Barcelona Airport has two terminals (T1 and T2) that are 5 kms apart. So when booking a car hire, make sure you select pick up at the right terminal! In this post, you’ll find our guide to collecting a Barcelona Airport car hire at T1 (Terminal 1). On our blog, you’ll also find our guides to collecting a Barcelona Airport car hire at T2 as well as return guides for both too.
A bit about Barcelona Airport
After Madrid Airport, Barcelona Airport is the biggest and busiest in Spain. The airport was vastly expanded with the opening of a new terminal, Terminal 1 (T1), in 2009. The expansion was part of the regional government’s push to make Barcelona an international ‘hub’ airport. The older building was renamed Terminal 2 (T2) and is now home to mainly low-cost airlines.
Barcelona Airport T1 is located about 17kms southwest from Barcelona.
Which airlines fly into T1?
Terminal 1 is home to most of the legacy carriers at Barcelona Airport including British Airways, Iberia, American Airlines, Air France, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines and Delta.
Terminal 1 on its own is probably bigger than most other airports in Spain. Thankfully, it’s relatively straightforward to get around. After clearing passport control, you’ll be led to Baggage Reclaim and then to the massive Arrivals Hall. Both of which are on the first floor.
Directly in front of the Arrivals Hall doors, there is a cafe-bar called Caffe di Fiore. There are also a number of shops in front but they are split between the left and right so after walking past Caffe di Fiore, there is a clear path to the exit. Other services in the Arrivals Hall include several cash machines (ATMs), which are located by the lifts. The Tourist Information desk is on your right after entering the Arrivals Hall.
The car hire desks are towards the back.
Directly below the Arrivals Hall is the Intermodal lobby (on signs, it’s Intermodal T1), which serves as a the gateway to transport services including buses and the underground station. You can also access the multi-storey car park from it. Inside the lobby, you’ll find other services such as left-luggage. The airport shuttle bus stop is also outside the Intermodal lobby.
Collecting a Barcelona Airport car hire at T1
Like the shops, the on-airport car hire desks are split between the left and right sides of the hall so there’s a clear path in the middle. This seems bizarre to me but I’m sure it looked good on the architect’s plans!
The signs for Car Hire in the hall do tell you which side you need for which supplier. Remember, this is just relevant to the on-airport car hire suppliers…
On-airport car hire suppliers
Here’s a list of which suppliers have on-airport desks inside T1. We’ve put affiliated brands together as they share a desk. Information on the car park you need is further down.
For the most part, the same suppliers also have car hire desks inside T2. The exceptions are Firefly Car Rental and InterRent. Both are only available at T2.
On the right: Europcar, Sixt and Goldcar-Rhodium
- Europcar is on the corner of the right-hand group of car rental desks at Barcelona Airport T1. It’s the first desk you’ll spot on your right.
- Sixt is next and sits in the middle of this group of car rental desks.
- Goldcar-Rhodium is at the far end. (In case you’re wondering why it’s not in the picture above, it’s because Goldcar is a relatively new addition to the on-airport desks)
And on the left: Hertz-Thrifty, Enterprise-Alamo and Avis-Budget
- Hertz-Thrifty is in pole position on the corner of the left-hand group of car hire desks.
- Enterprise-Alamo is in position number two and sits between the other two desks on this side of the hall.
- Avis-Budget is on the end on this side of the Arrivals Hall.
Off to the Car Park
Car rentals are parked in the multi-story car park in front of the terminal. This is the General Car Park and it’s split into different sections: A, B and C are towards your left and D, E and F or towards your right. Car hire is located in Parking A (you’ll see it referred to as PA in signs).
Follow signs to Parking A (also referred to as PA in signs). To reach it, you have to first walk past Parkings C and B but it’s very straightforward.
Downstairs to car rental
Once in the car park, the car rental section is located on levels 0 and 1. There are stairs as well as lifts you can use to go between the different levels.
Supposed to collect your car hire at T2?
If you’ve landed in T1 but actually need to collect your rental at T1, you can take the free airport shuttle bus that goes between the two terminals. You can also read our guide to collecting a car hire at T2 on our blog.
The bus stop for the airport shuttle is outside the intermodal lobby on the ground level (so one floor down from the Arrivals Hall). You can use the lifts or escalators by the car hire desks.
Off-airport car hire
In addition to the car hire suppliers already mentioned, there are a number of car hire suppliers located a few minutes away from the airport. These are classed as off-airport companies and they provide a free shuttle service to take passengers between the terminal and their office. If you’re booking an off-airport car hire, do make sure you state which terminal you need to be picked up at.
Companies with an off-airport car hire location include: Autoclick, Centauro and OK Rent-a-car.
Do also make sure you check the instructions for collection.