Rented Car in the Canarian Islands
Of course it is possible to have a pure bathing holiday in the Canarian Islands, that means to book an all inclusive holiday and never leave the hotel, the pool complex and the in-house beach. But each of the Canarian Islands offer so much sightseeings and fascinating landscapes that it is nearly a sin not to do one or two exploring tours.
The best way to explore the Canarian Islands is with a rented car, as only by car or on foot it is possible to access every corner of the island. There are fascinating and adventurous mountain roads with unforgettable panorama views that no travel bus will access but one can curl through by car with slow speed.
In the Canarian Islnds, there are car rentals as ten a penny. Of course, all internationally known firms as Budget, Avis, Hertz and Europcar are represented. But there are also a lot of small and private offerers that are in hard competition to each other.
The big competence results in low prices; for the car renters, there is barely money left for the proper car maintenance. This is why I recommend to those who rent a car on the spot to look at the car before signing the contract, especially the wheels.
In the Canarian Islands, there are car rentals in each touristical city. Numerous offerers of rental cars have their stations right in the proximity of the big hotels or in them. Those who rent a car from the hotel will get the car delivered right at the hotel. Everybody who is at least 21 years old, has a valid driving licence and can present a credit card.
In the Canarian Islands, car rentals are a big business. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of black sheeps thar literally rip off their clients and cheat them. Those who want to rent a car in the Canarian Islands should in any case follow the following tips.
Orlando - Rent A Car
Beside the international car rentals as Europcar, Hertz or Avis and some smaller private offerers there are also car rental chains that are only active in one Canarian Island or in all of them . A big Spanish offerer of rental cars in the Canarian Islands is Orlando; With Orlando, me and some friends have made such a bad experience that I want to dedicate a full and detailed chapter to this firm.
The firm Orlando (has nothing to do with the city of Florida) exists since more than 25 years in the Canarian Islands and rents cars in almost 30 stations in all Canarian Islands. Practically, there is one Orlando-station in each of the tourist strongholds. The more than 3000 cars of Orlando are spread all over the island, parked, which means right at the stations or simply on the parking spaces of the hotels or airports.
Orlando outstands by cheap prices and by its omnipresence, but I have made some very bad experiences with this company. If yourself have also made bad experiences with Orlando, please send me an e-mail.
Conclusion of Contract
Those who rent a car at Orlando can either pick up the car right at one of the rental stations or get it comfortably delivered at the hotel. Those who get the car brought to the hotel have to expect that the car has just been picked up by the Orlando representant from the last customer which means, as it was in my case, that one gets a dirty car, probably without any liquid cleaner for the window, with used kleenex and empty plastic bottles in the cases.
I got a car that was rightly before used by a family with a little child. The representant of Orlando had to take the children seat out of the car in my presence. The back seat of the car was only usable by laying some towels on the millions of the chocolate and cookies crumbs.
During the conclusion of the contract, the representant of Orlando told me a lot of things in German or in English. But the actual rental agreement was in Spanish, which means, all his words where worthless, as what really counts is the contract; Even though I already booked a car in Germany and also signed a contract, I had to sign another contract in Spanish. With this signature one also confirms to have read the contract and understood its contence.
Tip: No car without a signature. In order to protect oneself a little, I recommend to write down at some space on the sheet some important catchwords as comprehensive cover, empty reservoir or ...defective.
Once the contract is concluded, a deposit has to be paid that will be returned after returning the car. Normally, the deposit is paid with the credit card; the signed receipt is destroyed once the car is returned. My Orlando-representant forgot(?) to mention the amount on the credit card receipt. Fortunately, I immediately noticed that. If no amount is mentioned or if an amount only consists on digits, a deposit of 250 € will soon get 2500 €...
Tip: Thus, the deposit amount should be checked in any case; it must also be mentioned in the contract. In any case, one never should pay the deposit in cash!
