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Car hire - does it worth it?

United Kindgom...
Level Contributor
4 posts
4 reviews
Car hire - does it worth it?


Can anybody please advise whether it is worth to hire a car in Madeira?

I am going there in July with my wife and 4 years old daughter and we will spend around 5-6 days in Funchal. We mostly will spend our time in the hotel, but am planning to visit few top attractions... Not sure if i really need to hire a car to visit those places?

Does it worth to hire a car or transport links are good enough?

Are there good local car hires companies?

Many thanks in advance


6 replies to this topic
Madeira, Portugal
Level Contributor
11,295 posts
85 reviews
1. Re: Car hire - does it worth it?

There are very good links on public transport to most areas of the Island, there are also very good mini bus tours, and taxis. Car Hire has to be a personal choice, the roads can be fast (only one rapida) but some are narrow steep and winding, you need to be a confident driver, also left hand drive here. The other thing to rmember is that apart from 100% concentration, you will not be able to see the scenery as well because of driving. But many people prefer to hire, your choice.

If you click on 'Things to do' at the top of the page, it opens links to everything you need to know. Also a topic on car hire to the left of the screen under Top Questions, which is worth reading.

Funchal, Portugal
Level Contributor
375 posts
2. Re: Car hire - does it worth it?

I would just add that while most towns and villages are reachable by public transportation from Funchal, there are some "hot spots" for sightseeing in the mountains where public bus does not go by, like Pico do Areeiro, Paúl da Serra, etc. If you have interest in visiting those sites you might have to hire a car at least for 1 day.

Level Contributor
5,977 posts
9 reviews
3. Re: Car hire - does it worth it?

Does your hotel have free car parking? Madeira has beautiful scenery. I'd much rather spend time viewing the sights than hanging around in a hotel.

Osnabruck, Germany
Level Contributor
154 posts
3 reviews
4. Re: Car hire - does it worth it?

We prefer to drive around by car, and I would suggest for 3 or 4 days.

We made good experiences with Europcar, booked via Cardelmar.

Perhaps this map could be a help: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer…

if you open it on smartphone or tablet in GoogleMaps-app, it can be used as navi, as descrbed in this video (sorry, only in german): https://youtu.be/f-Dp-mge0AQ

United Kindgom...
Level Contributor
4 posts
4 reviews
5. Re: Car hire - does it worth it?

Thank you all for your replies. Very helpful.

I probably will hire for couple of days only and visit those hot spots mentioned above, and stick with public transport for the remaining days.

London, United...
Level Contributor
2 posts
70 reviews
6. Re: Car hire - does it worth it?

I live in the UK and have often driven my own car in Europe and driven hire cars in Europe and the USA. So I am familiar with driving “on the wrong side of the road”. I have just had two days in a hire car in Madeira and it was one of the hardest drives I have had. My mistake was opting for a very small car (Nissan Micra). I thought that a small car would be best for the twisty roads. My advice if you are driving around the island is to pick a car with enough power. I was constantly changing down through the gears to get up steep hairpin turns. I think if I had opted for something with more oomph I would have enjoyed the ups and downs and tight turns. Generally, I much prefer to drive myself, but in Madeira I would be happy to let a professional take charge.

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