Traffic tickets while driving a rental car in Spain

traffic fine AndaluciaWe always recommend to discover Andalusia by car, it’s an unforgettable experience to drive through the country roads and discover villages that would be impossible to visit any other way, however quite often the drivers forget that they can commit traffic offenses and be notified for them.

How car rental companies pass on the cost of traffic tickets

If you drive a rental car, to the fine will be added an administrative sanction by your car hire company as they have to process the fine and identify the driver, which generates an extra cost that tends to come up to about 25 euros. We recommend to be careful to not get any speeding tickets or any other traffic offense fines as although the car doesn’t belong to you, the fine will reach you.

One of the places near Malaga where the drivers are fined the most, almost without realizing, is in the centre of Granada, where the existence of bad traffic signing, not translated into English either, vigilance cameras and radars cause that many foreign drivers get fined, which is we recommend that if you visit Granada with your rental car drive very carefully, paying special attention to the speed limits and traffic signs. Other option is to book a guided tour to Granada instead of driving a car yourself.

The most common causes for fines in Spain

A very important one to avoid a fine is always wearing the seatbelt, included those sitting in the back…If you get stopped by the police and you are carrying passengers in the backseats, it’s very likely that they’ll check if they are wearing their seatbelts too…and if they aren’t, it will all depend on the policeman or policewoman whether you get a formal sanction or not.

The speed is one of the main causes of fines in Spain, sometimes even when we think we haven’t gone over the limit we may receive fine by surprise. In Malaga there are roads of 4 lanes in both directions that would lead us to think that the speed limit is 120 km/h. when really it’s in fact 100 km/h., which is why it’s highly recommendable to always pay special attention to the road signs that indicate at what speed we must go.

The radars are signposted, and driving passed them at a higher speed than what you’re supposed to, becomes a fine automatically. We must also mention that there are mobile radars (in vehicles) too that aren’t indicated and that can give us an unpleasant surprise.

Double parking is forbidden, you may stop for less than 2 minutes to pick up or let out passengers…but never double park the vehicle, the fine in this case is pretty dear.

Final recommendations when driving in Spain

If you drive according to the traffic regulations in Spain there shouldn’t be any problems whatsoever. Always pay attention to the traffic signs and in the case that you receive a fine, don’t forget that you’ll receive a small extra charge if you’re using a rental car due to the administration process.

Holidays in Malaca for only 605.67 denarii

This would be the advert we’d see around the year 200, had we have published it in the blog back then…Ok, Malagaweb has been around for a while, but not that long!

Around the year 200, when the Romans dominated Europe, travelling from Londinium (London) to Malaca (Malaga) took approximately 24 days over 3455 kilometres during the month of August. It was a very long journey mostly by sea bordering the coasts of France and Portugal.

If we would have lived in Londinium around the year 200, and we would have wanted to enjoy our holiday in September in Malaga, we would have had to leave on the first week of August!… however, the positive side is that we would enjoy a trip with stopovers in the great ports of the olden days situated in the Atlantic…although not for a modest price.

Imagine an advert like this: “Enjoy your holidays in Malaca for only 605.67 Denarii” (The Denarii was the Roman coin back then, and 1 Denary would be equivalent to 6.63€; so, calculating the total price of the trip, it would come up to 4028 euros / 3264 pounds)…plus, the journey of 24 days would have enough boat trips to eventually make us get quite fed up.

The prices in Denarrii, based on the use of a faster sail ship and a civil boat (if necessary), and on these options of the route:

  • Per Kilogram of wheat (by donkey): 2.4
  • Per Kilogram of wheat (by cart): 2.41
  • Per passenger by transport: 605.67

Baring in mind that one Denary is equivalent to 6.63 euros, if we do calculations, it comes up to just over 4000 euros / 3264 pounds…a luxury that not many could afford, and this without including our luggage.

On this map we can see which places we would pass through if we would have lived in Roman times:
Londinium to MalacaLuckily, if nowadays we want an affordable vacation, the prices are much cheaper now than back then…and we can reach Malaga by airplane in the blink of an eye.

If we decide to hire a car in Malaga, the prices nowadays are much cheaper than in the olden days. Just imagine an advert like this:

- Hire a car in Malaga from 1 Denarii per day, forget about horse caravans and enjoy the air conditioning!

