Categories
Spain

Alicante

Europe > Spain > Alicante

See: Why hire a car in Alicante ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

Generally, we would say that a hire car is a good idea if you are flying into Alicante and then heading for one of the various coastal resorts in the area. Additionally, we would say that it’s more the case here than it is in any other destination in mainland Spain.

Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Alicante car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Alicante is in car rental price band: 1/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Alicante? 

Yes. Amongst cheapest in world during off-season, still good value year round.

Volatility:

Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Alicante between the peak and the off peak season?

8/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 6/10

Non car score:2/10

Balance: 7

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -

 

Why? Visiting Alicante using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Alicante ?


Do you need a car in Alicante? Here are a few reasons why:

  • We would advise getting a rental car in Alicante for all of the obvious reasons you would expect here. Alicante car hire is cheap, the roads are of a good standard, and with a rental car, you will have a huge amount more flexibility.
  • In terms of specific places to visit when you hire a car in Alicante, this is mainly a matter of exploring coastal scenery and beaches in either direction from the city. Also,  a car can also be useful for exploring inland, and particularly for heading to attractive local towns like Teruel. (See also Valencia – you can do some of this by train).
  • There have been some improvements in the tram network around the city of Alicante in recent years, but there’s still nothing stretching out as far as the airport. Most of the more recent holiday resort development has been very much based around serving tourists who either have their own hire cars, or who are more likely to use and taxis and resort shuttles.

Why not? Visiting Alicante without a car

Why don't you need a car in Alicante ?


The one place where you really will find that public transport is more than adequate is in the city of Alicante itself.

Alicante city & resorts without a car

  • With the tram work network having expanded massively in recent years, you should have no problem getting around using either this system or the local buses. However, there is a sharp decline in service standards the moment you get outside the city.
  • Historic Alicante is also easy enough to walk around.
  • Various bike hire options are ideal for gentle cycling along the beach.
  • Since you will often be walking in narrower medieval streets, there’s always plenty of shade – but be warned that much of the old town is hilly.
  • Alicante is popular with road cyclists, but there aren’t so many off road trails, and designated cycle paths are limited to a few areas around the waterfront.
  • There are a few urban cycling routes in Alicante.
  • Most of the central area in Alicante is also either pedestrianised, or on streets which are closed off for through traffic.
  • Within major resorts like Benidorm, you will find adequate local bus services, including tourist buses.
  • Most major resorts have a huge range of activities within easy walking distances of the main hotels.
  • Local buses and suburban trains are also more than adequate for reaching some of the nearby coastal towns.

Beyond Alicante without a car

  • To reach Benidorm from the airport, you can take an hourly coach service, bookable online from ALSA – https://www.alsa.com/en/web/bus/home.
  • The same company also offer direct buses from Alicante to Murcia via the airport. In both cases, the airport transfer will take about an hour.
  • The local trains might not take you to anywhere particularly useful. However, you can certainly fly into Alicante and then continue on by express train to other parts of Spain.
  • If you are looking for a fast link to Madrid or Barcelona, or if you want to take a day trip to Valencia (see those pages for further details).
  • Alternatively, you can also travel onwards from Alicante to any of the Balearic Islands by ferry.

Integration

A key factor to consider when trying to get around Alicante without a car is whether or not public transport services are well integrated with each other.

Generally, in Alicante, this really isn’t the case, although with a bit of research, you’ll find your way around easily enough.

  • The centre of transport in Alicante is the main station, which will be labelled “Terminal” or “Estacion Intermodal”. This station has been expanded to cater for new fast AVE services to Madrid, taking around 2 1/2 hours.
  • Local mainline train services will all use the Terminal station.
  • However, the train to Benidorm (change there for Denia) is operated as part of the tram system. By all means take it to enjoy the ride, but the bus is much quicker!
  • Trams currently terminate in an underground station at Luceros, which is around 300m walk from the main station. There is a plan to extend this to the main station, but this project is currently on hold due to budget constraints.
  • There’s a bus station at Avenue Loring. Again, this isn’t quite at the railway station, so allow time for a short walk.
  • The old railway station next to the bus station is now an impressive arts space and tourist centre. However, you won’t find any trains here, so don’t fall into this  trap!
  • You’ll see the Alicante-Murcia mainline just behind the car rental lots at the airport. The nearest station is at Torrelano, about 2.5km / 30 minutes walk away. Generally, buses will be quicker for getting from the airport to Murcia, but if you want to take the train, budget for a short taxi ride.

Verdict

Do you need a car in Alicante?

  • Unless you are planning on spending most of your time in the city of Alicante itself, then everything in this region lends itself towards getting a hire car.
  • Because so much of the tourism here is centred on resorts like Benidorm, rather than on the city proper. If you want to do anything other than shuttle to and from the beach, then an Alicante hire car is going to make sense.

Ratings: How does Alicante compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Alicante? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Alicante, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?

 

 

Do you need to hire a car in Alicante? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Alicante (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Alicante? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

Car hire basics:

 

Public transportation basics:

 

Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):

 

As you start ....

Does Alicante airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No

 

 

 

 


Changelog

Has our advice for Alicante car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 7

2019 - 8

2021 - 7

Average score - 7

Notes:

 

Summary

Do you or don't you need a car in Alicante ?

Categories
Spain

Barcelona

Europe > Spain > Barcelona

See: Why hire a car in Barcelona ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments


Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Barcelona car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Barcelona is in car rental price band: 1/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Barcelona ? 

Yes. Extremely cheap car hire at off peak times, but other costs can be high (eg parking in city).

Volatility:

Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Barcelona between the peak and the off peak season?

6/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 2/10

Non car score:10/10

Balance: 2

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -

 


Why? Visiting Barcelona using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Barcelona ?



Why not? Visiting Barcelona without a car

Why don't you need a car in Barcelona ?



Ratings: How does Barcelona compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Barcelona ? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Barcelona , and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?

 

 

Do you need to hire a car in Barcelona ? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Barcelona (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Barcelona ? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

Car hire basics:

 

Public transportation basics:

 

Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):

 

As you start ....

Does Barcelona airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No

 

 

 

 


Changelog

Has our advice for Barcelona car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 3

2019 - 4

2021 - 2

Average score - 3

Notes:

 


Summary

Do you or don't you need a car in Barcelona ?

Categories
Spain

Bilbao

Europe > Spain > Bilbao

See: Why hire a car in Bilbao ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Bilbao car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Bilbao is in car rental price band: 2/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Bilbao? 

Yes. Very cheap car rental by global standards.

Volatility:

Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Bilbao between the peak and the off peak season?

5/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 4/10

Non car score:8/10

Balance: 2

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -

 

The Basque city of Bilbao is known above anything else for one big draw, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. This ship-like structure was designed by the architect Frank Gehry. It was rated by Time Magazine as the building of the 20th century. Whilst this building is truly dramatic, Bilbao is some distance from other major Spanish cities. If you are going to come this far out, you might as well spend a few days here and visit other locations nearby.

Can you do this using public transport, or should you rent a car?

Why? Visiting Bilbao using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Bilbao ?


  • Wineries — Bilbao isn’t just a city of architecture. Tthere are also two spectacular wineries which are both worth a visit, whether you appreciate the plonk or not!
    Marques De Riscal, on the edge of Elciego, is also designed by Frank Gehry.
    Nearby Ysios (near Laguardia / Biasteri) is designed by Santiago Calatrava.
    There are plenty of other less architecturally spectacular wineries which can be visited.
  • Northern Pyrenees — drive towards the twin national park of the Northern Pyrenees. You can continue towards Lourdes in France. (Check with hire company re: driving across borders).
  • Picos De Europa — head west to explore the fantastic Picos De Europa. Take the cable car from Fuente De to enjoy a spectacular, but hair-raising cliff edge path.
  • Pamplona — Pamplona is perhaps most famous for its annual running of the bulls, but it’s still worth a visit at any time. Going by train from Bilbao to Pamplona involves a circuitous route. It is much quicker to drive.

Why not? Visiting Bilbao without a car

Why don't you need a car in Bilbao ?


Within Bilbao

  • Architour — when it comes to architecture, Bilbao really isn’t just a one hit wonder. Any architectural tour of the city starts where it should, when you arrive at the airport. Calatrava’s ultramodern bird shaped terminal might not be practical for some of the airlines that use it, but it is a beautiful creation for the first-time visitor. Head into the city, and you can visit yet another one of Calatrava’s seemingly off-balanced creations, the Zubizuri bridge. This is near to the Guggenheim Museum, and it is certainly worth taking the short walk along the Nervion river to appreciate both.
  • Casco Viejo – like any Spanish city, Bilbao has an impressive historic district, which is a counterbalance to the modern developments.
  • Bilbao Metro — Carornocar.com can declare a biased hand when it comes to transport structures, but the Bilbao Metro, designed by British architect Norman Foster, really is truly impressive. The underground stations are true monuments to simplicity, and whereas Moscow might be famous for its lavish works of art, Bilbao’s more modest system has much more in common with that of Washington DC. Locals seem to agree with this too, and the delightful steel and glass entrance canopies have been affectionately named Fosteritos (and no, you can’t eat them). Even the font and their system logo have been carefully designed by Foster, and no doubt, were this a system for a larger city like Madrid, it would be an international style icon like the London tube roundel.

Beyond Bilbao without a car

  • Northern coast — why not hire a bike and head out of the city on the Metro towards the impressive north coast, where you’ll see many fine merchants’ mansions.
  • Guernica — best known for Picasso’s Spanish Civil War painting, Guernica can be easily reached by train from Bilbao. Why not continue to the delightful fishing village of Bermeo?
  • Basque cities — take the narrow gauge coastal line towards delightful San Sebastian, and even on to Biarritz in neighbouring France. From here you can take the scenic route up the Nive valley to St Jean-Pied-de-Port.
  • Santander — another scenic train route is to take the narrow gauge FEVE towards Santander, where you will enjoy Green Spain at its best.
  • The Wineries of Rioja can be visited without a car, although it takes a bit of planning. The Racimo Train is a tourist road train that follows two routes out of Laguardia (Biasteri), including one route which takes in Ysios – but you will still need to get to Biasteri, which is around 10 miles northwest of Logrono. Marques De Riscal is on the edge of Elciego, also a similar distance from Logrono, about 5 miles southwest of Ysios.

Ratings: How does Bilbao compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Bilbao? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Bilbao, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?

 

 

Do you need to hire a car in Bilbao? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Bilbao (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Bilbao? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

Car hire basics:

 

Public transportation basics:

 

Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):

 

As you start ....

Does Bilbao airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No

 

 

 

 


Changelog

Has our advice for Bilbao car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 4

2019 - 4

2021 - 2

Average score - 3

Notes:

 

There is clearly much more to enjoy here than just the world-famous Guggenheim Museum, but this can generally be done perfectly well without a car. Considering that many of Bilbao’s transport facilities are impressive features of architecture in their own right, it is certainly best to appreciate a little bit more of this city on foot and by Metro before instantly reaching for the car keys. A hire car will of course give you more flexibility outside of the city, but there are also many enjoyable and scenic train routes which can be taken.

Summary

Do you or don't you need a car in Bilbao ?

Categories
Spain

El Hierro

Europe > Spain > El Hierro

See: Why hire a car in El Hierro ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

El Hierro is the smallest of the 7 inhabited Canary Islands, and it’s also the most remote, being situated to the south-west of La Gomera, but only having direct ferry links to Tenerife.

Since is situated so much further away from the major tourist centres of Tenerife and Gran Canaria, and since it’s also that little bit further away when compared to the much more heavily visited La Gomera, it’s unsurprising that there is a very relaxed pace of life here, everything moves slowly, and nobody is really going to be in a rush, whether they are moving by car or by bus.

Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional El Hierro car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

El Hierro is in car rental price band: 3/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in El Hierro? 

Yes. Car rental is good value.

Volatility:

Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in El Hierro between the peak and the off peak season?

3/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 5/10

Non car score:6/10

Balance: 6

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -

 

Why? Visiting El Hierro using a hire car

Why do you need a car in El Hierro ?


Despite this being a small island, it is still very hilly, with narrow roads and sharp bends. It is never easy to walk along the roads here.

Why not? Visiting El Hierro without a car

Why don't you need a car in El Hierro ?


The island is still small, despite many winding roads. Although the bus service is limited, it’s easy enough to get around by taxi, and local are also much more likely to offer you a lift here.

Canary Islands Compared

How does El Hierro compare with other islands in the Canaries? The Canary Islands are a very popular year round travel destination, largely with visitors from Europe. Renting a car might often seem like the natural choice, but there are big differences in the road networks and in public transport standards between the different islands.
CAR NO CAR BALANCE
El Hierro 6 5 6
Fuerteventura 4 4 6
Gran Canaria 7 4 2
La Gomera 2 5 5
La Palma 4 5 7
Lanzarote 8 7 5
Tenerife 8 7 2
 

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Ratings: How does El Hierro compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in El Hierro? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in El Hierro, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?

 

 

Do you need to hire a car in El Hierro? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit El Hierro (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in El Hierro? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

Car hire basics:

 

Public transportation basics:

 

Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):

 

As you start ....

Does El Hierro airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No

 

 

 

 


Changelog

Has our advice for El Hierro car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 4

2019 - 6

2021 - 6

Average score - 6

Notes:

 

Summary

Do you or don't you need a car in El Hierro ?

Categories
Spain

Fuerteventura

Europe > Spain > Fuerteventura

See: Why hire a car in Fuerteventura ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

On first impressions, Fuerteventura is a barren windswept island where the major resorts are all quite far apart from each other. This might naturally make it look like the sort of place where a hire car looks all but essential.

Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Fuerteventura car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Fuerteventura is in car rental price band: 2/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Fuerteventura? 

Yes. Very cheap car rental by global standards.

Volatility:

Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Fuerteventura between the peak and the off peak season?

5/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 4/10

Non car score:6/10

Balance: 4

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -

 

Other than a single tram line in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, there are no rail facilities anywhere in the Canaries.

If you are here for a family holiday, and you are staying somewhere that’s self catering, so you’ll want a car anyway just for getting to from the beach and local facilities, then this Fuerteventura car hire review is absolutely not going to make any attempt to put you off getting a rental car for this kind of trip.

After all, it’s astonishingly cheap to rent a car in Fuerteventura, the roads in most places are perfectly good, and as long as you are aware of the usual Spanish car-rental pitfalls, then there is no particular reason not to hire a car here.

However, our car-rental advice is generally written for people who like to do at least a bit of independent travel, and who are at the very least a happy to consider local public transport alongside any options which involve extensive use of their own two feet.

For two people travelling together who want to see some more authentic parts of the island beyond just the busy tourist resorts themselves, and in particular for people who want to take part in any kind of moderately adventurous activity, where the activity itself will either “”be”” the movement (cycling, karting etc), or where transport will be provided, then we can actually start to say that a hire car in Fuerteventura isn’t really necessary at all.

Verdict no – mix local and island-wide buses with adventure activities, walks to/along beaches, cycle hire etc, and consider boat trips to other islands.

Our general advice is that Fuerteventura is the sort of destination where a hire car is extremely useful, because the best way to see the spectacular and varied landscape that the island has to offer is to do so in a car in your own time and at your own pace.

However, Fuerteventura is also a great place for the adventurous cyclist, and you will have no problem at all getting between the major resorts by bus.

Another interesting option is to combine a visit to Fuerteventura with an island hop to neighbouring Lanzarote.

If you are considering hiring a car, rather than just planning to get one anyway, then this is the sort of place where you will still do fine without one.

Why? Visiting Fuerteventura using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Fuerteventura ?


  • Although Fuerteventura is a small island, it’s still useful to have a car for getting around.
  • To travel up and down the whole island in a day by bus is possible, but it means changing in Puerto Del Rosario (unless you are already staying there!).
  • Buses are generally reliable, and some services between towns run at least every 30 minutes, but there is no relialbe way of getting updates.
  • Transferring without a car or organised coach to any of the resorts on the northern part of the island from the airport means taking a bus into Puerto Del Rosario first, then taking a connecting service to Corralejo. Even from this route you could have a long walk to some more recent resort developments.
  • There is no rail or tram service of any kind in Fuerteventura.
  • You really do need a car to access some of the more remote parts of the island.
  • In terms of value, it’s usually worth getting a car in Fuerteventura, as hire costs are usually competitive, and fuel in the Canaries is cheaper as it is VAT free.
  • Although most visitors to the island will hire a car at the airport in Fuerteventura, there are also plenty of other rental locations in the different resort towns. Check locally for the best deals – generally airport hire should be cheaper for a full week, but it’s unlikely you’ll need to go back there to save money if you just want to hire a car for the day.

Why not? Visiting Fuerteventura without a car

Why don't you need a car in Fuerteventura ?


  • The island is small enough to get around using a combination of local buses, taxis and your own feet.
  • Buses are cheap, you simply pay in cash on the day to the driver.
  • It’s generally easy to walk around the resorts, as most roads are traffic calmed.
  • Taxis in the Canary Islands are also usually good value compared to Northern Europe, or even to mainland Spain.
  • Fuerteventura car hire might be cheap, but beware of Spanish car rental pitfalls, especially relating to “”return empty”” fuel requirements. With an economy car, you are unlikely to use a full tank of fuel during a one week stay.
  • It’s easy to hire bikes in all of the major resorts. From Corralejo in particular, there is a really outstaning coastal circuit, returning on a traffic-free path through the island’s rugged interior.

[james]

I’ve only ever taken one “”package”” holiday, and this was to the nearby Canary Island of Tenerife. To many people, Fuerteventura might look like a typical package holiday destination, where the emphasis is all on sun and sand, but when first visited the island in 2015, I loved it enough to come back again the following year.

If you are even slightly indepence minded, then I hope you’ll agree that your really don’t need a car in Fuerteventura, as you can do absolutel fine with a mix of just relaxing locally, walking along the coast, hiring a bike for a day or two, and seeing the rest of the island using local buses.

I stayed in Corralejo both times I visited. This can also be extremely useful for catching a ferry onwards to Lanzarote, or just for a day trip if that works better.

The real highlight for me in Fuerteventura was getting hold of a mountain bike and doing the coastal circuit via the lighthouse at Toston and the village of El Cotillo.

The best bit of this route is a completely traffic-free path, set back at least 100m from the road. For a few miles at least, you get to feel like you are in America’s wild west, but without the pistols or the pistons! Having said that, this kind of wide open barren landscape isn’t going to suit everyone’s taste. There are no native trees in Fuerterventura, and for some people this might make the idea of doing anything in the heat a bit repressive. I went in December, when it was warm, but far from overbearing.

I’ll still say there’s little need for a car in Fuerteventura for anyone travelling without kids, and even with children, you don’t need a car just to move around within the resorts. Hiring a car just for a day or two to see the island might work well for some visitors, especially if you need equipment like child seats that’s charged by the day. However, a shorter hire period is pointless is you have to pay for a full tank of fuel, so check that carefully.

[jamesend]

Fuerteventura car hire questions

Is it worth renting a car in Fuerteventura just for part of my stay?

Probably not – if you are considering whether or not it’s worth it to hire a car in Fuerteventura for all of your stay, and your alternative is simply not to rent a car at all, then you are unlikely to see much value from only renting a car the part of your stay.

This is because the basic car-rental costs in Fuerteventura are already very low, and even though there are seasonal fluctuations, these tend to be a lot less pronounced in the Canary Islands and they are elsewhere in Spain. Since you are going to have to go through the same pickup process whether you hire a car for a day or a week, and since you are then going to go through the process of making sure you are returning it with the right fuel levels, you would be unlikely to save a great deal by returning your car halfway through your holiday.

If you are visiting Fuerteventura right in the middle of summer, or if you need to hire extra such as car seats, which are often charged by the day, not per rental; then you might make a small saving by only renting a car for some of your stay.

If you need to rent a bigger or higher performance car for any reason, then naturally a short rental period would help you to make more considerable savings.

Generally, hiring a car for a full week from the airport in Fuerteventura and returning it there (as opposed to hiring in resort) is going to be the best value car hire option here.

If you are only actually looking at hiring a car for a day or two in the first place, and in particular if you want to spend a day doing a mini round island road trip, so you really are using the car for sightseeing rather than just for getting between where you are staying and the beach, then renting a car for the day from within your resort would make a lot of sense.

As with any car hire in Spain, always check the details of the fuel policy before agreeing to any car rental deal. Returning the car same day could also be a useful option if you are staying in the town of Corralejo, where parking spaces are more limited.

Is it worth renting a car in Fuerteventura even for backpackers, students and other travellers who are on an extremely tight budget?

Probably not, but mainly because there really is no need to rent a car in Fuerteventura as there are plenty of other options available.

Just because car rental in Spain tends to be amongst the cheapest in the world, this is always based on renters being above a certain minimum age. Many rental companies will impose a “”young drivers’ fee”” for drivers who are below their minimum for standard terms – this is usually between ages 21 and 25. This means that it is rarely worth doing so if you are trying to save money.

There are very few places in Fuerteventura that you won’t be able to reach using the local buses, and even if you have to make some taxi trips, this is still going to be cheaper than paying a hefty car-rental premium.

Do I need a car in Fuerteventura if I am planning on staying in town centre locations?

No. There isn’t a huge amount of accommodation choice in the town of Puerto del Rosario, but you will find a lively atmosphere in the centre of Corralejo, a traditional port town which has been expanded massively around the edges to cater for tourism. It’s very easy to travel by bus between Puerto del Rosario and Corralejo, and it’s also easy enough to walk around either town. Both also offer onward ferry connections to other Canary islands, enabling numerous different ways to continue onward travels without really needing to worry about getting a rental car if you don’t want to.

I usually try to avoid driving if I can – so should I hire a car in Fuerteventura?

No. If you don’t particularly like driving, then there really is no need to hire a car in Fuerteventura.

All Spanish resorts cater for a wide range of visitors, and this will always include ample provision for people who don’t want to hire a car. The best way of getting around the island will be to use local buses, but there are also some excellent options for walking and cycling.

