There is no reason you should ever overpay for a car rental in Tenerife. It’s one of those things that can save you a lot of money if you book with the right place. That’s why we’re going to cover the different options for cheap car rentals in Tenerife in this post.
Tenerife itself is quite a small island and it is easy to get around by car or public transport. We’ve done both and definitely find it convenient renting a car. Especially if you plan on going hiking in Tenerife to some of the more remote locations.
If you’re a digital nomad, remote worker, or someone just coming for a holiday to Tenerife then make sure to book your rental car in advance. Prices can increase if you book it last minute just based on supply and demand.
Cheap car hires in Tenerife
First things first, if you plan to rent a car while you’re in Tenerife then we recommend picking one up at the airport. Car rentals from Tenerife South Airport or Tenerife North Airport are usually always cheaper than anywhere else. And as a bonus, by picking up the car right away you don’t need to pay for a taxi or bus to the city you’re going to.
There are plenty of rental car companies both at the Tenerife South and North Airport. It can get a little overwhelming with all the different options but don’t worry. We found the cheapest car rental company in Tenerife by a mile and they’re actually pretty solid.
Cicar Car Rental Tenerife South and North
I have no idea why Cicar doesn’t show up at the top of Google when you search for cheap car rentals in Tenerife. In our opinion, it is by far the best option. We’re not directly affiliated with Cicar but since we had a great experience with them (we’ve used them multiple times). And it was the cheapest car rental in Tenerife we found, so the least we can do is share it with all of you.
Prices will fluctuate depending on how far in advance you book the car rental and the time of year you’re going. If you’re booking during a holiday weekend it will be more pricey, for example. But from research Cicar is up to 50% cheaper than most other companies for any given week.
Say you want to rent a Cicar car rental for November 22nd-29th, 2021 this costs€150/week for a car. This is about€21.5/day. Most competitors’ rental carscost almost double for the same week. The standard price we found was€260/week which is about€37/day. In this scenario, by going with the cheaper option, you save€110/week. You can buy a lot of tapas with that money!
So just by looking at an average weekly price, you can already see the difference between rental car companies. As we mentioned before, the price can change from week to week and how early or late you book your car rental in Tenerife so you have to take that into consideration as well.
For the most part though, Cicar will always be significantly cheaper than its competitors. We have no idea why there’s such a gap in price. The cars we had were good and reliable and the service at the counter with the lady working the desk was quite pleasant too. So, all in all, Cicar was a steal of a deal and we couldn’t be happier with them.
Best practices when renting a car in Tenerife
There are a few things that might be good for you to know about renting a car in Tenerife (and in general). The tips below can save you time, money, and a lot of hassle if you follow them. Do yourself a favour and read through them.
#1 Pay attention to drop off time
Quite often, car rentals work for 24 hours at a time. So when booking your rental car, pay close attention to the pick-up and drop-off time. If you are able to drop it off earlier in the day than when you originally picked it up, you likely save some money than if you drop it off later.
If you, for example, pick up the car at 3pm on Monday and you hand it back in at 6pm the next day, you might end up paying for two days! Just because it’s more than 24 hours. Try to adjust the pick-up and drop-off time before finalizing your rental contract to see if you can save some moolahs that way.
#2 You can drop off your rental at a different location
Did you know that in Tenerife, most of the time you can pick it up and drop it off at a different location for the same price? For example, if you fly into Tenerife South Airport, rent a car from the south airport and then drive to Puerto de la Cruz or wherever you’re staying.
You can drop the car off either at the north airport or a different location close by. This shouldn’t cost you extra money either. At least between the two airports. That’s why we always recommend renting straight from the airport.
#3 Do your own research before booking
So as we mentioned before, we used Cicar multiple times while we were in Tenerife and they were by far the cheapest option we found. That being said, it is a saturated market and many factors come into play when booking a car rental.
That being said, we suggest you do your own research before booking a rental car in Tenerife to see which option is the cheapest for you. Use a site like discovercars.com to compare all the different rental car companies specifically for the dates you’re looking to rent.
#4 Check the tire pressure
Another thing you should always do when you get your rental is to check the tire pressure before you leave the parking lot. We had it happen once (not in Spain but in New Zealand) where we got a rental car and the back tire was 50% empty….yeah not great.
#5 Check the gas gauge
Another thing we recommend doing before you leave the parking lot is to see if the gas gauge is completely full. If not, check your rental papers and see if the gas gauge has been claimed as full and what the delivery is on it. You don’t want to have to pay to fill up a car if it wasn’t full in the first place.
With Cicar, we got a half-empty gas tank BUT the paper also stated that we only had to deliver it back half full so in this case, it was fine. So just double-check that before leaving the airport.
#6 Bring a credit card and your ID
Always bring a credit card and ID with you when you pick up the rental car. Depending on the rental company and their policies, you might not be able to actually rent the car if you do not have a credit card and your ID with you. You really don’t want that to happen.
If you follow these steps, then hopefully you should be good to go. The process is easy. You can book it all online and then once you’re at Cicar or whichever company you decide to go with you show them your confirmation email and you’ll be on the road in no time.
Our personal experience with renting a car in Tenerife
So we actually flew into the south airport, got the car from Cicar right away and drove up to Puerto de la Cruz. We had the car for 10 days and it was absolutely perfect. Even though we spent a full month in PDLC it was nice to have a car for at least a portion of the trip.
You can totally get around by public transport and it’s relatively cheap but not always super convenient. So if you plan to do it like us and rent a car for a portion of your trip then try and use it to get out to some of the places further away from the cities like the Anaga National Forest or up to El Teide.
The island really isn’t that big so you can drive the car almost anywhere. We took it up to Mount Guajara which is one of the best hikes in Tenerife. So in that case it was super convenient. You can just pick and choose when and where you want to visit and don’t have to be dependent on public transport.
That being said though, for shorter trips and places and areas close to the city, public transport is great in Tenerife. We took a bus from PDLC to this amazing winery called Casa del Vino up in the hills and the public transport wasn’t a problem.
So basically what we’re saying is that it’s great to have a car for a portion of your trip but you can also get around by public transport. Tenerife is small, fun, and full of adventures so no matter if you go deep into the mountains or somewhere right in the city there’s something to do.
You may also like…
- 7 Amazing Hikes in Tenerife With Breathtaking Views
- The Best Sunset Spot in Tenerife – Montaña Roja
- Exploring The Famous Rambla de Castro Trail – Tenerife
- How to Hike Cruz del Carmen to Chinamada – Tenerife
If you’re looking for any inspiration or recommendations of things to do, you can always DM us on Instagram or comment down below. And if you’re looking for inspiration on things to do, you can check out some of our hiking posts for Tenerife. We hope you have the best time exploring this beautiful island!
Dom & Jo
Red White Adventures