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Hiring a car is a popular choice in Madeira: the well-connected road network and scenic drives mean it’s a great idea to rent a car and go exploring.

The small size of the island means it doesn’t usually take too long to get anywhere, either, so there’s less time spent behind the wheel, and more spent enjoying everything that Madeira has to offer.

Language: Portuguese | Currency: Euros (€) | Avg. Flight time: 4 hours

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Find answers to your questions

Driver requirements

What age do I need to be to hire a vehicle in Madeira?

The minimum age to hire a car in Madeira depends on the rental company. Generally though, it some rental providers set it at 19 and others at 21. In any case, you’ll need to have held a full driving licence for at least one year. Anyone under 25 is considered a ‘young driver’ and is generally subject to an additional fee.

What do I need to hire a vehicle in Madeira?

The usual. This includes a valid driving licence, a credit or debit card – if you’ve pre-booked, then the card you used – and a photo ID, which, in most cases, will be your passport. An International Driving Permit is not required if you hold a UK licence.

Do I need car hire excess insurance in Madeira?

As the cost of your rental includes some sort of cover, such as theft protection and/or a damage waiver, you don’t need to have car hire excess insurance. Nevertheless, for peace of mind, it’s advised that you do take out a policy as, if you have to make a claim, the excess owed can be covered entirely or reduced significantly. On-the-day walk-up rates can be pricey, so have a look at what’s being offered by standalone providers online instead.

Can I rent a car with a debit card in Madeira?

Yes. Some car hire companies in Madeira will accept debit cards, along with credit cards. If you don’t have a credit card, a cash deposit may be required. Confirm with your provider what the requirements are for a debit card.

Which rental companies are available at Madeira Airport?

Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Europcar, Firefly, Goldcar, Global Rent-a-Car, Guerin, Hertz, MadeiraRent, National, Rodavante, Sixt and Thrifty can be found at Madeira Airport.

Is it cheaper to rent a car at the airport or off-site in Madeira?

Premium location fees make airports more expensive for car hire, but if you spend some time online comparing a range of deals offered by numerous providers, you’ll find similarly priced rentals both at the airport and off-site.

Can you rent a car in one city in Madeira and drop it off in another?

Due to the small size of the island, the best and most practical option is to pick up and drop off your hire car at the airport. For alternatives to this, contact your car hire provider.

Can you rent a car the same day in Madeira?

Absolutely. You can hire a car the same day in Madeira. It’ll cost more, especially compared to an online booking made in advance, but if it’s more convenient, the option to hire on the day is there.

Can I hire a vehicle at 21 years of age in Madeira?

Yes, you can hire a car if you are 21 years of age in Madeira. The main requirement is for you to have held your driving licence for at least one year – and, of course, you must have your licence with you when you travel. A ‘young driver surcharge’ will apply.

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