Re: Car rental at Faro airport

Dear Editor,

I wonder if you are aware of the changes to car rental procedures which have been implemented from March 1, 2015.

Based on our experiences last week, the new arrangements will have a serious negative impact on visitor impressions of the Algarve.

Admittedly, we only received one side of the story – from the rental companies who operate out of Car Park 4 (the most popular), but it appears as though the French owners of Faro airport have imposed significant increases and restrictions regarding parking charges and space allocation on those rental companies. As a result, we were greeted by a virtually deserted car park as the rental companies attempt to keep their vehicles “off-site” until the last minute until required by customers.

The new system works like this:
(i)   Rental company brings car into CP4, taking entry ticket from machine, and attempts to complete booking paperwork, handing over vehicle, walking to pay machine to pay entry ticket, handing this back to customer to allow exit from CP4 – all within the first hour of ticket validity!

(ii)   On returning car, customer takes ticket on entry to CP4 and hands to rental company rep who then attempts to process paperwork, check vehicle, pay for ticket and remove car to off-site location.  

Last week, arriving at approx. 7pm, with not much backlog, we waited approximately one-and-a-half hours before rep eventually gave up and took us back to his office in his own car to complete the rental process. Can you imagine the utter chaos which is going to ensue from Easter right through the peak summer months? Unless something is urgently sorted out to remedy this poorly conceived and implemented decision. If not, it will be a contributory factor in falling visitor numbers to the Algarve.

Dave Bird,