Madrid Atocha is Spain’s biggest train station and also the centre of the country’s high-speed rail network. Indeed, the vast majority of high-speed routes start (or finish) at Madrid Atocha. It’s also a transport hub for the capital with the Metro and the Cercanias commuter train stopping here as well as a host of city buses. For a complete guide to the station, visit our sister site: Madrid-Atocha.com. In this post, you’ll find our guide to collecting a Madrid Atocha Station car hire.

Our blog also features a guide to returning a car hire to Madrid Atocha Station. And you can search and compare prices for a great deal car hire on our Madrid Atocha Station page.

Madrid Atocha: Spain’s biggest train station

Like many train stations across the country, Madrid-Atocha was vastly expanded to host the high-speed AVE network and to provide a better connection to the Cercanias station. It’s basically two stations in one. The old station building (pictured above and the first picture below) is now the main concourse with a host of restaurants and shops. It also boasts a tropical garden in the middle of it!

The newer part of the building houses the train platforms, arrivals hall and Cercanias terminal. It’s also in this part where you’ll find the on-site car hire desks.

Collecting a Madrid Atocha Station car hire

The tropical garden in the old terminal at Madrid-Atocha

Collecting a Madrid Atocha Station car hire

The newer part of the station © Xiquinho Silva/Flickr

Whether you’re arriving into Madrid by train or just want to enjoy the city on foot or by public transport, a Madrid Atocha Station car hire is perfect for day trips out of the city or for longer journeys to explore more of Spain.

On-site car hire

There are several big-name car hire brands available on-site at the station. There are four car hire desks (with affiliated brands sharing): AvisBudget, HertzThrifty, Europcar and EnterpriseAlamoNational. Their desks can be found in the arrivals hall. This is on the first floor of the newer part of the station, close to P2 and P3 parking.

Collecting a Madrid Atocha Station car hire

Arriving at Madrid Atocha by train

If you’re arriving by one of the mainline trains to the station, follow signs to Puerta de Atocha – Arrivals. You should soon see signs for P2 / P3 Parking and Car Rental, which you should follow. And if you’re taking the Cercanias, after exiting the ticket gates, use the nearby escalators or lift to go up one floor. Follow signs to Car Rental and you should see the car hire desks.

Collecting a Madrid Atocha Station car hire | Travel Blog | TrainSpain.com

Inside the Cercanias part of the station, follow signs to Car Rental

Arriving at Madrid Atocha by foot, bus or taxi

The station entrance closest to the car hire desks is the one to a white building on Avenida Ciudad de Barcelona Paseo de la Infanta Isabel. It’s across from the red cylindrical-shaped building, which you can see in a picture above. There are two sculptures of giant baby heads outside so if you spot them, you know you’ve got the right place.

Once inside, go down the moving ramp to what will be the first floor of the station. The four car hire desks are down here by the cafe. There is also a Madrid Tourist Information desk here in case you need to pick up a map or have any questions about the city.

Collecting a Madrid Atocha Station car hire | Travel Blog | TrainSpain.com

Giant baby head by Antonio López on Avenida Ciudad de Barcelona

Collecting a Madrid Atocha Station car hire | Travel Blog | TrainSpain.com

After entering, take the ramp down

If you’ve entered the station from another entrance, just look out for signs either to Puerta de Atocha – Arrivals, P2/P3 Parking or Car Rental.

Car hire desks: Avis-Budget, Hertz-Thrifty, Enterprise-Alamo-National and Europcar

Collecting a Madrid Atocha Station car hire | Travel Blog | TrainSpain.com

Avis-Budget

Collecting a Madrid Atocha Station car hire | Travel Blog | TrainSpain.com

Hertz-Thrifty

Collecting a Madrid Atocha Station car hire | Travel Blog | TrainSpain.com

Enterprise-National-Alamo

Collecting a Madrid Atocha Station car hire | Travel Blog | TrainSpain.com

Europcar

Now to actually pick up your car hire

Rentals are located in P3 Parking, which is a short walk outside the station. Use the doors opposite the car hire desks to P2/P3 Parking. You’ll now be in the P2 car park. Keep following signs to P3, which you’ll see on your left. They will lead you outside of the P2 car park, onto the street.

Keep following signs to P3. This will take you downhill. At the bottom of the road, you’ll find a mini-roundabout and the entrance to P3 and car hire parking.

Collecting a Madrid Atocha Station car hire | Travel Blog | TrainSpain.com

Exit to P2 and P3 Parking

Collecting a Madrid Atocha Station car hire | Travel Blog | TrainSpain.com

Follow signs to P3

Collecting a Madrid Atocha Station car hire | Travel Blog | TrainSpain.com

You’ll be led outside the station where you’ll see more signs to P3

Collecting a Madrid Atocha Station car hire | Travel Blog | TrainSpain.com

P3 and car rental entrance

Each of the rental companies have a cabin here so you should be able to find a member of staff to help if you need it once in the car park.