Madeira is Portugal?
The question seems silly, because you know that Madeira is a Portuguese island. From a car rental perspective, however, it is legitimate. Why?
The first extremely significant difference between mainland Portugal and Madeira concerns roads and road tolls. In the entry on car rental in Portugal I wrote more about it. A huge amount of roads in Portugal are toll roads, and payments are collected electronically and with a delay. This means that rental companies in Portugal block a deposit on the card, which will allow them to cover the delayed fees generated by the customer. Hiring a car without locking your deposit is therefore very difficult in Portugal.
Madeira there is no both no toll roads. So there is no need to block the deposit for this circumstance. This completely changes the situation of rental companies and customers. It is much easier in Madeira to rent a car without a credit card.
The second very important issue is characteristic of all island locations and concerns the possible theft of a car. What is the point of stealing a car on a small island, from which there is basically no way to take it out? Of course it doesn't make sense. The threat in this respect is therefore close to zero. This is an important factor, thanks to which rental companies are more likely to give up deposits and reduce the amounts of liability and fees for customers. And again we come to the conclusion that it should be easier to rent a car in Madeira without additional blockades and requirements.
How does it look in practice? Of course it is easier! And this is the first good news!
What's the second piece of good news? There will be time for the second piece of good news. First, some really important information that you will not find in the rental offers or even in guides, but are of key importance.
Car rentals in Madeira
On the islands that are popular tourist destinations (like Madeira) there are always a lot of small local rentals. Often these are small businesses with attractive rental prices and only a few cars. Most often they have cars bought a few years ago and used continuously. I had the pleasure of renting a car from such a rental company and then I got a solid lesson.
Madeira is a difficult island for drivers. You move often narrow and very steep roads. You will have to take a junction dozens of times from a very steep minor road. Handbrake will become your best friend while exploring the island. Without it, you will not move or you will roll back down.
Many drivers can't cope with a fast start up a sharp hill. It doesn't surprise me. Most of us simply do not have the opportunity to acquire such an experience. Added to this is the lack of clutch feeling (because the car is new and unfamiliar to the driver) and the effect is always the same.
The main victim of this situation is clutch. In the dark I can guess that if you take a car that is several years old from a small rental company, the clutch will be burnt. Due to the costs, they are reanimated until it falls ...
The second most victim of Madeira's steep roads is brakes. The winding roads on the island can go on for miles. Driving downhill solely on the brake causes the discs and pads to overheat and wear out damn fast. And again, the costs mean that small rental companies will only replace them when there is almost nothing left of them ... which is much too late.
This is what I got: with a burnt clutch and worn brakes. Starting uphill was hard work, and driving on steep serpentines was breakneck and dangerous. It was especially dangerous going down. Driving in gear and engine braking were not possible because the clutch was in a state of disintegration. Things happened to him that I don't even want to remember anymore. And the brakes? Almost didn't work... It was a nightmare.
I have decided that I will never take a car from such a small rental company again. I don't want to spoil my holiday anymore by getting some scrap to drive for a few euros cheaper. Never again!
So where to get the car? In practice, two other solutions work much better:
- solution one: you take a car from a large chain rental company that must meet the standards and have an appropriate policy when it comes to maintaining the quality of the fleet. The advantage of this solution is the low probability that you will get a car in a bad technical condition. The most common disadvantage is that the car usually costs the most from the big chain rental companies.
- second solution (preferred by me): you take a car from a local rental company, but not quite a small one, and one that already has an established position on the local market. Each island usually has at least two or three of these local big players competing with each other. The decisive advantage of this solution is a very good rental price and a low risk of getting a poor-quality car. The only question is which rentals can be included in this group? Fortunately, there's an easy way to do this!
Where to find car rental deals in Madeira?
I definitely do not recommend searching and analyzing the websites of each local rental company individually. I, of course, did it for the purposes of creating this entry, but after several hours of analyzing the websites of various rental companies, I simply fell down. Without strength and with a gigantic headache - I fell. I just let out a sigh of relief that I was over it.
Searching websites in search of regulations, price lists, annexes to regulations and analyzing them is a nightmare. Of course, information that is inconvenient for themselves, which may discourage customers, the rental companies hide very deeply. Getting to them is not easy at all. I got through it somehow.
However, I did it for one very specific purpose. I wanted to check if devoting so much time and work would give me a better effect than using a good car rental comparison website.
Ultimately, it turned out that my work did not bring any better results. I only made sure that a good price comparison site allows you to obtain an identical or even better effect in just a few moments.
Well, you will ask - but which comparison engine is good?
I will propose two comparison engines and I will describe both briefly.
In the case of Portugal and Madeira, I consider this comparison engine to be the number one. The database of local rentals that I propose in this area Discover Cars it is really impressive. Basically, it includes all major local car rental companies. This is great news for us. We have in one place what we cared about the most, i.e. the best local companies that provide good cars at good prices. Companies with low ratings by customers are simply removed from the offer, so the search engine itself eliminates the weakest suppliers. Of course, the database also includes offers from large, globally operating chain rental companies, but as you will quickly notice, they do not stand a chance with a good local offer. So I recommend that you start your search with Discover Cars.
Known to everyone for years, a global giant and the world's largest car rental comparison site. However, it has a weak point. He specializes in squeezing good prices mainly from the largest, globally operating rental networks. Offer in many places Rentalcars has a lot of shortcomings when it comes to smaller, local rentals. So I propose to enter here second, just to verify that it has been found on Discover Cars the offer really is the best. Big chain companies sometimes make periodic price cuts, and you might just be able to shoot one. Most often, however, the result of Discover Cars it will be better.
Other search engines and comparison engines
On the Internet you will find many other search engines and car price comparison engines. I have been observing them for years (because I have been renting cars in various places for many years). Searching most of them does not add any new quality to the search results, and often produces the same result as the pages suggested above. Why? Because they are only copies of the biggest and best search engines. The largest market players make their databases available to other parties electronically (using the so-called API key) and new pages are created that actually search the same database. It is obvious that you will not get any better and more interesting offers from them. You will get exactly the same result.
So there is no point in looking for the same pages on clones.
How to find the best offers?
If you have rented a car before and you know what it is "deductible","credit card deposit" and "SCDW insurance”Then you can go to the next point in this post. There you will find a short description of how to search and analyze a few selected offers that will allow you to search for what you need quickly and efficiently.
However, if you do not have any experience in renting a car yet, and the terms mentioned above do not tell you much, I suggest you read it entry about car rental in Portugal. I explain it specifically and as briefly as possible. everything necessary to safely rent a car.
Analysis of selected car rental offers in Madeira
Below you will find three examples of offers, along with a brief analysis of their content. My assumption is that one specific example gives more than a few pages of even the best text.
The analysis of the following examples should definitely help you find the right offers on your own.
Finding an offer without a credit card or deposit
We will start with the most difficult task, which is looking for an offer that does not require a credit card or a deposit. I will show you the best and the shortest path, but you must know that it will not always be successful. Sometimes there are simply no offers that meet these criteria. They are bought first, often by people who book well in advance.
So if you are looking for a car shortly before departure, there may be no offers without a card and no deposit.
We start with the search engine. We enter the place of picking up the car and the date range we are interested in. In the case of Madeira, some search engines react to the Polish name Woodand hello to the name Madeira. It is worth checking both, or entering the name of the Madeira airport right away, i.e. Funchal.
As you can see, I chose Funchal and the rental period for 7 days.
After pressing the button "Search”After a while, the list of results will be displayed in order from lowest to highest price, but we are not interested in the default search results. We will look for our own way!
Before we start looking at the search results, we'll make one more change. In the panel on the left side there are additional filters (if you are looking for on the phone, they are under the link “all filters"On the top right). We scroll down the screen and look for a section called "Refundable deposit". We mark the first position in it, described as "A deposit is not required”As shown in the image below.
It is possible that the "No Deposit Required" option will not be available in the filter. This means that there is currently no offer that meets this criterion in the search engine. Then you have to look differently, which I will write about in the next example.
After clicking on the filter, the list of results will update and we can now start browsing it. In my case, the offer below appeared as the cheapest one.
You can see at first glance that the offer does not require a deposit or a credit card. This is clearly marked with red information on the offer card. IN Discover Cars I like that important information is clearly signaled. Working with this comparison engine is really fun.
