La Gomera

By | 16th January 2018

Is it worth hiring a car in La Gomera?

Do you need a car in La Gomera > Should you rent a car in La Gomera Spain > La Gomera ( GMZ ) Do you need a car in La Gomera? Is it worth hiring a car in La Gomera? Should you rent a car in La Gomera?

La Gomera Car hire summary


Overall drive rating

Based on a weighted score across all cost and quality factors. [Full notes - drive rating]

80%

  • Price alone isn't the only factor in determining whether or not it's worth hiring a car in La Gomera but clearly it's an important one. See our "why" section for more figures.
  • Cost factors include - price of car hire (peak and off peak season), car hire extras, fuel, tolls and parking costs.
  • Quality factors include - scenic drives, road quality and upkeep, general safety and congestion levels.
  • A complete index of all 10 factors will be uploaded shortly.

Cheapest rate for one week

Based on cheapest economy car hire deal with no added extras. [full notes - basic costs]

€130

 #40/300

  • This is the very lowest price we could find for a one week car rental period in La Gomera during the quiet season.
  • You will almost always end up paying more than this figure, but any extra costs or supplementary charges are usually determined by the renter, so we cannot easily compare like with like.
  • In many cases, rental companies will offer a cheap rental and then expect you to take out expensive insurance waivers. There are always ways to avoid this!

How much should I expect to pay in the peak season?

Based on cheapest deal during the summer holiday season. (Unless otherwise noted) [full notes - seasonal variations]

 €X

300/300

  • During the peak holiday season, public transport is often better value, as many train and bus fares are fixed throughout the year. See our "why not" section for more suggestions.
  • For most featured destinations, the peak season will be during the summer, typically July and August for northern hemisphere destinations. However, peak demand might occur at different times, for example in some ski resorts or winter sun destinations etc.


Free parking score

Based on the number of hotels which offer free parking. Total EST - of which EST have free parking. [full notes - parking]

20%

#244/300

  • Free hotel parking is very useful to have when you are hiring a car, and it's always worth checking ahead beforehand.
  • If free hotel parking is not available, you might want to consider renting a car for a single day, rather than for your whole trip.
  • The availability (or lack of) free hotel parking can be a really important factor in determining whether or not it's worth hiring a car in La Gomera, as it can be a significant extra daily cost which you won't usually be paying at home!
  • Parking costs play a very major part in our consideration of whether or not it's worth hiring a car in each destination.
  • By using public transport, walking or hiring a bicycle, you can avoid having to worry about parking charges altogether! See our "why not" section for more suggestions.

La Gomera public transport quick facts

Train score

Higher scores go to the systems which don't just take you to the most amazing places, but also to the ones which are easy to use, fast, reliable and frequent. A good train system on its own is usually enough to determine that you don't need to hire a car in many destinations.

00%

  • [full notes trains]
  • Trains include all kinds of urban rail system from trams up to metro and suburban networks.
  • Trains also include mountain railways and cable cars.
  • Generally, places with a good rail network will automatically mean that you don't "need" to hire a car, but you can still might find that on balance you are better off by having one.

Water travel score

This is a general rating for all types of water travel, including scheduled ferries, sea / rivers cruises and excursions in La Gomera

80%

  • [full notes - water score]
  • The water score looks at means of transport on water - it does not consider water based activities like surfing or kayaking.

Overall public transport score

This is a more practical rating based on bus and rail travel, and also including ferries and other boat services, where they are part of the public transport network.

40%

  • [full notes - overall transit] buses | trams | metro | local & regional rail | national rail
  • Is public transport in La Gomera good value, or is it worth hiring a car just because it is cheaper overall?
  • Even if public transport is cheap and reliable, you might still feel that you should hire a car in La Gomera because it will still give you more flexibility to reach out-of-the-way places, especially in rural areas.

Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score

This overall rating considers walking and cycling in and around La Gomera. It includes factors such as the quality of the street environment, and whether you are likely to feel safe walking or cycling, together with the availability of bicycle hire and the ease of linking walking or cycling routes with public transport.

60%

  • [full notes - active score] walking (city) | hiking | cycling (city /  country).
  • A high active travel score means that you might not need a car in La Gomera, because you can see everything you need to see using a combination of your own two feet and the public transport system.

Car rental in - La Gomera Need v worth & should!

Whether you have come here asking "do I need a car in La Gomera", "is it worth hiring a car in La Gomera", or whether or not you "should" hire a car here, these are all slight variations on a similar theme. Here we break each one down according to the criteria we use for each question. This is a weighted score based on the values above. These are explained further in the text which follows - [#why] [#whynot]. Do you need a car in La Gomera?

Do you need a car in La Gomera?

This is essentially based on whether or not public transport and other "non car" options are good enough to get around and beyond the city. For the lowest "need" score, the destination should have a combination of excellent all-round public transport, great opportunities for walking and cycling, together with poor value car hire or generally poor quality roads. 
  • In destinations where both public transport and car hire options are excellent, the verdict for "do I need a car in  La Gomera " will swing towards a strong no, because you can do absolutely fine without one).
Is it worth hiring a car in La Gomera?

Is it worth hiring a car in La Gomera?

Is car hire good value, especially during the peak season? How does this compare with transit fares? This question mainly looks at issues of cost and practicality.
  • In destinations where both public transport and car hire options are excellent, the verdict for "is it worth hiring a car in  La Gomera" will swing towards whichever option offers the lowest overall cost for a group of 2-4 people travelling together.
Should you rent a car in La Gomera?

Should you rent a car in La Gomera?

Weighing up the above questions, if you are here for the first time AND asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?
  • The final "carometer" swing is much more opinion based, and it takes into account which options will give you the truly best travel experience (n our humble opinion of course). Where a destination offers an excellent score with or without a car, the swing will go towards whichever option we feel gives the most truly unforgettable experience.
  • Ultimately, it's your choice whether or not you rent a car here. We're trying to give you something that's sufficiently far enough away from a "maybe" to help you make that choice. Ultimately, people only come to us because they are uncertain, but we don't really know what each person's preferences are. Whether we say you should or you shouldn't rent a car in  La Gomera, you might also want to look up some of our other cities to see how  La Gomera compares with other destinations in  Spain or  Europe.
  • By using public transport, walking or hiring a bicycle, you can avoid having to worry about parking charges altogether! See our "why not" section for more suggestions.


What does everyone else do?

Do most people hire a car in La Gomera?

This is based on our observations of (a) car rental facilities and (b) what we think most people will do here. It's not an exact figure, just an estimate of how likely people are to get hold of a rental car here.
  • his is based on the percentage of people "in the market" who we think are likely to hire a car. This includes anyone arriving on holiday here who would usually hire a car on their travels, so it doesn't include people who don't usually drive (or don't drive), people staying with friends etc.

10%

Visitors per year (million)

  • Cities with more visitors are more likely to have more complex airport car rental arrangements, and generally they will also have better public transport, but this is not always the case, especially in North America.

7

  • [full notes - do as everyone else does?]
  • You may wish to go with the flow, or you might prefer to avoid doing the most popular or obvious option. This will vary according to the range of choice available. This tends to be much higher in destinations which are closer to the middle of the car or no car scale.

Who is travelling?

Your group size and travel budget has a major impact on whether or not getting a rental car is good value compared to using public transport as your main means of getting around. Ultimately, these are all "worth" questions:

Is it worth renting a car in La Gomera if I am a solo / budget traveller?

Generally, hiring a car is not good value for solo travellers for multiple reasons, especially as most of the costs of renting apply to the car, not the occupants. With public transport, the reverse is usually true! However, there are always some places where you will need a car, simply because they are almost impossible to reach using public transport.

Is it worth renting a car in La Gomera for 2 people travelling together?

