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Whether you are flying to Madeira for a short time or for a long holiday, the best way to move around the island is to rent a car.
There are several car rental companies on the island offering different solutions at very competitive rates. Renting a car in Madeira allows to move freely without having to rely on public transports.
It allows you to save time and to make the most out of it; being independent while organizing your tour around Madeira is a mandatory condition to enjoy your stress-free holidays on the island.
Car rental offices are located at the airport and in the main towns of the island, giving you the opportunity to rent a car for just a short time or at any other time of your holiday.
It is not recommendable to rent a car at Funchal airport, as companies often apply higher rates. The best solution would be walking into one of the many agencies located in Funchal, the capital of the island, which can be easily reached from the airport by public transports.
If you decide to book online choose to pick up the car in Funchal and return it at the airport in order to save some time on your departure day.
There are different types of rental cars at Funchal airport, ranging from cheap models – suitable for those who are traveling on a budget – to models featuring all the comforts. From small cars to mini vans suitable for families or small groups of friends.
Among the available companies at the airport and on the rest of Madeira there are some international groups like Hertz, Avis, Budget, Sixt and Europcar, as well as some local companies such as Insularcar, Atlantic Rent a Car, Bravacar, Funchal Car Hire, and so much more. Local companies may offer more convenient rates, although the quality of their services may be lower.
Low cost companies may have a stricter policy in case of small damages compared to bigger companies that offer a greater insurance cover.
Not all the roads of Madeira are in great conditions; roads can often be rough and have potholes on the surface. We recommend to subscribe an additional insurance policy, which is usually offered in addiction to the basic policy.
In order to visit some areas of the island, such as Pausa da Serra, Porto Moniz and Punta de Sao Lourenco, renting a car is mandatory as there are very few public transports covering these areas.
Our last piece of advice is to plan your transfers and movements and the kilometers that separate an area from the other. Roads are often full of curves and moving around may require a little longer than expected.
Both international and local companies are available online, therefore we recommend to book in advance in order not to miss the best options or, even worse, not to find a car.
The rules, limits and everything you need to know about driving a car in Madeira are the same as in Portugal: find out more in the Driving in Portugal section.
All international car rental agencies present within the airport of Madeira maintain schedules in line with flight arrivals, every day from Monday to Sunday. However some low cost car rental or local agencies around airport of Madeira may observe different times
To be on the safe side, we recommend that you check with your car rental agency.
The following models are some examples of the cars that you can rent at airport of Madeira.
Here are some quick answers to the most common doubts about car rental in Madeira.
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 Madeira were forced to reduce their car fleet to reduce operating costs.
When tourism in Madeira 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 Madeira a credit card or debit card is sufficient. However, when you go to collect the car, you will need:
The car rental companies in Madeira 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 Madeira always includes:
Any extras or additional insurance coverage are separate.