I love driving, and prefer having a car over using public transport. Is it worth hiring a car in Fuerteventura?

Yes – Fuerteventura has some excellent driving roads, and even if there are busy stretches, there are modern bypasses which avoid most of the towns as you drive around the island. You also might want to consider hiring a 4×4 vehicle for driving on some of the rough tracks which can be accessed on the south of the island. An all-terrain vehicle can also be useful on the north of the island, especially for the unpaved road which stretches between Corralejo and the lighthouse at El Toston.

However, this would push up your car-rental costs substantially, compared to more widely available budget options for economy cars.

You might also want to consider putting your car on the ferry and making a day trip to either Gran Canaria or Lanzarote, both which also offers some spectacular driving roads in their respective interiors.

I am a train enthusiast – do I still need to hire a car in Fuerteventura?

No. Although there are no train services anywhere in the Canary Islands, if you usually prefer getting around by train, then you can still see a huge amount by using a combination of local scheduled buses on the island and then taking a ferry to neighbouring islands.

You might want to consider spending some of your time in Fuerteventura, and then continuing to spend a few days in Tenerife, where you could stay in the capital Santa Cruz, which does have a tram service. You can also go up Mount Teide in a cable car – but there are only one or two buses each day going there.

I am mainly interested in architecture and urban/cultural attractions – should I still hire a car in Fuerteventura?

No (but go to Lanzarote and hire a car there). There are very few buildings of true architectural merit in Fuerteventura. Instead, we would advise spending a few days in the delightful centre of the port town of Corralejo, and then taking the ferry to Lanzarote, where you can experience many of the intricate designs of the local architect César Manrique. We would also strongly recommend a visit to the panoramic restaurant which overlooks the Martian landscape of Timanfaya.

Meanwhile, you could also visit neighbouring Gran Canaria, where you will see some fascinating modernist buildings in the capital Las Palmas. You can also see some amazing cliff dwellings in the interior of the island, by visiting small villages such as Artenara.

We don’t think it’s worth hiring a car in Fuerteventura to visit either of these islands, but you might well want to hire a car when you get there.

 

I am mainly interested in landscapes rather than cities. Do I need a car in Fuerteventura?

Possibly – hiring a car would certainly give you the freedom and flexibility of exploring some of the more remote and barren landscapes on the island of Fuerteventura. However, you can also explore a great deal of the northern side of the island by hiring a bike from Corralejo. This wouldn’t just be much better value than renting a car, it’s also an option that is reasonably family friendly (more for older rather than young children), as most of it is on completely segregated paths, or an roads which only have very light traffic.

There are also various scenic walks which can be undertaken from various different resorts on the island. However, to get to any of the landscapes around Betancuria, a hire car really is a much better option.

Bear in mind that the landscape on Fuerteventura is harsh and barren, with very few trees. If you go hiking, make sure you take plenty of water. You may prefer to set out early in the day or later on, although the climate can also be mild during the winter season. It might be easier to have a car to come back to after your hike, but you can still do fine without one, as long as you are comfortable with the terrain.

How many people would we need in the car before a rental becomes better value than using transit?

Two or more. Since car-rental in Fuerteventura is generally cheap, you’ll probably find it’s better value than using buses and taxis as long as there are two or more of you travelling together. However, this is really going to depend on how much of the island you actually want to see. If you are only planning on staying in resort, and just making one or two short trips, then you’ll probably still find it’s better value to use local buses, even if there are 3 or 4 of you travelling together.

If you are here in peak season, then you might also need more people to justify hiring a car, because the buses on the island all operate a fixed fare system, and the metered taxi rates are also not subject to seasonal variations.

Senior citizens We are senior citizens / we have restricted mobility, should we rent a car in Fuerteventura?

Yes. Generally, driving standards in Fuerteventura are in line with what you might expect in mainland Spain. Spanish drivers are prone to making reckless overtaking moves on trunk roads, whereas driving with an urban areas is usually very courteous. Local facilities are usually very good – there is no particular reason for not wanting to hire a car as long as the named driver is below the maximum age specified.

Access shouldn’t be a problem in resort areas as most have been purpose built from the 1980s onwards, but be prepared for steep kerbs in some old town areas.

Is parking a problem on Fuerteventura?

Parking should not be a major problem, but there are tight controls on street parking in town centres. Supermarkets usually provide up to 2 hours of free parking for customers. Many developments will contain a supermarket with a shared basement car park that can also be used for visiting local restaurants. You should not usually expect to have to pay for parking on any of the beaches or in any of the town centres, but the public car parks might be situated several hundred metres away from where you want to get to.

Do I need a rental car if I am flying into Fuerteventura airport but staying in another destination elsewhere?

Outlying resorts within Fuerteventura

Yes – if you are staying anywhere that is not on the main bus route between Puerto del Rosario and Morro Jable (which calls in at the airport), then you might have to change buses take a more expensive taxi journey just to get to the place you are staying.

Because the Canary Islands are situated well beyond the reaches of mainland Europe, and because there are no restrictions on night flying, you may well find yourself arriving here after the last bus connection has gone.

Let’s say you need to pay for one taxi journey to your resort, and then on the way back you need to pay for two sets of indirect bus service (there are no free transfers in Fuerteventura), then by the time you’ve added all this up and then added up all the journeys you might want to take during your stay, this could well make it worth considering hiring a car here, even if you aren’t planning on using a great deal for the other days.

As with anywhere else, this is always going to depend on your own requirements at the time, and in particular how easy it is going to be to get a decent car rental deal.

Other islands

We don’t really advise flying into Fuerteventura to get to other Canary Islands.

This is because there is usually just as good a choice for flights to Gran Canaria or Lanzarote, the two islands which are closest.

If you want to fly here, stay for a few days and then move on, then hiring a car in Fuerteventura would almost certainly be an expense you don’t need, especially if you are thinking of dropping it off in a different location. It’s far easier to hire a car locally once you reach whichever island you are going to, since there will always be car rental locations in major towns and ports.

If I’m planning on touring around, is this best done in a rental car?

Yes – if your plan is to actually travel around the different Canary Islands, then this probably is actually better done in a rental car. Compared to other Canary Islands, Fuerteventura is relatively small, and it’s easy enough to get around by bus because the main routes are in a single corridor between Morro Jable and Corralejo. The moment you start looking at going to other islands like Gran Canaria or Tenerife, then having a rental car is going to give you a huge amount more flexibility.

Additionally, if you do want to tour the Canary Islands, then it’s not just a case of jumping on a ferry in one place, travelling around for a bit and then go back to the same port – there are often several different ports on each island, and you will still need to get between them. Fuerteventura itself has 4 different ports for onward ferry travel – Corralejo in the north for ferries to Lanzarote, the capital Puerto del Rosario for slower ferries to Gran Canaria and other Canary Islands, and then Gran Tarajal and Morro Jable in the south for faster catamaran connections to Gran Canaria.

Note that if you do want to put your car on the ferry, you may well have to pay an extra insurance premium for this, and this isn’t usually included in separate collision damage waiver policies.

With a little bit of planning, it’s still perfectly possible to tour around the Canary Islands by using local ferries as a foot passenger and then relying on local buses in each island. Some visitors also tour around by bike.

Even if you have a much more modest ambition just to tour around the island of Fuerteventura itself for the day, then doing any kind of loop circuit is far easier to doing a car. Even though there aren’t really that many driving roads on the island, you will only really find buses operating on trunk routes between Puerto del Rosario and other towns. There are very few bus routes which don’t go through Puerto del Rosario, so it’s actually quite difficult to tour around the island without just going out and back along the same route. This is quite tedious, so you may well prefer to drive.

