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Taxis and Rental cars are both good options for getting around while on the island of Madeira. Both have their distinct advantages as well as disadvantages.
Taxis are available in the major cities and tourist areas throughout Madeira. They can be recognized by their blue stripes and yellow color (see picture ). Catching a taxi is generally easy. There are plenty driving around the busy streets, which will stop when signaled by pedestrians. Catching a cab at the airport is never a problem, and there are many taxi ranks (stands) around the city. Hotels and Restaurants will be happy to arrange for a pickup. Fares in the city are set by the government, and based on either destinations (a list of which can be found on the back seats), or distance meters. Fares outside of the city are generally based by the kilometer. In or outside of the city, any time that the meter is not turned on, make sure to agree on a price before beginning a journey. Don’t be afraid to bargain. If planning on traveling extensively around the island and cost is an issue, it may be wise to consider a rental car.
Renting a car while in Madeira is a good option that provides more freedom than any other form of transportation. There are many Rental Agencies available around the island. Driving is done on the right hand side of the road. Check out Driving in Madeira for more information.