Although there are some lovely roads to drive on in Fuerteventura, without doubt, my absolute favourite is to drive through the Corralejo Dunes along the coast road. It runs from its southern most end at Parque Holandes along the coast and right through the wonderful Dunes Natural Park to Corralejo at its northern end.
Whenever I drive on this road, seeing the landscape, the beautiful clear turquoise sea and the beautiful white sand dunes, it always reminds me why I came to live in Fuerteventura.
I am sure it must rank as one of the most beautiful roads in the world. Well certainly in the Canary Islands anyway.
The road gives access to all the dunes beaches, which are the most beautiful of the beaches in Fuerteventura. You can read about them, and watch a video, in my post The Dunes Beaches of Corralejo.
The plan was to close this road to through traffic once the new road fully opened. Now it seems it will remain open. You should be aware that they have reduced the speed limit to 50kph. This applies along the entire stretch but that means you will have more time to enjoy the view.
Be careful when you get to the first few beaches by the roads (coming from the south) as people often just back out from their parking spots without looking properly.
You can watch my favourite road in Fuerteventura video of the entire road in my video to see what I am making a fuss about!
Other articles about driving in Fuerteventura
If you are worried about hiring a car and driving in Fuerteventura then these posts may be of interest:
Are you coming here on holiday and wondering if renting a car in Fuerteventura is worth it?
As someone who holidayed here for 20 years, and has lived here for over 6 years, I would say, definitely, yes!
Instead of getting a coach or taxi transfer from the airport and having to spend your entire holiday by your hotel’s swimming pool, or on the local beach, renting a car in Fuerteventura allows you to get out and explore what else the island has to offer.
You can spend time on some of the beautiful, less-crowded beaches, visit a lovely restaurant in the mountains for lunch or discover some of the history of the island in lovely Betancuria.
If you have kids you can visit Oasis Park Zoo or the water park in Corralejo with ease.
Car hire and petrol are cheap in Fuerteventura so hiring a car for a week will probably cost less than airport transfers or less than the cost of two people going on a coach trip.
As well as being able to use the car to explore the island, you have the convenience of transport for the entire time you are here and you don’t have to sit around waiting for coaches to get to and from the airport.
The roads in Fuerteventura are well maintained, well signposted and have very little traffic. So don’t worry, driving here is easy, even on the wrong side of the road.
When renting a car in Fuerteventura, choosing which company to use can be rather hit or miss, as anyone who has ever searched online for a hire car will know. It can also be very time consuming.
In the past I used to spend many hours trawling through individual car hire companies’ websites to try and find a deal. These days I don’t normally bother with that.
Instead I usually just use a car hire search engine to find the best deal and then, perhaps, just confirm that it is a good deal I check on the actual companies website (where it is likely to be more in my experience).
The car hire search engine I have found that has the best deals is Skyscanner. It provides a large selection to choose from, in price order, with some really incredible deals. You also book directly with the hire company themselves for peace of mind. It is best to click on a few of the options to check the conditions suit you.
Beware of the high cost of Collision Damage Waiver that car hire companies may pressurise you to pay for on top to cover your excess. (See Car Hire Excess Insurance section below for another, much cheaper, option.)
The two most frequently asked questions on the Fuerteventura Facebook groups are “What is the best car hire company in Fuerteventura?” and “What is the cheapest car hire in Fuerteventura?”
Those posts always get a big response with replies such as ” Autoreisen every time”, “Payless, no excess, great service”, “Cicar (best value)” and other similar comments. Everyone has their particular favourite, even if they have never used another one to compare it to.
One piece of advice – Don’t just take the easy route and book a hire car through your airline or tour company. At least don’t do it without checking for other deals first. Although they may try and tell you they are offering you a good deal, more often than not they aren’t. Don’t forget, they are making commission on the booking.
One more piece of advice – Always book online before you leave. You will get a much better deal than just turning up at the airport and going to a desk. Also, in peak periods, it can be difficult to find a car if you don’t pre-book to guarantee one being available.
