Low Cost Car Rental at Malaga Airport

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Most of the rental companies at Malaga do not accept American Express cards.

Malaga Airport Information

At Malaga Airport the larger rental companies have desks in the arrivals area for all terminals, and provide vehicle collection in the purpose built rental car park located on Level 0 around 5 minutes walk from the arrivals hall.

Malaga Airport terminal layout

Companies that operate directly out of Malaga Airport include Autos Lido, National Atesa, Avis, Europcar, Record, Goldcar, Hertz, Solmar and Sixt. The rental prices are often higher if you book with global companies such as Avis, Hertz and National, but often their deals are more comprehensive in terms of fuel policy and CDW insurance cover..

Rental Car Collection at Malaga Airport

If you have pre-booked your car and don't have a "Meet and Greet" service, there are 2 alternatives for collecting the rental vehicle. The first option is to sign the contract at the designated desk inside the arrivals area which is located close to the baggage reclaim hall. The rental car offices are sign-posted from the baggage collection hall.

Alternatively, if you have booked with a company who has on-site vehicle collection in the rental car park, you can opt to head straight to the car rental park on Level 0 (Floor 0) to sign the contract and collect the vehicle. It is sometimes quicker to go to the desk inside the arrivals building as the rental car park where you collect the vehicle is also used for "drop-off" of rental vehicles and can get rather busy.

If there are long queues at the rental desks inside the building which is more likely to be the case in summer, then you can head straight for the rental car park.

An overview of the terminal layout is shown below:

If you have a "Meet and Greet" service then you will be met by a representative of the car hire company. Some of the smaller companies which operate a "Meet and Greet" service at Malaga will take you via a shuttle service to the car rental compound which is located around 2 minutes away on the Malaga Airport approach road.

Car Rental Return at Malaga Airport

If you hired a car with one of the larger companies, the vehicle should be returned to the purpose built car park on Level 0 where you collected it. As you drive in to Malaga airport follow the sign s for "Rental Cars" as you approach the terminal building.

Cars at Malaga Airport in the rental car park

If your car was rented from one of the smaller companies, then you will return to the compound where you collected it on the approach road to the airport.

Booking in advance at Malaga airport will help you secure the best deal, but be aware that even if you pay in advance, all car hire companies will still require that you provide a credit card.

Road Distances from Malaga Airport

It takes around 15-20 minutes by car to get from Malaga Airport to Malaga city centre to the east, and Torremolinos to the west.

Almeria is just over 2 and a half hours to the east, and Gibraltar just over an hour to the west.

Road distances to some of the major resorts and cities are given below.

  • Almeria 218km/135 miles
  • Benalmadena 16km/10 miles
  • Cordoba 160km/100 miles
  • Estepona 90km/55 miles
  • Fuengirola 26km/16 miles
  • Gibraltar 122km/76 miles
  • Granada 142km/88 miles
  • Malaga Centre 11km/7 miles
  • Marbella 51km/32 miles
  • Mijas 23km/14 miles
  • Motril 104km/65 miles
  • Nerja 71km/44 miles
  • Seville 205km/128 miles
  • Torremolinos 11km/7 miles
  • Torrox 61km/38 miles

Malaga Airport is located approximately 8km to the south west of Malaga, and offers excellent links to the rest of the Costa del Sol. In 2010 a new terminal building (Terminal 3 or T3) was opened, and 2012 saw the opening of a second runway. The older terminals (T1 and T2) are currently undergoing various levels of refurbishment.

At the terminal building, the Arrivals (Llegadas) building is located on Level 0, and Departures (Salidas) is above on Level 1. Most departures are now from the new Terminal T3, but some flights are from the old T2 building which is to the left as you view the terminal from the front. Also on Level 0 is the car rental car park, train station and a large taxi pick up area. There is short-term parking for visitors on the arrivals and departures levels.

Getting to Costa del Sol Resorts from Malaga Airport

By Car

Malaga Airport is located next to the coastal A7/E15 Costa del Sol motorway making it very easy to drive to the nearby resorts of Torremolinos , Fuengirola, Puerto Banus and Marbella.

Malaga Airport has two new access routes that are exclusive to the airport providing easy access to the motorway. From the south the A7 will lead you directly into the airport, or from the north you can get to Malaga Airport by following West ring road.

Malaga Airport train station close to Terminal 3

By Train

There is a new (underground) train station at Malaga Airport just across from arrivals at Terminal 3 which offers a regular service to Malaga city centre, but also connects directly to a number of the Costa del Sol resorts to the west including Torremolinos and Fuengirola.

By Taxi

Taxi ranks are located directly outside Terminal 1 and Terminal 3, however, taxis in Malaga are not metered so it important to ask for a quote to your destination before leaving. Most taxis will automatically use the coast road due to the fact that it is faster but the Toll Road is safer and most taxi drivers will reluctantly use it instead if you ask for it in advance and are willing to pay the toll which is around 5 Euros.

By Bus

There are two major bus services operated by the Malaga Airport Bus transit that run from the airport to the Marbella Bus Station which is about a 45 minute trip and to the Malaga City Centre which runs on a variable schedule so check the summer and winter schedules before embarking on your holiday.

Malaga Airport Food and Shopping

Bars and Restaurants

Prices at the bars and restaurants at Malaga Airport are around double those you would find elsewhere on the Costa del Sol, so unless you want to use up your holiday Euros try to eat before you arrive at the airport (or bring your own food). A small bottle of coke or a small beer costs over 3 Euros at the large Cerveza bar located outside the Arrivals building.

Malaga Airport Shops

Malaga Airport has a large selection of shops selling gifts, souvenirs, designer clothing and other designer goods. The most popular items to bring back from Spain to the UK include cigarettes and alcohol.

Although Spanish cigarettes cost around half the price of those sold in the UK, airport cigarettes prices are higher than those sold in the local tobacco shops (called Tabaquerias - look for the yellow "Tabacos" signs). Spanish wine and spirits can be purchased at the airport, but in Spain airport alcohol prices are a lot higher than in the local supermarkets, so it makes sense to buy alcohol before you get to the airport.

Perfumes, clothes and Spanish foods such as olives sold at the airport are generally not especially good value unless you find promotional offers.

Malaga Airport Hotels

The Holiday Inn Express is the closest hotel to Malaga airport and offers easy access (less than 5 minutes drive to the airport terminals) and is very reasonably priced. There is no shuttle hotel bus service from this hotel to Malaga airport, so if you don't have a rental car you will probably need to get a taxi (or walk if you don't have much luggage). The hotel is rather difficult to find from the road and it is easy to miss the exit.

Read reviews of Malaga Holiday Inn Express

There are a number of other budget hotels including Hotel Campanile, Hotel Ibis and a Novatel located along the main MA-20 route into Malaga city centre. These hotels can be rather easy to miss (especially at night time), so it is recommended that you know which exit you need to take if you are driving. The majority of the hotels are located in the centre of Malaga, where parking can be a problem so check the parking facilities before booking a central Malaga hotel if you have a rental car.

TIP: Local Malagan produce such as wine, olives and tobacco and souvenirs are generally more expensive at outlets inside the airport than in the local shops and supermarkets.

Flying to Malaga

Malaga is one of the most popular Spanish holiday airports, so there are plenty of airlines to choose from, with airlines such as Ryanair having a base at Malaga.

Some airlines may offer a reduced service, or possibly no service in the winter months. In the winter the flight prices will tend to be a lot cheaper.

Airlines that fly to Malaga from the UK include the following:

  • British Airways (from Aberdeen, Gatwick, Jersey and London City Airport
  • EasyJet (many UK airports including Bristol, Gatwick, Liverpool, Manchester and Stansted
  • Flybe (from Exeter, Jersey and Southampton)
  • Jet2 (from Blackpool, Edinburgh, East Midlands and Leeds)
  • Monarch (from Birmingham, East Midlands Gatwick, Luton and Manchester
  • Thomson Flights (from Bristol, East Midlands, Manchester)
  • Ryanair (from many UK airports including Bournemouth, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool and Stansted)

The approximate flight time from most UK airports to Malaga varies from about 2.5 hours from the south of England to 3 hours in Scotland.

9 seater minibus

Minibus Rental

If you require a larger vehicle, Blue Valley Car Hire provide 9 seat self-drive minibus rental at airports throughout Europe. We do not provide rental of vehicles with over 9 seats.

Scenery inland from the Costa del Sol near Competa

Spain Guides

We have guides to some of Spain's most popular holiday regions including the Costa del Sol, Costa Blanca, Costa Calida, Costa Brava, Costa Tropical and Costa Almeria.