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Madeira

Madeira (Funchal) car advice – anyone lucky enough to have a window seat when landing at the amazingly engineered airport that serves Madeira’s capital Funchal will notice not just that the airport is incredibly close to the city centre, but that all of the resort areas on the southern side of the island are very tightly packed together. This is hardly surprising, given that the rugged terrain on Madeira makes it difficult to build anywhere in the island’s interior.

 

Although there are no fixed rail train services anywhere on the island of Madeira, local and regional bus services are available through a variety of different bus companies, and with a bit of planning it is possible to travel pretty much throughout the whole island by bus. Many resorts will also offer guided bus tours of the island’s interior.

 

Naturally, as with any island destination with no regular rail service, a hire car can be quite useful in Madeira. However, in an island that is so well known for its plant life, the two most impressive gardens on the island are both within the urban area of Funchal itself. You might not fancy walking up to these gardens in the heat, but buses are still widely available, and you might still prefer the breezy walk down.

 

If your plan is to hire a car in Madeira, but just to get one for a day or two, then it’s always worth checking the rental terms – a full week hire might be much better value than a shorter hire period if the rental contract is on a full tank to empty tank basis. However, if you are staying in the centre of Funchal, it’s always worth checking parking arrangements first.

 

On balance, our Madeira car hire advice is that this is the sort of island it’s actually very easy to get around just by using local buses, walking in places, and probably making a few journeys by taxi, but it’s unlikely really to be worth justifying getting a hire car, unless you are staying well away from the urban area of Funchal.

 

Madeira car hire verdict = no.

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Corfu

Corfu car hire advice – Greek islands might not initially look like the sort of places where a hire car is a particularly good idea, because nowhere is particularly far from anywhere else, and the major resorts and places to visit tend to be relatively closely spaced along the shoreline. Local buses are also usually widely available, they tend to be fairly cheap, and they operate throughout the day. For many independently minded travellers, Corfu is also a natural place from which to start a trip onto the Greek mainland and beyond by ferry, and this sort of journey might already be continuing onwards from Italy and elsewhere in Europe.

 

Yet Corfu is also large enough for the failings in the local bus system to become apparent.

 

Firstly, there’s always the question of congestion – at busy times do you want to be rammed into a bus that is standing room only, or would you rather be sitting and choking traffic, but within the space of your own rented car? My personal view is that I’d take the bus any time, but many people would prefer to sit in their own private metal box. Then there is the reality that as with many Greek islands, the buses are almost completely focused on going in and out of Corfu town, which means that to get between any other points on the island that aren’t on a direct line in or out of Corfu town, you will properly have to change bus, and this starts to mean a lot of hanging around. If your accommodation is situated anywhere other than on the routes the buses serve, then you will also need to add time to walk to and from the bus stop, and they tend to be much further spaced apart in Greece than they are in many northern European locations. You can also forget about real time running information when taking Greek local buses anywhere outside major cities like Athens or Thessaloniki.

 

Corfu is absolutely not the sort of location where a hire car is strictly necessary, nor is it particularly desirable to have one. It’s also the sort of destination where if you are just sticking to the island itself, you’d be unlikely to save any money by getting a rental car and splitting the costs between even a group of even five people, because the buses will always be a great deal cheaper, and if you are a large group anyway, it would be just as easy to make a few taxi rides.

 

However, when it comes to convenience, a car still might be worth considering, especially for a family, and especially if you are staying in a villa outside the main towns in Corfu. It’s also perfectly possible to pick up a hire car in Corfu and then start a road trip into mainland Greece, and a car makes a lot of sense for heading towards the spectacular rocky outcrops of Meteora. Surprisingly, given that there are so many different islands, one-way rentals in Greece can often work out as not a lot more expensive than returning to the same pickup point, but make sure any one-way rental fees are clearly displayed in your car hire quote before confirming your booking.

 

Our Corfu car hire advice is based around people who are asking the question “should we hire a car in Corfu” rather than at looking at what we think the majority of people would do, Hence the chances are, if you are thinking about getting a car here, you will probably still find it’s best to do so, but it really would be a very marginal choice.

 

Verdict – yes

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La Gomera

La Gomera

i  INTRO | Ž WHY? |  Ž WHY NOT? |  MODES | ¥ SCENARIOS |û MAPS |áVERDICT | ëCOMMENTS

[INTRO]

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

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El Hierro

El Hierro

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 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.

Why?

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?

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 many people also hitch here.

Verdict

No

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Bastia

[topNP city=””Bastia””]

 

Given that rail-based public transport on Corsica is slow, disjointed and dilapidated, a hire car is going to make a lot more sense.

 

You will only really get around here without a car if you are the kind of traveller who loves using local trains and buses anyway, and who has the patience to wait for a connection.

 

[why city=””Bastia””]

<ul>

<li>To follow.</li>

</ul>

[whynot city=””Bastia””]

<ul>

<li>To follow.</li>

</ul>

<h2>Is it worth taking a taxi tour around Bastia instead of renting a car?</h2>

<h3>This is aimed at visitors who are considering whether or not it might be worth renting a car in Bastia for one day, and comparing this option with a taxi tour.</h3>

Yes – if you are one of the few travellers who has flown in to Bastia for whatever reason and decided not to hire a car, then taking a short taxi tour could be a useful way to see some of the mountainous terrain around the city.

 

As we’ve already stated above, we think that you really do need a car in Bastia anyway, so only a a relatively small number of visitors here are going to be in a situation where they have a few hours or maybe a full day in the city, and they want to consider taking a short taxi tour.

 

This is the kind of scenario you might be in if you have been travelling around Corsica by other means, whether that is by train, by scheduled bus, some kind of organised tour around the island, and possibly also including some element by ferry.

 

There’s no need at all to look at a taxi tour just to see around the city – it is a compact enough place, and it is full of narrow winding streets, with many roads being closed off to through traffic. This makes it a natural place to go around on a walking tour.

 

Getting a taxi will give you a bit of a chance to see Bastia from above and to go on a short driving loop in any of the spectacular countryside which surrounds the city. You may have already decided that is just not worth hiring a car in Bastia because you don’t like driving on these kind of roads, and if this is the case, then you may well still prefer to take a short taxi tour, because you want having to worry about doing the driving.

 

[ratings city=””Bastia”” stars=””09″” lights=””8″”]

 

[footerNV city=””Bastia”” credits=””””]

 

 

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Edinburgh

[topNP city=””Edinburgh””]

[why city=””Edinburgh””]

  • Urge to Explore: Once you have climbed to the top of either Calton Hill or Arthur’s Seat, however breathtaking the immediate view below, you will also have a strong urge to explore the neighouring country, and a car will give you the most freedom to do this.
  • The Falkirk Wheel is one of the most impressive engineering structures in Scotland, and the easiest way to get there is by car (although a bike would give you the freedom to explore the canal aswell).
  • Forth Bridges: A car will give you the freedom to head north across the spectacular Forth Road Bridge, which in turn gives you amazing views of the even more stunning Forth Rail Bridge.There is no longer any toll on the Forth Road Bridge.
  • Stirling: Head out to Stirling with its famous castle, and visit the nearby William Wallace monument, which is easier to get to by car.
  • Fife: Head into the ancient Kingdom of Fife, and on to St Andrews, the world famous home of golf.
  • Golf: A car is ideal for any of the numerous golf courses in and around Edinburgh.
  • Glasgow: Head across to Glasgow – the train will take you to the city centre, whereas a car will give you freedom to explore the many interesting destinations in the suburbs and beyond. See our Glasgow car hire guide for more details.
  • Rail network: Compared to Glasgow, where our verdict is no, the local and regional rail network heading out from Waverley station is nothing like as comprehensive, especially within suburban Edinburgh, where the public transport is dominated by buses.
  • Head North: Edinburgh is an ideal staging post for heading north and into the Scottish Highlands – especially as flights to Inverness tend to be a bit more expensive than flights to Edinburgh (when travelling within the UK), and Edinburgh Airport offers a much wider range of inward flights from mainland Europe aswell as flights from New York Newark in the USA. Flying into Edinburgh and then driving up also means you don’t miss out on the scenery.
  • Motorways: Picking up a hire car at Edinburgh Airport will give you easy access to the Scottish motorway network, and you will already be in an ideal position to reach most of the Central Belt, as the airport is to the west of the city. This makes arriving at Edinburgh Airport a much better bet than Glasgow Airport or Prestwick, for access to most of central Scotland, as both of these airports are to the west of Glasgow.
  • Small hotels: Even though the City Council has made driving difficult in central Edinburgh, there are many excellent small hotels and b&bs on the roads leading in and out of the city, particularly aroudn Murrayfield on the way in from the airport. These places tend to provide free onsite parking.
  • New Town: Although the historic old town is heavily restricted for access by car, Edinburgh’s world famous New Town has wide streets and is easier to drive around. Edinburgh has numerous other great districts, such as Morningside – spend all day going around by bus, or zip around by car?
  • Gardens: Don’t forget to visit the beautiful Royal Botanic gardens to the north of the city – but exploring around Edinburgh by car will take you to plenty of other green spaces.

[whynot city=””Edinburgh””]

  • Easy buses: Edinburgh is bus central – they might not be glamorous, but they will take you where you want to go. (If you have the right change – Ed)
  • Bus frequency: On the busiest arteries, buses can turn up as often as every 30 seconds – just like in central London.
  • Use your Inner Tube! Edinburgh has a unique ‘Inner Tube‘ cycleway mapping system, inspired by Harry Beck’s London tube maps. This is based on a network of off-road cycle routes which itself uses disused railway lines around the city.
  • Car? Daft! Because there is just so much to see and do in the centre of Edinburgh itself, and even more within easy range of a short bus ride – renting a car for a short stay would be daft!
  • Road v Rail: Most places which would make interesting road trips – Glasgow, Falkirk (for the Falkirk Wheel), Stirling (for Stirling Castle and the William Wallace Monument), Perth etc, can be easily accessed by fast and frequent train services.
  • Train + bus: Those places that aren’t directly on the rail network are usually easy to access by local bus services. For example, the William Wallace Monument is adjacent to Stirling University campus, so plenty of buses are available.
  • St Andrews: Even though St Andrews doesn’t have its own railway station, a shuttle bus is available from nearby Leuchars, or regular coach services are available from Edinburgh Bus Station.
  • Personal preference: Much as though I hate buses anyway, Edinburgh Bus Station is a particularly ugly gateway to such a spectacular city, so I always use trains through Waverley station when I can.
  • Arriving by train in Edinburgh by night, and climbing up the Waverley Steps (becoming Escalator-Ed) to look back at Edinburgh Castle is truly spectacular!
  • Forth Foot Bridge: There is a better way to appreciate the full glory of the Forth Bridges without a hire car – take the train to Dalmeny, which is right before the start of the Forth Rail Bridge. Climb down to the sea shore, appreciate the spectacular vista of the bridges from sea level, then climb up to the start of the Forth Road Bridge. You can then cross on foot, again enjoying great views of the Forth Rail Bridge. At the north side, head to North Queensferry station, and board a train to appreciate the Forth Rail Bridge.
  • Deep Sea World – is an easy excursion at the end of the Forth Rail Bridge – alight at North Queensferry (also an easy drive across the Forth Road Bridge).
  • East Coast Route: The train journey from Edinburgh to Berwick is particularly stunning (this is the final part of the route up from London Kings Cross).

VERDICT: YES

James says: Edinburgh is the city where I studied Architecture, so I know it well.

When should you hire a car in Edinburgh? Although you won’t want a car for a short weekend away, it will give you more freedom to get out and explore the numerous interesting destinations beyond Auld Reekie herself, reching places that aren’t so easy to get to by public transport. Therefore the verdict is a soft yes – a car is useful, but not essential.

[ratings city=””Edinburgh”” stars=””20″” lights=””6″”]

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http://www.carornocar.com/glasgow/”;”2017-07-07 15:39:32″;”2017-07-07 14:39:32″;;”0″;;”0″;”post”;;”5″
“49”;”1″;”2017-07-04 23:08:00″;”2017-07-04 22:08:00″;”Should I hire a car in Antigua? Antigua car hire options – Antigua might be relatively small, but the temptation to visit all those 365 beaches, without crawling around at the pace of one per day means that a hire car will certainly be useful.

