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Researching car rental options in Tenerife, I was surprised to find out most apparently ban ferry-hoping between islands, even though all of them are within Spain and the Schengen area. E.g. this quote from Tripadvisor:

Generally the hire companies wont allow you to take a car from one island to another without incurring an additional (and expensive) fee. You are normally better off hiring a car on each island.

Are there any car rentals which allow you to do that free of charge or for a small fee?

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    I do wonder how car hire companies enforce such rules as this, how would they know you took the ferry to another island, unless they have spies on the dock? – Crazymoomin Jul 17 '16 at 22:59
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    @Crazymoomin they could have an agreement with the ferry companies not to let rental cars through without special permission – JonathanReez Jul 17 '16 at 23:02
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    I do wonder why you would want to do this, since generally the cost of bringing a car (any car) on a ferry greatly exceeds the cost for a foot passenger. – Greg Hewgill Jul 18 '16 at 1:04
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    Convenience. Get into port by car, leave the port by car. Spread over 4 people the ferry crossing wouldn't be too expensive. – JonathanReez Jul 18 '16 at 7:33
  • @JonathanReez that would be really expensive for the rental company if so, ferries aren't going to enforce something that isn't their problem without a big fee. – Crazymoomin Jul 18 '16 at 7:37
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I have checked with Cicar, one of the cheapest and reliable companies in Canary Island, and they told me that you can take the car to other island as long as you return it in the same island where you rented it. You don't have to pay extra money for this but you have to ask them for an authorization.

This is what they answered to me about you question. This is the answer they gave me. It is in Spanish but basically It says what I told you.

From: <info@cicar.com> (sent by cmxxx@grupocabreramedina.com)

Buenos días,

Usted puede alquilar un coche en una isla y pasarlo a otra, siempre y cuando devuelva el coche en la misma isla que lo recogió, sin cargo extra. Además deberá pedir la autorización a nuestra oficina para que conste en su contrato y tenga una cobertura total.

Gracias

Saludos

On the other hand, Cicar is an inexpensive company and they have offices in every dock so you can take a new car as soon as you arrive to the next destination. This option can be the cheapest since you don't have to pay for the car transportation when you move between islands, which is not usually cheap.

  • So it's possible to ferry the car free of charge with all rental companies? – JonathanReez Jul 17 '16 at 23:01
  • Yes, I have checked directly with CIcar and they told me that you don't have to pay anything as far as you return the car in the same island. However you have to ask for an authorization just in case you have an accident in another island. I'm am going to update the answer with this new information. – JCalcines Jul 19 '16 at 10:00
  • @JonathanReez as I read it this is only valid for the mentioned Cicar, there is no answer on possible other companies, you would have to specify one that you intend to rent from. +1 on Q & A – mts Jul 21 '16 at 9:56
  • @mts my question was if such a company exists, this answered it perfectly. Maybe a different question is needed for other companies. – JonathanReez Jul 21 '16 at 11:46
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I want to inform that in many cases, boarding Armas or Fred Olsen's ferries with a car is LESS expensive than without the car. Othertimes the price is the same. Seems silly but this is due to special family offers that includes 3-4 persons and a car. Just check their sites.

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