Car rental Madeira Airport – Funchal car hire deals
The Portuguese island of Madeira, often referred to as ‘The Pearl of the Atlantic’ attracts tourists with its lush vegetation, unique landscapes and a mild climate.
With its spring-like weather between October and April, Madeira is especially popular winter destination for the warmth and sunshine craving tourists from Northern Europe.
General map of Madeira archipelago.
Madeira Airport car hire recommendations
For the large majority of all tourists visiting Madeira, the first stop on the island is its airport, officially known as Madeira International Airport Cristiano Ronaldo - FNC. It is named after the famous football player who was born in Funchal. It is the only airport on the island.
It is also possible to fly to the other major island of the archipelago, Porto Santo, the choice of available routes is, however, much more limited.
Madeira cheapest car rental deals – often a Renault Clio.
For tourists planning to rent a car in Madeira, the island’s airport located on the outskirts of the capital, Funchal, usually has the best selection of car hire companies and vehicles, as well as the most competitive prices.
Madeira Airport made headlines when Cristiano Ronaldo bust was revealed in front of the terminal.
Madeira Airport car hire recommendation: the price of the smallest rental cars on Madeira, such as Fiat 500, Citroen C1 or VW Up is often virtually the same as the price of economy cars. A larger, more comfortable and equipped with a more powerful engine economy car, for example Ford Fiesta or Renault Clio, is a much better choice on the mountainous roads of Madeira.
Even at the peak of the tourist season, in July and August, it is usually possible to rent even larger cars for less than £150, provided that the booking was carried some time in advance. One of the customers’ favourites is Peugeot 2008 a small crossover SUV with a comfortable and spacey interior and a slightly higher position of the driver than in regular passenger cars.
Often the cheapest car in the crossover / SUV segment – Peugeot 2008.
Much like elsewhere in Europe, on Madeira one of the most popular SUVs is the slightly larger than Peugeot 2008, Nissan Qashqai. On www.find-cheap-car-hire.co.uk, we have seen offers of a one week Funchal Airport car hire of this Japanese SUV starting from around £140, in the summer season. Nissan Qashqai can be found in the fleet of Dollar and Sixt, amongst other car hire companies at Funchal Airport.
Nissan Qashqai – a medium sized SUV to rent at a great price from Funchal Airport.
Rent a large car for 6, 7, 8 or 9 people in Funchal Airport
Attractive prices are not as easy to find in the class of people carriers – minivans and minibuses to rent on Madeira. It is still possible to find competitive deals, however, when booking in advance. If you are lucky a 7-seater Grand Scenic or Citroen C4 Grand Picasso is sometimes available from £180-200 per week, outside tourist season.
Madeira MPV rental with room for 7 people – Renault Grand Scenic.
The alternatives in this car class include slightly larger Seat Alhambra / VW Sharan and Ford Galaxy / S-Max.
In the minibus segment, VW Transporter / Multivan is frequently an option of a 9-seater rental car in on Madeira.
Insurance and car rental conditions Madeira
In general, the conditions of Madeira car rental are not significantly different from those in mainland Europe.
As it is common in insular destinations, free mileage is virtually always included in the price. There may be, however, differences in the price of optional extras such as GPS or baby seat hire. Also, the requirements for the drivers age may vary from supplier to supplier. Drivers in their early 20s should check if they are not liable to pay a young driver’s fee. Since Madeira is a popular destination for senior citizens, some of the local rent a car brands may have opted for introducing also an additional daily fee for older drivers. Always read rental conditions carefully before booking, to make sure you are choosing an offer that suits your needs best.
In all offers available via Cartralwer on www.find-cheap-car-hire.co.uk, all necessary insurance is always included in the price. Customers wishing to add a more comprehensive insurance to their booking – for example to avoid excess which on Madeira can vary from £500 to £2000 – have to options to do so. Acquiring an optional insurance directly at the desk is often very expensive, makes it unnecessary, however, to have a security deposit blocked on the credit card. The alternative – AXA Assistance insurance, available during booking process at www.find-cheap-car-hire.co.uk is usually significantly cheaper and offers much better coverage than similar products sold at the desk. The safety deposit will, however be blocked on customer’s card.
High excess is to be expected when renting large vehicles as minibuses, such as Mercedes Vito, above. Photo ©: Find-cheap-car-hire.co.uk.
Read also: What to see in Funchal, Madeira.
Car rental companies in Madeira – opinion and recommendations
The list of Madeira car hire providers is long and changes frequently with new rent a car companies trying their luck on the local market almost every year.
Our recommendations for Madeira car rental are based on the feedback from our customers. In general, with the exceptions of a few companies, not many problems have been reported (and even the troublesome suppliers often provide competitive prices and for most customers, a worry-free rental experience).
Madeira Airport car rental is provided by:
- Alamo – one of the car hire companies within Enterprise Rent A Car; often cheaper than Enterprise.
- Avis Rent A Car – an established brand, known for the high quality of services; Avis in Madeira often offers attractive prices.
- Bravacar – a Portuguese off-site car hire company at Madeira Airport. Pay attention to the, sometimes, little transparent ‘same to same’ refuelling policy which doesn’t specify exactly how much fuel is in the tank.
- Budget – a part of Avis-Budget Group, usually cheaper than Avis.
- Centauro – together with Goldcar, one of the cheapest car hire companies at Madeira Airport. Our recommendation is to opt for Centauro over Goldcar (see more below). The rental station is located outside the airport and accessible via shuttle bus.
- Dollar – an excellent supplier, with office inside the terminal and often accessible rates.
- Enterprise Rent A Car – a popular supplier with no significant problems reported.
- Guerin – a Portuguese car rental brand acquired by Enterprise. Level of services – good.
- Global Rent A Car – relatively new to Madeira Airport franchising concept.
- Goldcar – beware! Despite cheap offers, the company is notorious in customer complaints. Although it benefits from a privileged location in the terminal, expect long, long queues at the desk.
- Hertz – no reported problems.
- Insularcar – offers meet & greet service at Madeira Airport.
- Interrent – low-cost operations of Europcar, popular with customers.
- Keddy by Europcar – another budget brand of Europcar, focused on leisure destinations.
- Payless – low-cost car rental company within the Avis-Budget Group; caters mostly for North American customers.
- Rodavante – a small Madeira car hire company, well liked by the customers.
- Rhodium – Warning: object to many controversies for the same reasons as its sister-company; Goldcar.
- Sixt – favourable opinions form the customers, but not always the best prices.
- Thrifty – a part of Dollar-Thrifty, not as cheap as Dollar, however.
The offices of all car rental companies at Madeira Airport are located on Level 0 in the arrivals hall.
Interesting facts about Madeira Airport
The runway of Madeira Airport is a very unusual, being built on a platform along high cliffs and surrounded by the ocean.
The fairly short runway is considered one of the most challenging to use, due to the crosswinds often occurring in this part of the island.
Funchal Airport landing – not for inexperienced pilots.
Madeira Airport made headlines recently when Cristiano Ronaldo’s bust was revealed on the occasion of the renaming of the airport. The rather unfortunate sculpture – see video in the first part of the article – has been replaced since by one which resembles more the football crack.
Find more useful information about traveling on the island on Madeira’s official tourist website. LINK
Flights to Madeira
Direct routes to Madeira are available from a large number of UK airports, with both regular and low-cost carriers, amongst them British Airways, Easyjet, and Jet2. Charter carriers as Thomas Cook and TUI Airways also fly to Madeira.