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Miami

Do I need a car in Miami? Miami is the real Florida, a simmering melting pot of cultures that is a complete contrast to the theme park land of Orlando. These different cultures have created many cities within the city, so what is the best way to get around and experience this richness?

Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the 2021 tourist season. For additional Miami car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

cool Why? Visiting Miami using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Miami ?


  • City of cities: Miami has more foreign born residents than any other city in the USA. There are so many different nationalities represented within the immigrant groups who have settled here. Most famous amongst the different Miami communities is Little Havana, but there are many others. A car will give you the flexibility to drive around all these different areas.
  • Be Flashy. If there is one place in the world where you really want to show off in a snazzy performance car, Miami is as good as anywhere.
  • Did somebody say walk? In Miami? Do they not know how hot and sticky it is? However, the real problem with walking in Miami isn’t actually the climate, but the sheer unpleasantness of walking alongside 6 lane highways, and waiting in the heat to cross giant concrete junctions. It’s no surprise that the default option is to rent a car in Miami!
  • Sprawl.Whereas some cities on the US east coast have central areas which are quite compact — for example Boston, Miami is certainly not one of them. Nor will you necessarily be rushing to head into downtown Miami, which is predominantly a business district. The geography of Miami is much more dispersed, and this really tips the scales in favour of having a rental car, even if you aren’t planning on leaving town. If you are visiting people, or businesses, then Miami is a city of sprawl, even by US standards. Over half of the population of the Miami metropolitan area do not live in incorporated cities, and walkable neighbourhoods are rare.
  • Cruise. If you are in Miami because you are using the cruise terminal and you have a few days before your flight home, why stay restricted to slow public transport? You’ve been stuck on a boat at 25 knots all week (or fortnight), only a car can give you freedom to see the best the area has to offer.
  • Public transport isn’t “nice”: Although we want to be as unbiased as possible at Carornocar, we are still ‘driven’ (if that is the best word) by Architecture, and this gives us a bias towards public transport, as stations can often be very impressive buildings, whereas freeways and car parks rarely are. Yet, Miami somehow manages to reverse this notion – the new Miami Central Station is one of the most monstrous carbuncles to be built anywhere in the world, yet Miami has so many spectacular road bridges. Putting the buildings to one side (transport is there to get you from A to B), its location says it all – the so-called ‘centre’, sorry ‘center’ of Miami is actually just next to the airport. This might well be the geographical centre of the Miami area, but the metro (Metrorail) and suburban (Tri-Rail) rail links will just connect you to more sprawl and the barren business district, not to Miami Beach, where the major resort hotels are.
  • Vistas: Roads in Miami are in stark contrast to the roads in Orlando. Around Orlando, you can drive on mile on mile of flat concrete peppered with suburban sprawl. Miami is a city of waterways. Now it would be a stretch to compare ultramodern Miami with classical Venice, but Miami is still a city of bridges and sweeping vistas dotted with lush palm trees. If you are unfortunate enough to be travelling around the city by bus, you will find yourself wanting to get off and take pictures, and then realising that you might have to wait another half an hour until the next bus comes along.
  • Miami Mansions: Miami will tempt you to drive around some of its plusher neighbourhoods, where you’ll see all manner of villas of different architectural styles. Again, a car is a must.
  • Beaches: With a hire car, you can drive up the coast to Fort Lauderdale, or just get away from the bustle of the city itself and visit some less crowded beaches – but you might have to drive for a while to find them!

Beyond Miami

  • Florida Keys. This isn’t just about driving around Miami, where alternative options are available, as mentioned below. A drive down through the Florida Keys is an absolute must, and you really need a car to have the flexibility to do this at your own pace. The numerous bridges that connect the islands that make up the Keys provide an endless rotation of natural and man-made wonders, with the world-famous 7 Mile Bridge being the highlight. For this reason alone, our recommendation is to rent a a car in Miami, even when we don’t think it’s an essential for Orlando.
  • Everglades: A car is a must to visit the Florida Everglades, unless you would rather go on a packaged tour.
  • Tampa and Orlando? There are no big theme parks in Miami, so a rental car is also good for heading north west to the Tampa Bay area (for Busch Gardens), or north to Orlando – but both of these are relatively long drives – 4 1/2 hours or 4 hours respectively. You might find it easier to catch a local flight to enjoy a multi-city stay including either of these two locations – see our Orlando page for more about car hire there.

[whynot city=”Miami”]

  • Elevation: Miami may have a terrible transport system, but the Metrorail is at least elevated. Better still, the MetroMover in the downtown area is one of the world’s few elevated city centre transport systems, and the skyscrapers in Miami are a wonderful mix of looking up to glass and concrete reflecting a clear blue sky, and looking down at verdant landscaping. However, this won’t take you anywhere near the hotel resorts on Miami beach!
  • Deco bikes – who could think of a cooler name for the community bikes program(me) which operates on Miami Beach. Unfortunately, the scheme hasn’t extended beyond this area, so you will still need either a hire car or to use public transit.
  • Who cares about the local attitude? You’re here to enjoy your Miami holiday on your terms.
  • Boats: To enjoy views of some of Miami’s most upmarket homes, you will need to take to the water. This is best done on a tour boat, and you will be picked up from your hotel anyway, so no car needed.
  • Be lazy: Miami is a city of lazing around cabanas and then going to sizzling late-night parties. We don’t all have to turn up like the celebrities in programmes like CSI Miami, a taxi will do perfectly well.
  • Fly or Drive? If you do intend to travel between Orlando and Miami, regular coach services are available, but you can also fly. Miami to Orlando flights are very frequent and incredibly cheap.
  • Everglades? Swamps? Doesn’t that mean alligators? Maybe somebody else can drive!
  • Crime: Much as though we prefer to think of ‘Miami Nice’, the city does still have a reputation for the vice, and this includes car crime.

Beyond Miami without a car

  • Coaches and Trains: You can, of course, visit the Florida Keys by coach, but bear in mind that scheduled bus services heading for Key West are there to provide transportation, so you will miss many of the best photo opportunities. Other bus and coach services are available to nearby cities, and Tri-rail provides service to Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.
  • Tours: Miami has a varied network of tour providers who will show you the best the city has to offer, without needing to use a rental car. Excursions are available to the Everglades, and even as far as the Disney resorts in Orlando.