So, do you fancy coming to Malaga these holidays? You’ll be able to enjoy the Roman theatre situated in the centre of Malaga, next to the Gibralfaro castle. In other periods, not everyone could afford it, but nowadays it’s easy to spend a cheap holiday in Malaga.

Thanks to Stanford University roman map http://orbis.stanford.edu/ and the website holidaysresources I was able to gather all this information.

Suburban train every 20 minutes between Malaga centre and Fuengirola

As of September 11 there will be an improvement in the frequency of the commuter train C-1 circulating between Malaga and Fuengirola. The commuter train stops at major tourist attraction cores such as Torremolinos, Benalmadena and Los Boliches. In addition, this line links two key points in the arrival and departure of travelers to the capital of the Costa del Sol such as María Zambrano train station and Malaga airport terminal.

Specifically there will be trains every 20 minutes in both directions. The trains will depart from Malaga centre at 10, 30 and 50 of every hour and from Fuengirola at the full hour, 20 and 40 minutes. The beginning and end of service remains the same, starting at 5:30 am and ending at 10:30 pm.

This improvement is largely expected by habitual users of this popular line as especially during the summer months the number of passengers doubles easily, the wagon are always full always and many of them standing up. It will also have a positive effect for Malaga airport which receives large influxes of passengers who often travel with plenty of luggage. Thus, at the station airport Malaga-Costa del Sol, the number of passengers has grown by 41% during the first quarter of 2011.

100 years of history linking Malaga and Coin by train

In a time when connections between inland areas and the Costa del Sol  are more important than ever, few people know that almost 100 years ago, a train ran between Coin and Malaga.

In 1913, after eight years of work, was inaugurated the railway Malaga-Coin. Most of the then four million pesetas which it cost was invested by a Belgian company. Before that moment, the residents in the Guadalhorce valley who needed to reach to Malaga city had either to walk or travel by donkey, horse or carriage.

By 1930, there were three daily trains running between Coin and Malaga, which took approximately one hour and 45 minutes to complete the journey.

For 60 years, the trains, running first on steam, then on diesel and known by the people from Malaga as “La Cochinita” (the little pig) due to its shape, travelled the 38 kilometres between Malaga and Coin at a speed of 42 km/h.

The first main train station in Malaga was originally in La Malagueta area, but was moved later to the port, and the building can still be seen there today.  From there the trains ran to san Julian (behind where the Plaza Mayor Shopping centre is now located), Churriana, Alhaurin de la Torre and Coin in the Guadalhorce valley, where the main station is also still standing.

Malaga coin train

Due to the popularity and lower price of bus travel, the train finally stopped running and the tracks where dismantled in 1965. One of the wagons was purchased by the Tivoli Theme Park in Benalmadena. Despite complaints from people who used the railway service, it was cancelled, but now many wish it had never ceased to run.

Many of the stations, bridges and tunnels along the way can still be seen, and many residents in the province may have passed them without even realizing.

Low prices for car hire Malaga airport in winter

Coming in winter to Malaga is becoming more and more popular every year due the excellent micro climate present in the city. The temperature in Malaga will surprise you if you have visited other areas of Andalusia already as there is a big difference between Malaga and Cadiz as example.

There are many cultural monuments to visit in Malaga and the fun is present here during all the year and even more for New Year´s Eve in Malaga; are you thinking about celebrating new year in Malaga?, we have a few choices that would be of interest:

  • New Year hotel offers in Malaga
  • Celebrating New Year´s eve in an apartment in Malaga
  • Celebrating it at any of the many white villages like Coin
  • Going at any of the many disco pubs where are organized New Year´s parties

Those are just a few of the many options we can take if coming for New Year in Malaga, and we can still visit Sierra Nevada or eat some fried fish at any of the many chiringuitos present along the promenade.

When planning our trip to Malaga, consider booking a car rental at Malaga airport online, prices for the winter season are low and affordable and we can find cars from 7 euro per day if we rent it for a week. It can be cheaper than using any other transport means in the city and driving our own vehicle will provide us with the needed mobility for exploring the city and getting the most from our visit to the Costa del Sol.

Maybe you just considered celebrating the New Year´s eve in Malaga, but with a car hire in Malaga you can also visit Sierra Nevada and be back at the same day. There are many benefits when driving your car as distances in Malaga for getting to the most popular locations are not close.

As a tip for you, our recommended car rental website does not require payment in advance but just a flight number, car hire Malaga airport has never been easier than now with http://www.malagaairportcarhire.com.

Inauguration of the new suburban train station at Malaga Airport

Since September 10th 2010 works now the new suburban train station at Malaga airport. The opening of this new station opposite the Terminal 3 was planned in principle for the end of the year and thus the work improvement of the airport is proceeding swiftly.

The suburban train station is kept in the same design as the new terminal: spacious and with plenty of natural light, glass and chrome are the main elements. The way to the new T3 is very easy and fast, in one minute you are already there.

Although the station is situated in the underground, it was designed with partially open glass walls and roofs and thus it is constantly supplied with natural daylight as well as fresh air, so you have no feeling of being in a stuffy metro station.

The suburban train station is geared entirely to the new T3 Terminal and is part of the transportation hub that comes in front of the Plaza of the airport.

For users of the T3, this means maximum arrival and departure comfort.
For users who park their car at the level of Terminal 2, it means a walk of five minutes.

Those who, for different reasons, want to go from the new suburban train station to the Car hire at the airport, will have to prepare themselves mentally for a long zig-zag walk; partly pedestrian paths are missing in many places and you realize that the roads were designed for cars.

In short: Who directly heads with the suburban train to the Terminal 3, will have it very easy from now on. Whoever deviates from this path is better advised with a pick-up service to and from the airport!

Ecological taxis with pedals in Malaga city

The capital of the Costa de Sol is the pioneer in the use of tricycles as shuttle service for tourists.

A variant of bicycle tourism are the bicycle taxis, reminding of the Indian rickshaws. These are tricycles manufactured in Germany and which are completely ecological. They are made of recyclable materials and operate with the force of the driver, but also have an electric motor that helps in specific moments. They do not pollute the environment all.

Its function is the transportation of people through the centre of the city, not just tourists but also citizens in general.

The tricycle taxis are located in different parts of downtown and connect the highlights of the city such as Plaza de la Marina, shopping malls, the train station Maria Zambrano or the Port.

The service operates from 10 am to 8 pm, but can be used outside these hours if booked in advance.
Their drivers not only steer the vehicle, but also become cultural guides and are in some cases the primary source of information about the city for tourists who have just arrived.

These monitors explain to visitors in several languages the history of the buildings and streets along their ride around the city.
If you want to go in town from one point to another, or tour it and enjoy the view, you now have the option of doing it in a clean and green way. This project aims to change attitudes towards the environment, giving locals and visitors to Malaga the chance to do something beneficial and thereby contribute to making the city a cleaner and safer place.

With the Tricycles you will get to know Malaga in a different and funny way: at the outdoors and at a leisurely pace down the centre of the city and the promenade. The Driver will be giving explanations about life, culture and history of Malaga.

Malaga downtown can now be reached by the suburban train

For the last two years the spanish Development Ministry have undertaken a complete refurbishment of the suburban infrastructure in Malaga city centre along the Guadalmedina River.

The refurbishment of the train stations of Malaga included the expansion of the suburban tunnel in the city and the regeneration of the platforms and equipment for the underground station María Zambrano.

These completions will permit an improvement in the number of the suburban train services of the lines C1 and C2. Travel time will be reduced and the user comfort will be increased by implementing new technologies in the rail facilities and train stations and as well by increasing the accessibility to the services.
From now on travelers have easy access from Malaga airport and Malaga railway station to the historic centre of the capital, the city Park and the port of Malaga.

With the launch of the new central station Malaga-Centro-Alameda, timetables have been adapted for better matching the customer needs, setting the departures every half an hour from both Fuengirola and Malaga city centre.

The first train leaves from Málaga-Centre-Alameda at 5:30 AM and the last one at 22.30 PM. In Fuengirola trains starts at 6:30 AM and ends at 23:30 PM.  Travel time from the first to the last train station is 48 minutes. From Malaga airport trains are leaving to Malaga city on time every 30 minutes.

Malaga transport tips: Public transport and recommendations

With a constantly growing population in both the city itself and along the Costa del Sol, Malaga faced in recent years the need to expand boundaries and offer new services to its citizens and many visitors.

On one hand the diversification of the public transport network becomes indispensable in order to facilitate new connections between key points of the city and alleviate the current traffic density, driven by the priority use of private transport. Currently are located throughout the city of Malaga construction sites for the new Metro, which will partially start running by the end of 2011. One of the advantages of this public transport is to reduce traffic levels: The public transport user occupies 100 times less space than private transport. For example, a tram has the approximate capacity of three buses, which are themselves the equivalent of 100 private vehicles in circulation.

On the other hand, Malaga and the whole Costa del Sol have gained a lot with the opening of the new railway station Maria Zambrano in 2007 and the launch of the high speed train AVE with connections to Madrid, Cordoba and Barcelona. The train station is conveniently situated in the city centre, right next to the bus station and about 15 minutes from the historic centre of Malaga. Furthermore, it is linked to Malaga airport and the resorts along the Costa del Sol (Malaga, Airport, Torremolinos, Benalmádena, and Fuengirola) by a Suburban train which leaves every half an hour from the same station. The line C1 line is widely used by many people to go to work or by tourists going to resorts or to the airport and gets especially in summer very busy.

So far, so good. The general problem with Andalusia is that the public transport system is despite all the recent improvements still very unsatisfactory. Thus, the suburban train from Malaga runs only until Fuengirola, 30 km west along the Costa del Sol. Travelers who want to go further ahead to resorts such as Marbella, Estepona or Manilva, will have to use several means of public transport, a taxi, private transfer or a car hire at Malaga airport. The connections of the eastern Costa del Sol between the provinces of Malaga and Granada are completely underdeveloped and resorts like Nerja can only be reached by means of Bus (which takes about 1 ½ hours by the way). The same applies for other destinations from Malaga, such as the city of Almería, as there are currently no direct train connections available.

The best means of public transport, regarding the existence of services to surrounding villages and resorts are the busses. Provided that you are not taller than 1.75 metres, as they are very uncomfortable and can get very nerve-racking.

Currently, with the expansion of the airport Pablo Picasso in Malaga is being constructed a new train stop with direct access from the new terminal 3 which will provide an increased frequency of trains.
There is as well an interesting project to create an internal high-speed corridor for Andalusia. This corridor would link Malaga with Seville and Granada in 55 minutes. This service is planned for 2013.

By far, the best means of transport around Malaga and along the Costa del Sol is a car. The best and swiftest traffic network in Andalusia remains still the motorways, highways and national roads.

Complains about the bus line M-110 to Torremolinos and Benalmadena from Malaga

Complaints about the bus line M-110 towards Torremolinos and Benalmádena from Malaga city center are becoming more frequent due to a reduction in the timetables – let´s say, this isn´t precisely a good alternative if you don´t want to wait 40 minutes in boiling heat for the next Bus – and the inclusion of a semi direct bus with little or no utility at all that is usually empty and without intermediate stops.

The schedule change has occurred almost without notice, it has left many users perplexed by the situation, and the most frequent users are also considering other option for the transportation. It is disconcerting that these facts have not been recognized publicly, but with the change back on the schedule of the M-110 bus line produced during the week of the fair in Malaga, without any useless semi direct bus, there has been an indirect recognition that the current schedule-which unfortunately has been set up again after the “Malaga Feria week”- is not a good option if the aim is to provide a better service to the passengers. Let´s see what is their next step and how long they will keep this frustating situation.

What are the transportation alternatives in Malaga?
We have checked the offers of several Transfer companies at the airport Málaga. Usually, all companies have at their disposal English speaking, friendly staff and drivers. The mayor advantage is of course in reaching comfortably and swiftly your final holiday destination; as well does exist the possibility of hiring a car with driver for specific excursions or special events like Weddings, Golf, Puerto Banús or Marbella. In that sense, we found offers for all price classes, from economical offers to selected Models like the Mercedes S class.

The train is another good option, although a multitude of people using it can make our trip a bit heavy, especially if we are tired and is not possible to find a seat.

Another possibility, after arriving to Malaga airport, is to rent a car in Malaga for your holidays. Which in our opinion, ends up being the most convenient way to get around the city and surroindings.

Transfer & Shuttle vs Taxis

The price is not much more expensive than a regular taxi, but the service is more personalized and comfortable, we can even find the option to hire minibuses for tours or luxury cars for weddings, always with a private driver for our convenience. You can also choose the type of car that best suits your tastes or needs.