two hours, but most towns left the restrictions between 1.30 and 4.30 in the afternoon.
If you park illegally your car will be towed away and in its place on the pavement will be a red or orange sticker telling you who to phone in order to get it back. Expect to pay around 120 euros. You have been warned...
If you go to Palma for the day, there are plenty of underground car parks - just remember which one you put your car in! There are also plenty of Pay and Display meters - the maximum period of stay in metered areas is two hours. However, it is free between 2.00 pm and 4.30 pm and after 8.00 pm.
For all vehicles over 50 cc a valid driving licence is required. You will also need to produce your passport for insurance registration purposes. Helmets are supplied by the hire company and are usually included in the price - wear them at all times. Moped and scooter driving is a hazardous pastime in Mallorca! And don't forget, you are driving on the opposite side of the road.
This website was launched on 21 December 2006
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