Should I hire car in Fuerteventura to start a road trip?

The Canary Islands aren’t really suitable for a conventional road trip where you are spending most of your time driving, but it is certainly possible to look at various different combinations of visiting multiple islands in a hire car. See above.

Should I rent a car in Fuerteventura and return it somewhere else?

Generally, we really wouldn’t advise one-way rental in Fuerteventura if your intentions to drop the car off on a different island. This is because you can usually expect to incur very substantial one-way fees, due to the extra costs car-rental companies would have to incur in bringing the car back.

However, if you are just looking at renting a car in Fuerteventura part of your stay, then it should be perfectly possible to pick up a car at the airport and then to drop it back in resort, or vice versa. Usually, it is going to be cheaper to hire a car at the airport rather than in resort, but this will always depend on the season and how long you want the car for.

Should I rent an RV / camper / caravan in Fuerteventura, instead of a car?

Yes, it might make sense to hire a motorhome to travel round multiple Canary Islands. There isn’t much point if you are just staying on Fuerteventura, as there is usually plenty of fixed accommodation, and you can easily get to wherever you need to and back in the same day.

With a motorhome you can visit several islands in the same trip. You will pay more than you will pay to rent a car and put that on a ferry, but you can save by not needing to book apartments in several different places.

A motorhome would also be more flexible as many places have 3 night minimum stay requirements, whereas with a motorhome, that will usually only apply to the vehicle itself, not the place you park it. Fuel cost is also not a huge problem on the Canary Islands, as you are unlikely to cover very great distances, and there is no TVA (value added tax) on petrol.

Ratings: How does Fuerteventura compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Fuerteventura? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Fuerteventura, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?

 

 

Do you need to hire a car in Fuerteventura? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Fuerteventura (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Fuerteventura? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

Car hire basics:

 

Public transportation basics:

 

Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):

 

As you start ....

Does Fuerteventura airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No

 

 

 

 


Changelog

Has our advice for Fuerteventura car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 4

2019 - 4

2021 - 4

Average score - 4

Notes:

 

Summary

Do you or don't you need a car in Fuerteventura ?

Categories
Spain

Gran Canaria

Europe > Spain > Gran Canaria

See: Why hire a car in Gran Canaria ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Gran Canaria car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Gran Canaria is in car rental price band: 2/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Gran Canaria? 

Yes. Very cheap car rental by global standards, usually good value year round.

Volatility:

Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Gran Canaria between the peak and the off peak season?

5/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 4/10

Non car score:2/10

Balance: 7

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -

 

Gran Canaria is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Spain, but as with the other Canary Islands, there is no rail-based public transport to get around here, just an extensive network of buses.

Why? Visiting Gran Canaria using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Gran Canaria ?


  • Public transport is poor and disjointed.
  • No rail services of any kind.
  • Buses aren’t well connected – 3 bus stations in Las Palmas.
  • Bus services into the interior of the island are few and far between – sometimes only 1-2 buses per day.

Why not? Visiting Gran Canaria without a car

Why don't you need a car in Gran Canaria ?


It’s perfectly easy enough to visit Gran Canaria using resort transfers, local buses and taxis, but doing this means missing out on some of the stunning scenery that the island has to offer. Again, you can take an organised bus tour to see some of this, but we think it is just much better to do it by car.

  • Local buses (guaguas) are cheap by Northern European standards.
  • Plenty of buses between major resort areas, especially Maspalomas <=> Las Palmas.
  • Airport shuttle buses are fast and frequent.

Ratings: How does Gran Canaria compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Gran Canaria? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Gran Canaria, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?

 

 

Do you need to hire a car in Gran Canaria? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Gran Canaria (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Gran Canaria? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

Car hire basics:

 

Public transportation basics:

 

Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):

 

As you start ....

Does Gran Canaria airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No

 

 

 

 


Changelog

Has our advice for Gran Canaria car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 8

2019 - 8

2021 - 7

Average score - 8

Notes:

 

However, before making the choice to hire a car in Gran Canaria based on price alone, it’s worth adding up all the hidden extras, such as mandatory fuel contracts, and it’s also worth comparing these costs with the price of a few local taxi journeys. Taxis in the Canary Islands tend to be very cheap, and even a transfer from the airport is unlikely to break the bank, as nothing is very far from anywhere else on Gran Canaria. However, buses tend to be concentrated on a few select routes between the main resorts and other urban areas and the airport.

Summary

Do you or don't you need a car in Gran Canaria ?

Categories
Spain

Granada

Europe > Spain > Granada

See: Why hire a car in Granada ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

The Andalusian city of Granada is undoubtedly most famous for its Alhambra fort. Yet here is plenty more to see in this part of southern Spain than just this single attraction.

Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Granada car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Granada is in car rental price band: 1/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Granada? 

Yes. Extremely cheap car hire, if booking economy vehicle outside peak holiday period.

Volatility:

Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Granada between the peak and the off peak season?

7/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 4/10

Non car score:6/10

Balance: 3

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -

 

The range of flights to Granada from outside Spain is very limited. Other thank UK cities like Manchester or London, you are only likely to get a direct flight here from Paris. This means that you are much more likely to visit Granada having flown into a city such as Malaga or Seville.

Why? Visiting Granada using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Granada ?


  • Terrible train service – Granada is not on the high-speed AVE network. Getting here by train is going to take some time, even from other cities in Andalusia. This means that the chances are that you will already be arriving in Granada in a hire car, and you will want to use it as much as possible.
  • One fort wonder – once you’ve got past the queues to get in, enjoyed the superb views of Alhambra from below, and even then come back for a night visit, chances are that you will be itching to carry on elsewhere, and a hire car is going to give you the most flexibility to do this.

Why not? Visiting Granada without a car

Why don't you need a car in Granada ?


  • Amazing Alhambra – as I’ve hinted above, Granada’s main attraction really is spectacular, and it is arguably worth a trip to southern Spain just to see it.
  • Appreciating Albaicin – now this historic part of Granada is somewhere that you will either love or you will hate. I fall into the love camp – I must have walked around here for several hours without keeping any track of time.
  • The landscape, or cityscape if you prefer is splendid in its own right, but the real intrigue here was the amazing graffiti, which somehow seems perfectly natural and very photogenic. I’d rate this is one of my favourite walking experiences, and would certainly recommend adding in an extra day for walking around the rest of the city on top of allocating time to see Alhambra itself.
  • Jaen etc by train – although it is often still easier to drive.
  • Granada metro – finally opened in the autumn of 2017, the metro provides a rapid transit light rail service running right through the city.

Ratings: How does Granada compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Granada? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Granada, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?

 

 

Do you need to hire a car in Granada? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Granada (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Granada? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

Car hire basics:

 

Public transportation basics:

 

Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):

 

As you start ....

Does Granada airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No

 

 

 

 


Changelog

Has our advice for Granada car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 3

2019 - 4

2021 - 3

Average score - 3

Notes:

 

Is it worth hiring a car in Granada?  Conclusion – on first glances, Granada does not look obviously accessible without a car. As with anywhere, four wheels will give you convenience, but is also a good chance that it means you miss out on some of the best details. If you can work out how to get here without a car, I would certainly advise staying here without one.

Summary

Do you or don't you need a car in Granada ?

Categories
Spain

Ibiza

Europe > Spain > Ibiza

See: Why hire a car in Ibiza ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Ibiza car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Ibiza is in car rental price band: 1/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Ibiza? 

Yes. Extremely cheap car hire, if booking economy vehicle outside peak holiday period.

Volatility:

Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Ibiza between the peak and the off peak season?

9/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 1/10

Non car score:3/10

Balance: 1

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -

 

Why? Visiting Ibiza using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Ibiza ?


Why not? Visiting Ibiza without a car

Why don't you need a car in Ibiza ?


Ratings: How does Ibiza compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Ibiza? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Ibiza, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?

 

 

Do you need to hire a car in Ibiza? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Ibiza (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Ibiza? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

Car hire basics:

 

Public transportation basics:

 

Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):

 

As you start ....

Does Ibiza airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No

 

 

 

 


Changelog

Has our advice for Ibiza car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 2

2019 - 4

2021 - 1

Average score - 2

Notes:

 

Summary

Do you or don't you need a car in Ibiza ?

Categories
Spain

La Gomera

Europe > Spain > La Gomera

See: Why hire a car in La Gomera ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional La Gomera car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

La Gomera is in car rental price band: 6/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in La Gomera? 

Sometimes. Car rental is slightly more expensive than global averages.

Volatility:

Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in La Gomera between the peak and the off peak season?

5/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 5/10

Non car score:5/10

Balance: 2

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -

 

Why? Visiting La Gomera using a hire car

Why do you need a car in La Gomera ?


Why not? Visiting La Gomera without a car

Why don't you need a car in La Gomera ?


Ratings: How does La Gomera compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in La Gomera? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in La Gomera, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?

 

 

Do you need to hire a car in La Gomera? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit La Gomera (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in La Gomera? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

Car hire basics:

 

Public transportation basics:

 

Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):

 

As you start ....

Does La Gomera airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No

 

 

 

 


Changelog

Has our advice for La Gomera car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 4

2019 - 3

2021 - 2

Average score - 3

Notes:

 

Summary

Do you or don't you need a car in La Gomera ?

As the second smallest of the inhabited Canary Islands, La Gomera is most popular with day-tripping short-term visitors, who will usually arrive via Tenerife, although it is also possible to get here by ferry via La Palma.

Any question about whether or not you need a hire car in La Gomera is often going to be dependent on whether or not you already have one with you, as it’s easy enough to take a car on the ferry from Los Cristianos, especially as this port is so close to all of the resorts on the southern side of Tenerife.

Cutthroat competition saw the removal of the Garajonay Express ferry service, which tended to offer much better value day trip return fares, such that it’s now difficult to get to La Gomera and back from Tenerife for less than €60 per person, a price that is considerably more expensive than any other comparable interi-sland ferry service in the Canaries. It’s actually cheaper to travel from Tenerife to La Gomera and then on to La Palma than it is to make a return trip from Tenerife!

However, one way to pay considerably less for each person is actually to take your hire car on the ferry, since this effectively works as a block booking, whereas foot passengers travelling together will pay the same rate, regardless of how many people there are in the group.

If you want to get an idea of just how challenging the terrain is on La Gomera, ask why the Fred Olsen ferry from Los Cristianos also continues to Playa de Santiago and Valle Gran Rey?  Fred Olsen might own a resort in the latter, but it is simply quicker and easier to reach these places by boat than it is to transfer people to a coach which would then have to venture much further inland.

However you choose to get here and however you choose to get around, the National Park of Garajonay doesn’t just offer some spectacular scenery in its own right, it also offers amazing views back to the island of Tenerife and Mount Teide. In the centre of the island, you will find a series of volcanic Sugarloaf mountains, the most famous of which is Roque de Agando.

 

 

 

Why?

  • It’s small but steep – don’t be deceived by thinking that nowhere is particularly far from anywhere else, just because the island looks small on a map. Be prepared for exceptionally steep roads with numerous switch-backs. This means that you will be unlikely to want to walk even relatively short distances with heavy bags.
  • You will generally find that public transport here is slow and infrequent.
  • Travelling here from Tenerife by ferry will be better value if 3 or more of you are travelling together in a hire car, because you will effectively get a group discount, whereas you won’t get this travelling as foot passengers.
  • You need a car in La Gomera if you want the flexibility to go hiking in any location, or simply if you want to see the island at your own pace, and to be able to stop and start when you want.
  • If you are flying in rather than taking the ferry, then you should hire a car at La Gomera airport. Always arrange this ahead of time, as the car-rental companies don’t usually hold many cars here.
  • If you are arriving on La Gomera by ferry, and want to hire a car locally, then you really must also book this well ahead of time, because you will be need to be met by a car company representative at the port.
  • You could combine a visit to La Gomera with a continuation onto La Palma, although in a rental car you are still going to need to return it to the original island from which you hired it.

Note that to take your rental car on the ferry, you must check with your car hire company first. Some will allow this free of charge, some will charge you a fee, and others will simply not allow it at all.

 

 

Why not?

  • For two people travelling together, or for solo travellers, it will usually be more expensive to travel here by ferry if you have a hire car with you.
  • If you are travelling here from Tenerife without a car, then you will have more options to shop around, for example by also looking at internal flights from Tenerife North airport.
  • It is still very easy to get to the port of Los Cristianos from anywhere in Tenerife, and then to travel to La Gomera as a foot passenger.
  • If you are visiting La Gomera without a car, then you have much more flexibility to pick and choose hiking routes which start and end in different places. It’s easy enough to combine this with the local bus service if you plan this carefully, but don’t expect local bus drivers to stop for you between bus stops, especially in more central parts of the island, where there tend to be a lot more hikers trying to do this.
  • Taxis in the Canary Islands are excellent value, even on La Gomera. Since the taxi meter is set to price your journey on distance, rather than on how long the journey takes, it can be very useful to take a taxi from the coast into the much higher altitudes of the middle of the island, and then to walk down from there.
  • There are also numerous one day tours of La Gomera which operate from Los Cristianos and elsewhere in Tenerife. These can usually work out better value than travelling individually as a foot passenger, since the coach company is able to command a considerable discount on the ferry fare.
  • The ferry companies provide local free shuttle bus services around the resorts on the southern side of Tenerife which are timed to meet each ferry.
  • Unlike the national parks of Teide in Tenerife and Timanfaya in Lanzarote, it’s very easy to visit Garajonay National Park by bus, simply because it is situated plump in the middle of the island, so most of the bus routes pass through it anyway.
  • Car hire on La Gomera is generally going to be considerably more expensive than it is on the larger Canary islands like Gran Canaria, for the simple reason that there just isn’t so much competition here, and most of the major international hire car companies are not represented.

 

 

 

Verdict

Although it’s absolutely worth having a car on La Gomera if you have already hired one on neighbouring Tenerife (or La Palma), this isn’t the sort of destination where it’s absolutely essential. In fact, if you are quite happy exploring the island at a slightly more relaxed pace, or if you simply like hiking on routes where you aren’t tied to having to return back to wherever you parked, then you will find that you really don’t need a car on La Gomera.

You might also still prefer to drive here if it gives you a better deal on the ferry, but if your question is whether or not you should hire a car in La Gomera because you are arriving here without one, then we would generally say that it won’t be worth the hassle or the expense.

