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Taxis in Málaga are everywhere. They are always white cars and can be flagged down anywhere as long as they have their green "libre" (available) light on. Taxi rates are very cheap (compared to UK prices) and the meter rarely reaches 5€ on short hops around the city. The standard airport tariff to the city centre is 12€ but with baggage etc is more likely to be around 15€.
The are always taxis waiting at the train station and airport, and there are many taxi points in the city centre including at the end of Calle Larios, Plaza de la Merced, the Cathedral and along the Paseo del Parque.
Car rental in Málaga is plentiful and considerably cheaper than in other Spanish cities. For the most choice and the cheapest prices, rent a car from an agent based at the airport. Holidayautos, Carjet and Doyouspain are all rental agents who offer competitive prices using cars from companies with offices at the airport.However a lot of negative feedback (sometimes even fraudulent overcharges) was received for some of the companies mentioned above( see www.reviewcentre.com).
Please be very careful when hiring cars at the airport. Marbesol as a car hire company - found through cartrawler.com were extremely fraudelant. They originally quoted a price 1/4 of the price ended up paying because of hidden costs in the contract. From this experience it would be easy to imagine there are multiple opportunistic companies (such as Record rent a car) that operate on the basis that they are serving tourists who will not return.
Another option is to book private transfers from well established companies, such as Autosol (www.autosol.es) or Holiday Transfer co uk (www.holiday-transfer.co.uk). They are specialists in transfers from/to Malaga Airport, but they offer services by the hour through their contact form.