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To move around the islands, the best solution is undoubtedly to rent a car, while motorcycles and scooters are less suitable due to the variable and often rainy weather.
In the small airports of the Azores you will find some of the best known international car rental companies, such as Avis, Hertz or Europcar, flanked by a couple of local agencies, the most common of which are Ilha Verde, Azores Autos and Auto Turistica Faialense.
Ilha Verde in particular is the most present company on all the islands and often operates in partnership with the international brands mentioned above. Therefore, it could happen that even though you have booked, for example, with Avis, the service will in fact be offered by Ilha Verde.
Keep in mind, however, that the car park is not large, the available cars are therefore few and especially during high season is essential to book well in advance your car, not to find yourself stranded as happens every year to many travelers incredulous that there is not even a free car.
The car, as we said, is the best way to visit the Azores, only in this way you can reach the many miradouro, discover the equipped coves where you can take a dip in the ocean, drive along beautiful roads lined with hydrangeas and move between places of interest in complete autonomy.
In fact, the Azores have to reckon with public transport which is not very widespread and infrequent, making it impossible for tourists to visit.
In the Azores, then, the changeable weather will affect your days a lot, making you change your plans often. With a car it will therefore be much easier to move from one area to another according to the weather.
Due to the lack of restaurants, in the evening you will often have to take the car to go to dinner.
The inhabitants of the Azores are very diligent drivers, but in any case the traffic will be the least of your problems, given the small number of cars in circulation. You will encounter a few more cars in Ponta Delgada, but otherwise you will often find yourself driving the roads alone.
Driving around the streets of the Azores is really a pleasure and an experience in itself, you will feel like you are constantly in one big garden. On the islands, the roads are often winding, the only fast roads are in fact in Sao Miguel, but we recommend, when possible, to drive along the beautiful secondary roads that offer incredible views at every turn.
Finally, a colorful note about parking: in the Azores the inhabitants often park in a “creative” way, if we can say so, often leaving the car literally in the middle of the road. But in areas where everyone drives slowly and calmly, it is never a problem.
The following models are some examples of the cars that you can rent in Azores.
Here are some quick answers to the most common doubts about car rental in Azores.
More and more people are choosing to rent a car to reduce contacts and increase social distancing, avoiding the often crowded public transport.
Car rental companies are committed to higher hygiene standards to minimize the risk of transmitting the virus.
All the safety measures we are accustomed to are taken at the rental desks and the cars are disinfected after each rental, especially the areas most at risk, such as seats, gearboxes, handles and steering wheel.
Undoubtedly yes. During the pandemic, almost all car rental companies in Azores were forced to reduce their car fleet to reduce operating costs.
When tourism in Azores has restarted, due to the crisis in raw materials and electronic components, they have not managed to buy back enough cars.
The consequence is that today every company has far fewer cars than in 2019 and cannot cope with the high demand. This leads to higher prices and less availability, especially during the high season.
The advice we give you is therefore to book the car well in advance, both to get the best prices but above all to be sure of having a rental car.
To reserve a car in Azores a credit card or debit card is sufficient. However, when you go to collect the car, you will need:
The car rental companies in Azores allow to rent a car to all those who are between 21 and 70 years old. However, there is an additional cost for under 25 and for those over 70.
A car rental in Azores always includes:
Any extras or additional insurance coverage are separate.