Europe > Spain > El Hierro
See: Why rent a car in El Hierro ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments
(All of these pages will look a lot nicer when they are tidied up later in the spring)
Your key questions for any destination:
Do I need a car in El Hierro?
Strictly speaking, there are very few travel destinations anywhere in the world where it's absolutely essential to rent a car in order to see the main points of interest.
That's why we give you loads of ratings scales from 1 to 10, rather than just yes or no answers!
- The need question is generally answered by looking at public transport (transit) options. Is it good enough for visitors who are happy to consider using it?
- How many public transport routes are there, and are they mainly rail or road (bus) based?
- Is public transport fast, frequent, safe, reliable and cheap?
- Does public transport actually take you to the places you'll probably want to see?
Is it worth hiring a car in El Hierro?
This question is usually more about value for money. For this, we look at El Hierro car hire options, and consider how rental costs compare with using transit.
How far are you likely to drive anyway, and how much might you expect to spend on fuel, road tolls, parking and any other charges. We compare El Hierro with other destinations locally and around the world.
This is obviously much more of an issue if you are planning a longer road trip than it is on a small island.
Should I rent a car in El Hierro?
This is basically a merging of the two questions. Everything else might be about giving certain facts about the costs of car rental or using public transport in El Hierro, but answering this question is very much a matter of opinion.
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 2022 (northern hemisphere) tourist season.
We do not intent to include detailed covid information, nor do we intend to suggest hiring a car, just because public transport might still have a mask requirement. Our advice will be based on the same criteria we've always used, ie whether or not you can get a better travel experience, or at least a better value one, by choosing not to hire a car.
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.
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
(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 & Madeira Compared
How does El Hierro compare with other islands in the Canaries? The Canary Islands and Madeira 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.
Overall Car or No Car Ratings
Based on Price Alone?
A more detailed price comparison will be done late in 2021, as more international travel is allowed. Generally speaking, price is not a significant factor in determining whether or not to rent a car in the Canary Islands.
Car rental in El Hierro v other options:
- Car hire is generally cheap.
- Distances are short - every island can be driven around in one day or less.
- Fuel is free from IVA (VAT) - except in Madeira.
- Parking is usually free, or available in commercial car parks at reasonable rates.
- Buses are widely available in most resort areas in El Hierro.
- Taxis are cheap compared to other parts of Spain and very cheap compared to Northern Europe.
- Most hotels are near the coast with good access to beaches.
- Resort areas in El Hierro always have good facilities and easy access to shops.
- Walking trails are widely available - both along coastal routes and inland.
- It's usually easy to reach walking trails by bus.
Why compare the Canary Islands with renting a car in Madeira?
These islands all have similar characteristics - almost all visitors are arriving by air at the main airport on each island, and there is no rail based public transport, except for the tram in Tenerife. The islands have a year-round warm climate, and driving conditions are generally similar. Although there are seasonal variations in car rental prices, these tend to be driven by the demand to get away, rather than seasonal changes locally.
Even during the most popular holiday periods (especially around Christmas and Easter), car rental in El Hierro is generally good value. Buses in El Hierroare still widely available, and taxis are usually cheap.
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
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
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
Do you or don't you need a car in El Hierro ?