Essential Information for Hiring A Car On Tenerife

Fri, October 11th, 2013 - By Andrea Montgomery

If you’re planning exploring Tenerife, the option that gives you the most freedom and flexibility is undoubtedly hiring a car and with over 100 rental companies operating across the island, it’s a popular choice for many visitors.


Roads on Tenerife


All the major international car hire companies operate on Tenerife as well as a number of smaller, local companies. Shop around as prices and terms vary hugely. If you’re collecting your car on arrival, be aware that not all firms have offices at the airport and you may have to be shuttled to a pick-up point which adds time and inconvenience to the process.

Most vehicles used by hire companies are less than two years old and in good condition.


Masca road


If you’re planning exploring the island away from the coast you should make sure you get a big enough engine to cope with some of the steeper climbs. It’s no fun crawling your way up from Los Gigantes to Santiago del Teide, looking on enviously as a banana truck overtakes. At the other extreme, getting down the road to Masca is tricky enough in a standard saloon, the bigger the vehicle you’re driving, the more likely you are to have to wait for oncoming traffic to pass before continuing your journey.

Generally speaking, roads on Tenerife are in good condition. Away from the motorways, roads can be very winding and narrow in parts but surfaces are generally as good as you’ll find in the UK. Slow down if it rains as surfaces get slippery after long periods of drought.


Snow in Teide National Park


Diversions and road closures are rare on Tenerife except around Teide National Park if there has been heavy snow in winter; if there is a risk of forest fires in high summer and for the occasional cull of mouflon. In high winds or heavy rain the road from Buenavista to Punta de Teno is deemed unsafe and shouldn’t be used.

Maps and Signage
I have yet to find a map on Tenerife that is 100% accurate but as most places are well signed any decent map will suffice and you can find a selection of them at kiosks around the island. Choose one with major town and resort street map sections that clearly show public parking areas (see below).


Flooded car park


Parking can be an issue within your resort. In Playa de Las Americas and Puerto de la Cruz for example you may have to park quite a distance from your hotel and pay a daily fee. Bigger hotels have parking available but there’s never enough for every guest and it’s usually an additional cost. Regardless of what the locals appear to get away with, make sure you obey the no parking zones or you could find your car towed and an on-the-spot fine to be paid.


Roads on Tenerife


All in all, driving on Tenerife can be a joy.  Get away from the busy resorts, off the motorway and into the hills to enjoy some top Tenerife drives.

Posted : Friday, October 11th, 2013 at 11:24 am
Category : about tenerife
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3 Responses to “Essential Information for Hiring A Car On Tenerife”

  1. Dexterbell says:

    You had done a great task by describing the car rental tips, it would really help everybody who wants to best car hiring
    deal and i really want to thank you for this article because i am thinking about hiring limo car for my next tour and all
    these tips would be helpful to me.

  2. Elizabeth Robertson says:

    We were hoping to rent a car while on holidays in Tenerife. Are the road signs in English or Spanish? Your article doesn’t mention this point


    • Hi Elizabeth, that’s a good question and one which I should indeed have covered. The road signs are in Spanish although most of them are self-explanatory and are in the same format you would expect at home – for example warning signs are red and white triangles and speed restrictions show kilometres in a red and white circle. Here are a couple of useful signs:
      Siga Derecho – One Way, with an arrow showing the legal direction.
      Ceda El Paso – Give Way
      Sin Salida – Dead End
      Salida – Exit
      No Tiene La Preferencia – you do not have right of way
      STOP is still STOP.
      I hope that helps and maybe I’ll do a follow-up post on road signs. Have a great holiday!

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