Author: KSUTarifa

If you are thinking of coming to visit us for the 1st time, this section is for you. We think you find this information useful.

It all begins at the airport and car rental counter:

You can easily book a car before coming to Malaga, online or in any airport car rental office. We advise you to do in advance or at the airport as it will be more expensive elsewhere. For example, one of the cheapest online car rental sources:

We recommend double checking the reputation of the rental company on travel sites or on Google Maps as the number of rental companies have skyrocketed and some of them (for example: DelPaso Car Hire) have very rude staff trained to overcharge even a prepaid reservation.
To collect the car, you will need to present the following documents (important!) Passport, credit card used to place the reservation and a driver’s license (USA and Canada travelers may be asked for an international driver’s license which can be issued at any AAA office for $15 if you bring 2 passport size photos with you).
Carefully review your car rental agreement for common limitations such as 90km/day or 2,000km per rental period, only one driver, forbidden travel to the nearby countries: Portugal, Gibraltar, Morocco.
Most car rentals will issue an inspection slip for the car with existing damage. You want to carefully examine the vehicle for the already reported damage and document any new scratches and gouges. With most of the car rentals, they ask to email them the photos of the new damage taken on the same day you rented the vehicle. If you use an Apple device to take such photos, we recommend to send that email the same day as iOS hides the time stamp of the attached files.

We advise to get the full car insurance which usually costs about 75 euros/ 2 weeks. This will help you to avoid worrying about parking on narrow Spanish streets.

On the other hand, if you use a VISA credit card from a large reputable bank to rent the vehicle, most of these cards (in North America) come with excellent insurance and road side assistance. All you have to do is use this car to pay for car rental and completely reject insurance from the car rental company. In such case they will advise that they will place a 1000-1500 euro reservation (blocked funds) on your card in case something happens with the car. In case of an accident you will have to pay the towing, damage and other expenses right away (keep all receipts), and then resolve the claim with your credit card company. We advise to discuss this with your credit card company before you reserve the car and even print the conditions of the included insurance policy to take with you on the road.

Pay attention to the gasoline clause. Some companies will ask you about it. The best way to rent a car here is with the full/full (lleno/lleno) condition where you receive the car with a full tank and you have to return it with a full tank as well without extra charge however most of them will try to lock you into the full/empty clause (lleno/vacio) where you get the car with a full tank of gas and have to return it with as little gasoline as possible… this way they get to charge you double rate for the gasoline.

To recap the TOTAL car rental cost will include: price per day indicated on the site / number of days + the cost of the gasoline, if it is stipulated by the rental agreement (it will be announced to you at the company office) + the amount of insurance (full or deductible)

Additional fee maybe charged for a 2nd driver, a child seat, perhaps, insurance for a visit to another country. All these conditions depend on the car rental company and may differ. Please:

– double check the rental company road assistance phone number!

– request a child seat if you are traveling with a child. Fine for this violation is very high just as in using a phone while driving!.

– Toll roads. There are 2 routes from the airport Malaga to Tarifa, each of approximately 160km. A faster tollway is marked with a sign “PEAJE”. Toll road costs 12-18 euros depending on the season and has 3 shared sections with the free road. It does help avoid traffic jams, saves travel time and has no speed radars.
A free (slightly longer) route via local roads along the coast is slower, has much better views however has speed radars in 3 spots indicated by warning signs along the road. Is it not unusual to find patrols and speed traps so we always recommend to avoid speeding.

Bus is another option to arrive to Tarifa. There are different bus companies that service this route leaving from the airport bus station. The schedule can be found on the websites of these bus companies or in the information service of the airport. The approximate cost is around 20 euros with a possible transfer in Algeciras (town 30 min away from Tarifa). The trip is quite comfortable: most buses we heard about have AC and WIFI.

We hope you are careful on your journey wish you a pleasant trip!