Should you rent a car in Lanzarote? Our answer is definitely yes.
Below you’ll find all our tips for driving in Lanzarote:
- Is driving difficult? Safe?
- Rules of the road and road signs,
- Road conditions and safety tips,
- Parking information,
- Car rental tips
- The most beautiful roads not to be missed,
Don’t worry, it’s easy enough!
BEFORE ALL OUR TIPS, OUR favorites
Our favorite car rental platform with great offers: DiscoverCars
This opinion is completely independent, based on our experiences. We visited the region anonymously, making our own choices and paying our bills in full.
Driving in Lanzarote: what you need to know
What you need to know before driving in Lanzarote
If you don’t want to read the whole article, here are the essential points to know about driving in Lanzarote:
- Minimum age 18
- Driving on the right-hand side of the road
- Roads are generally in very good condition
- Don’t use unpaved roads with a rental car.
- It is forbidden to wear flip-flops when driving (as in many countries, but more strictly).
- Locals can be impatient, so don’t forget to check your mirrors for passing locals.
- In case of accident – emergency number: 112
Where we rent our cars
We always compare prices immediately at Discovercars.com.
It is one of the highest rated comparison sites in the market.
We’ve found some great deals and the platform is super easy to use. We can filter according to our criteria.
Plus, they offer a convenient coverage option at a great price that will cover you in case of damage to the exterior of the car.
We personally selected Cicar and had a very good experience.
Need help renting a car in Lanzarote? Read our tips for a worry-free experience.
Getting around Lanzarote – do you need a car?
Do I need to rent a car in Lanzarote?
- Not if you want to stay in a seaside resort and go to the beach.
- Yes, if you want to enjoy the variety of landscapes Lanzarote has to offer.
- Yes, if you want the freedom to adapt your program to the weather or avoid busy periods, to observe sunrises or sunsets.
- Yes, if you want to enjoy hidden gems off the beaten track
Overall, we think renting a car is the best way to explore the island and see all the best things to do, as well as off-the-beaten-path locations.
This will allow you to see some of the most beautiful scenery Lanzarote has to offer.
All our favorite locations are included (with GPS coordinates, map and tips) in the eBook travel guide that helps you easily plan your road trip to Lanzarote:
WITH OUR GUIDE PLAN YOUR DREAM TRIP TO lanzarote
All the information you need for your trip:
- 7 maps that make planning easier
- + 75 pre-selected locations
- Practical advice
- + 140 photos to help you choose
How is driving in Lanzarote? Is it difficult? Is it safe?
Driving in Lanzarote is generally easy and safe.
Most roads are wide and in good condition. And visibility is generally very good.
There are a few narrower roads, but these are the ones that lead to non-touristy places, so you won’t have any traffic on them.
Getting around Lanzarote without a car
It’s possible to get around Lanzarote without a car, to see some of the sights, but it’s not flexible:
- Bus – There are buses between the main towns, but the frequency is not intense.
- Organized excursions – There is a wide range of full-day and half-day excursions from the main resorts (Playa Blanca, Costa Teguise, Puerto del Carmen…) – see options or See our article on the best excursions in Lanzarote
Map with driving times – Lanzarote by car
Here’s a map of driving times you can expect in Lanzarote.
#1 to 6 – Rules of conduct in Lanzarote
Let’s start with the general rules and regulations you need to know:
#1 – Licence requirements / Age – Do I need an International Driving Permit?
To drive in Lanzarote, and in Spain in general, you need a valid driver’s license from your country.
- EU license holders can drive on vacation with only their valid national license.
- All other nationalities must have an International Driving Permit (in addition to their national license).
You must be 18 years of age (although many rental companies may have other age requirements).
You must also carry your vehicle registration documents and a valid form of identification, such as your passport, with you at all times.
#2 – Side of the road
In Lanzarote, driving is on the right-hand side of the road.
It’s very important to remember this on single-lane roads when you have to give way!
This means that traffic circles are taken counter-clockwise.
