Just returned from a week in Madeira.
Stayed in Canico baixo area and hired a car from Guerin car rental.This went without a hitch and we drove away in a new Clio within 20 minutes.
Driving in Madeira has it's moments!! some of the roads are very steep, but sticking as much as possible to the main dual carriage way which takes you through a very good tunnel system and you can get to most of the island fairly easily.
The people of Madeira are a joy , so nice and friendly ,we learnt a few words but everyone seemed to know we were English .
We visited most parts of the island, but low cloud every day deterred us from a levadas walk,or the monte palace gardens, but i think that can wait till our next visit.
I think we would probably stay in Funchal next time and do away with the hire car, only because we have seen quite a lot of this wonderful island and could probably use public transport next time.
The food we ate in the restaurants was very good and we had some lovely fresh fish on several occasions. 'A Tranieria' in Canico delivered fabulous meals on 2 separate visits , well worth the 20 min walk from our apartment.
Overall we had a lovely holiday and even enjoyed the overcast / rainy days as well as the sunny ones, we will return!!