Useful Tips On Renting A Car In Malaga, Spain

Malaga is a bustling city located in the southern region of Spain, known for its vibrant culture, beautiful beaches, and historical landmarks. 

Whether you’re planning to visit the beautiful beaches of Costa del Sol or explore the stunning countryside, Malaga car rental is the most convenient way to get around.

If you’re interested in renting a car in Malaga but don’t know where to start, don’t worry! In this guide, I’ll be sharing my insider tips and tricks to help you find the right car rental company, navigate the local roads, and make the most of your trip. 

Tips for renting a car in Malaga, Spain.

Do you need to rent a car in Malaga?

Are you wondering whether you need to rent a car in Malaga? The answer is yes!

While the city itself is easily navigable by foot or public transport, having a rental car will allow you to explore the surrounding areas and take day trips to nearby attractions. 

Some of the most popular day trips from Malaga include visiting the stunning beaches of Costa del Sol, exploring the picturesque white-washed villages of Andalusia, and even venturing further afield to Granada or Seville.

Having a rental car gives you the freedom and flexibility to create your own itinerary and explore at your own pace. No worrying about bus or train schedules, and you’ll be able to go to hard-to-reach places.

Here are some other reasons:

  • Traveling with a group or carrying a lot of luggage? Renting a car will make for a more relaxed and stress-free trip.
  • Taxi fares in Malaga can be expensive. Renting a car could save you money.
  • With a rental car, you’ll have the freedom to travel as you please, without worrying about bus or train schedules.

I recently went on a car trip from Malaga to Andalusia, and it was truly a memorable experience. We started early in the morning, picked up our rental car, and headed out toward the picturesque white-washed villages of Andalusia. 

Along the way, we stopped at small towns and villages, tasted delicious local cuisine, and marveled at the stunning countryside.

Driving through Andalusia was an unforgettable experience, something I couldn’t have done without an affordable rental car. That’s where Discover Cars comes in handy. It allowed me to compare all the available rental options and get the best deal on a fantastic little car.

What requirements are there to rent a car in Malaga?

To rent a car in Spain, you’ll need a valid driver’s license. If your license isn’t in Latin characters, you’ll need to obtain an International Driver’s Permit before you arrive in Spain.

When it comes to payment, you can pay in advance for your rental car using the most common methods, such as a debit card or credit card. If you use Discover Cars to book ahead, you’ll even be able to use PayPal.

Be careful, you’ll need a credit card with the same name as your passport when you arrive. This is for security purposes and ensures that the rental company can hold a deposit on your credit card in case of any damage to the car.

In Spain, the minimum age to rent a car is 21 years old. However, some car rental companies may require drivers to be at least 25 years old to rent larger vehicles.

Spain Car Rental Checklist

Here’s a checklist for renting a car in Spain:

  • A driving license from your home country – at least a year old.
  • Over 21 years old.
  • Possibly an International Driving Permit – if your license is not in Latin Characters
  • Your ID (passport).
  • Credit card, debit card, or PayPal for payment when booking the car online.
  • A credit card in your name (not a debit card) for paying the deposit on arrival.
  • Extra insurance if you prefer.

Tip: Paying for extra insurance when renting a car can provide peace of mind and protect you from unexpected expenses in case of damage to the rental car.

What are some road trips from Malaga?

Malaga is the perfect starting point for road trips in Spain thanks to its location on the southern coast, offering easy access to some of the country’s most stunning destinations.


Andalusia is a must-see destination that’s easily accessible from Malaga by car. Take a road trip through the region and explore its stunning white-washed villages, rolling hills, and rich cultural heritage. The drive from Malaga to Andalusia takes around 2 hours each way.

Ronda’s Plaza de Toros

For a unique cultural experience, visit Ronda’s Plaza de Toros. This historic bullring is one of the oldest and most famous in Spain, and it’s located just a few hours’ drive from Malaga. The journey from Malaga to Ronda takes around 1.5 hours each way.


If you’re looking for a glamorous beach escape, Marbella is the perfect destination. This chic resort town is located just a short drive from Malaga and offers plenty of opportunities for sunbathing, shopping, and fine dining. The journey from Malaga to Marbella takes around 40 minutes each way.


