Car parking in Madrid can be a challenge due to fact that most of the spaces on the street tend to be taken. I've used my experience of parking in Madrid to compile this page which tells you what to expect in terms of prices, and parking availability. After you've read it, you'll know enough to make up your mind if you want to drive around Madrid. You'll also see here details of where to find official car parks and an explanation of the parking zones in the city.
It is often quicker to travel around Madrid using public transport. I have a car here, and I only use it once a week when I am leaving the city. Otherwise it is cheaper, less stressful, and quicker to take the metro, bus or taxi. These forms of transport can often get you closer to your destination than your car can, and you won't have to spend time looking for a parking space.
Having foreign plates makes you stand out. Both to thieves, and the police. A friend of mine was questioned by the police because she had foreign plates. If the car is staying in Spain, legally, it must be imported, so police are keen to know about the length of your stay and to check your paperwork if you don't have Spanish plates.
To be on the safe side keep windows wound up and doors locked while stopped at traffic lights, and don't keep any valuable items on display. When you park, try and find a car park. Although there is no guarantee from the car park that your car will be safe, it is more likely to be so, as there is usually a person seated on reception all night, and the official car parks have cameras.
As of yet there is no 'park and ride' service in Madrid.
Parking at Atocha station is a good idea because you are just 5 minutes walk from the Reina Sofia museum, and 10 - 15 minutes from the Prado and the Thyssem-Bornemisza museums. There's a metro stop there and it'll be easy to remember where you left your car.
Price: Blue Parking Lots
|Up to 20 minutes (minimum rate)||€0.25|
|90 minutes||€1.65 (off peak hour) / €1.75 (peak hour)|
|120 minutes||€2.80 (off peak hour) / €2.80 (peak hour)|
Price: Green Parking Lots
|Up to 20 minutes (minimum rate)||€0.50|
|60 minutes||€2.00 (off-Peak hour) / €2.10 (peak hour)|
|Monthly resident badge||€2.05|
|Annual resident badge||€24.60|
Time intervals can be fractionalized for both types of parking lots (except for the first 20 minutes) into intermediate time intervals between two rates, into multiples of €0.05 proportionally between the previous rate and the later one.
From here you can take the metro.
Metro: Atocha or Atocha Renfe (Light Blue Line, L1)
If you're in the north of Madrid, park in Chamartin station. Again, it will be easy to remember where you've left the car. The price for anything up to an hour is €2.00. Here you will pay €20.00 for 10 hours. The metro runs from here.
Metro: Chamartin (Dark Blue Line, L10)
If you park in any of the underground carparks in the centre, make a note of where you are, and what landmarks there are as you exit. It's easy to forget where you've left the car.
You could try your own form of 'park and ride' and park on the outskirts of Madrid in a more suburban area. From there you could take the metro, and not have to worry about paying to park. As a rough guide, to travel 5 metro stops will take you between 10 to 20 minutes during the day. Longer at night when trains are less frequent.
The 'Grua' (tow truck) will take your car away, and you will have to go to collect, and pay a fine. The size of the fine will vary depending on the size of the car, the area it was parked, and how long it has been impounded. As a rough guide, a small car will incur a fine starting at €147.55, with additional charges for every hour that passes of €1.85.
If you are the driver of the car in order to get it back you have to present your driving licence and the documents for the vehicle.
There are various impound stations in Madrid. To know where to go you will have to call the police. The national number for this is 092.
There's also a general number for the impound centres that you can ring from Monday to Sunday. Tel: +34 91 787 7292
Once you find out which pound your car is in, you must make your way there. The car pounds in Madrid are listed below along with the easiest way to get there:
Plaza Jardines del Descubrimiento
28004 Madrid, España.
Metro: Colon (Brown Line, L4); Serrano (Brown Line, L4)
Santa María la Real de Nieva
28005 Madrid, España.
Metro: Puerta de Toledo (Green Line, L5)
28006 Madrid, España.
Metro: Nuñez de Bilbao (Green Line, L5)
Camino de la China
28031 Madrid, España.
Bus: No. 88
Always keep the car papers with you.
There are painted lines on the side of the road where parking is available. Blue dotted lines mean that you can park, but you must pay at the metre. In these zones you can usually have a maximum period of an hour and a half before you have to pay for a new ticket.
You will also come across green dotted lines. This is car parking Madrid puts aside for permit holders only.
During Saturday afternoons and all day Sunday parking rules in some of the less busy zoned areas are relaxed. But to be sure you must read the instructions on the parking metre.
There are hundreds of underground car parks where you will pay a maximum of €31.25 for 24 hours. The rest of the time the prices are:
€0.04 for up to 30 minutes
From 31 to 90 minutes: €0.03
From 91 to 660 minutes: €0.05
Tel: +34 91 831 2315
This page has explained about the different parking zones that you will find in Madrid. You have also seen here important information telling you what to do in case your car is impounded. There's a guide to several car parks in the city, and the prices that you will pay to park in them. There's also advice to help you decide if it is worth bringing a car to Madrid. Business people or the disabled may find it necessary, but otherwise you might consider using public transport within the city.