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
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
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.
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
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…