As a person who sold everything to travel the world at the end of 2016, I no longer possess a car, a property, credit cards, and other things that most of people think are important to have in order to be happy. Don’t get me wrong – cars make me REALLY happy! They can mean possibilities, they can even be my home, they take me on adventures, or they can BE an adventure.
My decision to hire a car in Spain also turned into an adventure. I spent two days searching the internet to find a car rental company that doesn’t require payment by a credit card or huge deposits but offers full insurance and excellent customer service instead (I got a reply to my email at midnight!).
I’m talking about Drivalia, a company that now offers their services in the airports of Alicante, Mallorca, Valencia, Bilbao, Santiago & Girona.
I initially tried to make a booking online but for some reason it didn’t work, so I scrolled down their home page , found their contact information, and sent an email with my request. The confirmation was sent the next morning.
After arriving at the airport of Alicante, I followed the directions e-mailed to me: took an elevator downstairs and waited for Drivalia shuttle bus for not more than 10 minutes. After some minutes, we arrived at Drivalia office, where an extremely nice lady met us and processed our booking. I was happy I could pay with my debit card and the amount I paid matched the one stated in my booking confirmation. Full insurance and unlimited mileage was included and I was given an unexpected car upgrade. Since I travelled with my two children and it had been a very long and tiring day of travel, all three of us were grateful beyond words and so happy to get a key of a brand new car (Hyundai Tucson). I read some reviews before left by people who complained about having given this model and I understand that people are different and our experiences differ as well but to our little family this car was perfect.
We loved its parking sensors, audio system (bring your own aux cable and download your playlists to listen to them offline!), and how spacious it was. We happened to be in Valencia during the famous Falles festival with no accommodation options available and we found out that our car is big enough for the three of us to spend a night there. An emergency solution but it worked for us.
We had the car for nearly a month and explored the region of Murcia chasing sunshine, enjoying beaches, mountains, vineyards, and almond fields (check out this hashtag #hrl_ziemadienvidos or Spain highlights on my Instagram page). On the day of departure, we just gave the car back from where we got it, used the shuttle bus to get to the airport, and went home. One of the easiest car hire experiences in my life!
Disclaimer: I paid for the car hire in full and was given the upgrade without asking. However, I did contact Drivalia management one week before my contract ended and offered my social media management services, which they politely declined and let me return the car with a tank half empty (the contract stated full-to-full policy). My opinion and satisfaction of the service has in no way been impacted by this. And I still think their Instagram page needs to be improved. 🙂