I always look into the details of the offer to be 100% sure.
To do this, click on the link marked by me in the lower left corner "Loan conditions".
A window will then open with detailed information about the offer. This window changes over time and may look slightly different over time. but you will always find the details of the offer and the terms of the loan, broken down into logical parts.
We check the detailed records of the deposit
After expanding the tab "deposit”We are convinced that car security deposit is not required.
Under the information about the lack of a deposit for the car, there is a note that a deposit is required for the equivalent of the fuel tank (if the car was returned with an empty tank and it was necessary to refill it by the rental company). The value of this deposit is usually in the range of 50 - 100 EUR.
We check detailed provisions on material liability (own contribution)
This time we are developing the section "Loan conditions".
We find in it information that our liability in the case of this rental is reduced to zeroand insurance also includes tires and windshields. I pay attention to this because these elements are often excluded from insurance. It's different here. Windshield and tire insurance are included in the price.
The offer looks good and safe.
When fully insured offers are unavailable
It is often the case that there are no longer offers available with full insurance and no deposit on the card. Then what? Then it remains to search for the best available offer with the lowest possible deposit and the widest possible scope of insurance. Let's take care of it!
We start, of course, by entering the appropriate roof in the search engine (place and time of rental). We ignore the default search results and go to offer filtering. At section "Refundable deposit"We mark the first position from the top, filtering the results according to offers with the lowest deposit requirements, i.e. in our case 1 - 499 EUR..
After selecting the appropriate item, the search results update as selected and we can start browsing them.
The first offer - the cheapest, but is it the best?
At the very top, the offer below is listed as the cheapest.
Traditionally, we go into its details and check the basic parameters related to the deposit and material liability.
After expanding the deposit section (as in the picture below), we find out on the credit card a deposit of 300 EUR will be made.
Material liability and deductible
Information on material liability and own participation in this offer can be found in two places. The first is the "Deposit" section you can see in the image above. It shows that the excess will be at the level of EUR 1330,80 - EUR 2980,00, depending on the car model.
More detailed information can be found in the rental conditions section, visible in the image below.
The entry shows that the own contribution amounts to EUR 1190,48.
You can see that the amounts given in both sections are different from each other. Why? Most likely, this is due to the fact that search engines import data from ready-made templates that are common to many offers at the same time. So such discrepancies may arise. In this case, due to the fact that we are browsing the offer of a small and cheap car, it should be assumed that in practice we will be subject to the lower material liability, i.e. the amount between EUR 1190,48 and EUR 1330,80. Wherein I think the value of EUR 1190,48 specified in the "Rental conditions" section is more likely.
The second offer - more expensive, but is it worse?
Now let's take a look at the second offer in the line. It is a bit more expensive, but ...
First, take a look at the offer:
The information about the zero deductible immediately catches the eye and it looks quite interesting. So let's check the details.
Traditionally, we start by checking the amount of the deposit. According to the information on the card, the deposit is between EUR 150 and EUR 235. In practice, the amount of the deposit depends on the size of the car. The bigger the car, the higher the deposit. In our case, we chose a tiny car (Fiat 500), so expect that the deposit will be near the lower limit of the given range, which is around EUR 150.
Half less than in the previous offer. I already like it!
Now let's check what it is like with our own participation in this offer. Let me remind you that the main card states that it is equal to zero. We go in and check the "Terms of rental" section.
And what? In fact, in this offer we have znew deductible, that is ours material liability is zero! Cool! This is a significant difference compared to the previous offer. In the previous offer, the liability was EUR 1190.
It is true that this offer is 34 EUR more expensive than the previous one, but for the comfort of the lack of financial responsibility I will gladly pay this amount.
Hit the road!
After such a dose of specific knowledge, no rental is terrible for you anymore. All that remains for me to do is to wish you a great dog and many great experiences on the evergreen island!
Madeira sightseeing itineraryThis entry is part of a complete one Madeira sightseeing plan - [click]. The guide contains plans, maps and descriptions of specific sightseeing routes.
To see all currently available descriptions of attractions in Madeira, click on the link: Madeira - [click].
Safe car rental guide: Madeira - car rental without deposit?
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