Heading to Gibraltar by car? How not to despair in the attempt

Heading to Gibraltar by car? The author of this article very recently had the brilliant idea of doing a quick shopping excursion to Gibraltar while travelling back from a trip to Tarifa.

Tarifa car hire Malagacar.com
When you are in the area, you should not miss the magnificent beaches of Cadiz. Car from MalagaCar in Tarifa.

It’s been a few years since the last time she had travelled by car to Gibraltar, so what she found there caught her completely off guard: Getting stuck in the endless queue at the border.

Let’s suppose you’re enjoying one of our Malagacars during your holiday and fancy a day trip to The Rock for some shopping and / or sightseeing. For convenience, of course you want to drive there by your own means.

So far, so good. But if you don’t want to bore yourself senseless in a semi-cataleptic state inside your car for far too long, you might consider the options presented below.

Heading to Gibraltar by car

According to official data, about 36,000 people cross daily the border from La Linea to Gibraltar, along with 10,000 vehicles, 180 trucks and 40 buses. We won´t go into further detail, the picture speaks for itself.

Gibraltar by car
When you go to Gibraltar, be mentally prepared for queues that can last for hours. Photo La Razón

Even if you endured the queue, once in Gibraltar, what are your plans? Parking space is very limited and costly. Thus, a good alternative might be parking in La Linea, walk across the border and then take the public bus.

Bus from the frontier to the city

From Gibraltar airport just behind the border, bus no. 5 runs to the town centre, while bus no. 10 goes to the cable car.

Gibraltar city bus
Bus no. 5 goes to city centre

Hopper Ticket

The hopper ticket is the best option for visitors to get around the city and use any bus, at their own pace throughout the day. The hopper ticket can be used on all of Gibraltar’s public buses.

Getting to Gibraltar by car

You are still decided to go to Gibraltar by car? Then we give you some more tips.

Gibraltar by car
A MalagaCar visiting Gibraltar. Photo courtesy of our client

The main requirement is patience, for the queue in and out of Gibraltar. Luckily, if you use our car hire Malaga services, all our cars have air conditioning, but don´t travel in the summer without a bottle of water. You’ll need a valid passport or ID. The entry into Gibraltar, of course, is free.

In Gibraltar, unlike most British territories, it is mandatory driving on the right, as it shares border with Spain.

Crossing the runway

A unique feature of Gibraltar is that you have to cross the airport runway to get into town.

It’s a quite busy runway, especially in the summer months. And surely more than one is tempted to take a spectacular selfie with a plane landing or taking off.

When a plane is approaching, the traffic light turns red as you approach the runway and you have to stop and wait at the barrier.

Public car parks in La Linea

The most sensible, least stressful and quickest way is to park in La Línea.

A total of 8 public car parks are located within a 10-minute walk from the border.

Just after the border is located the bus stop. There are several city buses that go directly to the centre every 10–20 minutes. There is also a red Double Decker bus which serves the route between the border and the city centre every 15 minutes.


There are no motorhome facilities in Gibraltar. It is advisable not to enter Gibraltar with a motorhome, as the roads are narrow and there is no parking for large vehicles.

In the Port of La Linea there is an area for motorhomes, just a few metres from the border.

area for motorhomes at the port of La Línea
In the port of La Linea there is an area for motorhomes.

Parking in Gibraltar

Free parking in Gibraltar

There is a public car park on Queensway Road.

Car Parks

There are also several pay and display car parks.

Please note

Gibraltar’s main tourist attractions are not accessible by car. The Nature Reserve and Upper Rock are only accessible by cable car, on foot or by taxi.

luke skywalker gibraltar
We don’t know whether Luke Skywalker arrived at Upper Rock by cable car or the Millennium Falcon.

If you are planning to visit the Cablecar, this information might be helpful: When you buy your ticket online or at the Gibraltar Info kiosk on the Spanish side of the border, you are entitled to use the free shuttle service to and from the Cable Car and to use the fast-track queue at the Cable Car ticket office.

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