Below is all you need to know to get ready for driving in Lanzarote (with photos and video) : Road conditions, Rules, things to pay attention to... And tips to hire a car in Lanzarote. Don't worry, it is quite easy!
Navigate back to the complete Canary Islands Guide
This article contains affiliate Links (info on the Disclosure page). If you purchase using my link, I get a commission at no extra cost to you.
Driving in Lanzarote - Video
Let's start with a short video to give you a feel for what it is live to be driving in Lanzarote : on main the main roads, on side roads and in towns:
How is driving in Lanzarote - Short answer
For those who do not want to read the full article, here is the short answer.
As you can see in the video above, Driving in Lanzarote is quite easy with road in correct conditions. So no worries!
A few things to remember though:
- Driving is on the right side of the road
- Alcohol limit = 0,05%
- Locals can be impatient, don't forget to check your mirrors for locals overtaking you
- Don't forget your driving license (for EU) or International Driving Permit
- Don't go on unpaved roads with a rental cars
- Wearing flip-flops to drive is prohibited (like in many countries, but more enforced)
Complete rules and tips, further in the article.
Should you Hire a car in Lanzarote?
General answer: YES!!!!
Unless you plan to spend the whole time lying on the beach and drinking cocktails by the pool...
Pros and Cons of hiring a car in Lanzarote
- You have to bother driving, rather than sit back and relax
- There is a really good offer of excursions from all resort towns to see volcanoes, islands, wineries, and César Manrique's work. Check out my article about the best Lanzarote excursions
- If you are staying in some areas of the resort towns (mostly in the center and close to the water, parking can be a pain)
- Often cheaper to rent a car for the whole week than to pay transfers to and from the airport
- You can decide in the morning where to go, depending on the weather and how you are feeling - you are not bound to booked group tours
- It is more cost-effective that group tours
- You can go anywhere you want, where buses won't take you. You can drive on side roads, and discover amazing views such as the one on the photo below with Montana Colorada in the background:
Where to go in Lanzarote - Itinerary
There is so many places to see in Lanzarote: all the main attractions with:
- Volcanoes (such as Timanfaya National Park)
- Volcanic features (such as Los Hervideros)
- Beaches (Papagayo...)
- Islands (La Graciosa...)
- Viewpoints (Mirador del Rio)
- Architecture & Art by César Manrique (Jameos del Agua, Cactus Garden...)
I have created an eBook to help you decide and plan your drives around the island including the famous attractions and off the beaten path nature wonders:
Where to pick up car - and for how long?
Car hire in Lanzarote is available from the airport as well as all the main resort towns; Playa Blanca, Puerto del Carmen, Costa Teguise and the capital Arrecife.
So you could hire it only for a few days from the town where your accommodations is.
However, really, to save money, I think it is better to hire your car from the Lanzarote airport in Arrecife for the whole duration of your stay.
The car hire companies' desks are located in terminals 1 and 2 on arrivals.
Car Hire Lanzarote - Tips
Driving License for Lanzarote Trip
First of all, do not forget your driving license!!! LOL
Then the rules are as follows:
- People with EU licenses can drive on their holidays with only their valid national licenses
- Normally all other nationalities must have an International Driving Permit (on top of their national license)
- In Spain (and so in the Canaries) you must be 18 years of age to drive, but make sure you check the conditions for your car hire, because some companies may require a few years of experience (often 23 years of age)
Things to consider when hiring a car in Lanzarote
- Price - Generally car hire in Lanzarote is quite cheap, especially if you book online in advance - you can compare prices here
- Local / International well known - You can find both options in Lanzarote. However the local Canary island companies Cicar and Cabrera Medina (same owners) are not in any of the price comparators right now. So you would have to check separately. They have a good reputation
- Unpaved roads - Check your contracts, most companies do not allowed to drive on unpaved road. Which means if you go to Papagayo beaches with you rental (tracks only) and you have a technical problem, then you will have to pay a lot of money for servicing
- Renting a 4WD? might not b the solution because many companies don't allow off-road even with 4WD. So check the small prints!