#3 – General rules of behaviour
- Seat belts are mandatory for all
- No cell phones while driving
- Headphones are illegal
- Children under 12 are not allowed to sit in the front of the car.
- Don’t wear flip-flops when driving
#4 – Alcohol and Driving
The legal alcohol limit here is 0.05%. Driving under the influence is considered a serious offence.
We always recommend not drinking at all if you’re driving.
#5 – Mandatory equipment to have in your car
In Lanzarote, the following equipment must be available in the car:
- 2 warning triangles
- Reflective vest or jacket
- Spare wheel and tools for changing it
- First-aid kit (recommended, not mandatory)
- Flashlight (recommended, not mandatory)
- Children weighing less than 18 kg must be placed in child seats.
- Children under 135 cm tall must be seated on a booster seat in the rear seats.
#6 – Mandatory insurance
The only compulsory insurance in Lanzarote is unlimited third-party insurance – automatically included in the price of all car rentals.
If you come with your own car, don’t forget to bring proof of insurance.
#7 to 12 – Road conditions and signs in Lanzarote
#7 – Conditions on fast roads
Lanzarote has no freeway.
But there are roads that allow you to drive faster between cities. They are in very good condition, mostly single-lane in each direction with good surfacing and clear lines:
#8 – Other road conditions to enjoy
Once off the freeways, the roads vary.
Most of them have at least one lane in each direction.
When you get off the beaten track, you can ride on smaller roads. These can have holes and bumps, but also much less traffic. So take your time, it’s easy if you don’t speed.
And if residents arrive, slow down and give way.
Only 2 routes are slightly more difficult than the others.
- LZ-10 to the town of Haria. It’s a mountainside road, with 5 sharp bends. It’s not that difficult, but some people aren’t big fans. Take your time
- LZ-202 at Mirador del Rio. The inner part of the route to the mirador is very easy. But for those who want to loop around the scenic part along the cliff, note that the road is just wide enough for 2 cars (with not much room to spare if cars are large). Our suggestion is to leave the car at the parking lot and enjoy the route on foot. That way, you can really appreciate the views. And you enter from the inner part of the road.
#9 – Driving in towns and villages
No major difficulties for city driving.
Some small villages have smaller streets where you may have to wait to get involved. But in general, it’s pretty easy.
What we don’t recommend is driving in the center of Arrecife.
You can do the tour by car, and park in the south to explore on foot.
But the narrow streets in the center, with one-way streets everywhere, are a nightmare. We were really annoyed when we got stuck.
#10 – Speed limits and signs
- Speed limits are indicated on circular signs with a red border and a number
- Speed limits are expressed in kilometers per hour
- National speed limits are: 50km/h in residential areas, up to 110km/h on main roads.
#11 – Other road signs in Lanzarote
Road signs are classic, in Latin letters, so there’s nothing specific you need to know.
There are lots of signs pointing the way. Although sometimes, in the countryside, they can be lacking.
Points of interest are indicated on brown signs.
#12 – Tolls in Lanzarote
There are no toll roads.
The only “toll” is on the unpaved road to the Papagayo beaches. It’s more like a barrier.
#13 to 15 – How to drive safely
#13 – Know the potential dangers on Lanzarote’s roads
Apart from driving too fast, the main dangers on Lanzarote’s roads are..:
- LANDSCAPES – The main danger is that you’ll be distracted by the stunning scenery, especially around volcanoes and lava. Seas of solidified lava can be very impressive and you want to take a better look, but there’s nowhere to stop. That’s when you become dangerous.
- LOCALS – because you want to look at the scenery, locals going to work can be impatient. They can be a bit crazy when overtaking. So always look in your mirrors, especially when turning left (towards a home, for example) in the middle of a long straight road.
- CYCLISTS – Cyclists take to the roads at weekends. Be very careful when overtaking.