[james]

  • We know that the USA has a big car culture. On arriving at Miami airport, I asked about a bus into central Miami, and was told that they did not exist. This was not the case, but it does show the attitude people have here. Now some people don’t care what others think — and as it turned out, the bus appeared to be full of airport workers. There were also a couple of Scandinavians who couldn’t care less about how they got around. On its own, the attitude really isn’t an issue, but to actually get to South Beach, a transfer had to be made at a busy highway intersection, and this was certainly not pleasant.After a day of enjoying the Miami beach boardwalk at a leisurely pace, a car was hired to enjoy the Florida Keys, as mentioned above.

[jamesend]

Do I need a car in Miami? – The Verdict:

There might not be a strict need to rent a car in Miami, if you just want to hang around Miami beach. There is no need for a car in Miami just for enjoying the lounge life. However, if you really want to see south Florida properly, then a visit to the Florida Keys is well and truly essential. So is a trip into the Everglades National Park. On top of this, if you rent a car in Miami, you are also going to have much easier access to the wealth of diverse neighbourhoods that make up this city.

VERDICT – YES (and a strong one!)

yell Ratings: How does Miami compare?

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

 


Summary

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

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Netherlands

Amsterdam

Europe > Netherlands > Amsterdam

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

Amsterdam city centre has a reputation as a cyclists’ paradise and a driver’s nightmare. Is that still the case for the area around the city, and for the rest of the Netherlands? Is Amsterdam car hire ever really an option?

Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the 2021 tourist season. For additional Amsterdam car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Amsterdam is also world-famous as a party city, with its infamous red light district and coffee shops. We presume that you already know this, so we won’t waste much time simply regurgitating the obvious: For a short stay in the centre of Amsterdam, there is absolutely no point whatsoever in even considering hiring a car.

So, when we look at Amsterdam car hire, we’re looking at a longer trip. This might be using Amsterdam as a base or a start point for exploring not just the local area, but the significant hinterland beyond.

Do you need a car in Amsterdam? Reasons why you might!

In and around Amsterdam

  • Good roads: Whilst it is true that many more journeys in the Netherlands are made by bike than they are in the UK or the USA, the quality of the roads is still very high. Because public transport is also of a very high standard, there is less congestion. This means there is more space on the roads for those people who do want to drive.
  • The Netherlands also has three times as many miles of motorway per capita as the UK does, so it is easy to get around by any means.
  • Low congestion – it’s actually a great myth to say you “can’t” or “shouldn’t” drive in Amsterdam, especially if you are staying in a suburban location and travelling around the country. Because it has such a well developed cycling and public transport network, Amsterdam is actually one of the least congested major cities in Europe. You will find the same situation in other Dutch cities too. The emphasis is always on encouraging alternatives, and restricting “through” traffic in town centres.
  • Cost of trains: We (in the UK or the USA) might look to the Netherlands as having a high standard of public transport, but the trains are still relatively pricey on a per mile basis. There are no off-peak or advance purchase discounts for visitors. Bring over a family, and a hire car easily works out as better value than going by train.

cool Why? Visiting Amsterdam using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Amsterdam ?


Driving beyond the Amsterdam area

  • Get out: This isn’t just about the city centre of Amsterdam — Schiphol airport is a gateway for a vast hinterland beyond Amsterdam itself. There are so many flight routes operating here that aren’t available at many of the other nearby airports, or even at major neighbouring cities like Brussels or Dusseldorf.
  • Architecture: Architecture buffs will find that the Netherlands is full of all kinds of interesting historic and modern buildings. These are sometimes in small towns or in the suburbs — even bland industrial units in the Netherlands can often be meticulously put together. The best way to conduct a self-guided architectural tour is to have the flexibility of a car. Of particular note are the unique self built houses in the new city of Almere, the cube houses in Rotterdam. You could also follow the Dudok trail in Hilversum. It’s also worth diverting to look at the three bridges designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava in Hoofddorp, near Schiphol Airport.
  • Engineering Polders: The Netherlands has an impressive system of holding back the sea, a feat regarded by many engineers as one of the most impressive pieces of civil engineering in the 20th century. You will find a car useful to drive across Ijsselmeer using the N302 or the A7 Afsluitdijk. Even though this is a motorway crossing, a slow (and cycling) lane is still available – if you can tolerate the wind!
  • Rivers & Islands: To explore the many mouths of the Rhine or the relatively deserted islands of the Waddenzee, a car is essential.
  • Dutch landscapes: A hire car is best to appreciate the typical Dutch springtime landscape of tulips, canals and windmills – but a bike will do as well.

foot-in-mouth Why not? Visiting Amsterdam without a car

Why don't you need a car in Amsterdam ?


 

Amsterdam area without a car

  • Obvious isn’t it? Cities in Netherlands are tightly packed — easy to get between, and even easier to get around.
  • Bike it: Cycle hire facilities are widely available at Amsterdam Centraal and most major NS railway stations, no pre-booking required.
  • Canals: Amsterdam is a city of canals, surely the best way of getting around is to take a boat trip?
  • Public transport is excellent, who needs to even consider a rental car?

yell Ratings: How does Amsterdam compare?

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

 


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Uncategorized

Orlando

 

Reasons why you need to rent a car in Orlando

  • Obvious isn’t it? This is the USA, and doesn’t everyone drive?
  • This isn’t just about Orlando. There are so many places that are within range of an easy day trip from Orlando, including Cape Canaveral, the Tampa Bay area, or even Miami at a push, although Miami is best done as an overnight trip at least.
  • Cost: Petrol is cheap, buses are nothing like as good as they are in Europe, and taxis can be expensive, especially as Orlando is a large sprawling city. Simples?
  • Competition: Orlando is one of the world’s largest car rent markets, so plenty of cheap car rental options are available – although prices go up a great deal in summer, it’s never difficult to get a rent car in Orlando, at either of the city’s main airports or near your resort.
  • Rail travel is virtually non-existent. For example, the train between Orlando and Miami is infrequent and takes forever. (Florida is one of the places in the USA which has been earmarked for high-speed rail. They are still talking. Chances are that by the time you return to Florida for the 10th time, they will still be talking).
  • Beaches – Orlando shares with Las Vegas the curious distinction of being one of the world’s major inland sunshine resort destinations. A car is best if you want to actually spend some time on a beach proper.

[whynot city=””Orlando””]

Visiting Orlando without a car – and seeing more of Florida too!

  • Pointless parking: A car might be fine for travelling around different places, but if you’re planning on spending most of your time visiting theme parks, why bother? The car will just sit on tarmac all-day, and these days you’ll pay for that too. It would be much easier to use local shuttle buses to get to and from the major theme parks.
  • Hotels: For the full Disney experience, stay on-site at one of the Disney hotels — they might cost a little more, but not hiring a car would help make up part of the difference.
  • Selective Shopping: A rent car should be a natural advantage for getting the best out of the outlet mall bargains that are available in this part of the world, but the easy temptation is to end up buying far more than your suitcases can hold, and then having to pay extortionate excess luggage charges. Using the readily available buses that ply up-and-down International Drive to get to and from the main outlet malls will make it much easier to keep your holiday purchases in check.
  • Resorts: The large resort hotels offer numerous activities on-site, so you will never run out of things to do whether or not you have a car.
  • Boring driving: This part of the USA is relatively flat and quite densely populated, so it is crisscrossed with concrete freeways adorned with the usual suburban sprawl chain outlets and advertising boards. So whilst the roads will take you where you want to go to, the experience is not particularly pleasant, and unlike Miami, where we do recommend getting a rent car, there are no particularly outstanding driving routes.
  • Bus travel – If you do intend to travel between Orlando and Miami, regular coach services are available, but you can also fly. Miami to Orlando flights are very frequent and incredibly cheap.
  • What would Walt do? Remember that Disney himself envisaged futuristic cities where the car was relegated to the edges. Not only are Disney theme Parks traffic free, but part of the Disneyworld resort experience is the monorail that connects them all together.
  • Safety: Even for locals, road accident rates in the USA are at least twice that of the UK. Getting off a long haul flight and straight into a rent car where road conditions take some getting used to is an additional challenge. International drive (I192) has a particularly poor reputation for accidents, as it has a wide road with so many turnings on and off.

Verdict – do I need to rent a car in Orlando?

Most people visiting Orlando will pick up a rental car for their trip, and it will make life easier. Whether or not it is essential will depend on where you are staying — rent a villa in suburban Kissimmee and you will be hard pushed to go anywhere without a car, whereas you are unlikely to miss having a car if you’re staying at one of the big resort hotels.

Do I need to rent a car in Orlando? We’re not here to advise on whether or not a car is needed, as holidays are about dreams and desires, not need. The question is whether or not a car will significantly enhance your holiday? We think the answer to that question is no. If you beg to differ, comment below.

VERDICT : N

Categories
Uncategorized

Malaga

[topNP city=””Malaga””]

This depends in many ways on where you are staying – many people head west for Costa Del Sol resorts, or stay in villas which are detached from urban centres. Yet, Malaga itself is often overlooked both as a culturally diverse city in its own right (Malaga is the birthplace of Picasso), and as a well connected base from which to explore near and far.

[why city=””Malaga””]

  1. Cheap car hire! Because everyone else does! Malaga airport is one of the busiest car rental centres in Europe, so there is enormous choice available at prices so low that some agencies are almost bribing you to take their cars. Malaga car hire starts from around just £50 per week – you could easily spend that on one airport transfer taxi.
  2. Roads for driving: Some of the roads in Andalusia are absolutely superb, with many having been recently upgraded. The road from Marbella to Ronda is a personal favourite. Ronda itself sits on top of a dramatic canyon. You can get there from Malaga by train, but good luck trying to organise a trip there and back in the same day by rail.
  3. Walking: Another impressive area for cycling and walking is around the spectacular El Chorro Gorge – although the official path through the gorge itself has been closed since 2000, and is set to re-open in 2014 (mark the date!). Unoffocially, walkers head into the gorge using the railway tracks, but this is both dangerous and illegal. There are numerous other opportunities for walking, both along the coastline east and west of Malaga, and further inland. The local train around Malaga serves the main resorts, where it is mainly built-up, although the additional branch to Alora offers some opportunity for hill walking, and Alora itself is quite a pleasant white-washed hill town. However, a car will provide much more flexibility.
  4. Caves: Use a hire car to visit the Nerja Caves to the east of Malaga.
  5. Landscapes: For two completely contrasting landscapes, visit the lush green Sierra Nevada national park (or ski there in winter), between Granada and Almeria, or the barren Cabo de Gata Natural Park to the east of Almeria, filming location for many Spaghetti Westerns. Allow around 2 1/2 or 3 hours driving time respectively from Malaga.

    Beyond Malaga and the Costa Del Sol:

  6. Cities: A car is ideal for a whistlestop tour of some of the major inland Andalusian cities, such as Seville, Cordoba and Granada. Although they can all be reached reasonably easy by train from Malaga, it is trickier to juggle an itinerary to see them all by train. For example, to go between Jaen and Granada, you would need to allow over 4 hours by train with a very tight connection in Cordoba. The drive takes about 1 hour 20 mins.
  7. Marbella: The local train network does not stretch as far as Marbella and its neighbour Puerto Banus, the playgrounds of the rich and famous. Now really darling, who wants to arrive in Marbella by bus?
  8. Gibraltar: To head further west towards Gibraltar, you will have to go by bus, unless you fancy the scenic train journey via Ronda. For Gibraltar, allow a good four hours for the journey. If you alight at alight at San Roque – La Linea, you will still be some 10 miles from Gibraltar, whereas if you continue to Algeciras, you will find local buses to La Linea bus station, from where you can make the short walk into Gibraltar. Note that the tension between Spain and the UK still exists to the point that public transport buses do not cross the border.–
  9. Cyclists might still need a car: Even though there are some superb cycling routes (especially the Vias Verdes) in Andalucia, they are not well connected, and public transport options are limited. Renfe do not carry bikes on their AVE or Alaris high-speed services, and these are the ones which operate between Malaga and Puente Genil for the Subbética Greenway (which in turn becomes the Olive Oil Greenway and continues to Jaen) or Cordoba for the Campiña Greenway. To get to the best cycling areas, you will be better off with a hire car with a roof rack or even a small van.

[whynot city=””Malaga””]

  • Safety: The roads around Malaga airport are known for having a high rate of accidents. Driving in Spain as a whole is still much more dangerous than driving in the UK.
  • Resort Rail: Recent terminal upgrades at Malaga airport have included the construction of an underground station on the Malaga to Fuengirola local train service. Although this route has been open for many years, the airport station used to be situated at the back of all the car rental facilities, with no lifts or booking office. Now much better public transport access is available both in to Malaga itself, and throughout the Costa Del Sol region.
  • High Speed Inland (AVE): In our opinion, the most impressive of the Moorish edifices in inland Andalucia is the Great Mosque of Cordoba. This building takes on an almost surreal tone with its endless procession of red and cream striped arches, which then opens up into a cathedral inside the old mosque. If you are going to visit just one of these cities, Cordoba is the one we would pick out. Cordoba is easily reachable from Malaga using the AVE express train service – which is worth a trip in its own right as it was a major civil engineering feat to carve this new line (opened 2007) through the rugged terrain. The old town of Cordoba is a delight to walk around, yet it can be easily reached from the striking new Cordoba Central AVE station. The area around the station is also interesting, as a new landscaped linear park has been created along Av De America, by building over the rail tracks.
  • Antequera: You can also use the AVE to visit the white walled city of Antequera – just over 20 minutes away from Malaga.
  • Excusrions to Africa: Numerous options are available, including trips to the Spanish enclave of Ceuta by boat or helicopter, or flights to Melilla by small aircraft. You can also visit northern Moroccan cities such as Tangier. The crossing to North Africa is absolutely stunning, however you do it.
  • Granada: Although there are no direct train services from Malaga to Granada, there are regular coach services between the two cities, taking about 2 hours. Even if a car might give you the flexibility to stop off on the way there, it is no use in Granada itself, as the old city has very narrow streets with little space for cars.
  • Madrid – Although the low cost airlines have made flights to Madrid from the UK both cheaper and more accessible from regional airports, there is still a much wider selection of flights to Malaga. Now there is more than enough in Madrid to make it justify a trip in its own right, but if you have never been to the Spanish capital, it is certainly worth a look. Typical train times from Malaga are around 2 1/2 hours, with prices starting from around €35 one-way. Although it is possible to visit Madrid on a day trip from Malaga, a much wiser option is to fly to Malaga, take the train to Madrid and then fly home from Madrid – assuming flights are available back to your local airport.
  • Cordoba base: To get around Andalucia without a car, we suggest that Cordoba is a much better base than Malaga. From here, you can easily head east to Granada and Jaen, south to Antequera (by high speed AVE), west to Seville (AVE), and even north to the capital Madrid (AVE), which is less than 2 hours away. Sample parking price at the AC Palaccio – €18 per day or €126 for a whole week – almost four times as much as the cost of basic car rental!
  • Seville: Personal experience is that traffic in Seville is a complete nightmare, so driving there should be avoided if possible – the capital of Andalusia is notably larger than other cities in the region, and even has its own metro and tram lines. Yet the old town is surprisingly compact, and easily walkable. An Architour of the city should start at the Santa Justa train station anyway. Another must-see is the leaning bridge Alamillo bridge, designed by Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava – even though it was supposed to be built as a pair.
  • Parking: Although some resort hotels will offer free parking, it is always worth checking beforehand. We found one hotel in Malaga charging upto €23 per day for parking, so this can end up being much more costly than the car rental cost!

Verdict: When and where do I need a hire car in Malaga? This is a very close no recommendation, largely because Malaga is one of those places where there is an automatic assumption to get a hire car, yet there are plenty of very interesting excursions which can be done without one, by just about any method of transport going from mundane local buses and coaches to boats, superfast express trains and even helicopters. If you use the city of Malaga itself as a base, or consider our suggestion of Cordoba instead, then a you will be able to enjoy several different excursions without a car. For simply lazing in the sun, many resorts are easily reachable direct from Malaga Airport by train. However, for resorts west of the train terminus at Fuengirola, for staying in a villa, or for general flexible travel around the coast or the interior, car hire is still a good bet.

More suggestions for Malaga Airport Car Hire

  • Is it worth getting a hire car for part of my trip? Not really, when Malaga car hire is so cheap – unless you are having to pay for parking. We found car hire quotes from just £7.50 for a one day rental – but you can still get stung if you don’t return the car at the exact fuel level you hired it at.
  • Is there a price difference for Malaga Station car rental? Yes – this is slightly more expensive, from £80 for our sample week.
  • Can I rent a car at Malaga airport and return it somewhere different? Yes – return it to Malaga station (or vice versa), and you will pay the same price as a week’s hire from the station. You will also pay this price for drop-off in Seville or Granada, either at the airport or main station.. Avoid drop-off in Cordoba, this will set you back another £60.
  • How about drop-off at Madrid Airport? A week’s car rental from Malaga Airport, returned to Madrid Airport, will cost from £109 + tolls + fuel. We suggest dropping off at Malaga or Seville Station, and taking the AVE train from there – this will take around half the time of driving.

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

Probably not, especially if you are travelling outside the peak summer season. Since car rental in Malaga is often very cheap in the first place, it won’t make that much difference whether you hire a car for a couple of days or for the full week. The moment you want to visit Malaga in peak season, hire a more expensive model or include any extras that are charged at daily rates, then you might want to consider only having a car for some of your time here.

Generally, the best value car hire options in Malaga will be from the airport, where the most competitive deals tend to be found, rather than from car hire locations in resort, which don’t tend to have the same range of cars available.

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

You really don’t need to hire a car in Malaga to do most things and see most places, because there are plenty of other options available. As a younger driver in Spain, you can expect to pay a surcharge if you are aged between 21 and 25, whereas few Malaga rental companies will let you have a car if you are less than 21.

The idea of renting a car in Malaga would be that you can then venture further inland in Andalusia, and you could experience some amazing driving roads, as well as some spectacular hilltop towns and villages. However, there is still a good range of places that you can easily reach by bus, or by taking a train to Córdoba, so there’s little justification for looking at renting a car in Malaga if you are on a strict budget.

 

Do I need a car in Malaga if I am planning on staying downtown?

 

No, absolutely not! Public transport in the city of Malaga has improved substantially in recent years, not only with investment in a light rail route, but also with substantial regeneration around the main station. This has been in preparation for the arrival of the high speed AVE train, which will allow you to make very easy excursions to Córdoba and then potentially on to Madrid.

The main bus station in the city will also give you easy access to numerous towns and villages around Malaga and across the Costa del Sol, and Malaga also has ferry connections across the Mediterranean to the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla.

 

One other thing that you should bear in mind is that it even if your hotel does have a parking garage, your probably will still have to pay, as very few hotels in Spanish cities give overnight parking away for free.

Airport or City Centre car rental pick up?

 

Even if you don’t really need a car in Malaga, if you do want to hire a car for some of the time you are here, you might want to weigh up whether it’s worth renting a car in Malaga city centre, or if you can actually find a better deal at the airport. Since the airport is a quick and easy train link away, you might want to consider spending a few days in the city first, and then going back to the airport to hire a car.

If you want the best value option, you should also consider renting a car from the airport when you arrive, and then seeing if they will allow you to drop it off in the city centre after a couple of days without paying a surcharge. If not, you should still be able to drop it off at the airport and then make an easy transfer back to the city centre.

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

 

No, if you dislike driving or if you generally prefer to use public transport, there’s absolutely no need to hire a car in Malaga, because you can see and do plenty of things without one.

I usually try to perfer to drive – should I hire a car in Malaga?

 

Yes, if you like driving then you absolutely should hire a car in Malaga, because there are some amazing driving roads once you start heading into the interior.

One great example is the significantly improved road which stretches inland from Marbella towards the clifftop town of Ronda. Malaga is a great place to start a road trip around southern Spain, but even if you don’t want to tour around, there are still numerous different options for taking day trips.

If you are just looking for a way of getting around the local area during your stay here, then you might not actually need a car for this, because if you aren’t going any particularly great distance, it might be cheaper and simpler just to use local buses and taxis. Bear in mind that just because Malaga is one of the cheapest places in the world from which to rent a car, you can still get stung with hidden extras like fuel charges, and you will also have to pay for overnight parking in many hotels.

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

Absolutely not, but train services along the Costa del Sol are limited to the local stopping route which stretches from Malaga as far as Fuengirola. If you want to enjoy an impressive rail experience, then your best bet is to take the AVE high-speed train to Córdoba, and then either to continue on this all the way through to Madrid, or to head in the other direction towards the Andalusian capital of Seville.

For a more scenic experience, you could also take one of the local services which trundles deep into the Andalusian interior to a town like Ronda, but in all honesty, this is actually difficult to organise around local schedules, so it’s quicker to reach Ronda by car or bus.

You might also want to head over to Gibraltar to take the cable car up the Rock. You can take a very indirect regional service to get to La Linea and then walk across the border into Gibraltar, but it’s actually much easier to get there by bus.

If you see a decent train network asthe sort of system you would find in Switzerland or the Netherlands, then you just won’t find that here – in which case, you’ll probably find that you do need a car in Malaga.

 

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

The city of Malaga has some impressive Roman ruins as well as a museum dedicated to the city’s most famous son, the artist Pablo Picasso. However by far and away the most impressive architectural sites of Andalusia are further inland, either in the province’s capital Seville; in Córdoba where you will find a Great Mosque; or perhaps the most famous Moorish work of them all – Alhambra in Granada.

You absolutely don’t need to hire a car in Malaga if you want to see any of these locations and spend most of your time within the cities. By far and away the most easiest place to visit from the above is Córdoba, which is also an important junction for high-speed trains heading out of Madrid. To reach Seville by train, you will need to change in Córdoba anyway, and it is easy enough to visit both cities in a single day if you don’t hang around.

It’s also worth noting that the giant wooden sculpture in Seville is particularly interesting – what is it, what does it do, and what’s so special about the mathematics of it?

 

However, it’s not so easy to reach Granada by train from Malaga. You would need to allow the best part of a day to get there, as it’s a very winding and little used route. Instead, we would just suggest travelling there by bus, which shouldn’t take much more than a couple of hours.

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

 

Yes, if you want to see any of the hugely varied and rugged landscapes which you will find in Andalusia, then you really should hire a car in Malaga, because your options will be significantly limited if you just stick to using public transport.

Even though there are a small number of local train routes within the interior of Andalusia, services typically only operate once or twice per day, so it’s very difficult to organise any kind of hiking trip around this. The main train route out of Malaga is the high speed AVE service, which only stops once in Antequera on its way to Córdoba. The coastal service to Fuengirola is useful for reaching resorts, but there are only a limited number of places where you could get off and go walking.

The landscape along the Costa del Sol is nothing like as impressive as the landscape of the interior, and in particular we would recommend walking around the Sierra Nevada which sits to the south-west of Granada.

 

It’s also not very practical to try and get into the interior by bus, especially as the intercity coach services do not tend to stop very often.

However, there are still a few exceptions to this, and in particular, some of the most spectacular landscapes in the region can actually be reached without the need to hire a car in Malaga:

 

Sierra Nevada by bus – you can at least access the ski resorts if you take a bus from Granada.

Ronda by bus – you can hike around the hugely impressive clifftop town of Ronda, and this is easy enough to reach by bus from Malaga or Marbella.

The King’s Route (Camino Del Rey) – this famously dangerous hiking route which will take you high above the Ebro gorge has only recently reopened. You can access the start of the route using local buses, and there are also a number of tour operators who will provide guided walks here.

Gibraltar – this giant rocky outcrop can be reached by taking a bus from Malaga (or resorts like Fuengirola or Marbella) to La Linea and then walking across into Gibraltar from there.

 

 

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

 

Potentially only one. If you are travelling in the off-peak season, and staying in accommodation with free parking included, then it would probably still be cheaper to hire a car in Malaga, even if you are travelling alone. Generally speaking, at other times, you might need 2 to 3 people in the car to make it better value than taking local buses and trains, but this will really depend on whether or not you want to take the high-speed AVE service into Córdoba or Seville.

 

Generally, it’s worth hiring a car in Malaga if you can get a decent price at the time you make your booking, but this is much less likely to happen if you are booking for the peak season at the last minute. Bear in mind that the prices of most local bus and train services will be fixed year round, so this makes public transport much better value during the summer. The one major exception to this would be if you take any of the high-speed trains, where prices are variable according to demand.

