Why rent a car in Madeira?
If you’re wondering about renting a car in Madeira or what’s the best way to get around the island, this post is a must-read.
*Information in January 2019
Reasons to rent a car in Madeira:
1. See more in less time
At first sight, Madeira may seem like a small island with a length of 57 km (east to west) and a width of 22 km. However, when you take a closer look, you realise that it takes about 3-4 hours to get from Funchal to Porto Moniz, by public transport, but only about 1 hour to get there by private car.
Why? Due to its mountainous terrain. The public bus itinerary is generally longer because it includes a few stops which serve the locals that live along the route. By car, you can drive through roads and tunnels to reach the destination more quickly.
2. Enjoy well signed roads
Most roads in Madeira are well signed. The fastest routes are VR1 (motorway) and Via Expresso: VE1, VE2, VE3 and VE4 that interconnect the main locations in the island.
3. Drive on incredible scenic roads
Madeira offers about 170 km of coastline, with spectacular roads by the sea and the cliffs. On some trails, you can see beautiful waterfalls along the road, especially on the north and south-west coast.
4. Travel at your own pace
On holidays, nobody likes to be in a hurry. I would rather have the “stop whenever you feel like it” kind of trip. When renting a car, you can obviously travel at your own pace, as you do not have to follow the bus schedule. Note that in some parts of Madeira, there are only 2-4 bus trips per day.
5. Go to the beach and the mountains in one day
One of the things I enjoy the most when driving a car in Madeira, is to go from the sea to the peaks on the same day. I can start my morning by soaking up the sun at the beach, then have lunch somewhere in the misty mountains. Afterwards, I can go for a Levada walk and finish off my day, watching the most amazing sunset at one of Madeira’s highest peaks.
Last week, I rented a car at Why Not Car Rental in Madeira. I hope this article can help you clarify some of the most frequently asked questions, regarding car rental.
1. Which is the best car to drive in Madeira?
I was looking for an economical car option, so I went for a class B – a Fiat 500, gasoline. The car was in good condition (plus it came with some nice free extras like a fixed glass roof, USB charger and Bluetooth to connect your phone). I had no issues while driving it, even when I drove up the steep and hilly road to Pico do Areeiro. However, make the best decision according to your budget. If you’re more than two passengers, carrying extra luggage or if you plan to drive out of the main roads, it’s better to go for a more powerful engine.
When choosing the type of car, also take into consideration that in Madeira there are cliffs, steep and narrow roads. We drive on the right-hand side, and you’ll need to use the clutch quite often. Drive carefully and respect the speed limits. Remember to check in advance, if you have free parking in your accommodation, otherwise consider that extra cost on your rental budget.
2. Which documents do you need to rent a car at Why Not Car Rental?
You need a valid ID/Passport, plus a driving license which is valid in Portugal/EU.
3. How to book a car rental reservation at Why Not Car Rental? And how much can it cost?
You can book on their website, by phone +351 969 528 916 (WhatsApp available) or by email.
This was my experience in 5 steps:
STEP 1 ⇒ I sent an EMAIL to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following info:
- Name and age
- Type of vehicle – You can visit the website to see the type of vehicles available as well as their prices.
- Pick up/drop off location (Funchal office / Airport Office – Santa Cruz).
- Pick up/drop off dates and times – Regular opening times are 8h30 to 18:30h. (Outside this schedule there’s an out of hour fee)
If you plan to pick up/drop off your car at Madeira’s Airport, the Why Not Car Rental Office is in Rua do Cano 9, Santa Cruz (about 3 minutes drive from the airport). So, their van will pick you up at the airport arrivals (you can send them your flight number in advance). You can also ask for hotel deliveries/collection, but there’s an extra fee according to the location.
STEP 2 ⇒ I received an EMAIL with 2 price options: with or without full coverage.
The price is variable according to the number of days you rent the car (1-2 days, 3-6 days or 7+ days). For rentals of 7 + days, the daily rate for my Fiat 500 was 24,00 euros* / day.
STEP 3 ⇒ Choose the car rental option that suits your needs to get an email with the reservation number.
Be sure to save the reservation number to present at the pickup.
STEP 4 ⇒ PICK UP
I picked up the car at the Why Not Car Rental -Funchal Office. It’s centrally located in Funchal, on the north side of the Municipal Garden, nearby Madeira Tourism Office.
Address: Rua Ivens, 12, 13-B 9000-046 Funchal.
We handled the documentation quickly, and I got a copy of the contract. The parking is next to the office. After checking for any external damages in the car, I was ready to leave the garage. The staff was very polite, friendly and helpful.
STEP 5 ⇒ DROP OFF
I drove back to the garage in Rua Ivens. They checked the car to see if there were any damages and keys were delivered. P.S- Don’t forget to refill the car before dropping it off. It happened to a friend of mine, and he almost lost the flight rushing to find the nearest gas station!
Why Not Car Rental delivered a great service, the car did not disappoint, and the staff was friendly and professional. For more information about this Car Rental in Madeira click here.
So, here are some of the highlights of my experience of renting a car in Madeira. I hope it helps you to plan the next road trip on the island 😉
Disclaimer: This blog post was supported by Why Not Car Rental but the opinions expressed here are my own.