On first coming over to Fuerteventura, we hired a car from our usual place, Autoreisen, at the airport for just 4 weeks. We knew that if we hadn’t managed to buy a car in that period we would be able to extend our hire, but wasn’t sure if we would get the same good deal.
When we started looking, our favourite car to first look at was the Duster. We wanted something with a good ground clearance so that we could travel the many wonderful tracks here on Fuerteventura. We didn’t want a big car but we wanted a decent size flat boot that could easily take my mobility scooter, and more, if necessary, and the Duster did seem to fit the bill at a reasonable price. However, when we called in to the Renault garage in Puerto del Rosario, there wasn’t one in the show room and we were told they wouldn’t have one until the end of April/May. This was a big disappointment to us as we simply didn’t want to wait that long to get a car. There was also the fact that, what if we did wait that long then didn’t like it when we test drove it? So we decided not to wait.
But where should we go from here? Our thoughts went to a second hand car, but there are very few second hand garages, and those we visited only had half a dozen cars or so, none of which were really what we wanted or needed. We found out that used cars hold their value much better here than in the UK, so we wouldn’t be saving quite as much as we thought.
Anyway, we contacted About Cars, whose website Ian had been watching prior to our moving over here. I must say that, despite all the good reviews, I was somewhat unsure and dubious about them. They don’t have a show room where you can browse the cars, but instead bring a car to you. How on earth could this work when you don’t really know what you want?
Ian first chatted with Wieberen (the Dutch owner/manager who has lived on the island for some years) about our requirements and thoughts, and also what we used to drive in the UK. Both Ian and I had rather fancied a 4×4, loving the Jeeps and Rav4, although they were out of our price range! Anyway, Wieberen suggested that we test drive both a Jeep Renegade and also Hyundai IX35 as we had always liked Hyundai.
We met Wieberen at Corralejo and first tested out the Jeep Renegade, then the Hyundai. Both Ian and I agreed that we preferred the Hyundai! Ian didn’t like driving the jeep at all, and for me as a passenger the Hyundai was more comfortable. But we both felt that the IX35 was just a little too big for us.
Going away and giving it a great deal of thought, we started thinking that perhaps the Hyundai IX20 would be good for us. This was the car that we had back in the UK, and liked it a lot. The only hesitation was the ground clearance; whilst it was higher than many cars, we would have liked a bit more! We also considered getting a new one, which would have been about €4000 more expensive than a used one – was it worth it? In the end we decided it wouldn’t be worth it.
We contacted Wieberen with our thoughts and he suggested that we test drive a Renault Captur, which was smaller than the IX35 we had test driven and had a higher ground clearance, and that they were better made than the Duster, which he didn’t think much of!
Wieberen arrived at our home on Friday 17th March, driving a lovely blue Captur. I had seen a blue one in the show room and really liked it, but must admit that since then I was starting to see quite a few cars in that colour and wasn’t quite so keen! We test drove the car and liked it! It was really everything that we had asked for; excellent ground clearance, decent size boot that could be level (easy to put my scooter in) or changed quickly and easily to a well, giving more room when necessary. It was also comfortable for four people for when our friends and family visit us. Although it was a totally different car to drive in that it relied a lot more on electrics. The key wasn’t a key it was a card, and to start the engine you just press a button – weird!
About Cars had a choice of two colours – the blue that we test drove, or an ivory. We thought that the ivory might be better, and less inclined to show the dust so much! Wieberen insisted we saw the car to ensure that we were happy, and rushed back to change cars and drove it to our place later that afternoon. Yep, we liked it, so it was all systems go!
Our hire car was due to be returned the next Wednesday, 22nd March, and Wieberen agreed to meet us in our new car that day at the airport. We took him back to Puerto del Rosario and then made our way back home.
We are still very busy in our new home, with people coming round just about every day, so have not had a chance yet to take our new car out for a run, other than in to Caleta, but are really looking forward to the time we can start travelling again!