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Aeropuerto De Fuerteventura, Puerto del Rosario (Spain)
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Fuerteventura Airport Car Hire

Fuerteventura is the second largest of the Canary Islands and, although it is a very laid-back place, there is plenty to see and do. While the local buses go to most parts of the island, the service can be infrequent and it takes a lot of planning to get around. There are plenty of coach tours available to the main sights. But the best way to discover the best that Fuerteventura has to offer is to hire a car.

There are eight car rental companies with offices in the arrivals hall at Fuerteventura airport, and you will find others in the island's resorts. However, to ensure that you get the class of vehicle that you want at the best price, it is advisable to book online in advance. You will find, especially at peak times, that class A cars, the cheapest, and, given the rugged terrain and low rainfall, Jeeps and convertibles are snapped up pretty quickly.

When booking a hire car, take note of the company's fuel policy. The most attractive prices tend to be on a 'full to empty' fuel basis but you will be charged for the fuel at an extortionate rate. The best policy is 'full to full' where you pick up the car with a full tank and return it the same, meaning that you only pay for the fuel that you use.

Also, most rental companies only provide the minimum of insurance coverage and, when you come to pick up the car, they will try to sell you expensive full cover. When booking in advance you will often be given the opportunity to add on comprehensive cover at a better rate. Better still is to buy your own hire car insurance which can be annual if you are a frequent renter, or just for the period of your holiday. You will still be asked to leave a significant deposit secured on your credit card but, in the unfortunate event that you are involved in an incident, you can claim the deposit back along with any other costs.

Documentation

When you collect your hire car, you will need to provide your passport, driving licence, booking voucher and credit card. The credit card must be in the name of the primary driver. In addition, for UK drivers, since the government did away with the paper counterpart to the photo card licence, you might be asked for a code that enables the rental agent to check for points and convictions. You can find full details on the UK government website here.

Before Leaving

After escaping from the airport, you will be eager to get on the road. But even if you have taken out the rental company's full insurance it is worth checking the car over for any significant damage. If you only have basic cover or your own insurance, go around the entire vehicle, inside and out, and make a note, and take photographs of every scratch, dent and stain. Pay particular attention to the wheels. This takes time but if, on returning the car, if you are accused of damaging it, you will be very grateful of having evidence that the damage was pre-existing.

Before you drive away, familiarise yourself with the controls, set the seat in the position that suits you and make sure the mirrors are set correctly. If you are from the UK and used to driving a right-hand drive vehicle, take a little extra time to adjust to the steering wheel being on the other side.

Where to Go

Having a rental car gives you the freedom to discover the beautiful island of Fuerteventura. There are 152 beaches here, from the 11km long dunes of the Parque Natural de Correlejo to small, deserted, seductive coves.

Betancuria was the capital of the island until 1834 and has been preserved as a living museum. The narrow, winding cobbled streets take you back in time and you can visit the 15th century church, have a drink and a meal in hidden courtyards and see traditional island crafts.

Visit the pretty little fishing villages dotted around the coast, such as Ajuy where you can explore the ancient caves before enjoying a meal of freshly caught fish in one of the waterfront restaurants.

There are more goats than people in Fuerteventura and you can visit many of the farms that produce goats' cheese and you can taste before you buy. There is even a museum of cheese at Antigua which also houses a quaint windmill and gives an insight into ancient farming methods.

The island has a unique volcanic landscape, so just go and explore, get lost and enjoy the delights that await you around every bend and over every crest, and discover the real Fuerteventura.