No trip to Andalusia is complete without a visit to Granada. This historic city is home to the iconic Alhambra palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s considered one of Spain’s most important cultural landmarks. The journey from Malaga to Granada takes around 1.5 hours each way.


If you’re looking for an island adventure, consider taking a road trip from Malaga to Ibiza. The journey takes around 9 hours each way, but the stunning scenery and breathtaking views make it well worth the effort.

How much does it cost to rent a car in Malaga?

When it comes to car rental prices in Malaga, it’s always best to shop around. Prices can vary widely depending on the time of year, the type of car you want, and how far in advance you book. However, you can generally expect to pay around €20-€30 per day for a basic rental car.

One way to save money on car rental in Malaga is to book your vehicle early. Many car rental companies offer discounts for customers who book ahead, so it’s worth taking the time to research your options and find the best deal. I’ve found the easiest way to do this is to use Discover Cars.

If you’re planning to rent a car during the peak tourist season of June to September, it’s especially important to book ahead. Demand for rental cars is high during this time, which can lead to higher prices and limited availability. By booking early, you’ll lock in a great deal.

Tip: It’s often a good idea to rent a car for a longer period, as the daily price tends to decrease. By renting for five days instead of just two or three, you may only have to pay a slightly higher cost.

Where should I rent a car from in Malaga?

Here are some car rental pick-up options in Malaga:

  • Malaga Airport: Convenient for those arriving by air.
  • Malaga Train Station: Ideal for those traveling by train.
  • Malaga City Centre: Perfect for those staying in the city and exploring the surrounding areas.
  • Malaga Port: Great for those arriving by cruise ship and looking to explore the area.

Booking your car rental ahead of time using a comparison site is a great idea. Not only will you be able to compare prices from different companies to find the best deal, but you can also choose the pickup spot that’s most convenient for you. I always use Discover Cars.

When you arrive in Malaga, your rental car will be waiting for you at the chosen pickup location, making your trip even more hassle-free.

What type of car is best to use in Malaga?

If you’re traveling alone or with a partner and don’t need a lot of space, a compact car might be the best option. It’s easy to drive, park, and navigate through the city’s narrow streets.

If you’re traveling with family or a group of friends, a larger car with more space for passengers and luggage may be more suitable. An SUV or minivan could be a good option, especially if you’re planning to take longer trips or explore the countryside around Malaga.

Another important factor to consider when choosing a rental car is fuel efficiency. With petrol prices in Spain being higher than in some other countries, a fuel-efficient car can save you money on your travels. You could try renting a hybrid or electric vehicle if you want to save on fuel costs.

Tip: Booking ahead is important if you prefer automatic transmissions as most rental cars in Spain are manual.

Is driving in Malaga difficult?

Driving in Malaga can be a bit tricky for those who are not used to European roads. The roads can be narrow, and drivers can be fast and aggressive. However, with a little patience and common sense, driving in Malaga can be a great experience.

It’s essential to be aware of local driving rules and regulations, such as speed limits, which vary depending on the type of road. For example, on urban roads, the limit is 50 km/h, and on highways, it’s 120 km/h. Be sure to also pay attention to road signs, especially when driving in the city center, as some roads are pedestrian-only.

It’s also a good idea to plan your routes in advance and avoid driving during rush hour, especially if you’re not used to the area. Always use a navigation app, such as Google Maps.  

Is it a good idea to rent an electric car in Malaga?

You might be wondering if it’s worth renting an electric car in Malaga. In general, electric cars are an excellent option for the environmentally conscious and for those who want to save money on fuel. But is it a good idea for Malaga specifically?

One thing to consider is the range of the car. If you’re planning on taking longer trips outside of the city, you’ll need to make sure the car can handle the distance. Fortunately, many electric cars have a range of around 150-200 miles, so you should be able to make it to nearby destinations like Granada or Seville.

Another consideration is the availability of charging stations. In recent years, Spain has made a push to increase the number of charging stations available, and Malaga is no exception. There are now dozens of charging stations throughout the city, so you should be able to find a place to charge your car relatively easily.

One possible drawback of renting an electric car is the cost. Electric cars can be more expensive to rent than traditional gasoline-powered cars. However, you may be able to offset this cost with fuel savings.

Tip: Booking ahead is important if you want an electric car in Malaga, as rental companies have a limited supply.

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