- Mileage - don't forget to check the conditions of your car hire in Lanzarote - the island is not too big, but it can be expensive when you get over the authorised mileage
- Insurance - some rentals look more expensive but sometimes it is because they include the insurance, so compare what can be compared - and check out the excess in case of accident
- Fuel Policy - be aware that the cheapest of cheapest often run scams where you have to come back with an empty tank and they charge you a lot of money for gas. So check for a "full gas tank policy" - However, for example Cicar, write on the pick up where the tank level is and you have to return it at roughly the same, which is fine (not a scam) but not easy to manage...
- 24/7 customer service
- Air conditioning in the car
Most of the companies do not allow you to change island with your car. And you will be in big trouble if you do go and have a technical issue or accident.
Note that Cicar does allow you to take the ferry to Fuerteventura with your hired car.
So best to do a comparison
- Cost of ferry for the whole party + car
- Versus - Cost of ferry seat without car for the whole party + rental in Fuerteventura
Driving Rules in Lanzarote
And now for the few rules you should be aware of:
- Driving in on the right side of the road, which means roundabouts are taken anti-clockwise
- Driving rules from Spain apply
- Road signs are fairly easy to understand, nothing special to note
- Alcohol limit is 0.05% which is lower than the UK
- Seatbelt is mandatory
- No cell phone while driving
- Don’t wear flip flops to drive
- Speed limits are clearly indicated and enforced
- And of course: fully stop at stop signs, don't cross solid white lines, traffic on carriageway has priority to you entering...
- Emergency number: 112
Road conditions in Lanzarote
Generally speaking, roads are in good condition.
The main ones are especially good, mostly one lane in each direction with beautiful pavement and clear lines:
When you go off the beaten path, you may be driving on smaller road. Those might have holes and bumps but also a lot less traffic. So take your time, it is easy if you don't speed.
And if locals arrive, slow don and give way.
Only 2 roads are a little bit more difficult than the others.
1. LZ-10 down to the town of Haria. It is a mountain side road, with 5 sharp bends. It is not that hard, but some people are not big fans. Just take your time
2. LZ-202 to Mirador del Rio. The inland part of the road to the mirador is very easy. But for those you want to loop on the scenic part along the cliff, note that the road is just large enough for 2 cars (with not much space to spare if the cars are large). My suggestion is to leave the car at the carpark and go enjoy this road on foot. This way you can really appreciate the views. And you drive back via the inland part of the road.
Driving in towns
No major difficulties with driving in towns.
Some smaller villages have smaller streets where you might have to wait to engage. But generally it is quite easy.
Driving in Arrecife
What I don't recommend it driving inside the center of Arrecife.
YOU can drive around, and park in the South to explore on foot.
But the small very streets of the center with one-way roads everywhere is really a nightmare. I was really annoyed when I got stuck in.
Dangers on the roads of Lanzarote
There are 3 main dangers to be aware of when driving around Lanzarote:
- SCENERY - The main danger is for you to be distracted by the amazing scenery especially around volcanoes and lava. The solidified lava seas can be very impressive and you want to look better but there is no place to stop. This is when you become dangerous
- LOCALS - because you want to look at the scenery, locals going to work can be impatient. There are sometimes a bit crazy when overtaking. So always look in your mirrors, particularly when turning left (to an accommodation for example) in the middle of a long straight road
- CYCLISTS - During weekends cyclists take over the roads. Be really careful when overtaking.
If just had one big scare with a local driving way to close to me one evening while being on her phone. The road I was one had lava on both side so no way to stop for a while...
Fuel is quite cheap in the Canary.
And they have attendants to fill up your tank, which I love.
There are stations roughly everywhere, so don't worry
Most attractions have large free carparks.
The main attractions have paved carparks, while off the beaten path places (such as start of volcano hikes) might be unpaved. Drive slowly on them.
OffRoad in Lanzarote
As I said earlier, many rental companies don't even allow 4WD vehicles to go off road.
So your options are:
Time to plan your trip
Get the GPS coordinates of the most beautiful places to see in Lanzarote and easily plan your Lanzarote itinerary with the practical maps:
Want to see more of the CANARY ISLANDS?
Ready to drive in Lanzarote?
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: