Published on 26 APRIL 2022

Which car to choose in Pantelleria?

Before answering this question it is good that you know a few things:

The first thing you need to know, if you want to visit the island of Pantelleria, is that to move from one side to the other, it is absolutely necessary to have a means of transport. Whether it's a scooter, a motorcycle or a car, having a vehicle is essential.

Why is it necessary to use or rent a car, a scooter or a motorbike in Pantelleria?

Reaching even destinations close to a few kilometers is not only tiring, given the high summer temperatures and the alternation of uphill and downhill roads, but also dangerous.

Walking the streets of Pantelleria is very dangerous as, except in urban centers, for the rest, there are no sidewalks or cycle paths and most of the streets are lined with dry stone walls or natural lava stone walls.

You would therefore find yourself walking on the side of roads where hardly two cars pass at the same time, with a single possibility to dodge if someone were to squeeze too tightly risking to hit you, that is: Climbing walls of lava stone.

Moreover, after sunset, the matter becomes complicated because you would find yourself walking, unless there is a full moon, in total darkness and the Pantelleria streets, outside the urban centers, are not illuminated.

So, unless you are a professional climber with some reflections and the night sight of a cat, avoid walking the streets and get or rent a 4 or 2 wheel vehicle.

You will ask yourself: sorry, there are no public transport or taxis?

The answer is yes but:

Public transport passes and stops in the main districts but the intervals between one bus and another are on average one every 2-3 hours. This means that if you miss a bus by mistake, you will have to wait in the sun for a couple of hours. Also from 10pm onwards the public service stops and what do you do? Don't you go and enjoy a nice dinner or don't you go for a drink in a place by the sea? In short, getting around by public transport is complicated and you would waste a lot of your holiday time waiting.

And what about taxis?

Taxi service in Pantelleria is practically non-existent. There is only one taxi in Pantelleria and you will understand that the possibility of finding it free when needed is almost non-existent. In addition, the cost of a round trip to reach your destination could cost you almost as much as renting a scooter or a full day car.

Now that you understand the importance of having a means of transport in Pantelleria, we can answer the main question: Which car to choose to visit Pantelleria?

Below I will advise you which model to choose to get the best out of the island.

Is a small or large car better?

As already mentioned above, the streets of Pantelleria are narrow, bordered by walls of lava stone or vegetation that often goes beyond the edge of the roadway and in 90% of cases, are full of holes and irregular surface.

Furthermore, to reach the most beautiful coasts, you will often be forced to take a dirt road.

For this reason, the first piece of advice I give you is to choose a small car.

Is a low or high car better?

Again for the reason described above, the advice is to take a car that is raised from the ground by at least 11-13 centimeters.

Better a new car or a old car?

The difference between getting a new car and an old car in Pantelleria is important.

Pantelleria is a Spartan island and therefore the coolest and truest way to experience the island is to have a spartan but reliable vehicle.

In Pantelleria, due to the characteristics of the roads already described, there are no cars without damage. Whether they are scratches from brambles, dents or bumpers destroyed by dry stone walls, all cars, whether new or used, have damage.

Every new season, Policardo car rental buys new cars and already on the first rental they are scratched and dented.

So if I have to advise you between a new car or an older one, my advice is to take an old one.

The new car will be more beautiful, it will have fewer scratches, it will have more options but believe me, in Pantelleria all of this is useless. The only important things for choosing the vehicle are:

- Height
- Safety
- Air conditioning.

Everything else is unnecessary. Furthermore, the new generation cars are less performing on uphill roads or dirt roads than an older car. What then do you want to do a small scratch or a small damage on a car that is maybe 10 years old versus doing damage on a new car? Then we want to talk about the price? The new car costs you more and it would be my interest to advise you to take the most expensive car, so if I advise you to take a car with a few more years, take it as true and authentic advice without personal interests.

But what condition are old cars in? How many KM will they have?
Pantelleria is an island that thrives on tourism for about 3-4 months a year. Most of the cars are used for the tourist season and are overhauled and parked in the garages for the rest of the year. You will understand well that, a rental car that is 10 years old, in Pantelleria could have traveled even less than 100,000 km.

Looking at a car that is 10 or 15 years old it will seem very worn due to the damage and the paint that, due to the salt of the sea, fades but we can guarantee that that car will be reliable, even more than a car. new and with a few kilometers.

Policardo car rental is the only rental agency on the island with its own workshop and qualified mechanics. Every year, during the winter, all the cars are checked and tested one by one in a meticulous manner. For this reason, regardless of the car you choose, old or new, it will be a mechanically reliable vehicle.

What are the best models to rent in Pantelleria?

The best car model to get around the island and which satisfies all the necessary characteristics to move with peace of mind is undoubtedly the Fiat Panda.
Tall, small, safe and comfortable.

We have 3 Fiat Panda models:

- Series I, the classic and legendary Panda of the 80s-90s and early 2000s. This model made history and is today the most popular car on the island but clearly there are very few examples still. We have about 30.

- The II series, an already more “modern” 5-door model, with air conditioning that runs from around 2002 to 2015. It is the most rented car to date and the one we highly recommend. We have about 120 available.

- The III series, the latest version of the fiat panda, Full optional, and more spacious. Excellent model for the island and if there are 5 of you we recommend it, but absurdly it is less performing than the previous versions in terms of agility on uphill or dirt roads. We have 150 pieces.

Then, if you want to save money and travel as a couple, the model we can recommend is the Fiat 600. A small car, with a really ugly design but it is so light and high that it will allow you to reach any destination you want to reach, whether it is a steep or dirt road, with the fiat 600 you get there without problems and then it also has air conditioning.

These are the 4 basic and low cost models that we recommend renting in Pantelleria.
Obviously then there are the off-road vehicles, convertible cars and scooters, but we will talk about these models shortly.

The last piece of advice I would like to give you is: Where to rent in Pantelleria?
Always rent from local and island car rentals, do not rely on rentals from large multinationals as they are standardized and have cars suitable for the whole national territory but not for the islands like Pantelleria. The models of these agencies are not suitable for the island and, moreover, their policies and conditions of use are structured around driving in the city and not on dirt or treacherous roads such as those of Pantelleria. With some companies there is even a ban on using the car on dirt roads and what do you do with a car if you can't reach the sea? Over 60% of the descents into the sea are on dirt roads, so what do you do when you get there? Do you leave your car on the side of the road and go on foot? Not to mention the penalties that apply if you hand over the car soiled with dirt.

In short, he rents only and always from local companies, also for a matter of ethics. Supporting small and medium-sized local companies helps the economy of an island often forgotten by institutions and where living all year round is increasingly prohibitive.