Verdict – no

Categories
Spain

La Palma

Europe > Spain > La Palma

See: Why hire a car in La Palma ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

First things first – the island of La Palma, and the city of Santa Cruz de la Palma should not be confused with Las Palmas de Gran Canaria or Palma, Mallorca, or even with the much larger Santa Cruz de Tenerife for that matter! We are talking here about whether or not you should hire a car on the much smaller Canary Island of La Palma, the most westerly of all the islands in the group to still have flight links with mainland Europe.

Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional La Palma car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

La Palma is in car rental price band: 2/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in La Palma? 

Yes. Very cheap car rental by global standards.

Volatility:

Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in La Palma between the peak and the off peak season?

5/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 5/10

Non car score:7/10

Balance: 4

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -

 

Generally, the most visited holiday islands in the Canaries are places where a hire car can be extremely useful, because the islands are all just large enough for driving to be notably more convenient than using public transport, and also because there are no fixed rail services anywhere in the region. However, in the case of the island of La Palma, although a hire car here is still popular with many visitors, for anyone who isn’t sure, it’s certainly worth a rethink, especially as the island of La Palma is notably smaller than other islands such as Tenerife.

Why? Visiting La Palma using a hire car

Why do you need a car in La Palma ?


  • La Palma car hire is still reasonable value by European standards – but it’s not as cheap as other Canary Islands, as there’s less competition.
  • A hire car still provides flexibility, especially if you are doing your own walking tours.
  • Although the island is small, distances can still be deceptive – with many narrow, winding roads, it can still take two hours to drive between some places on the island.
  • Buses are hit and miss – most of the time you won’t have any problems, but connections are well timed, and sometimes buses run late or aren’t able to stop (see below).

Why not? Visiting La Palma without a car

Why don't you need a car in La Palma ?


  • La Palma offers abundant hiking opportunities – walks can be easily combined with local buses (guaguas).
  • Car hire on La Palma is not as competitive as the other main Canary Islands.
  • The island is small, so you can get caught out if you overfill your car before returning it.
  • La Palma is an ideal place for cycling, which is more suited to the roads.

So should I hire a car in La Palma? On balance, our La Palma car advice is that this is a destination where it is certainly worth doing a little bit more local research before committing to a booking, and where you can certainly have no problem getting around without a rental car.

[james]

The forests on La Palma tend to be evergreen, often covered with Canary Island palms, so there is usually plenty of shade year-round, and there is usually enough of a cool breeze on the hillsides to mitigate the searing temperatures which might be found out in the open.

Even if you’d still rather explore the island in a car, this might well make more sense to do just for a day or two, although this will of course depend on where you are staying, and what sort of car rental contract is on offer. As with the rest of Spain, many of the cheapest La Palma car hire deals tend to be on a full to empty basis, and this can result in a substantial extra hidden cost if you only use a small amount of fuel and return the car with a near full tank, but have to pay for a full tank regardless.

I have just come back from La Palma (December 2017), and I really felt that the Caldera (de Taburiente National Park) was one of the most impressive landscapes that I have visited anywhere. If truth be told, I was a little disappointed with the buses on La Palma – it woudl be easy to say that I had a couple of bad experiences, but other people I was travelling with also warned of their own problems. Having said this, this generally revoled around trying to get the final bus of the day, or an evening connection. I’m still sticking with the overall verdict that you don’t need to hire a car in La Palma, but let’s just say this is a lot more marginal than when I first looked at the island. When it comes to the caldera, this really is somewhere you have to walk anyway – and if you take a taxi to the top, you can then take the amazing path all the way down to the visitor’s centre.

[jamesend]

Scenarios

Should I hire a car in La Palma if …..

Luxury travellers / mid-high budget

Probably –if instead you did end up taking a series of taxi journeys around the island, you would probably use the same driver for many of them, and this could be useful in terms of getting to know the island a lot better than you might if you were simply relying on directions from a map or a satnav. Another potential advantage of using taxis over a self drive hire car is that in some smaller towns and villages, it can be quite difficult to find a parking space.

However, the chances are that you will probably still prefer the flexibility of exploring at your own pace to being driven everywhere by someone else, so even if any question of cost is put to one side, getting a hire car in La Palma is still a better option.

Young drivers

No – anyone who wants to hire a car in Spain but is aged 25 or less can expect to pay a considerable premium for doing so. When the extra daily cost of car rental for young drivers is compared with the astonishingly cheap cost of bus travel, based on price alone, it’s really not worth hiring a car in La Palma for anyone aged 25 or less.

Budget travellers

Probably not – although this is the sort of destination where it can be extremely useful to have the freedom and flexibility of a rental car, you really don’t actually need to hire a car in La Palma if you are happy to apply a little patience. Based on costs alone, you will find that it’s considerably cheaper to get around the island by bus than it is to travel around in a rental car, even if you also make a few taxi journeys.

Another factor to consider is that if you hire the very cheapest budget car, you’ll find it really struggles up the hills, as the terrain here is amongst the steepest in the world.

Families

Yes, for families it will generally make sense to get a rental car, if largely for the convenience of having everyone travelling together, instead of having to wait around for buses. However, it’s always worth bearing in mind that taxis in La Palma are very cheap as well, so if you are only going to make a relatively small number of journeys, or if you are staying somewhere that is close to a decent bus route, then you might still find that you don’t need a hire car in La Palma.

How many people

3+

Because the buses in La Palma are so astonishingly cheap, and because taxis are also reasonable value, it’s unlikely that you will get better value from a rental car based on price alone if there are just two of you travelling together. Even for 3 or 4 people travelling together, the total cost of using buses and the occasional taxi will probably still be less than using a hire car.

 

Prefer to drive

Yes – absolutely, if you generally prefer driving, then you really should rent a car in La Palma, because this is the sort of place where you will love the experience of the amazing driving roads.

Prefer not to drive

No – if you generally prefer to use public transport or if you like to cover a lot of distance on foot or by bicycle, then you’ll do absolutely fine without a car in La Palma.

“Transit geek”

There is no railway of any kind in La Palma, but given that the island is so close to Tenerife, then it would be easy enough to combine a visit to La Palma with a visit to Tenerife, which does at least have a spectacular cable car system on Mount Teide, together with trams in Santa Cruz. Travelling between the two islands by ferry is also quite an experience in itself, and you can usually include a whole day in La Gomera on top.

Car fanatic

Yes, absolutely! La Palma really does offer some truly amazing driving roads, and you will want to appreciate as many of them as you can! The only thing that we would suggest is that even though you will absolutely love driving here, and even though you’ll see many truly spectacular landscapes from the road, we would still recommend allowing enough time to actually get out of the car and do a small amount of walking. For example, if you do get a permit to drive to the top of La Cumbrecita, you should still allow a couple of hours to walk the circuit at the top and to fully appreciate this truly amazing volcanic landscape.

Neutral

Probably – If you are generally neutral about whether you prefer driving a rental car over other options, or if you simply want to do what you feel will be most convenient, rather than necessarily the cheapest option, then on balance, you probably should hire a car in La Palma, although this is the kind of destination where this is quite a marginal decision.

I want to cycle or explore on foot

On foot

No – in many ways, La Palma really is a walker’s paradise, with some truly stunning walking trails offering access to landscapes which are completely unique, whilst enjoying a climate which is usually mild year-round.

However, despite the island offering so many off-road paths, getting to and from the best areas for walking can at times be something of a nightmare! Before setting off on a particular route, always check whether or not you are likely to return to the same place, or if there are alternative paths which will bring you back somewhere different. Needless to say, if you want to walk along a route which ends up somewhere completely different to your start point, then you will be much better off using buses and taxis to get your start and end points, rather than a hire car.

