Best Car Rental In Faro Portugal – If you want to explore the Algarve, you often need to rent a car. Outside the big cities, taxis can be expensive and public transport difficult or non-existent. Although it is easy to rent a car in the Algarve, one of the biggest complaints I hear is about the cost and extra fees of car hire. In this Algarve car rental guide we explain all the costs and whether you can avoid them! This car rental guide applies to the Algarve region. If you’re looking for a guide that covers the basics of car hire throughout Portugal, check out our guide here.
After reading this Algarve car rental guide, you’ll understand the importance of doing a little extra research, but you should always book in advance. Not only does this save money, but during peak times of the year entire fleets can be booked with many companies. Many of the usual car rental comparison sites also offer free or low-cost cancellations, so you really have nothing to lose. When you have holidays and know when and where to book a car, what do you look for next? Basics such as insurance, collision damage exemptions and fuel options are covered in our ultimate guide to renting a car in Portugal. We will explain in a moment the special costs that may arise as a result of renting a car in the Algarve.
Best Car Rental In Faro Portugal
Perhaps the biggest complaints I hear about rental cars come from these extra fees. So if you want to avoid them, read carefully!
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What is it? This is always one of the first additional fees you are charged and is usually paid in cash. This is a mandatory fee charged directly by the Faro Airport Authority for all rental cars picked up at the airport.
Can you avoid it Unfortunately, if you plan to pick up the car at the airport itself, there is no way to do that. There are several car rental companies that operate buses that pick you up from the airport and take you directly to their locations in the area. By booking a car with one of these providers, you can avoid paying the extra fee – if you don’t mind the added inconvenience.
What is it? The Algarve’s main motorway, the A22, uses an unmanned toll system. A toll transponder is a device that allows you to pay this toll automatically without having to go to your local toll booth or post office. A full breakdown of the toll system and how to pay can be found in our handy guide here!
Charge an administration fee of 5 euros and bill all tolls from the credit card, but do not require a deposit.
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Can you avoid it No if you want to use the highway with ease. As with most advice, though, you can shop around to get a fair deal. It’s important to note that many of these companies still charge a 20-25 euro deposit if you use the toll road, which is refunded if you don’t. For reference, a recent trip from Faro to Sagres and back cost me 5.20 euros in tolls, for which I also did not receive 20 euros in change.
What is it? The fee you pay when you want to bring your vehicle from Portugal to Spain.
Can you avoid it Unfortunately, if you plan to take your vehicle outside of Portugal, you cannot avoid it. However, you can choose a company that charges a lower amount, as not all of them charge the same fee.
Pay only 10 euros on the spot. For example, if you’re planning a weekend trip from Faro to Seville, these fees can make a big difference, especially for a short-term rental. Generally prefer larger EU-wide companies
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For the two sections above you will usually be charged €15 (airport tax), €20-25 (paid) and a fuel deposit of around €50-60 immediately. So, the super cheap rental car you booked online will suddenly have almost €100 in fees, not including the deposit for the car itself. Granted, part of it will be refunded if you don’t use the toll road and in the car at the same time. Bring back fuel, but it can still be a hard pill to swallow when you arrive. This next section includes some optional extras that can be avoided, but more if you can’t!
Work from 7:00 am to 10:00 p.m. and we charge €20 for collection or return after opening hours. On the other side of the scale
Served daily from 7:30 am. to 11:59 p.m. and charge €15 for collection and return after opening hours. At this point you start to see a pattern, since all the companies charge different amounts for these extra features, it can be quite confusing to keep track of which is the cheapest.
Can you avoid it Unfortunately, if you have an early or late flight, this can be an unavoidable cost. However, each company has its own operating hours and associated costs. What you can do is check the fine print and see what each company charges for this service and choose the cheapest option based on your arrival time.
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How much is it The fee varies a lot, but expect €5-10 per day, and some companies also require a deposit of up to €200 on your credit card!
Can you avoid it Absolutely yes. We always recommend using an app like Google Maps on your phone along with a traditional paper map. Another thing to note is that some newer fleets also have built-in navigation devices. I rented the last one – a Fiat 500
– has sat nav built in, so always ask before you pay extra. If you have to rely on a satnav, consider updating your EU maps or even buying a new one before you arrive. Rental prices vary widely, but it’s almost always cheaper to upgrade yours or buy one if you’re planning more than one trip!
What is it? According to EU law, children under the age of 12 or under 1.35 meters tall must use a child seat.
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Can you avoid it When it comes to security, we don’t recommend skimping. However, you can look for another company, because again they all charge different prices. This can be very useful if you have a larger family or are planning a longer trip. For example,
€6.45/day up to €60 for a child seat and €7.65/day up to €80 for a child seat.
Also available at the airport, a one-off payment of €15 per seat per hire. You can see how these costs are calculated differently. Another option is to buy one when you arrive. You can get basic high-top seats in supermarkets for around 10 euros. The last option is to just bring your own, which when you know how much it costs seems like a much better idea!
Can you avoid it Have you seen a pattern? This can be avoided by reading the fine print and choosing a company that does not charge extra or lower fees.
Faro Location (outside)
Don’t charge extra drivers at all (according to their website). The best question to ask yourself is: Do you really need additional drivers and shared management? An extra stop for coffee and rest can be much cheaper than changing drivers for long distances. Or if you really want additional drivers, choose a company that doesn’t charge for them.
What is it? In general, all drivers must be over 21 years of age, but those between 21 and 25 usually incur additional insurance costs and premiums. The only company I know of that lets 19 to 20 year olds rent cars
Can you avoid it Of course not, if you are a young driver you can do your research and choose a company that charges less.
Top tip: Even if you are over 21, you must have a driver’s license for more than one year to rent a car. If you don’t have an EU driving licence, you also need an international driving licence.
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Cars with automatic transmission command a significant premium, the cheapest car for a weekend in May was €28. The cheapest machine costs €75. If you’re looking for a cheap rental car, it’s best to skip the convenience of an automatic and opt for a manual. If you really can’t drive a manual and I really don’t recommend learning to drive in the Algarve, be prepared for a higher price!
Having said all that, I have one last trick I want to mention. You are charged in your own currency and use your own bank service to convert, which increases your costs. They will gladly give you a card machine currency in your hand