Car hire from Fuerteventura airport
You are likely to find the cheapest car hire in Fuerteventura Airport, rather than outside in the resorts.
If you pick up the keys from one of the desks they will tell you which parking bay the car is in. The car hire parking is to the right of the large car park outside the terminal.
Car hire in the resorts
Just beware. Car rental rates in the resorts can be very high.
Believe it or not, I have actually seen examples of car rental rates in some of the resorts whose rates for one day are almost as much as I have paid for an entire week for a car I have picked up at the airport.
Child seats and booster seats are mandatory, just as they are in the UK. You will be able to hire these through your car hire company but make sure you pre-book them. Many hire car companies provide these free of charge.
Car hire excess insurance
Many people don’t realise that there is an alternative to paying the hefty daily excess cover (CDW) charges that the car hire companies try and make you pay which can be more than the daily rate for hiring the car in some cases.
You can take out a separate policy before you leave home for significantly less to cover the duration of the car hire or even take out an annual policy for only £45 a year if you hire cars more than once a year. This will cover everything that the hire car company excess insurance covers as well as:
covers multiple drivers (provide they are on the hire agreement)
misfuelling (petrol instead of diesel and vice versa)
Are you coming to Fuerteventura but unsure about hiring a car and driving in Fuerteventura as you have never driven abroad before? Hopefully I can convince you to give it a try. You will see much more of the island and be glad that you did, believe me.
If you are coming from the UK and have never driven a left-hand drive car on the “wrong side” of the road before then it can be quite daunting and nerve-racking. But don’t worry. There is probably no easier place in Europe to do it for the first time than driving in Fuerteventura.
The roads in Fuerteventura are really well maintained, well signposted and have relatively little traffic on them. Most drivers here are quite patient, perhaps more so than in the UK. And you will not have to worry about traffic jams as they are an unknown phenomenon here thankfully.
On a lighter note, perhaps the hardest thing is to remember to get in the correct side. I did get into the right-hand seat once when I was not thinking. It took a split second to realise that there was no steering wheel in front of me. As there were people nearby, to save face, I made out I was looking for something in the foot-well before getting out and into the driver’s side. I think I got away with it!
My tips for first time “wrong side of the road” drivers
The pedals (clutch, brake and accelerator) are all in the same place as in a right-hand drive car. So the only difference is that you have to use your right hand to change gear instead of your left. You will soon get used to that.
Tip 1. Staying on the correct side
Once you are driving it is pretty easy to actually always be on the correct (right) side of the road. I think the “danger” times are when you stop, perhaps for fuel, or to visit something. At that point you could just turn on to the wrong side of the road when leaving. Just make sure you take extra care after you have stopped.
Remember, the driver should always be nearest to the centre of the road, not your passenger.
Tip 2. Roundabouts
Obviously one of the big differences is that you will be going counterclockwise around the roundabouts, not clockwise. You will soon get used to that though.
No matter what they may think, the Spanish do not know how to negotiate roundabouts. They often either don’t indicate, or they indicate incorrectly, when approaching or on a roundabout.
If the roundabout is single lane then that is not normally a problem. However, on two lane roundabouts, many just stay in the right-hand (outer) lane even if they are going all the way around to go back the way they came. The safest thing for you to do, as wrong as it seems if turning left for example, is to follow suit and stay in the outside lane.
Fortunately there aren’t that many two lane roundabouts you are likely to encounter when driving in Fuerteventura so don’t worry about it.
Tip 3. Junctions
When you stop at a junction, to pull on to a main road, make sure you look in both directions to make sure nothing is coming. That way you won’t get confused and just look right, as you might in the UK, and pull out in front of an approaching car coming from the left. Here you need to look to the left of course.
