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Rent a car in Tenerife

Rent a car in Tenerife is dangerous! The majority of tourists visit the island think so. It’s caused often by own negative experience or by stories of other travelers. Despite this rent a car on the island becomes more and more popular. Because it’s a little boring to stay here and don’t rent a car. Of course there are some pitfalls, but you can avoid them following some easy rules, like “first read, then sign”. We would like to pay attention to the most popular fears among the tourists renting cars. Insurance, unfamiliar roads, providing of personal data, bank card details, deposit, hidden payments, confusing contract’s conditions. First of all, let’s see if you really need to rent a car in Tenerife? If you’re sure about the answer and necessity of rent a car you can switch to the section “Rental risks”.



Many tourists complain, that they come to have a rest especially from the driving, they to take some alcohol or simply take a sun on the beach. They are right it’s one of the principal aim to come here — to have a rest from the usual style of life. But you are already here in Tenerife and can’t miss it, and don’t visit the most popular and unique sightseeing. All the more who said anything about renting a car for the whole period of vacation, rent it only for a couple of days.
Considering to take some alcohol driving a car it’s not a problem. In Spain the general limit for drivers of private vehicles is 0.05%. It’s 350 ml of wine or 750 ml of bear approximately. But it’s better to wait for a while after have a drink, about one hour for be sure. If you are used to drink more, so, rent a car is not for you and it’s better to have a rest in the nearest zone to your hotel.



If you are interested only in a beach rest rent a car can be useful for you. Tenerife is the island in the ocean. Wherever you go you will find a beach. Don’t limit yourself with the nearest one, because you can visit numerous beaches here for all tastes. And in addition you will be able to know the island.



Certainly you can travel by tourist buses or public buses but this article is dedicated to persons who prefer a comfortable travel and choose a route by themselves without restriction. One thing remains constant — to explore the island is necessary. If you can see all the island La Gomera only in a couple of days, then multifaceted Tenerife will surprise you with a variety of its beauties.

Well, let’s see in details every “pitfall”. We can start from the main one — Insurance.
The most important that it is worth to remember. In Spain any car without compulsory insurance can’t be even parked on the street due to the law. That’s why any renting car, as minimum, already has compulsory insurance. A lot of people are scared that they always need to ask about full insurance. Now it’s important to read carefully and don’t miss any information. REMEMBER, full insurance doesn’t exist in our understanding. We can reason logically there is no any insurance company that can give full insurance to the all fleet of rental company or the price of this insurance will be so expensive that influence the cost of rent in negative way and cause disadvantages of business. So what’s being called full insurance? Legally it’s the waiver of rights of rental company. Often it’s called franchise or full insurance if you prefer so. In fact, yes, it’s so, it’s full insurance, but not from insurance company, it gives you a rental company by itself for extra fee or including the cost of this in a rent price. Why it’s so important to know? For don’t be getting caught by tricks in the contract. For example, it’s indicated in the contract that a price includes insurance that company possess, it doesn’t mean full insurance. Of course there are some exceptions if the rental company is an affiliated one of insurance company. But I’m not informed about such companies. The question is another actually: for what you need this insurance, if you pay really for nothing. That’s up to you. Usually normal insurance is enough, but there is some risk especially for unexperienced drivers, like fall asleep driving or don’t go into a bend. Let’s see some examples and everybody can decide it for himself.

Let’s consider an example of rental housing. You rent an apartment. For what are you responsible? You are not responsible for pipe failures, or if somebody break into this apartment (except a case when you’ve left it opened) if cut off electricity for non-payment, but if you break an iron or a glass of window the owner of the apartment can demand a compensation (that’s why it’s called the waiver of rights). The same is with the rental car. If damages are caused by third parts or by their fault all damage is covered with insurance, as a rule, there are no any problems in this case, local people only fix damages for insurance company and go further. If an insurance company is responsible their agents will help you to fix and arrange everything by phone or coming to the place of accident. If the perpetrator escaped and left you in a parking space in this case it must be covered with insurance also, but certainly you need to call police and they will try to find a guilty part. But if you hit a car by yourself missing a parking pole or racing in a motorway or lose control then it’s your fault and you need to pay.


Mandatory insurance


Somebody crashed your car
Yes

You crashed a car
Your car no, third car — yes

You slashed a tire
Yes (but many companies take out this case)

You slashed a tire and have been driving more with it about 200 km.
No

Somebody scratched your car in parking and escaped
Yes (it’s need to be fixed appropriate)

You broke a side-view mirror when turning
No

“Full” insurance

Somebody crashed your car
yes

You crashed a car
Yes

You slashed a tire
Yes

You slashed a tire and have been driving more with it about 200 km.
No (as a rule companies don’t care about it and don’t charge you)

Somebody scratched your car in parking and escaped
Yes

You broke a side-view mirror when turning
Yes

Mandatory insurance of some companies include additional options, like tow truck, accident insurance for a driver and passengers and some details of a car, for example windshield. If you are experienced driver and mandatory insurance is fine for you ask a price list for car details and caused damages because many companies evaluate car details 3-4 times more expensive than their real price, it’s better to know. But also many companies limit a sum of compensation. Remember! If you park a car on the ground or off road insurance doesn’t work. Also may European citizens contract a special travel insurance what include health insurance and other unplanned costs.

