CAR RENTAL IN TENERIFE
To explore the island at your own pace, renting a car in Tenerife is definitely something to consider. You can simply reach more places by car than by public transportation. For example, you could rent a car at the airport to leisurely drive to your accommodation.
As mentioned in the chapter Transportation Options (click here), the circumference of the island is 342 km. In principle, you could drive around the island in 1 day. However, you wouldn't have much time to stop everywhere and enjoy all the beauty the island has to offer.
I would recommend renting the car for at least a week. Often, this turns out to be cheaper, even if you leave the car parked for a day.
What should you pay attention to when renting a car?
Book in time
Due to the Covid situation and the resulting lack of tourists, many rental companies have kept their car fleets low over the past 2 years, awaiting better times. Meanwhile, the stock is being replenished, and fortunately, it is easier - and more affordable - to book a rental car. However, it is advisable to book in advance.
This not only prevents disappointment but often saves considerably on price. If you book in advance, you can often still find a nice rental car with a daily rate between €20 and €35.
Don't save on insurance
Fortunately, most car rental companies offer a standard All-Risk insurance with no deductible, but still pay close attention when booking. Especially if you might drive along less well-paved roads, for example, a flying stone could otherwise cost you dearly.
Apart from possible stones that can damage the windshield on dirt tracks, car bumpers are often used to squeeze a car into a parking space that is slightly too small. A push forward, a push back and there you go: car parked! Incidentally, I do not recommend nor use this form of parking myself, but have witnessed it in my neighbourhood (where it can get quite busy in the weekend). So make sure to get that CDW insurance!
“Size does matter” – don't necessarily go for the smallest model
In terms of price, smaller models and mid-sized cars often don't differ much. Keep in mind that in the mountains, it can sometimes be quite steep. In that case, a slightly sturdier car model handles better on the road. However, don't choose a model that's too large, as you also want to be able to park easily. Personally, when I rent something somewhere, I usually opt for the middle ground.
Fair fuel policy
The petrol on the Canary Islands is - compared to Northern Europe - relatively cheap. However, this doesn't mean that some car rental companies don't try to make a profit by making you pay in advance for a full tank that you're allowed to 'empty'. If you refuel yourself, you'll actually end up saving money.
It's better, therefore, to find a rental company that offers a fair fuel policy. When picking up the car, for example, it might have a quarter tank, and when returning it, you ensure that the tank is also a quarter full
You might have considered renting a car and 'do' all the islands during your holiday by means of ferry. I am sorry to dissapoint you, but unfortunately it is currently not allowed to take rental cars off the island where you rent it.
This will also be specifically mentioned in the rental contract (in other words, you're not insured if you take the car to another island). Not every rental company has a depot on every island, and if there's a problem with the car, it can become an expensive affair.
Besides that, transferring a car – for non-residents – costs about the same as renting a car for 2 days. Therefore, it makes more sense to rent a car separately on each island. Or even consider island hopping by plane. Local airlines like Binter Canarias often offer competitively priced tickets for flying from island to island, so that's also an option.
This ominous heading concerns not so much the theft of the car itself, but rather its contents. The likelihood of a rental car being stolen is virtually nil. Most rental cars have a GPS tracker, so a thief won't get far with the car.
However, what you should be careful about is not leaving valuable items openly visible (wallet, iPhone, etc.). That sounds logical, but such theft often occurs when you least expect it.
For instance, you're enjoying a lovely drive around the island and decide to stop at a beautiful viewpoint. There's no one else around, except perhaps a few other cars with tourists who also want to take a photo. Nothing suspicious to see. Without thinking twice, you hop out of the car, camera in hand, to capture the ultimate vacation snapshot. Upon returning to the car, your bag is gone! With your wallet, driver's license, passport. There you are. On the FAQ page (click here), you can read what to do if it happens. But prevention is better than cure, so always stay alert!
The traffic rules in Tenerife
The traffic rules in Tenerife actually do not differ much from the traffic rules in the rest of Europe. However, it might be useful to familiarize yourself in advance, especially if you plan to rent a car. What are the speed limits on the road, what does "Vado Permanente" mean, and what should you do if your car has been towed because it was parked incorrectly? You can find all this information in this link.