How to rent a car on Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera – on all Canary Islands
There are many car rental companies both international and local on the Canary Islands. We found the second option better for us. Local car rental companies – Cicar or Plus Car.
We rented a car from both of them and can share the pros and cons of each company.
Features and benefits of Local companies Cicar and Plus Car as compared to international giants (Sixt, Avis…):
1) Comprehensive insurance included. You don’t have to worry about anything – without additional payment. The condition of the car being returned is not the point of interest for the company. We took a car from the parking site with terrible scratches and returned the same, sometimes having new ones. No problem!
2) What is the most important and positive – no need to give security! No funds from the card or in cash are charged for the insurance. It’s next to perfect. Especially in our situation with continuous booking of 6 cars successively. Therefore, we would not opt for international companies.
3) Complete trust. The cars sometimes are rented with full or half-full tank of fuel and we are asked to return it with the same volume. Some Cicar offices asked for additional payment, if we gave back half-full tank of fuel. But in most cases we just had to return it with the same quantity of liters. It’s also very convenient.
Now the benefits of Cicar opposed to Plus Car separately:
- 1) Cicar is a more powerful company has numerous offices in very accessible locations. You can rent a car from any starting point just in a few hundred meters from a port or airport.
- Each car is supplied with free island map. We were so pleased to have a paper map of each island that from now on we will always collect them during our travels.
- Cash. You can easily pay both in cash and by card.
- User-friendly website, all offices are easy to find.
- Prices are pretty low compared to international companies.
Disadvantages of Cicar. Of course there are some:
- Cars quality: old, scratched. Very big mileage as for rental. We usually had 40,000 km, and once there was even 70,000 km.
- Opel, Opel, and Opel – the only brand we always happened to receive. All models as if for the retired Germans(
- One car broke down and we were lucky to barely reach the office parking site. We easily were replaced with another one – Opel once more.
Now, the benefits of Plus Car:
- Brand new cars with no scratches.
- Reno Clio or Volkwagen Polo dominate here. This is one of the reasons why we didn’t opt for Cicar twice – we were fed up with Opel.
- Mileage of 2,000 km, new car not only from outside but inside as well.
- Models more suitable for the youth.
- Prices sometimes lower than at Cicar. Sometimes it was 50-70 € less.
Plus Car has more drawbacks:
- Lack of accessible booking forms. You must select car category, date, and office location on the website. Then a response from the administrator should be sent to the e-mail – whether they have any car of the chosen category in stock or not. If not, you should go back to the website and choose a different category and send a request once more.
- Much less offices, not in all ports. That is, there were fewer options when planning our route on all the islands, and commuting somewhere by bus is not our thing.
- Offices location – farther from the port or even airport than Cicar’s. It could be more than 1 km and just an estimated location stated on the website without google maps’ mark. Sometimes the office is near at Cicar office in the port. And sometimes far beyond.
- They don’t have a free island map (La Palma) and if they do, it’s not as good as Cicar’s.
- Not all employees speak English. (La Palma island).
- Payment by card only.
- None to return the car to. You need to leave it open with the keys inside the cabin at the airport on the general parking site (Cicar always has a special one like all international companies). How does the staff look for the car across the parking site? … It was a bit scary for us to leave the car just like that but we received no complaints on our e-mail.
In fact these drawbacks of Plus Car relate to the work arrangement. As for the quality of cars Cicar laps behind dramatically, though having better service. So service or a new car?
Further are the examples of our rentals on all of the islands with prices.
The first island – Gran Canaria. Cicar company. Mileage 48,000 km Opel Astra diesel. Price 18 € per day.
The second island – Tenerife. Cicar company. Mileage 59,000 km Opel Astra diesel. Price 26 € per day.
But this car wasn’t a long play. We were in the Mount Teide park at the altitude of 2,000 m when messages in German about some sort of problems started popping on the speedometer screen. We kept driving for some time, until our car overheated and the coolant boiled with such sounds that we had to wait quite long for it to cool down.
We asked the German tourists what was said there) The seniors had no idea)) We somehow managed to come down from the park and to reach the highway. And then again had to stop. It happened in an inconvenient place and the emergency sign was constantly blown by strong wind. We waited a bit and then headed for parking site near the Cicar’s office.
Barely did we reach the gate bar as the car completely stopped obeying, steering wheel failed to move without electrically assisted steering. Though we somehow managed to reach the place for Cicar staff and scarcely closed the car. It was clear that the generator for some reason failed to charge the accumulator and the accumulator as well exhausted all its power.
We parked and went to a coffee shop since the office opens only evenfall. Once the manager came in she talked with someone by phone and gave us other keys and contract.
They gave us another car – petrol operated Opel Corsa with mileage of 70,000 km ))
Right the next morning we revealed little scratch for the half-wing on the car parked by the sidewalk). So we gave it back in such condition.
The third island – La Gomera. Cicar company. Mileage 42,000 km Opel Zafira diesel. Price 34 € per day?!
It’s the most expensive island. And the most uneconomic price. It’s better for those leaving Tenerife and then coming back to take the car with them onto the ferry. We weren’t returning so rented a new car. La Gomera is a small island, but those willing to rent a car outnumbered the very cars available. Therefore, it’s worth booking in advance and the price may be lower. If you look for a car on arrival it’s likely no free cars will be at any company.
Family-type car, we had such for the first time.
In some ports offices look the following way. Closed. You need to call upon arrival and wait for a not English speaking manager to come. Here is our first encounter with Plus Car on La Palma island.
But we are happy that the 5th car is not Opel! Finally something new and even modern. That’s OK that the color isn’t that bright. We grabbed the car from unremarkable parking site beside the road where there were a couple of cars from Plus Car.
The fourth island – La Palma. Plus Car company. Mileage 2,000 km Reno Clio petrol. Price 17 € per day. It was more expensive at Cicar and we were tired of Opel.
At the end of our stay on La Palma we left the car on the common parking site at the airport. We forgot that the manager told us to leave the keys in the open car and used to search for the Plus Car office at the airport to hand the car over, but found none. We were a bit worried whether everything is OK and how will they find the car. But we weren’t asked anything afterwards.
We flew to Fuerteventura island and found capacity crowd for car rental. First, a dozen of companies, we have found several new names. The longest queues were both to Cicar and international companies. Though we saw plenty of stickers on cars from Cicar, occasionally from Herts or any other company on all islands.
We waited for our turn and received – Opel once again.
The fifth island – Fuerteventura. Cicar company. Mileage 39,000 km Opel Corsa diesel. Price 22 € per day. There wasn’t so much joy from getting a new car))
But we had driven this car so much through off-roads. Due to lack of paved roads in the most interesting places. Why Cicar provides its customers with low-profile tires?))
We handed the last Opel and headed for the next island.
We waited for Volkswagen each time and finally got it!
The sixth island – Lanzarote. Plus Car company. Mileage 6,000 km Volkwagen Polo petrol. Price 15 € per day.
Cool Think blue model. We quickly switched language from German to English and enjoyed all the amenities!
We even managed to turn on our music – the car recognizes sd-cards.
This car is more powerful compared with our own, with the same engine. Better cabin sound-proofing and all the details are nicer. Far better functionality. We were driving with pleasure.
Six islands – seven cars, two companies – 5,250 km. Incidentally, fuel costs exactly the same as in Ukraine. But the price in mainland Spain is much higher. That’s because the Canaries have lower tax and own fuel plants. Thus, it’s very convenient! And one more point: you can transport the car between islands only in case you return to the initial island. That is, from Fuerteventura to Lanzarote, then return the car at the office on Fuerteventura.
With love, RH.
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