Renting a car in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
We decided that we want to rent a car today (few days ago) and we searched internet for car rentals. We found a car for 9 euro per day. We tried to book that, but rental company couldn’t give car in 2 hour notice. So we searched near by rental and just walk in.
There was 2 rentals just next to each other. One had deposit of 200e and another 500e, both accepted cash deposit instead of credit card. As we weren’t too rich, we decided 200e deposit rental from 7M rent a car -company.
Stuff was really friendly and explained everything important carefully. We didn’t buy full coverage including tire damage, etc and man behind the desk didn’t see it too important as rental period is only two days. Price for rental was 2x37e = 72e in total. We just needed to get more cash from ATM for the deposit. Man asked, if we take car right after ATM visit as some other person bring car to front of the office. Car arrived in 10 minutes, so we just had more cash and filled papers in time. Of course man asked before, if we want manual or automatic gear transmission. We said “whatever”, so we got manual. Later I was thinking, manual was better choice as we were driving in the mountains, where we could use motor as breaks and not to use too much break pedal.
Car was Fiat Panda, really small car, but as we didn’t have too many bags etc, it was just good for us. Low fuel consumption.
First driving day we chose to head westpound and turn to northbound to Risco water fall. On the mountains there appeared some message in Portuguese to car info screen. Of course we didn’t understand what it meant, so we tried to send multi media message with photo of the screen. No reply.
We bought over night car park in La Vie shopping center as we thought it must be safe place for the car and we will get our deposit back. In the morning we got the car and went to office. There was new man at work. I showed photo above. He started to smile and said “it means you are low on fuel”. Hahah, I started to laugh and said “we have more fuel already”. I also asked how late they are open, if we decide to return car in the evening instead of morning, so we can sleep later, if we wish to. Rental is open until 8pm. By the way, they don’t close for siesta time, which is very good for tourists.
One more driving day and we return the car in the evening bit after sunset. There was third man at work this time. He checked the car and didn’t find any damages. Of course we didn’t make any damage. He returned deposit smoothly and everything was fine.
Overall experience about 7M rent a car was really good. We can definitely recommend this rental for everybody. It wasn’t the cheapest one, but price includes well covered damage protection without any hidden fees and deposit was returned immediately after rental period.