Car Hire in Tenerife
This information is correct as of April 2015
Get more out of your sunshine holiday in Tenerife by hiring a car. Enjoy fantastic day trips around the island, visit far flung beaches and quaint fishing villages, or just appreciate the freedom to get off the resort without having to wait for a taxi or local bus. With Skyscanner you can compare the best deals on car hire in Tenerife to find the perfect vehicle.
Where to hire a car in Tenerife
Car hire is available in all of the major towns and tourist areas in Tenerife, so you can pick up your car once you arrive at your destination if you prefer. Alternatively you can hire a car on arrival at Tenerife South Airport from Hertz, Avis, Europcar, Goldcar, and Cicar. Cicar, Avis, Hertz and Europcar also have a base at the island’s other airport, Tenerife North.
Driving in Tenerife
Like most of Europe, traffic in Tenerife sticks to the right hand side of the road. When you hire a car in Tenerife it’s likely that the steering wheel will be on the left. Take a few minutes in the parking lot to get used to the controls; your gear stick will on the right side, too. Take extra care at roundabouts (you go anti-clockwise) and T-junctions (if you’re turning left, you will need to cross over the road). Also bear in mind that, in Spain, children under the age of 12 are not allowed to sit in the front passenger seat.
Although traffic laws are the same as mainland Spain, Tinerfeños have a few of their own customs you should know about. If the car in front of you indicates left when there’s no upcoming turn, he’s warning you that he’s about to stop to let another vehicle out. Instead of flashing headlights to say “thank you”, it’s customary to give a short sharp blast on the horn. During rush hour, drivers queue for busy exits on the hard shoulder. On smaller roads it’s not uncommon to see cars stopped in the middle of the road while the driver chats to his mates. This is island life: don’t get too worked up, just pass when it’s safe to do so.
Sundays are one of the busiest days on Tenerife’s roads, so if you’re planning a day trip it might be better to do it during the week.
Parking in Tenerife
Free on-street parking is available in towns and villages, even in the tourist resorts. There are also plenty of underground car parks. You will have to pay to use them, but on the plus side the shade will keep your car nice and cool. Many of the large shopping malls offer free parking for their customers, and beaches usually have a small car park too. It’s always best to arrive early if you want a good space.
Great day trips in Tenerife
Teide National Park
Even if you came to Tenerife for the beaches, it’s worth heading inland for a drive around this UNESCO World Heritage Site. There’s lots of beautiful scenery, with shady hiking trails lined with wildflowers. You can take a cable car to the top of Mount Teide, Spain’s highest peak, where you can get excellent views across to the rest of the Canary Islands.
Tenerife’s oldest theme park is one of the island’s top family attractions. It’s home to the world’s largest collection of parrots but also has chimpanzees, sea lions, dolphins, orcas, flamingos, and a beautiful orchid garden. Movie buffs might recognise the park from the pre-title sequence of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005).
San Cristobal de la Laguna
The culture capital of the Canaries, La Laguna is known for its fantastic festivals and excellent tapas bars. The island’s former capital is a great place to get a taste for Spanish city life. The city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but it’s not staid or boring. The 30 thousand students from the city’s university see to that.