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Car Rental

Car Rental

coche2For many visitors to Menorca, once you’ve stepped outside the airport terminal, your first holiday challenge comes with four wheels. So to make sure you don’t have a bumpy ride on Menorca’s roads this summer, here are a few tips for driving on the island. That Menorca’s a small island is no secret – it takes less than an hour to drive the 45km that separate Mahón and Ciutadella – so hiring a car gives you plenty of scope to explore its north and south coast, but a lack of distances doesn’t mean that island driving is without its idiosyncrasies

The first observation that drivers tend to make relates to the incredible variety of traffic on island roads. Apart from the locals – putting jokes about  Spaniards’ driving techniques to one side – by the height of summer, local, foreign and hire cars share Menorca’s roads with an ample selection of vehicles. You’ll spot buses, coaches, motorbikes – right down to ones with as much power as a hairdryer – lorries, tractors chugging at 50 kilometres per hour, cyclists, and on minor tracks and roads you could well share the tarmac with horses, walkers and sometimes traffic might be held up as a  herd of cows trundle across the road. Needless to say, each occupant merits attention when you’re behind the wheel.

In addition to admiring this parade of vehicles, you must keep one eye on your speedometer too – the maximum is 90 kilometres per hour on the main road, although at times it drops below this. There are four radars on the main road (Me-1): two for traffic passing through Es Mercadal (you must drop to 50 kilometres per hour here as it is considered a built up area) and two close to the junction between the main road (Me-1) and  the turning for Son Bou and Alaior.  That’s not to say you can relax everywhere else, as the police, or  Guardia Civil, also have mobile radars.

Whichever filter lane you find yourself on, you must give way to traffic already on the major road. It certainly sounds like common sense on paper, but it is something that drivers often forget – and these junctions are accident black spots.

Once off the main roads, negotiating the narrow streets of Menorcan towns and villages can take some getting used to – in fact, it’s probably wiser to explore them on foot.

If you park in one of the blue-painted bays, then you’ll have to purchase a ticket at a nearby parking machine – ensure this ticket, and the time limit printed on it are visible from outside the car when you leave it on the dashboard.

If you overstep the timeframe, and are unlucky enough to be given a parking ticket, you can avoid hefty fines by popping three euros in an envelope (provided with your ticket), and posting that in the ticket machine to cancel your fine.

So take special care when moving around Menorca’s roads – regardless of whether it’s your first drive on the island or you’re a regular visitor – as some of the island’s roads can take even the most experienced drivers by surprise.

Ambercars, Menorca