Malaga car hire truths

Do not end up damaged and on your side when renting a car in Malaga

The Malaga car hire market is living by it´s own rules with many Malaga rental car users being the main characters in unimaginable stories.

Now it is the time to set the record straight and explain what is happening to much people when renting a supposedly cheap hire car at Malaga airport.


The Spanish consumer authorities have gone through the car hire market and they have reached the conclusion that there are malpractices going on including the final price issue, fuel issue and charges after returning the car. Will the market be regularised?  Information from article in the Spanish newspaper El Mundo

"Low cost Malaga car hire"

We must understand that it is not the same thing for a hire car company to apply a cheap rate on 1 car as it is for an airline with a flight that will take off wether the last seat is sold or not. It all comes down to risk. The airline will have no more risk selling another seat, only profit. The hire car company though will have 1 more car on the road. A big risk and more usage meaning more costs and value loss. Trying to create a low cost theme online has created the most unserious car hire market in Malaga, ever.

Cash flow by deposit - applied only by car hire companies in Malaga?

You must be aware that most hire car companies at Malaga airport today charge a deposit on your credit card. What started as a blockage of an amount with a selected few companies some time ago has now become a way to "borrow" money not from the bank but directly from you. By actually charging the money on your card and putting it back a few days or weeks after the Malaga hire car has been returned a positive cash flow is generated. When your money is to be returned they come from the next client and on it goes. 

Damages to the INTERIOR of the hire car in Malaga

The following important point (connected with the deposit) is damages to the inside of the car. These are no longer covered by any insurance and you are liable for any damage or breakage. Do check the car very well as you might end up not getting the whole deposit back if there is a claim against the state of the inside of the hire car.

Overcharged fuel and extra insurance on a Malaga rental car.

You book a car what looks to be very cheap online and all is good. If you are not careful with the small print, sometimes probably not even mentioned, you are likely to end up paying much more. Instead of actually creating a cheap hire car deal the only thing created is an illusion made to capture a potential client looking for the best price internet deal on a Malaga hire car. What will be added (apart from already quoted extras) on arrival in the majority of cases is:

  • an extra daily charge for insurance.
  • fuel charged at higher rates to be returned empty.
  • a high deposit to be paid on a credit card.

Malaga car hire concerns and questions.

Q: How to compare prices when what is inclusive in each quote seems to be different?

A: You will have to make your own list of hire car needs. Do you need a baby seat, do you arrive late, free kms, deposit, fuel charge etc and tick it all of against the site giving you a quote to see what the final rate will be. Remember the risk in case of accident, theft, fuel error or breakdown is also different from each company and many times difficult to assess. Ask in writing and read as much terms and conditions as possible. Remember you are responsable for a vehicle with a certain value. You do not want that value to affect your economy if something happens.

Q: Have people been turned away when coming to pick up a hire car at Malaga airport.

A: Yes there have been many cases where people did not know they were to pay a deposit. Not having enough funds they have ended up with no car and high taxi costs instead. Make sure if there is a deposit to pay before booking.

Q: Is it true there are extra costs presented on arrival that are not quoted online?

A: In many cases, yes. As described above it is all part of getting the booking. By not offering a possibilty to contract an extra insurance directly online the client is not informed until actually standing in Malaga to pick up the car. 

Q: Must I take the extra daily insurance when I have cover through my credit card?

A: The representative of the car hire company in Malaga will be quick to answer that it does not matter with your card. If you do not take the company extra cover offered there will be no valid road assistance service. 

Common sense

Use your common sense when booking a car in Malaga and look for a company that offers an all inclusive rate directly. It is much better knowing the total Malaga hire car cost from the start to avoid nasty surprises later on. Maybe one day all Malaga rental car companies are forced to offer the same conditons and include all necessary costs in the initial quote. Until then you as a client are going to need to be proactive and create your own total rate out of your car hire needs and gathered information.