However, personal experience has shown that using the buses can still be problematic – bus stops aren’t always clearly labelled, and even if you have an updated timetable, there is no way of getting real-time running information. In some cases, getting to the right bus stop can mean having to cross a dangerous highway, whereas in other locations it isn’t unheard of for the bus to simply go past and be unable to stop because it’s already full.

Even if you plan to return by bus, always have the number of a local taxi provide a handy – these are sometimes available from local taxi stands, but don’t rely on it. If you aren’t able to call a taxi, or if you aren’t able to get mobile phone reception, then you’ll find it very hard to hail a taxi by the roadside.

If all of the above sounds like too much hassle, or if you think that these are just reasons why you should really just hire a car in La Palma, then bear in mind that any hassles involved with trying to take a bus or taxi are really just worst-case scenarios. In most cases, you’ll be absolutely fine, and if you ask locally about any particular places you are planning on visiting, then you should still find that you can do a great deal of walking in various parts of the island, and that you can still visit La Palma without a car and without having any major problems.

In terms of value, you might ask – is it worth hiring a car in La Palma if you are going to spend most of the day walking, and the car is just going to be parked?

If this is the case, then the answer might well be no, especially because if you are planning on doing longer walks anyway, then it should be easy enough to tie in your walking route to a bus stop at each end of your route. Even if you need to take taxis for some of the time, you will probably still spend less than you would on a hire car, especially as it’s nothing like as competitive here as it is on larger island like Tenerife.

Cycling

La Palma is extremely popular with road cyclists, who love to explore the truly spectacular landscape of the island. However, in some locations, you will still want to park your bicycle and walk in order to access certain parts which aren’t suitable for cycling.

Although you can cycle on the access road to La Cumbrecita, it’s very narrow, and even though drivers are unlikely to harass you, it can still be daunting. You cannot cycle around the paths at the top – these are for walking only.

There aren’t any facilities for transporting bikes on public transport, but many of the local taxis use people carriers or minivans, so you can still move your bike around the island this way.

Bicycle hire locations on La Palma are relatively limited, but you should still be able to get hold of a bike in either Santa Cruz or Los Llanos.

What?

Architecture

Probably not – La Palma really is the kind of destination that is much more oriented towards impressive landscapes than it is towards buildings of architectural note. Having said that, the island still has no shortage of attractive towns and villages, and in most cases the architecture really compliments the landscape.

You really don’t need to hire a car in La Palma if your main interest is in visiting small towns and villages, because everywhere is connected by bus, and if you have a particular place in mind that you want to visit for a short period of time, you can always get off one bus and then get on to another bus reasonably soon afterwards. In comparison with an island like Madeira, where even some of the trunk island bus routes only operate 3 to 4 times per day, you should find that in many parts of La Palma, the buses operate on 1/2 hourly or an hourly service.

Needless to say, if you prefer the flexibility to stop and start at your own pace, then you probably still should hire a car in La Palma, as you’ll still find that this is a more convenient option than taking the bus, even if parking can sometimes be a problem.

Landscapes

Probably – if your main interest is in visiting many different landscapes, rather than spending time walking around one area, then you probably should hire a car in La Palma. You should still bear in mind that there are numerous locations where your rental car is only going to get you near to the best spot, and that you will still need to walk to reach the most impressive views.

When?

Price variations

The price of hiring a car in La Palma is actually relatively constant throughout the year. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t any fluctuations at all – far from it – but we have simply found that the difference between the highest and the lowest prices for a weeks La Palma car-rental is just an increase of 50%.

This is in stark contrast to other Spanish destinations like Malaga or Alicante, where the most expensive weeks for car-rental can cost as much as 8 times more as the cheapest ones.

However, because the Canary Islands have an attractively mild year-round climate, there isn’t the same kind of spike in demand during the summer season here that there is in mainland Spain.

Daily/weekly fluctuations

You are unlikely to find any significant variations from one day of the week to the next, especially because the Canary Islands aren’t really popular weekend break destinations, given the length of flying time from mainland Europe. However, car-rental prices can still be affected by very local variations in demand. Most of the flights into La Palma are interisland services, but if you are arriving at the same time as a load of other travellers from northern Europe, then in effect, you will be competing for the same rental car availability, and this could push prices up slightly. Generally, it’s going to make more sense to book your La Palma rental car well in advance, but there can still be some good last-minute deals available.

Partial rental

Should I hire a car in La Palma for some of my stay?

Renting a car in La Palma for some of your stay might make sense if you have easy access to a location where you can either drop off or pick up a car midway through your holiday. There are various car rental providers with offices throughout the island, but they might not be so keen on allowing one-way rentals.

However, if you are staying on the eastern side of the island, then it would be easy enough to pick up a rental car in the airport when you arrive and then to drop it off back at the airport (or vice versa) and then simply to go everywhere else by bus or taxi.

Since average or typical car-rental prices on La Palma are generally a bit higher than they are on other islands in the Canaries, and since bus travel here is so ridiculously cheap, you could well make quite a substantial saving if you only rent a car for a day or two, and then use public transport for the rest of your stay.

Where are you staying / visiting?

Downtown (Santa Cruz?)

La Palma is slightly different to the other islands in the Canaries in that isn’t completely dominated by a single town. Although the capital is Santa Cruz, and although this is where you will find the main port and bus station, the town of Los Llanos on the western side of the island is actually slightly larger, whereas other locations such as El Paso also have a significant number of local facilities.

If you are staying in any major town centre on the island, then you probably won’t need to hire a car for your stay in La Palma, and you might also find that it is a slight inconvenience in terms of parking. However, you may also still find that travelling by bus can be inconvenient and disjointed, although this is much less likely to be the case if you are staying in Santa Cruz, since this is where most of the bus services congregate.

Outside main town/resorts

If you are staying anywhere outside the main urban centres on La Palma, then you will almost certainly find that you will need a car in La Palma.

Touring around

Should I hire a car in La Palma for touring around?

La Palma isn’t really suitable for touring around and staying in different places from one day to the next, simply because the island is too small to really make it worthwhile.

Touring around can only really be considered as part of a visit to multiple islands in the Canaries, rather than just La Palma. The nearest major island to La Palma is Tenerife, which can easily be reached by boat or plane, and you can also travel to Tenerife via La Gomera by ferry.

Generally, travelling between the Canary Islands is much easier to do without a hire car. This is largely because as a foot passenger, or simply as a passenger without a car, you have the choice between flying or taking the ferry, but also because you can expect to pay less for any ferry tickets, and you won’t get stung by car-rental ferry supplements.

Another key reason why it’s best to tour around without a car is that you can visit the islands in any sequence you want without having to return back to La Palma to drop off a rental car. You could, for example travel first to Tenerife and then on to Gran Canaria and then fly home from there, or you could also continue to Lanzarote via Fuerteventura. By travelling around between the islands, you can also mix and match in terms of finding the best flight deals back to mainland Europe. You will always be able to rent a car locally as you go if you need to.

Ratings: How does La Palma compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in La Palma? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in La Palma, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?

 

 

Do you need to hire a car in La Palma? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit La Palma (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in La Palma? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

Car hire basics:

 

Public transportation basics:

 

Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):

 

As you start ....

Does La Palma airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No

 

 

 

 


Changelog

Has our advice for La Palma car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 2

2019 - 4

2021 - 4

Average score - 4

Notes:

 

Summary

Do you or don't you need a car in La Palma ?