Taxis from Malaga Airport: what you need to know in 2024

February 25, 2024
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It’s a story as old as the Costa: someone takes a taxi from Malaga Airport (or other places as well!) and gets ripped off… but there is a lot more behind this tale, and it is easy to prevent the problem. Come with me on this new transportation adventure and we’ll save you a few bucks – and some headaches.

Malaga Aiport taxis
Taxis at Malaga Airport. image from Google Maps.

Not everything is a taxi

To start our adventure, let’s differentiate between 3 different means of transportation referred to generally as taxis, that we’ll see in this post: Taxis, Transfers and Ubers:

Taxis (in Spain) are a regulated service that follows norms set by the autonomous communities and towns; taxis use a taximeter to measure both distance and time of each trip, have a taxi light on top and their services are performed in white cars that are marked with the official coat of arms of the town. Each town regulates the appearance of their taxis.

– A transfer service is not a taxi. It is a transportation service provided by a private company in private cars, without the city markings – though they can have company markings. Transfer companies sometimes use the word ‘taxi’ to refer to themselves when advertising services, but they are not subject to the same regulations, nor use taximeters, and can fix their own prices.

– An Uber (or Bolt) is a service provided by a private person registered with the Uber (or Bolt) company, connected to the respective app.

Malaga Aiport taxis - Torremolinos
Torremolinos’ taxis. Image from Google Maps.


Taxis in Spain are highly regulated – some would say over-regulated. It’s actually difficult and expensive to get a taxi license, and once it happens, the autonomous communities and town regulate the maximum charges that can be applied. The license also allows (actually, mandates) that all taxis registered in each town or city have a standardized presentation. Taxi cars must be white, carry a taxi light above and have the town’s coat of arms on the door, as seen on the pictures through this post, which are here to familiarize you with the taxis of the Costa del Sol. 😉

Malaga Aiport taxis - benalmadena
Benalmadena’s taxis near Benalmadena’s train station. Picture by Mama Malaga

The latest regulation has been published on February 12, 2024. You can check it here, in Spanish, but I’ll translate the best parts – that deal with tariffs – below:

Services that take place on working Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays in the period between 6:00 am and 10:00 pm:
a) Flag drop (start fee): €3.51.
b) Price per kilometer traveled or fraction: 0.68 euros.
c) Minimum payment: 3.67 euros.
d) Price per hour of waiting: 16.82 euros.
e) Price per fraction – every 15 minutes of waiting: 4.20 euros.

Services that are carried out on Saturdays, Sundays and national, regional and local holidays, and on working Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays in the period between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.:
a) Flag drop (start fee): 1.75 euros.
b) Price per kilometer traveled or fraction: 0.80 euros.
c) Minimum payment: 4.40 euros.
d) Price per hour of waiting: 20.21 euros.
e) Price per fraction – every 15 minutes of waiting: 5.06 euros.

The flag drop will operate only on services with a distance between origin and destination of less than 12 kilometers.

Malaga Aiport taxis - Mijas
Mijas’ taxis. Image from Google Maps.

Taxis depart from their ranks, so you either have to go to a taxi rank to get one or to know the phone number of a taxi rank. The ranks are usually close to large train stations, though there are a few taxi ranks in other places in the towns, which you can find by looking on google maps (parada de taxi, in Spanish). There is also a taxi app called pidetaxi that you can try; it is a bit limited, as it doesn’t show price estimates, and it has bad reviews, but at least it allows you to book ahead. 🤷

How much does a taxi ride cost from Malaga Airport?

Tricky, hum? But I’ve chosen two hotels by town from Torremolinos to Estepona to give you a price estimate, both from daytime and nighttime, using the fares published in the previous title! 🙂 These are, of course, just estimations. I’ve compared my estimations to Uber prices, and given that they are similar to the lowest prices of Uber, I think we are in the right direction. Here we go:

Hotel Daytime price (€)Nighttime price (€)
TorremolinosOccidental Torremolinos Playa13.5713.57
TorremolinosAluaSun Lago Rojo18.9616.80
BenalmadenaHotel MAC Puerto Marina24.2422.66
BenalmadenaHoliday World Polynesia Hotel25.8829.05
FuengirolaGlobales Gardenia25.2127.44
FuengirolaHotel IPV Palace & Spa30.1133.60
MijasHotel Trh Mijas26.7029.20
MijasEl Oceano Beach Hotel & Restaurant41.9746.03
MarbellaHotel Amàre Marbella59.2564.47
MarbellaGran Hotel Guadalpin Banus64.9672.00
EsteponaIkos Andalusia80.6288.52
EsteponaHotel Estepona Plaza88.8397.41

I’ve used google maps to calculate distances and times from the airport to each hotel, and these were chosen for their locations – I wanted some distancing between them. Click here to see a map with the hotel list and check between which your hotel is. I’ve also added 20% to the final price to account for the possibility (certainty?) of slower traffic during high season, but I did not account for tolls, so trips to Fuengirola and beyond can cost more than stated.

It is far from an exact calculation, but it should be enough to give you a price idea. Please don’t fight with the driver if real prices are a bit above what is stated here; but take an Uber next time if the difference is too big!

Now, the price to go to Estepona is kinda scary, isn’t it? But fear not, Dear Reader, we’ll cut it short in the next title, by a lot!

Saving tips

Tip 1) Train + taxi

If you are going to Fuengirola, Mijas, Marbella or Estepona, consider taking the train from the airport to Fuengirola station, and then take a taxi right outside the station (both station and tax rank shown below). It will cut your taxi cost considerably! Even more if you take advantage of the free train ticket (abono recurrente). 😉

If you are going to Benalmadena, you can consider taking the train from the airport to Benalmadena-Arroyo de la Miel station, and then a taxi right outside, though the economy here would probably be of about 10 euros, max, if that much, as Benalmadena is relatively close to the airport.

Malaga Aiport taxis - Fuengirola
Fuengirola’s taxis right outside of Fuengirola Train Station. Picture by Mama Malaga.

The trains run each 20 to 40 minutes, approximately, starting from 5:32 am all the way to 23:42 pm (as of the moment of this writing; this can change along the year). You can use Renfe’s timetable to confirm the times the trains will be running on the day of your arrival.

Tip 2) Bus + taxi

Another thing you can do when going to either Marbella or Estepona is to take the bus. I did a video about how to get from arrivals to the train station, and that video takes less than 3 minutes, in real time; well, the bus stop is even closer. Just follow the green line on the floor and – Yay! Hello, bus stop!

Malaga Aiport - train, bus and taxis
Exit from Malaga Airport
Malaga Aiport - train, bus and taxis
Bus stop in Malaga Airport

There are several Avanza buses that stop on the Airport. You can buy a bus ticket to Estepona for less than €12, and to Marbella for less than €9! The times for Estepona buses seem to be concentrated in the afternoon (between 12:30 pm and 5:50 pm), with only one bus in the morning and two later; there are more buses to Marbella, well spread through the day, from 8:50 am to 10:05 pm. If you are going to Estepona, but there is no train close to your arrival time in Malaga, it is still well worth taking a bus to Marbella and a taxi from there. 😉

If you are arriving in the middle of the night, tough, your options are limited; either wait in the airport for the bus or train times or take a taxi straight away. Or rent a car, of course.

Tip 3) Rent a car

Did you know you can rent a car for a whole week for less than a taxi ride to Estepona?! Amazing, right? You can book ahead and have it waiting for you in Malaga Airport, when you arrive; at the end of your trip, you drop it at the airport too. Don’t need to thank me, thank! If you think it’s too good to be true, check their reviews on Trustpilot – they are great. It’s no surprise that they won so many awards.


Transfers are legal, private companies that are not subject to the same regulations and limitations as taxis. They can establish their own prices, and usually establish fixed fares for certain trips. You’ll find them advertising on Facebook with sayings such as “Fuengirola to Airport, xx euros”. Ask (or look) for taxi recommendations on Facebook, and you’ll get a lot of offers for transfer and links to their homepages.

There are pros and cons to their services. The pros are many: you can book ahead, which is not usually the case with taxis; you can let them know if your group has special needs, such as mobility difficulties, large number of people, small children or too much luggage, so they can bring you a suitable car; you know ahead how much you will be charged. Also, at least some of them speak English.

The cons: it is more expensive than a taxi.

I’ve never used a transfer, but from what I read, they seem reliable. Facebook is full of people saying good or bad things about many transfer companies, but most of the time they say good things. It is a bit of a luxury taxi, in a way, as it is more customizable. I think of it as a 1st class taxi, with a 1st class price.

Uber and Bolt

You know the deal. Uber is available in Spain, and lets you order a car, choose among many options of models, sizes and prices, see how long it will take to arrive to you and so on. In my opinion, Uber works well in Spain and the prices are comparable to those of taxis. The same is true for Bolt, that does a similar service but, last time I checked, had less drivers than Uber here in the Costa.

Pros of Uber or Bolt compared to taxis: you can ask it from anywhere, without needing to know a phone number or speak Spanish; you can book ahead of time.
Pros of Uber or Bolt compared to transfers: it’s cheaper.

Cons of Uber compared to taxis and transfers: they sometimes cancel the ride and let you hanging. (I’ve had this problem in Spain).
Cons of Bolt compared to taxis and transfers: they sometimes have no driver available.

Malaga Aiport taxis - Marbella
Marbella’s taxis. Image from Google Maps.

How to prevent being scammed

When taking a car from the street, make sure it has the official signs of a local taxi: it’s white, has a coat of arms on the door, and has a taxi light on top. Do not accept rides directly on the street on other situations, as you may overpay, usually by a lot. Transfers and Ubers don’t offer rides in the middle of the street; they are booked ahead by phone or app. Anyone offering a car ride claiming to be either thing is probably a scammer.

Even if you are close to a taxi rank, check how much your ride would cost by Uber. Then, before agreeing to enter a taxi, ask the driver for an estimate of the ride price. (For non-Spanish speakers: ‘How much does it cost to go to…?’ is ‘¿Cuánto cuesta ir a…?‘ Make sure you have the calculator on your phone ready for the driver to type the answer!) If the taxi says a much bigger number, simply call an Uber. If there isn’t a substantial difference, take the taxi, because you are already in front of it.

When asking the taxi price ahead, of course, there can be some variation between the estimation and the real amount charged in the end, but it shouldn’t be a very big difference. This may prevent the driver to go for a longer-than-needed ride with you, as if he or she doesn’t give you a good price, you can always simply call an Uber and, once they gave you an estimated price, charging a lot more would make the taxi driver look bad.

Benalmadena beach (Malaga airport Taxis)
Eye candy. You deserve it! Benalmadena beach, by Mama Malaga.


Often times, the people that tell a sad story about taxis in the Costa del Sol did not actually take a taxi. They took a scammer, that said they were a taxi or an Uber operator and took advantage of the tourist that didn’t know how taxis in the area look like. They can also be referring to a bad transfer company. This gives taxis a bad name that I think is unfair; in my own experience, the taxis I took in the Costa del Sol were fairly priced and did not go around more than needed.

Transfers are friendly and great, but this comes at a cost. Uber is a good option, particularly if you are not in a hurry and won’t miss a flight if they cancel on you. A good way to prevent this is to leave for the airport with plenty of extra time!

A taxi and train or bus combination is a great idea, if you are coming on your own or with a small group of adults that are not too tired from the flight. It is probably the most economical way to go from the airport to the towns that are further away from Malaga; to Torremolinos, though, the economy is small, so it may not compensate for the struggle. The convenience of buses and trains also depends on the time you are arriving – if it is in rush hour and you have a lot of luggage, for example, the train may not be the best option.

Booking a rental car ahead is a great option, especially because you can explore a lot more of the Costa by car. Just make sure the place where you are staying has a place to park the car. If you opt for this solution, read our post on solving parking in the Costa del Sol.

I hope you know a bit more about the taxis (and buses, trains, transfers, cars…) in Malaga now. It is quite difficult to get a taxi license, so I don’t think many would be risking it to earn a few extra euros; a true, legitimate taxi is (in my opinion), reliable. Just don’t believe anyone that says they are a taxi in a car that doesn’t look like one, and you should be fine. Safe travels and see you around!