Car Rental is the most convenient way to see the island, it’s obvious, go where you want, when you want.
In the Canary Islands you drive on the left hand side of the road, for those of you who live on main land Europe, this is normal, but for those living in the UK, it’s the opposite to what you are used to. Do not worry, you will soon get used to it, a good tip is to remember that the driver should always be in the centre of the road.
If you are really unsure, it’s best to head out of town where it’s quieter, with less traffic you can concentrate on junctions and keeping to the correct side of the road, you will be surprised how quickly you get the hang of it.
The locals do like blowing their horns, just ignore them and take your time, you need to concentrate on which side of the road you are pulling out on to, not getting flustered by the car behind blowing their horn, they most likely only want to get to the next bar for a coffee anyway, it’s just the way they are!!!
Roundabouts can seem a bit strange the first couple of times you navigate them because you are going round them in the wrong direction ( or so it seems), but just follow the traffic flow and you will be OK.
Canarian drivers do not seem to like using the inside lane on roundabouts for some reason, they just go round in the outside lane until they get to the exit they want, this makes it very difficult to exit at the junction you want when you correctly use the inside lane and indicate to move over at the exit you want, they don’t want to let you across………..( they are taught how to use a roundabout in the correct way, but forget as soon as they pass their test), in the end you find it far safer doing what the locals do and go round in the outside lane, all the time wondering why they bothered to put the inside lane there.
Traffic lights are the same as the UK with the exception that late at night and in off peaks times you will sometimes find the traffic lights have been turned to just a ‘flashing amber’.
When you come to a junction with ‘flashing amber’, it means that you can proceed with caution, it doesn’t mean that you have the right of way. All traffic approaching the junction from the other directions will also be being shown ‘flashing amber’, so make sure you way is clear.
Speed Camera’s, there are at the moment (December 2010) 4 permanent speed cameras, 2 on the North Autpista and 2 on the South Autopista. There are unmarked police cars with speed camera’s that patrol the Autopistas and black spots on the island.
Drinking and Driving is as strict here as it is in your own country and the police do do road side checks which can include breathalysers, so it’s best not to drink and drive.
Enjoy your time exploring Tenerife, there is so much to see, it’s such a diverse Island.