After concluding the contract, I got the car after a few minutes. I was shocked by the appearance of the car: small bumps on all sides, no aerial, etc. When I told the representant of Orlando about the defects, I got answers like "this is normal" or "You have a comprehensive cover anyway". Of course, dents and dints are normal in the Canarian Islands and nobody brings the car to the repair station just becuse of a small barge, but somewhen, Orlando will want to remove these dents and than I do not want to be responsible for that and/or my insurance.
Tip: Even though some small defects seem to be harmless and normal for the circumstances in the Canarian Islands, do mention them somewhere in the contract. Then one can be really sure not to be the one who will be made responsible for that.
Now we come to a very dirty trick; Normally, one gets a car with a full reservoir and also returns it with a full reservoir. Orlando offered me to return the car, that had a full reservoir, with an empty reservoir; At first, this sounds like a comfortable service, but the catch is the price. I pay 30 € for filling the reservoir of a small car, a price that is cheap for german circumstances. But in the Canrian Islands, the fuel is clearly cheaper than in Germany; at that time, I could fill a small car with 20-25 €. Additionally, one will not be able to return the car with a completely empty reservoir. With such an agreement, one loses approximately 10 €.
Tip: Insist on the normal procedure, to return a car with a full reservoir in the same condition. This is the usual procedure on international level.
I have even experienced that I had to pay 30 € for a car with a full reservoir during the take over, although the reservoir was empty. The promise to pay the tankful against receipt was not fulfilled so that I paid 30 € for an empty reservoir. Afterwards, I claimed the cheat with a German lawyer and got my right acknowledged.
Those who get the car brought to the hotel usually take over the car without having driven one kilometre with it. The last car I had, had a transmission damage, which means that the gear could only be changed by an extreme effort; moreover, the driver seat moved back and forward. For smaller people, the brake pedal was suddenly not reachable. Although I announced the damage after 500 m , the Orlando representant of course was already miles away.
Of course I immediately claimed the damage but Orlando asked me to drive to the next repair station or to the next rental station. A visit to the repair station during the holiday or driving around for a couple of hours for a replacement car? No! Finally, the replacement car was brought to my hotel.
Tipp: Insist that the representant gets into the car at least for one kilometre, best before signing the contract. Finally, one subscribes that one takes over a car in a good condition.
Return of the Car
Those who think that after a successful conclusion of the contract and the takeover of the rented car in perfect condition everything is all right should wait a little until they returned the car, as here, Orlando has also some surprises to offer.
Usually, one stays with the car until the last holiday, which means, one returns the car not before shortly before the trip back home. I had agree with the representant of Orlando that on my last day, he should pick up the car at 10.00 a.m. at my hotel, as I was going to leave at noon time for my trip back home. As I was told by an employee of the hotel, the representant comes usually a couple of hours later than agreed. Thus, one has no other option than leaving the car keys at the hotel's reception and abstain from getting the deposit back.
Tipp: In any case, don't pay the deposit in cash, as then, one has to take legal actions from Germany in order to get the money back. The fact that many times this is not worthwhile is known by the car renters.
Even though one paid the deposit with the credit card, it is possibly already charged when one arrives home. Due to this reason, one should consider the following tip for the return of the car:
Tipp: Either you take your car by yourself to the branch of Orlando or you agree the pick up at the hotel one day before you return home, so that the deposit will be given back in any case.
Once, I returned the car of Orlando by simply leaving it parked at the airport; but then there was no deposit into play. It was comfortable and everything was all right. But today, I won't do this again as legally, I did not return the car. If a gouger would have seen me and caught the car and the keys when I left the airport, a few weeks later I would have got an unpleasant settlement of my credit card.
I think there is no need for me to mention that I would not recomend a car of Orlando in any case. I am aware of the fact that when renting a car, always a problem can happen, but I felt systematically cheated by Orlando.
As Orlando only rents cars in the Canarian islands, the firm has nothing to lose as for example a good reputation. The company is maintained by non-recurring customers and not by regular customers. Thus, they take all what they can from them.
Fortunately, I rented the last car (and definetely the last one)of Orlando through a company of Munich called Holiday Autos. After I took a lawyer, they have paid all the damages and the inconveniences caused to me.
