Renting a car in the Canary Islands this summer is almost impossible with “No Availability”.

Due to the boom in tourists and the reduction in rental car fleets in the sector has made searching for a rental car this summer almost impossible.

There are no rental cars available in the non-capital islands of the Canaries, with limited availability in Tenerife and Gran Canaria. With the boom in national tourism, Canarians and people from the peninsula and the influx of international tourists wanting to explore the landscapes and towns of the islands rather than stay in the hotel, added with reduced fleets, leaves many with almost no travel options. 

Go back to March 2020 as the pandemic was hitting the Canary Islands, an initiative called ‘tourism zero’ was launched with the aim of closing the islands down to travellers which lasted for three months. This culminated with the closure of hotels and travel restrictions which led to the car hire companies selling practically their entire fleets because, uncirculated cars generate numerous expenses and are ageing, losing value without generating any profit. 

Mamerto Cabrera - the co-owner of CICAR (Cabrera Medina) has confirmed that in the smaller islands, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro, that “practically the fleet of all companies is rented” this summer. 

"In El Hierro, we have more rented cars than ever, while in La Palma and La Gomera we have a little less rented cars than in 2019", he explains.

Cabrera advises that, since "in smaller islands, it can be difficult to rent", tourists should "plan in advance the rental of the vehicle". Of course, he points out that everything depends on the time of the month and the day of the week in question, since "during the week there are days when it is easy to rent."

When asked about what could be causing the shortage, he states that, despite the fact that there are "many fewer tourists, because you just have to see how many hotels are still empty", what is happening is that "all tourists who come, or the vast majority, want a rental car ".

Pointing out that tourists are choosing to rent both for safety against COVID and for comfort when moving around the Islands and Cabrera understands those points they consider of interest.

Another reason, Cabrera says, is that this year all rental companies have a smaller fleet of vehicles compared to 2020. In the case of Cicar, the reduction "is not very large, but it shows."

Finally, he points out that his regular customers are from the mainland and the Canaries. In addition, he highlights that "the Canarian tourist who rents has grown a lot". This means that his sector “is experiencing a recovery compared to 2020”, something that in his opinion should be celebrated, “since these tourists who rent, leave money throughout the Island, travels and spends where they move. And that is beneficial for all Canarians”.