Malaga is a very popular destination for individual travellers. If you're planning to rent a car at Malaga airport   it is important to know, that there are well over 150 car hire companies registered in the province of Malaga, but only 10 car hire companies have a desk inside the airport terminal. All other rental companies will service from the public car park or offer a free courtesy bus service to their local offices, which are normally close to the terminal building.

There are big multinationals like HertzAvisBudget , etc. A lot of  negative feedback was given for the rental car company Record Rent a Car ( 

A collection at the rental desk inside the terminal building seems to be the most convenient option, but occasionally there may be long waiting queues at the counter of the local car hire company. Depending on your arrival day and time and the season you're travelling there may be dozens of other clients waiting to collect a vehicle. The reason for this is that most online brokers and many tour operators are associated with the same local car hire companies, summing up a lot of bookings which on one hand helps to keep the prices low (much lower than the rates offered by multinational car hire companies at Malaga airport), but on the other hand may cause a larger collection time.

BEWARE of a recent phenomena the Spanish Car Hire fuel policy of FULL OUT and Empty Return. This can be a very expensive addition, as the car hire supplier, for example GOLDCAR/RECORD RENT A CAR will charge you a full tank at the "premium" pump rate , this can be around €120 for a compact car like a VW golf and not only any unused fuel is lost at the end but also you subsidised the rental  company with OVER 50Euros ( fuel tank capacity of VW golf is about 45L) . Note that this misrepresentation of the rental price may be perceived as fraudulent. This kind of naked profiteering is outlawed by EU statute - don't sit back and wait for the menin Brussels to fight your battle!

One of the biggest causes for complaint from renters is when they discover on arrival at the desk that their appartently fully comprehensive insurance doesn't cover things like tyre damage, windows and undercarriage or security against the car which results in a charge of a large excess or deposit which is blocked against your credit card and this can amount to hundreds of euro. To cover this the local company will offer additonal insurance which might be considered expensive or indeed a rip-off if you think you're already covered. This issue is usually the basis for countless arguments (and delays) at the rental desks. Sometimes the best approach is to accept that the rental is already so cheap that the additonal fee is worth it for worry free driving. Your credit card will not be blocked and the return examination of the car is free from anxiety as you're covered for everything. Treat it as part of the overall cost and enjoy your holiday. Incidentally though the same cover can be bought cheaper from specialist insurance companies this will not satisfy the car rental company who will still demand the charge against your credit card which they will charge for damage as appropriate leaving you to claim it back against your own policy. is the saving worth it? 

Depending on your personal circumstances sometimes you may be better off or quicker on your way with the service of an off-airport car hire company, such as, or You will lose a bit of time during the ride in the courtesy bus to the local office, but in many cases you will be the only client picking up a vehicle.

Bear in mind that most on-airport car hire companies offer a wide network and normally cover all airports in Andalucia, like Seville, Jerez, Granada, Almeria and even Gibraltar airport. In case of a breakdown this can be an advantage as they will be able to resolve this problem quicker than a local company with just one office in Malaga, Torremolinos, Benalmadena or Nerja.