A rental car can be good value for couples or for friends travelling together, but since most cars come with at least four seats, it's often still better value to use public transport. However, if you prefer to keep yourselves to yourselves, then you might still want to rent.

Is it worth renting a car in La Gomera for families?

Families of groups of 3-4 people travelling together will always get the best value from a rental car. However, you may also be burdened with extra costs for car seat hire, and you well also prefer to use local trains and buses, if they are quicker than getting stuck in heavy traffic.

Where are you staying?

The place you are staying, together with the sort of places you want to see, will have a large impact on whether or not you "need" to rent a car:

Do you need a car in La Gomera if we are staying in the city centre / main resort area?

Most large towns or purpose built holiday resorts will have some kind of public transport, whereas parking provision will vary greatly from one place to the next. 

Do you need a car in La Gomera if we are staying on the edge of the urban area?

Typically you may be staying in an apartment or hmall house on the edge of a resort or urban area. These places usually have some level of public transport, but not as much as city / resort centres.

Do you need a car in La Gomera if we are staying in a rural area?

Rural proprties might include larger villas or apartments, but they can still be within a short walk of a bus stop or local railway station, and the opportunities for hiking and cycling might also be substantial, depending on the destination.

What is your attitude towards driving?

We can give you suggestions based on whatever we consider to be a "typical" visitor to La Gomera, but ultimately your decision is also going to be influenced by whether or not you ususally prefer to hire a car in the first place.

Should I hire a car in La Gomera if I prefer not to drive?

This is especially the case when there is only one main driver in the group, and it's based on the attitude of the driver rather than their passengers! The main driver may also simply prefer to use public transport, or they may prefer to take scenic train journeys where available.

Should we rent a car in La Gomera if we are easy either way?

This is more aimed at the typical visitor who isn't that bothered about how they get around, as long as it is the most convenient / best value option.

Should I rent a car in La Gomera if I prefer to drive?

For people who usually prefer the freedom and flexibility of having a hire car. Is it still best to rent a car in La Gomera, or are there good reasons not to?

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.

Do you need a car in La Gomera? Introduction

When someone asks "Do you need a car in La Gomera?", this often breaks down to two key questions:
  1. Can you actually get around using public transport, or is a car all but essential?
  2. Is it worth hiring a car in La Gomera? Is it good value for money, compared with non-car options?
Over the next few sections, we wil look at the pros and cons of driving in La Gomera as a tourist, and ultimately weigh these up, so we can answer the key question of Should you rent a car in La Gomera?
Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

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 should you rent a car in La Gomera?

What are the main reasons for hiring a car here? Do you just want to drive locally? Do you want to go further afield, or should you even look at taking a road trip? In terms of factors like the cost of the hire itself, fuel costs, road tolls and parking charges, is it worth hiring a car in La Gomera?
  • 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? Visiting La Gomera without a car

What is public transport like in La Gomera? What about local conditions for walking or cycling? Can you rely on public transport and maybe a few taxis for most or all of your trip? Are there some times of year when it's easier to get by without a car than others? When should you rent a car in 4?

Why not?

Getting here

  • 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.
  • 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.

Getting around

  • 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.
  • 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.

Ratings

Our slider ratings range from 0 (it isn't even possible to hire a car, e.g. Hong Kong) through to 10 (you really must rent a car here, e.g. Phoenix, Tampa). However, most places are somewhere inbetween these extremes, and this is where it gets more interesting! Further ratings breakdowns, including a much more detailed public transport rating, are currently being added. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.

Verdict

What is our final score for La Gomera on the Carornocar scale?

Remember, this isn't so much a rating of the road network, or a score for what we think of the buses or trains, but it's simply a scale showing the swing between whether or not we think a rental car is a good idea here.

0


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.

Is it worth hiring a car in La Gomera? No!

Would you hire a car in La Gomera?

Have you driven in La Gomera? Do you agree with our advice on whether or not it's worth hiring a car in La Gomera}? Do you need a car in La Gomera? For some or all of the time? Tell us what you think using the comments section below:

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