Navigating Tenerife: A Guide for Foreign Drivers

Navigating Tenerife: A Guide for Foreign Drivers
June 29, 2023

Are you planning a trip to Tenerife and considering exploring the island by car? Driving in Tenerife can be an exhilarating experience that offers you the freedom to discover the island’s hidden treasures at your own pace. But before you set off, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the features of road traffic on the island, local driving rules, and some key recommendations to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey.

Car Rental in Tenerife: The Starting Point

Starting your journey begins with choosing the right vehicle. Tenerife offers a variety of car rental options to suit different needs and budgets. From economic compact cars to convertible sports cars, and even a luxury car for those who want to explore the island in style. Whatever vehicle you opt for, ensure it’s equipped with the necessary safety features and that you’re comfortable driving it.

The Roadways of Tenerife: A Diverse Terrain

Driving in Tenerife is characterized by the diversity of its roads. The island features a mix of motorways, country roads, mountainous paths, and city streets. Main roads are generally well-maintained and offer stunning sea views and scenic landscapes. However, rural and mountain roads can be narrow and winding, requiring cautious driving.

Driving Rules and Regulations: Stay in Compliance

Understanding Tenerife’s driving rules and regulations is crucial for a safe driving experience. Here are some key points to remember:

  • Right-hand Driving: In Tenerife, as in the rest of Spain, driving is on the right-hand side of the road.
  • Speed Limits: The general speed limit is 120 km/h on motorways, 90 km/h on main roads, and 50 km/h in urban areas, unless otherwise indicated.
  • Seat Belts: Wearing seat belts is mandatory for all occupants of the vehicle.
  • Child Safety: Children under 135 cm must be seated in a child restraint system suitable for their size and weight.
  • Alcohol Limit: The blood alcohol limit is 0.05%. For novice drivers with less than two years of experience, the limit is 0.03%.
  • Documentation: Always carry your driving license, ID/passport, and vehicle documents, including the rental contract if applicable.

Parking in Tenerife: Know the Rules

Parking rules in Tenerife are clearly marked, but they can sometimes be confusing for foreign drivers. Blue zones indicate paid parking, while white zones are free. Yellow lines indicate no parking zones. Also, note that some areas offer free parking during siesta hours (2 pm to 5 pm).

Tips and Recommendations: Drive with Confidence

Following these tips can enhance your driving experience in Tenerife:

  • Preparation: Before hitting the road, familiarize yourself with your route and check the current weather conditions, especially when planning to drive in mountainous regions.
  • GPS: Consider using a GPS with updated maps of Tenerife. It can guide you through unfamiliar routes and help you locate points of interest.
  • Insurance: Make sure your car rental includes adequate insurance coverage. In the event of an accident or damage, you will be grateful for the peace of mind it provides.
  • Respect for Locals: Tenerife locals are known for their relaxed driving style. Keep calm, respect the local driving culture, and avoid aggressive driving behaviors.
  • Emergencies: Save the number for emergencies (112) in your phone. This number can connect you to police, ambulance, and fire services.
  • Fuel: Keep an eye on your fuel gauge. Fuel stations may be sparse in remote areas, so it’s wise to fill up when you have the chance.
  • Rest: Avoid driving when you’re tired. The scenic drives may be enchanting, but they require a high level of concentration, especially on winding mountain roads.

Tenerife is a paradise for motorists, with its diverse landscapes, panoramic views, and well-maintained roads. Whether you are driving a small compact car or a luxury car, the experience will be an unforgettable one. By understanding the features of road traffic on Tenerife and adhering to local rules and guidelines, you can ensure a safe, enjoyable, and truly memorable driving experience on this beautiful island. So buckle up, start the engine, and let the adventure begin!

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