The situation with additional drivers also is interesting. It’s possible that many rental companies throw a rock at me but remember — extra payments for additional drivers is only a folly of rental companies. Let’s think logically. Insurance policy is given for a car, not for a driver, imagine how long it would take to make a policy for each driver or every contract. And only insurance company have right to make this policy, because most of them are digital. So any person can drive a car in presence of person indicated in a contract. Another question that this person is not in a car... however you need to remember one detail. Many insurance companies reducing the risk make conditions restricting age and driving experience. Because of this many rental cars refuse to rent a car for persons younger of indicated age or raise a price for rent. In a case of accident some conditions of insurance don’t spread on such driver (or don’t remain valid at all).

One more point. Unfortunately, clients mostly don’t read a contract. And many companies use a trick. You pay for full insurance, and the small print say that damages in parking, tires, details of interior are not covered. In fact, you’ve paid for full insurance but it’s not so and it’s indicated in a contract that you have not read. We’ll give you a good advice if a rental company don’t have a return form that you sign before giving back a car or leaving a key in a special box make a photo of a car for don’ t be charged then for scratches or damages of third part (also it’s useful to make a photo or even video before).


From our own experience driving in Tenerife is polite and calm but remember that not everybody like you can follow traffic rules. And some tourists are used to drive left side. But for cause damage for more 5000 euro you need to make it hard. So we switch to the next question and we’ll consider it quickly. Driving in other country with unfamiliar roads. Any route is only a road with the same signs and rules. It’s strange but not dangerous, as we referred to before drivers are mostly polite and understanding of course there are some exceptions. Don’t be afraid of missing you turn — you are on the island. The main problem here is numerous roundabouts and interchanges. Traffic lights you can find only in big cities in the North of the island. There are not so many signs “main road” but a lot of “give way” and you will notice them also in a lane on the roads. Commonly cars inside the roundabout have priority but there are some exceptions (check “give way”).



Now let’s speak about parking. It’s no easy to find a free parking space sometimes especially during the day in the center of the city but in the evening it’s not a problem. Parking space on the streets is for free is the parking is paid you will see a barrier in the entrance. It’s prohibited to park on yellow lines, fine is 80 euro and also your car can be moved that increase a fine on 60 euro. But there are some yellow zigzag lines where you can park a car in definite hours and days off. It’s indicated on the sign but don’t forget indicated hours are hours when parking is prohibited. We’ll consider some fines further.


So, we’ve got some more points. What you need for reservation and is it so dangerous to leave your personal information. The main document for rental car is a driving license in original. Usually international driving license is not necessary. Some rental companies ask also your passport. The rest of documents is different in different companies. They can ask your contact phone number, email, home address in case of fines. And the most thrilling thing: they ask data of your bank card. For some companies any type of card (debit/credit) is suitable, others accept only credit cards. Some rental companies make a preauthorization of deposit; others charge you directly. In some cases, don’t ask anything and this is strange.

Ask deposit is normal. Rental company also suffer from scam and irresponsible persons. Keep in mind you don’t rent a bicycle you rent a car so you need to guarantee at least cost of fuel and loss of key. Any rental agent has a lot of stories how clients don’t pay for fuel or leave a car in another part of the island. If the rental company is official and all conditions are performed they refund your deposit (sometime it takes time to get refund on a bank card but it depends on the bank). It’s one more reason to read a contract with attention. If you sign a contract and don’t speak this language what means that you don’t understand what you sign you can argue it but It can take years.
With regard to your personal information any rental company must protect their data bases and protect your personal information from dissemination. Dissemination of personal information is a criminal offence in Spain. A small advice: don’t be afraid of asking about complaint box if you suspect a cheating. In Spain it’s called “Libro de reclamaciones”. It’s an important document issued by the main state body on the island. These complaint boxes are carefully checked. If a company refuse to give it to you than you are right about cheating or it’s unofficial “rent a car”.
Finally let’s speak about some fines. Any rental company has to transfer a personal information of driver broken speed limit for example. Speeding is fixed usually by cameras and is sent during next few months. Fine of speeding depends on gravity and can be between 100-600 euro. Also the most common fine is not wearing of seat belts — 200 euro (even in the third seat row), not using of baby seat — 200 euro, using of phone without hands-free — 200 euro and illegal parking — between 80 and 200 euro. If you leave a car in the zone of unloading or discharge your car can be moved to the impound lot that will be cost to you 50-60 euro at least and even more for every day of storage. For knowing in what impound lot is your car now, you need to find a number of “Deposito” of your zone and to call there telling the registration number. Than you need to go to necessary impound lot. Here you need to show a contract of renting and your driving license, if you have it inside the car — warn about it. It’s better to know that you can’t be able to pay by card or in cash in some impound lots that’s why ask this information in advance by phone. As a rule, it’s possible to pay a fine there. If you pay it during 20 days from the moment of registration you will get a discount of 50%. In other words, you will pay not 80 but 40 euro. What’s happen if I don’t pay? The most frequent question of clients. For rental company it doesn’t matter because it only transfers your personal information to the police and police decides to send it to your home address. But actually for non-European citizens it can turn in next refusal of a visa — we don’t have any proved confirmation of this. Also you can pay fine in the nearest post office or by internet, the instructions are written on the fine paper (but in Spanish).

I hope that above mentioned information hasn’t scared our readers, keep in mind, we concerned exactly frightens and actual problems. There are more advantages of rent a car. And other articles of our web site tell you about interesting places and advantages.

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