Car Hire: Most frequently we are asked to recommend a car hire firm. Our advice is to check via the Internet directly with companies based at Malaga airport (simply Google car hire Malaga Airport) and then compare the cost for those based within the airport. Many off airport companies are fine but being transported to their offices will delay you.
One problem in recent years is that most hire companies now operate a full to empty scam and if you are not going to use a tank of fuel this can be very annoying. They charge you for a full tank at exorbitant prices and tell you to bring it back empty. They know full well that you can’t and one imagines they will benefit not only from the high price charged but also from the half tank or so that you have left. You can sometimes argue against it and the more people that do the better.
Beware also of how you pay. Some companies will give you the option of paying when you collect or at the time of booking. In case you may not be able to get to the airport as planned it makes sense not to pay before collection.
When you arrive, no matter whether you have paid or not they will need to swipe a credit card. (for security). You cannot however use a prepaid or debit card. Even though these are usually backed by Visa or Mastercard they will not be accepted by the car hire companies. We had one unfortunate couple staying with us at Cantueso who booked a car and paid in advance using their prepaid card, however when they presented the same card at the pick-up it was refused. They spent a frustrating hour on the telephone back to the UK but to no avail. No car and no cash back. In the end they stood outside Malaga airport wondering what to do when a man offered to hire a car to them for cash. In desperation they took it and drove the most battered looking car ever, and after a week, the man was even stood where he said he would be to collect it! They were lucky. For more details about prepaid cards see the Money Supermarket site.
Frequent travellers also know that at busy times you can find the car collection desks very busy and waiting an hour or so is no fun especially if you have young children. One solution is to leave one person to collect the luggage whilst the other goes to the car hire desks. Even if there are going to be other drivers that need to sign later it gets you to the front of the queue.
The on airport car hire desks are now alongside the baggage conveyors and have a new check in system. At the desk of your hire company you will see a small computer screen to the left of the counter, you need to answer a couple of questions and it will then dispense a ticket. This ticket number is your turn in the queue displayed on a larger screen and will direct you when your turn comes up to a numbered desk. All six companies there have the same system.
To find the car parking area you simply follow footprint signs on the floor, leading from the hire desks to the car park below. Quite a distance and remember that once down in the garage you cannot go back into the arrivals hall. So don’t leave anything behind.
Finally when you get the car check for scratches or dents that might not be shown on the paperwork. There will be a diagram which should be marked. If there are more go to the office in the car park if open and get them to amend it. It is dark in the pick-up area and if you miss something always telephone the office when you see it and normally they will accept your word. Sometimes late in the day the office will be closed so you will have to e-mail the company with a photo of the damage.
How to get to Periana: See our website which has detailed instructions and maps. And when you get to Periana if you are going to Cantueso you can even see a video of the journey from the entry into the village to our car park. It has been described as a video for those who found the paint drying video too exciting, and we cannot disagree, but it does give the driver an insight into the sort of roads and roundabouts they will encounter. These videos can be found on the How to Find Us pages of our site.
Satnav: Please be careful as if you use a post code the areas covered by the numbers are vast and you could end up anywhere within twenty miles. Shortest route settings will also take you a way we don’t recommend via the motorway towards Granada. It is very winding and not at all pleasant for the passengers. The solution is to print out our instructions, or set a “stop off” in the satnav of Velez Malaga, which should make sure you go up the A7 motorway.
Periana by bus or Taxi: yes it is possible by bus but it means going into Malaga and then catching a bus to Periana. There are only a few each day.
By Taxi: It will cost about 100€ to Periana (more at weekends and bank holidays) but be prepared to explain where it is. Show them on a map and it will jog their memories. They charge by the kilometre and are well regulated so you should not get ripped off.
See also our blog entry regarding driving licences: