Lanzarote is one of these places where you need to hire a car if you’re willing to visit a little.
It all depends on the type of holidays you want. If you only wish to lie down on the beach/pool and get tanned, you’ll probably be ok with your hotel’s transfer service.
On the other hand, if you’re letting a villa or apartment and are planning on discovering what Lanzarote has to offer, you’ll need to hire a car.
Public transportation is slow and riding more than one line is complicated
Locals call the bus “gua-gua” (pronounce wua-wua). They can get you to most of the island’s spots but:
- There are few of them. If you are staying in a village, you can be waiting for a loooong time at the bus stop before catching one.
- Once you’re in, you’ll be stopping everywhere. Great to discover all the small villages. Not so great if you’re on your way to the beach.
- Most bus lines come off Arrecife (Lanzarote’s capital, south of the island). Which means if you’re going somewhere that’s not right on the line you’ll be riding; you’ll have to go all the way to Arrecife to get the right line. Next thing you know, it took you 5h to go 20km up North.
In short, using public transport in Lanzarote is ok if you don’t need to change lines and if you plan a little in advance to make sure there is a bus coming around the time you’re willing to get moving. Otherwise, it can be a real hassle.
Taxis can be expensive compared to car renting prices
You’ll be able to find taxis upon your arrival at Lanzarote’s airport. Or to get one booked by your hostel’s reception if needed. They can be very handy, not saying you shouldn’t use them 😉
Our point is: hiring a car is so cheap in Lanzarote that riding a cab can easily cost you more than a full day of a hired car. To give you an idea, you can find cars to hire for as low as 20€/day in Lanzarote.
Comparatively, if you have a driver’s license, hiring a car is often the best deal.
Beware of scams
Some low-cost companies attract you with very low prices only to rip you off later on with hidden costs.
We had a bad experience with Goldcar.
And we weren’t the only ones. Angry customers testimonials flourish on the Internet.
They’re very cheap.
So cheap you might be waiting in line to get your rental car with half the people in your plane once you get to Lanzarote.
The wise ones who booked with another company will probably already be sipping a cocktail on the pool once you’ll eventually get your car.
That one time we rented a car with them, we queued for almost 2 hours. Only to get to the counter and be told they were applying a “full-empty” policy regarding oil tank.
They give you the rental car with a full tank. Ask you to return it empty. And charge you an outrageous amount for gasoline.
We had to pay 80€ for a tank fill that would have cost us 40€ in any of the island’s gas station.
The most important thing to look for when booking a rental car in Lanzarote is a “full-full” gas tank policy.
You get the car with a full tank. You bring it back with a full tank.
Simple as that.
Some local companies as Pluscar won’t fill the tank before giving you your car and ask you to bring it back with roughly the same amount of gasoline.
But don’t worry about the lack of precision. This one is not a scam. We even heard Autoreisen reimbursed people who gave back a much fuller tank.
Local companies tend to be cheaper and offer higher value
Rental cars companies in Lanzarote are working in a highly competitive environment. There are a LOT of them.
Therefore, local companies are unknown to the Canary Islands first timers and need to stand out.
So they tend to be cheaper. And to offer more services as full coverage insurance, second driver and baby-seats for free.
Have you ever hired a car in Lanzarote? Would you recommend a car rental company we didn’t mention?
Share your experience in the comment section so we can update this article with your recommendations.