Car Hire at Barcelona Airport: The Best Companies

by Mark Rebindaine  |  Updated July 12, 2023

El Prat Airport (BCN), located 20km south of central Barcelona, is both the largest and busiest airport in Catalonia and second only to Madrid’s in terms of passenger traffic.

Barcelona El Prat (Photo: Marti Serra via Unsplash)

Most of the car rental agencies are located in both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 at BCN Airport. The rental desks at Terminal 1 are located on the ground floor, a few metres outside the arrivals area while the rental desks inside Terminal 2, are located at the main exit hall just beyond customs. has looked into rates, selection of cars, customer reviews and company policies of all the car rental companies at BCN to work out the best three options. The results of our findings are below.

Most Affordable: Firefly

Firefly often comes out on top when it comes to finding a cheap car hire in Spain. And this is the case in BCN airport, especially when looking at compact options. Daily rates on Firefly’s most basic models start at around €35 per day in early September, and for larger and faster vehicles, at €42 per day during the same period. Amongst Firefly’s perks, renters enjoy free cancellations up to 48 hours before a reservation begins and an automatic 160km of free mileage per day. However, as is often the case, we read a number of reviews from users complaining about aggressive sales techniques to upsell insurance policies. For this reason alone, more and more people are choosing to purchase car insurance from a third party before embarking on their trip. The Firefly counter is located in Terminal 2, 300 metres from the arrivals hall next to the Norwegian counter. Should you be arriving at Terminal 1, the airport offers a free shuttle service connecting both terminals. The desk is open from 7am to 12am.

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Best for Luxury: Sixt

Due to its fleet of high-end, classy vehicles, Sixt stands out as the best option for luxury cars at El Prat Airport. Their roster of vehicles will suit just about any occasion, from those visitors heading into Barcelona to see the sites, to others who might want to enjoy an open-top drive along a motorway. For journeys like these, we would recommend cars like the BMW 420 Cabrio. For the more eco-conscious, we’d suggest looking at the cars offered by Hertz that have both the fully electric Polestar 2 and the Tesla Model 3 on their books. These models were being rented at under €80 per day at the start of September. Both these agencies have desks inside Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.

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Best for Minivans: Enterprise

Enterprise is the best choice for families planning vacations in Spain because of the ample selection of roomy rental cars that are available from the company. Enterprise offers many more hatchback vehicles and vans than other agencies. While a small group of people can opt for the 7-seater Opel Zaffra and Seat Alhambra, larger families have the choice of 9-seater minibuses like the Opel Vivaro. Enterprise is also a good bet because of the way the company consistently delivers clean, well-maintained cars. Overall, this particular agency receives rating of 8.8 out of 10 from customers on The Enterprise desk at Barcelona Airport is open from 7 a.m. to 12am. daily.

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