Algarve Car Hire Guide – How to Find Cheap & Reputable Algarve Car Hire

car rental is essential for many tourists visiting the algarve. there’s plenty to see, a coastline of resorts to explore and enough golf courses to entertain forest tigers in the summer. however, finding affordable, dependable, and reliable rental cars can be tricky.

With so many car rental companies and websites to choose from, it can be hard to know which ones are the most reliable. there are many stories on the web about customers being scammed or having a bad experience with car rental companies in the algarve.

Reading: Algarve car hire reviews

We have prepared a complete guide to car rental in the Algarve that shows the best and most reputable car companies to visit the south of Portugal. They are also very reasonably priced and won’t try to sell you a bunch of added extras you don’t need! reassure yourself about pickup, delivery and pricing.

car rental at faro airport

although you can rent a car in most cities and resorts in the algarve, the most common place to pick it up and drop it off is faro airport. almost all of the best car hire companies in the algarve operate from here, or will pick you up from the airport upon arrival.

Depending on the rental company you choose, you will need to visit the service desk at the airport upon arrival or be met by a member of staff outside the terminal building. they will then review the pertinent paperwork and take you to your car. this is the case for most of the carriers on our list below.

There is a small airport tax of 15 euros per car for car rental departing from Faro airport, which is usually charged as an additional cost by the company you choose.

Pro Tip: Choosing Faro Airport as your pickup and drop-off destination is often cheaper and easier than renting from a rental location in town. there is more competition, which pushes prices down! you will also save the cost of taxis/transfers to your hotel.

the best car rental companies in the algarve

All of the following algarve car rental companies and websites are handpicked based on personal experience and customer reviews.

please note: these car rental companies are applicable when you fly into faro airport, but some of them may operate throughout portugal.


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zitauto is a small company based in quarteira and faro, with an office in faro airport. offers reasonable prices for holiday car hire, a welcome service and everyone we have spoken to has had a pleasant experience with the company. They have a variety of basic but well maintained cars ranging from a Renault Clio to the Nissan Qashqai SUV. all insurance is included without the need for excess.

visit the zitauto website


drive4fun is a company we have used many times. It is just as reliable as the other Algarve car rental companies on our list, but we generally find the cost to be a bit lower. Their fleet is diverse, with a range of new and vintage cars. opt for the smallest in the class, a fiat panda or a comfortable and spacious seat arona. Prices include all-risk insurance and unlimited mileage.

see drive 4 fun website

show off

Luzcar is a family business based in Lagos, which has been in business for over 30 years. The company has great coverage throughout the Algarve coast and has good user reviews. we’ve found the prices to be a bit higher than other companies on our list, but full insurance is included (no excess). their fleet is also very good and covers everything from standard vehicles to large sport utility vehicles.

must be over 21 to rent with luzcar.

visit the luzcar website

All of the above algarve car hire recommendations are independent companies that we recommend contacting individually for a quote. Contacting the company itself rather than a third-party booking site means you have accurate information and can sometimes negotiate cheaper prices.

The information we have stated above is correct at the time of writing and you should first read the individual car rental website policies and insurance information before booking.

what insurance do I need to rent a car in the algarve?

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Most of the car rental companies in the algarve on our list have comprehensive insurance with no excess. this is not always the case, however; Some companies provide basic insurance coverage with an excess amount, which you will have to pay if you are in an accident. so check the policy details before you buy. If you have to pay an excess in the event of an accident, we recommend that you purchase a separate car rental excess cover.

it’s cheap and easy to buy through

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car rental companies in the algarve you should probably avoid

According to user reviews and comments from forums like tripadvisor, it is a safe bet to avoid the following car rental companies in the algarve. While some people have perfectly satisfactory experiences with these companies and so do you, there are a lot of negative reviews out there and it’s best to avoid them, in favor of the companies mentioned, whenever possible.

you’re less likely to get ripped off or have problems ruining your vacation if you stick to algarve car rental options with great reviews.

You will notice that many of the poorly reviewed companies are popular international brands that you will find in most other airports in Europe. Just because a franchise uses a global brand, it’s not necessarily as good as another branch of the same company elsewhere, so be careful.

  • europcar
  • yes car rental
  • quote
  • saver
  • how cheap is car rental in algarve?

    Compared to other European destinations such as the UK, Germany, Switzerland and Italy, car rental in the Algarve is quite affordable. prices vary seasonally, so expect to pay nearly double during the peak summer season of July and August, compared to the off-season months of March and April.

    rental prices for a small car like a renault clio start at around 80 euros a week, up to 200 a week in the summer months. a midsize SUV can cost anywhere from €120 a week to over €250. rates vary greatly between car rental companies and dates, so be sure to shop around for the best prices.

    rent a car at faro airport and leave it elsewhere

    If you are planning a multi-stop Portugal itinerary and want to pick up and drop off your rental car at different locations, it is important to choose a car rental company that can make it easy. Local companies may not offer this service, so we recommend choosing a company that has offices throughout Portugal. If you plan to pick up your car at Faro airport but drop it off in Lisbon, for example, Hertz is a good company to use. most car rental companies will charge a “one way fee” for dropping you off at a different location.

    our best tips for renting a car in the algarve

    • always read the terms and conditions to see what is included, before reserving your rental car. you will find them on the booking website. note mileage included, how many drivers are included, satnav, additional fees, etc.
    • Check what insurance coverage is included. if an excess must be paid, please purchase separate excess insurance.
    • make sure you take note of the age restrictions of the algarve car rental company you choose. some rental companies have a minimum hiring age of 21, or even 25 in some cases.
    • compare quotes from recommendations above to get the best price for your rental. the direct website is usually the cheapest, but be sure to look on comparison engines like skyscanner just to be sure.
    • take a look at the car and take pictures of any flaws/marks/damage before you leave.
    • save money on expensive gps rentals by buying your own in the uk before you leave (ebay is perfect). The price you pay for your own GPS will most likely exceed the rental price for a week. What’s more, you send it to us on your other vacations! Alternatively, use your free Google Maps app on your smartphone. Currently, free data roaming includes Portugal.
    • check the fuel policy of your rental car in advance:
      • if it is ‘full to full’, it is better to fill the tank up to the maximum capacity yourself on the way to the return of the car otherwise I will charge you extra.
        • if the policy is “return empty”, just use as much fuel as you need and leave the car at the end of the stay. you may need to pay for a tank of fuel in advance.
        • take note of the type of fuel the car uses: unleaded gasoline or diesel.
        • book online as far in advance as possible for the best prices, especially if you’re traveling during July or August.
        • we have now recommended the best car rental companies in the algarve, all that is left to do now is book and plan an unforgettable holiday! Explore the Algarve at your leisure, knowing that you can stop and visit amazing beaches, towns and tourist attractions from the comfort of your own car. it’s a much easier way to get around compared to local buses and much cheaper than taxis.

          be sure to let us know if you have any questions, in the comments section below. 😊

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          thanks for reading! If you liked our article, share it with your friends or print it for your trip. feel free to contact us with any questions you may have…

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