#14 – Specific driving tips
Here are a few special features of driving in Lanzarote:
#15 – What to do in the event of an accident
If people are injured or there is a conflict, the emergency number is 112:
The best order of action is
- contact the emergency services
- contact the police
- contact your rental provider
#16 to 17 – Parking in Lanzarote
#16 – Parking in cities
Parking in Arrecife can be very difficult. We recommend that you choose an underground parking lot and drive straight to it.
In seaside resorts, it can also be difficult to find parking, especially near beaches.
If you’re staying in one, don’t forget to check whether it includes a parking space or not.
#17 – Parking at attractions
Most attractions have large free parking lots.
The main attractions have paved parking lots, while off-the-beaten-track areas (such as the start of volcano hikes) may be unpaved. Drive slowly on these roads.
WHERE TO STAY IN Lanzarote
Option 1: Playa Blanca
To the south, the resort is charming with beautiful beaches. We recommend..:
Option 2: Puerto del Carmen
Main seaside resort with large beaches. We recommend..:
#17 to 18 – Gas station
#17 – Fuels
- Fuel is considered cheap compared to the rest of Europe
- The Spanish word for service station is “estación de servicio”.
- Gasoline is found on the green pump – called “gasolina” and if unleaded “gasolina sin plomo”.
- Diesel is found on the black pump called “gasoil”.
- See the concentration of charging stations for electric cars where you go in Lanzarote on this website
#18 – Service station management
- There are stations just about everywhere, so don’t worry.
- And most of them have gas station attendants, which we love.
- At night, you may have to pay in advance before you can refuel.
#19 – Lanzarote’s most beautiful roads
The island is not large.
You can drive almost any road and admire the different facets of Lanzarote.
- Our favorite is driving through Los Volcanes nature park, with volcanoes and lava fields all around. – LZ-56 and LZ-67
- The coastal road from Janubio to El Golfo (with lava cliffs, salt marshes…)
- The road around Mirador del Rio
#20 to 23 – Rent a car in Lanzarote
Here is an overview of the main things you need to know.
Find out more in our article on car rental in Lanzarote.
#20 – Type of car to rent
- Most cars in Lanzarote have manual transmissions. You’ll pay more for an automatic, and there are fewer options.
No specific size or power recommendations
#21 – Where to rent
Car rental in Lanzarote is available at the airport, the port and the main resorts: Playa Blanca, Puerto del Carmen, Costa Teguise and the capital Arrecife.
The largest car rental centers in Lanzarote are:
- Arrecife Airport – car rental – see offers
- Arrecife port – car rental – view offers
- Playa Blanca – car rental – view offers
We personally used Cicar in Lanzarote and were very satisfied. It is available on Discovercars.com.
#22 – 4WD and off-road in Lanzarote
As we said earlier, many rental companies don’t even allow 4WD vehicles off-road.
Your options are as follows:
- Book an off-road excursion – we did a day with Crazy David with a private tour organized according to my interests and it was splendid – Contact here on his website
- Rent a buggy and follow your guide – see options
#23 – General tips for a carefree experience
- There’s nothing special about renting a car in Lanzarote – no insurance and no special rules.
- As everywhere else, we recommend a thorough examination of the car before picking it up (and take photos).
- Book early for best prices and choice of cars
- Avoid driving in Lisbon and Porto – public transport is excellent
- See all our tips in our other article
#24 – Change island – ferry with rental car
Most companies do not allow you to change islands with your car. And you’ll be in big trouble if you go there and have a technical problem or an accident.
The best thing to do is to make a comparison:
- Cost of ferry for the whole group + car with a company that allows it
- Versus – Cost of ferry berth without car for whole group + rental in Fuerteventura
If you rent withDiscovercars.com, once you have selected a car, you can click on “Rental Conditions”, then again on “Rental Conditions” or “Additional Conditions” to find the “Geographical Restrictions”.
If they are not documented, you can add the question to customer support.
Let’s end with a short video to give you an idea of what it’s like to drive in Lanzarote: on the main roads, on the secondary roads and in the towns: