A common misconception about airport shuttle transfers are that they are expensive! The main reason for this is many people make the mistake of booking their transfer via a third party e.g. online travel agent etc. If you do it this way, you could wind up paying up to £70 per person for a shared transfer, instead of a more reasonable £20 per person.
To avoid paying over the odds for essentially the same service, it’s much cheaper to arrange your transfers yourself & book directly with the shuttle service.
Shared vs Private Transfers
There are two types of airport transfers, private or shared. Private transfers are the more expensive, but you do not share the vehicle with anyone else, which means you can leave right away and avoid waiting for any delayed passengers.
Shared transfers are the cheaper option, and if you don’t mind sharing, then you can save 30-50% of the cost of a private transfer.
Large Groups & Over-sized Luggage
Another factor to consider is the size of your group, and/or if you’re traveling with a lot of luggage. A regular, four-door taxi will only be licensed to carry 4 passengers (including children). So it may be more convenient or cost effective booking a private or shared transfer. As you have the choice of requesting an estate car, mini-bus or even a coach capable of transporting up to 40 or more passengers.
If you’re traveling with young children or toddlers, and you prefer not to bring your own child seats. A pre-booked transfer gives you the option to request a child seat, for a small additional cost. Bear in mind the law in Spain requires children under a certain age to be carried in special seats or restraints in private vehicles. Taxis and public transport are exempt from this rule. Just remember to request child seats when you make your transfer reservation.
Finding Your Shuttle Transfer
The driver will usually meet you in arrivals, and they’ll show you to the waiting car or minibus and drive you to your apartment or villa. As the booking is pre-paid online you won’t be hit with any unexpected transfer costs.
Another big plus of a pre-booked transfer is; if your flight is delayed for any reason, your driver will wait. As the transfer service will give your flight details to the driver as part of the booking process.
Book a Shuttle Transfer
The alternatives to a private or shared transfer are; the public ‘autobus’ bus service, which is non-stop service from Malaga airport to Marbella bus station in central Marbella. This costs a very reasonable 7 Euros per person, and is a 45 minute journey from the airport. We’ve published an article about the bus service and the current timetable HERE!
Or you could take a taxi from just outside Malaga airport T3 arrivals hall, but expect long queues during the summer. Which isn’t much fun on a hot summer’s day. The rate will also vary, as taxis charge a day and night rate. With the night rate being around 10-15% higher than the day rate.
Taxi vs Shared Shuttle Transfer
Check out the table below for the an idea of the cost of shared transfers vs taxis.