Having your own set of wheels is the best way to explore Spain’s southern coast beyond Gibraltar. Fantastic beaches, picturesque hilltop towns and the land of flamenco is all the more accessible with a Gibraltar Airport car hire. This is our guide to returning a car hire to Gibraltar Airport.

Returning a car hire to Gibraltar Airport or La Linea?

Gibraltar is little piece of Britain at the bottom of Spain. Despite being less than 7 square kilometres, Gibraltar has its own airport. The Airport is also handy for locations in Southern Spain – particularly for beaches in the Costa de la Luz and Costa del Sol.

If you picked up a Gibraltar Airport car hire or read our post on collecting a Gibraltar Airport car hire, you’ll know that the majority of car hires here are actually based across the border in La Linea, Spain. This isn’t something to fret too much about, however, as the border is literally a hop, skip and a jump away from the airport. It can actually be an advantage as returning your car hire to the Spanish side of the border means you’ll be saved the hassle and time spent waiting to drive through to Gibraltar.

This post guides you through returning a car hire to Gibraltar Airport proper as well as to the Spanish side (off-airport).

On-airport car hire

On-site car hire at Gibraltar Airport | Returning a car hire to Gibraltar Airport

On-site car hire at Gibraltar Airport

There are just a few companies that offer on-site car hire collection and drop off actually at Gibraltar Airport. These are Avis, Budget and Autos Aguirre. However, if you’ve rented a car with Autos Aguirre, make sure you let them know in advance that you’d like to drop the rental off directly at the airport. This is because cars have to be pre-authorised to be parked at the airport car park. If you don’t have the authorisation, you risk getting a fine. And if you’re returning an Autos Aguirre car hire to La Linea in the Spanish side of the border, scroll down for more information on doing that.

Also, bear in mind that if you’re not already in Gibraltar, you will want to make an extra early start to return your car hire in case of long queues at the border. Often, you shouldn’t have to wait more than half an hour but come on a bad day and you could be there for up to three hours! You won’t want to watch your flight taking off from the road going into Gibraltar!

Gibraltar Airport car park

Airport Car Park for Gibraltar Airport | Returning a car hire to Gibraltar Airport

Airport Car Park for Gibraltar Airport car hire

Customers with car hires being dropped off directly on-site at Gibraltar Airport car park will need to head towards the Airport car park on Winston Churchill Avenue. There are actually several car parks around the airport but the one you want has a big sign over it with ‘Airport car park‘. The car park attendant should be around to open the barrier for you at the entrance to the car park and you can leave the keys off with them.

Driving from Spain

Once you’re in La Linea, you’ll see signs towards Gibraltar. Access to Gibraltar is via Av. Principe de Asturias from the west. If you’re coming from the east, you’ll pass the border and continue on to a roundabout where you can then head back towards the border.

Take the middle lane if you have nothing to declare | Returning a car hire to Gibraltar Airport

Take the middle lane if you have nothing to declare.

After going through customs, you’ll see the entrance to the car park on your right – it’s literally less than a minute’s drive from the border to the car park.

Driving from Gibraltar

Winston Churchill Avenue is the main road going from Gibraltar proper, the airport and Spain. Access to the airport is actually from the border side so you’ll first need to drive towards the border and at the small roundabout, go all the way around so that you’re back on Winston Churchill Avenue. The entrance to the car park is on your right.

Petrol stations near Gibraltar Airport

There are petrol stations on both sides of Winston Churchill Avenue. If you’re coming from Spain, just drive past the Airport car park and you’ll see one come up on your right. At the next roundabout, just head back towards the border before heading back again to the Airport car park.

Off-site car hire in La Linea

FoCona car park in La Linea | Returning a car hire to Gibraltar Airport

One of the entrances to the FoCona car park in La Linea

Across the border in La Linea de la Concepción (or La Linea for short), several car hire companies including Automotive Cars use the FoCona car park. It’s an underground car park, just 5 minutes walk to the border.

Driving to the FoCona car park

There are actually several entrances to the FoCona car park. The entrance on Av. del Ejército is the easiest to find if you’re driving as it’s one of the main roads in La Linea and is accessible from the east or west coastal roads: Paseo del Mediterráneo and Av. Principe de Asturias. There are several car parks in the area but make sure you go to ‘Parking FoCona‘. There is a sign at the entrance. Other entrances to the car park are via a road that pretty much runs parallel to Av. del Ejército (the next road south from it in fact).

Below are snapshots of the turning points from those coastal roads mentioned above onto Av. del Ejército and Parking FoCona…

From Av. Principe de Asturias, turn left into the city centre for Parking FoCona | Returning a car hire to Gibraltar Airport

From Av. Principe de Asturias, turn left into the city centre for Parking FoCona

From Paseo Mediterraneo, turn right towards the city centre for Parking FoCona | Returning a car hire to Gibraltar Airport

From Paseo Mediterraneo, turn right towards the city centre for Parking FoCona.

At the entrance of the car park, just push the button for a ticket and keep a hold of it. After parking your car, you’ll need to drop the car keys as well as the ticket with the car park attendant.

Petrol station in La Linea

On the two main routes into La Linea (either through El Zabal on the A-383 or San Roque/Campamento on the CA-34), you’ll pass a petrol station. From El Zabal, there is a Shell petrol station at the junction with Calle Cartagena that is about 4 kms away from FoCona car park. And from Campamento, there is a Repsol petrol station Calle Real just on the outskirts of La Linea, which is about 3kms drive from the car park.

Making your way to Gibraltar

If you’re heading straight for the border and Gibraltar Airport, use the pedestrian exit which should take you to the commercial strip of shops and cafés (Av. Veinte de Abril). This is the path that will take you directly to the border. When you exit the car park, head towards your right and follow the path lined with shops and cafés for the border. You’ll pass the worker and bicycle statue (it’s a homage to La Linea locals who travel everyday into Gibraltar for work) before reaching the border. Use the crossing on the right of the statue and head straight on for passport control.

At the border, you’ll go through two passport checks. The first is at the small cabin where there should be an immigration official and the second is in the small building that comes up straight after so just keep your passport out. You barely even have to stop walking to show your passport so the whole process really is very quick.

Border at Gibraltar Airport | Returning a car hire to Gibraltar Airport

Border at Gibraltar Airport

Welcome to Gibraltar | Returning a car hire to Gibraltar Airport

Welcome to Gibraltar

If you’ve got some time to explore Gibraltar before your flight, there is a tourist information desk here and tourist guides wanting to take you on a tour of the Rock too. But if you just want to head straight to the airport, it’s just 5 minutes walk away from the border. After leaving customs, continue onwards and cross at the pedestrian crossing towards the airport. You’ll pass a small car park before seeing a couple more pedestrian crossings that will take you directly to the airport terminal.