Tip 4. An unusual custom
Something you may come across is if you are following a few cars on a main road, and you approach a turn off to the left, the cars in front may slow and all of them indicate left. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are all turning left as it is the custom here to also indicate left, even if you are going straight on, to warn the driver/s behind not to overtake as someone is turning left in front. Once the car turning left does then the others behind cancel their indicators and continue.
I can at least see some sense in this.
A few driving laws to be aware of
Laws similar to the UK
Just like in the UK there are laws against:
using a mobile phone while driving
not wearing seatbelts
children in child seats etc. (Most car hire companies provide these free of charge)
Of course, drink driving is also illegal (and in my opinion if you are driving you shouldn’t drink anything anyway) but you should be aware that the legal limit is lower here than in the UK. It is only 50 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood here whereas in the UK it is 80 milligrammes.
So if you are going to have a drink be aware that you can only drink half the amount you can in the UK before you are over the limit.
Don’t chance it. If you are driving stick to soft drinks or alcohol free beer (which is available in bars and restaurants everywhere here, unlike in the UK). Ask for a “cerveza sin alcohol.”
Laws particular to Fuerteventura (and Spain)
There are some specific laws to be aware of here. While some of these things might also be illegal in the UK, and covered within the “Driving without due care and attention/careless driving” offence, it would have to be proven that your driving fell below the expected driving level of a competent driver in doing so.
Here they are specific offences (absolute offences) so if you were doing any of them no proof is needed to show it adversely affected your driving. You were doing it, so you are guilty. Fines will be issued for any of them, starting at 100€ and going up steeply.
Driving with an arm out of window
If you like to drive with the window open (and who doesn’t here), make sure you don’t drive with your arm resting on the door in the open window. If you are seen that will be an instant fine.
Driving without a shirt
Driving a car without a shirt on ie. topless, will get you a fine too. Perhaps if you are a good looking young female doing it the police may just let you off with a warning (a very long warning)!
Driving in flip flops or barefoot
While it seems like a great idea to just wear your flip flops for the whole of your stay, or to come off the beach in bare feet and just hop in the car to drive home, if the police stop you they will not be impressed and neither will your bank account.
Pumping fuel with the radio on
Yes, really! Apparently they believe that this may increase the likelihood of an explosion.
Carry spare glasses
If you have to wear glasses for driving then you are required to carry a spare pair with you, which you might be required to show.
Stop means stop
At a road junction with a stop sign (and it does say stop) you are expected to stop (and apply your handbrake I believe.) That applies even if you can see for a mile that there are no cars coming at all.
I have known a few people who have been fined for not stopping at a stop sign.
I must admit it is not a law I adhere to unless I have to for safety’s sake (or I see a police car). To quote one of my hero’s, Douglas Bader, “Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men.”
Hopefully I have allayed any fears you may have had about driving in Fuerteventura and you now feel ready to bite the bullet and book a car for your visit. You may find my article on advice for renting a car here helpful.
Generally the Fuerteventura roads are very good. We don’t get the weather here that ruins roads in the UK and northern Europe. By that I mean the constant freeze/thaw in the winter that breaks up the surface.
I enjoy driving here as the roads are interesting with lots of bends so you don’t have the chance to get bored. Then there is the scenery to keep you interested as you drive through too.
One of the great things about the Fuerteventura roads is that you never get stuck in traffic jams. I remember driving through the capital, Puerto del Rosario, during “rush hour” once. The traffic was awful as I was the third car back getting on to the main roundabout and delayed by 20 seconds. How awful!
There are no motorways here although they are building a dual carriageway that will go from the north to the south. When I say building, they started it years ago and keep running out of money so it stops again. There are some sections completed in the south of the island and the inland dual carriageway new road to Corralejo is now fully open (in 2019).
As well as tarmac paved roads there are plenty of unmade “tracks”. These often provide access to the beaches. When you hire a car here you sign the agreement which says you will not take the car on unpaved roads. This naturally doesn’t stop most people from doing it. In fact, in the past, I have taken hire cars down tracks that I may think twice about taking my 4×4 down!
Read my other articles about driving and hiring cars