Another thing to consider is that in addition to the car rental costs, you may well have to end up paying for various extras, and there are still some operators who will insist on making you return the car with an empty tank, and if you don’t, they will simply keep all that fuel that you have paid for.

Once you have added on the potential cost of motorway tolls (these can be avoided by taking slower local roads) and the possibility of having to pay for hotel overnight parking, you may well find that even for a group of 3 or 4 people, it is actually still cheaper just to use local buses or taxis. This is all going to vary a huge deal, depending on where you are staying, and also what sort of car you are thinking of renting.

We are senior citizens, should we rent a car in Malaga?

 

Generally, road safety in Spain is on a par with other European countries. It’s safer to drive here than it is in Italy, but it’s not as safe as it is in the United Kingdom or Scandinavia. Generally, roadside facilities and public utilities are good here, and there is no particular reason not to hire a car here for senior drivers or people with some mobility restrictions, as long as the lead driver is below the maximum age set by the rental company.

 

Spanish drivers are notorious for making hazardous overtaking moves outside towns, whereas road discipline inside urban areas tend to be quite good. As a pedestrian, you will find that most drivers are courteous, and that crossings are treated with respect.

 

 

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

 

Probably, but this will really depend on how far away from Malaga you are staying, and what other public transport options there might be for getting there.

 

In particular, if you are looking at flying into Malaga but actually staying in or near cities like Seville or Granada, then you don’t strictly need to hire a car to get to any of these places, but it could be a lot more convenient, especially if you are arriving late at night or departing first thing in the morning.

 

Public transport along the Costa del Sol is generally of a reasonable standard, although there are no trains if you are heading east of Malaga. Generally, if you are staying in a villa or a resort that is high up on a hill somewhere, or that isn’t near a town centre, then it’s also very much still going to be worth hiring a car in Malaga airport and then having the flexibility of using a car during your stay.

 

Just bear in mind that if you are staying somewhere that is much more central, and where parking is going to be a problem, it might just be worth checking first that you can match up your flights with some onward public transport. It’s very easy to transfer between trains and buses in Malaga, and the airport shuttle train at least run throughs into the early hours of the morning. Some of the busiest bus routes out of Malaga also run throughout the night.

 

 

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

 

It probably will be, but this would depend on whether you want to move on to a different place each evening, or if you are looking at possibly just staying in 2 or 3 different places and then travelling around locally from each base.

A classic loop around Andalusia is at the very least going to include the hilltop town of Ronda, the famous inland cities of Seville, Córdoba, Jaen and Granada. You may also want to experience some of the desert landscapes around Cabo De Gata near Almeria.

It’s easy enough to move between any of these cities by bus or train, but in terms of decent fast rail services, the most central place to be located is actually Córdoba rather than Malaga. However, just because there is good public transport service on some of these routes, if you actually want to move around and see many different places in between each of the major cities, then for that you really should rent a car at Malaga airport.

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

Yes – Malaga is absolutely the ultimate place from which to start a Spanish road trip. Not only is car-rental here generally extremely good value, especially outside the peak season, but you really can drive any direction (other than due south of course!), and you will see an amazing mix of cities and landscapes.

 

By starting your road trip from Malaga, there’s absolutely no need to restrict yourself either to just the Costa del Sol or the province of Andalusia. Driving further inland in Spain will open up some places which are very much off the tourist trail, yet if you want to, you can also still cover some substantial distances on the Spanish motorway network, which features some very modern and spectacular engineering.

However, bear in mind that if you are heading towards Madrid or if you are heading along the Costa del Sol, then your trip costs could be increased substantially by having to pay to use toll motorways. There are still various loops you could take within Andalusia which would make up for an amazing Spanish road trip, but where your usage of toll roads would be minimal.

Should we try to visit Malaga without a car because that’s better for the environment?

The Costa del Sol has suffered massively since the emergence of mass tourism here in the 1970s. This development has all been based around building resorts which are focused around people with cars, and traffic is a huge problem, especially on the main trunk roads around the city of Malaga, and also around the airport itself.

 

If you can visit Malaga without needing a hire car, then you won’t just help to reduce your own environmental footprint, but you also might well save a fair amount of cash in the process, especially if you are here during the peak summer season. Travelling by train in particular will have the lowest environmental foot print, as all the passenger rail routes out of Malaga are operated using electric trains.

 

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

Advice on One Way Rentals from Malaga

Yes – if you have a particular one-way trip in mind, then you should rent a car in Malaga and then drop it off in another city, rather than doing the other way round. This is because most car rental companies will work out one-way deals based on levying a surcharge on top of the cost of hiring a car in the place where it’s picked up, rather than in the place where it’s dropped off.

 

Since car hire in Malaga is already very competitive, then you could find yourself dropping your car off at a location where rental is much more expensive, but only paying a small amount more.

Another possibility to consider is that you might well live near an airport that has a relatively small number of flights to a city such as Seville or Granada, but a much wider choice of flights into Malaga. You could then find that by matching up a flight to Malaga with picking up a rental car there, you can then drop the car off in another city, and then fly home direct from there, without having the hassle of taking your car back to Malaga.

 

Generally, one-way rental charges in Spain will be set based on the distance between the location where you pick up the car, and the location where you drop it off. This could also mean that you don’t actually have to pay any one-way rental fee if you simply hire a car at Malaga airport and then return it in the city centre or to any other resort location around the Costa del Sol. You would also only expect to pay a relatively small charge if you drop off the car in another location in Andalusia, such as Granada, even if you are potentially cover the thousand kilometres driving around Andalusia in the meantime.

However, since there is such an abundance of choice in terms of places which are really worth seeing, and since there is a good network of roads across the province, you might well still find that your easiest and cheapest option is simply to hire a car in Malaga and then to drive around in a loop but then still return it to the same place at the end of your holiday.

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

Probably not. One of the great advantages of hiring a motorhome is that even though they are expensive to drive around, they are a great way of saving on accommodation costs. That’s really not such a great attraction in the Costa del Sol, which is already awash with accommodation of so many different types.

The advantage of having a motorhome might be for travelling to places where it’s much harder to get decent accommodation, especially during the peak summer season.

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