Moreno Car Rental
A local car rental in he Canarian Islands is AutosMoreno. It is a family business that is managed since the early eighties by the family Moreno. AutosMoreno is present in the big Canarian Islands as Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and La Palma. In total, there are more than 1000 rental cars available within the Canarian Islands.
Moreno has some offices in the big holiday places of each of the islands, but it is also represented in Riu, Dunas, HL, Iberostar and Princess Hotels. It is a pleasure to rent a car right at the hotel, as one gets the car delivered straight to the hotel and can leave it there also. In our hotel, there was always a desk of the company AutosMoreno so that one had every day the possibility to ask a person in charge anything regarding the rented car, the island or the traffic rules. I already booked the car per e-mail from home, so that at the holiday place I only had to sign the contract and get the key.
The conclusion of the contract with Moreno was a very pleasant issue. A German speaking employee explained us the tarifs and the contence of the contract. The contract was written in several languages so that one knew what he was subscribing. There was NO deposit to be paid. On our last day, we were allowed to simply leave the car at the parking place of the hotel and leave the keys at the reception. What a service! No control of the reservoir, no waiting times during the return, we simply had to leave the car, the service could not be better.
We have rent a small car in a good condition; it had approximately 10.000 on the tachometer. The car was indeed sparsely equiped, but it did have an air conditioner even though it was of the lowest price category! The prices were really moderated and from a rental period of one week one gets some extra discounts for which one has to aks for, of course.
I clearly recommend AutosMoreno. The price was really moderated, the small car was clean and in a good condition, the conclusion of the contract took place in my mother tongue , I did not have to leave a deposit but leave the car simply at the hotel before my trip back home. An abosulutely perfect service. If possible, I will rent again a car at AutosMoreno in my next stays in the Canarian Islands.
Recommendations for Renting a Car in the Canarian Islands
I already have rented a car in the Canarian Islands several times and made different experiences. I made the most catastrophic experiences with Orlando. The risk to make unpleasant experiences by renting a car in the Canarian Islands cannot be completely avoided, but by considering the following tips, the risk can be minimized.
Renowed car rental companies like Hertz, Avis, Budget or Europcar are indeed more expensive than the smaller offerers, but their vehicles are in a very good condition and offer a better service, as these companies have a reputation to lose. They know exactly that one can also be their client in other countries or in the home country.
By renting a car at a smaller company on the spot, one should previously see the car before subscribing the contract.
Try the car together with the representant and drive with it one kilometre, best before signing the contract so that grave defects as for example a transmission failure can be claimed immediately.
Insist on a contract in english or german language. Many renters have such contract but they do not take them out until people really insist on getting them.
Include the defects in the contract, even if you only find some dents. This does not take much time but can save a lot of trouble.
Do not accept a car with more than 30.000 km on the tachometer. In a small island with some rougher road conditions, 30.000 km are quite a lot, which means, the brake units can be already used up.
Never leave your deposit in cash. Pay the deposit only by credit card and check the amount in the receipt.
Many car renters tell one that it is not allowed to drive on pistes with the rented car. But what one also should know is that the insurance cover expires in case of some cars by transfering them to another island, for example in order to make a one-day excursion in one of the neighboured islands.
Never agree an appointment for returning the car just shortly before the return flight. Do always return the car one day previously to the retun flight in order to get the deposit back.
If you book your rental car in Germany, then do this through your travel agent, although this might be the more expensive option. If you, for example, book an hotel with TUI, book also the car at TUI. By this way, one has a German contact person on the spot who is in charge of your complete holiday and takes care to keep you satisfied.
Finally, one tip for the case of emergency that sometimes is of great effect: if, during the return of the car, some trouble comes up, pull out your press card or your business card where the logo of a famous newspaper is printed and your job as an editorial journalist, freelance worker, ect. is mentioned. Such cards can do real wonders.
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Copyright: Patrick Wagner, www.tourist-guide.biz