Tips for a safe holiday in Malaga & how to prevent car theft

Spain is one of the safest countries in Europe to travel, even more Malaga. We will however give you some tips for a safe holiday in Malaga

Guidelines for a safe holiday in Malaga

Nothing is absolutely secure in life as much as we would like, however we can pay some attention to common sense and follow some simple preventive guidelines for your enjoyable safe holiday in Malaga, from beginning to end.pinpockets love tourists

  • Do not attract attention with expensive jewelry or clothing. Carry an expensive camera in a neutral backpack and not in an exclusive bag of that trademark.
  • Keep belongings always in sight.
  • Protect your purse or wallet in public transport and in large gatherings (markets, shows, etc.).
  • Do not leave valuables or attention calling objects visibly in the car.
  • As far as possible, don´t walk around lonely places or poorly lighted areas.
  • Be wary of suspicious “aid” (informing about stains on clothing, damage to your vehicle, etc.).
  • Do not leave in the room keys, money or valuables. Use the safe.
  • In public areas (reception, restaurants, pool) monitor luggage and personal items (purses, cameras, etc.).
  • Do not carry more money than necessary.
  • Don´t carry the bag on the side of the street; there are robberies committed on a motorcycle in motion, ripping the bag of the shoulder.
  • Do not put your wallet in your back pocket.
  • Only take the essentials to the beach or pool.

How to prevent car theft

prevent car theft

Generally, there are more car thieves particularly around those areas where there are many tourists: For example, in hotel car parks, nearby hotels, in beach parking lots, near tourist attractions or in any holiday resort.

They usually work fast and even in broad daylight, not only at night. Even if they don´t find anything valuable in the car, you feel very angry when you find they’ve broken the window to get in.

Therefore, do not leave anything in sight in your car. No jackets, no sweaters, no bags, no phones, no cameras…even small things that can be sold for a few Euros can be a good enough reason for them to break into your car. Leaving the glove compartment open and empty is quite a good idea to show burglars there’s nothing worth breaking in for.

If any clothing, valuables or luggage have to be left in the car, then it’s best to hide them in the trunk – of course, it’s not exactly a safe so even then, you still run the risk of getting robbed.

Prevent car thefts by frequency inhibitors

It seems that it is not a new technique but these days there is a further increase of theft by frequency inhibitors, which inhibit the car locking the doors properly when parking. This trick is especially popular in large areas such as shopping centres.

With these measures you avoid further trouble, which usually is not covered by insurance. As the car was not forced it would not be considered theft when claiming it from the insurance company. Nor malls, in the event that the theft had occurred there, have liability if they do not charge for parking.

  • Be attentive to what happens around your vehicle when leaving the car.
  • Check that has been activated the audible or visual warning (lights), indicating that the doors have been closed.
  • Close with the key and check with the handle that it is effectively closed.
  • Also remember to check that the boot is closed.
  • In general, do not leave valuables or documents in the car, preferably not even in the trunk.

Car theft in rental vehicles

Regarding theft in rental vehicles, you should immediately get in touch with the rental company’s road assistance in order to clarify further action (In case of theft of passport or identity card you must always report to the police, otherwise there is no substitute document).

Some gangs are specialized in stealing entire cars, where luxury automobiles and high-powered SUV’s are particularly popular. It goes without saying that you should never leave the car with the keys in the ignition switch. Not even briefly to buy cigarettes, a newspaper or a beverage.

Car keys also get stolen from beach bags and golf bags, so always take the keys with you. You should be aware that the theft of a vehicle with the keys on is not considered theft but misappropriation, which is not covered by the insurance, being the lessee the only responsible.

Safety tips

Of course, we don’t want to scare you or discourage you from driving around the province. The low cost of renting a car in Malaga and the freedom it gives you are great advantages that far outweigh the disadvantages of getting behind the wheel.

The following advice applies everywhere in the world, because unfortunately there might be criminals everywhere.

Familiarise yourself with your vehicle

Before leaving our office, check the condition and function of the vehicle’s various controls, as well as the safety equipment including warning lights, locks, warning lights, reflective overalls, spare tyres and warning triangle. In Spain it is compulsory to carry the safety equipment in the car.

Plan your route

If you are not familiar with the area, you should plan your route carefully before leaving the office. Apart from the fact that it is dangerous to study the road map while driving, it is clear that you do not know your way around and you will become the perfect victim for any culprit lying in wait. If you don’t want to find yourself in such a situation, you can book a GPS along with your car.

On the road

Whether driving or parked, keep windows and doors closed. Closed windows also improve the functioning of the air conditioning.


Do not stop

When on the road, do not stop if someone is standing on the side of the road. If you witness an accident or see someone in need of urgent assistance, approach carefully to provide help. If you are travelling alone or do not feel safe in the situation, travel to the nearest service station and notify the police from there.
If you see a hitchhiker, notify them, stop, pay no further attention and drive on.

Criminals know many ways to attract attention Such as:

  • Honking or gesturing to indicate that something is “wrong” with your vehicle. This can sometimes be true; some thieves puncture their victims’ tyres beforehand and then follow them to inform them of the “breakdown”.
  • Ask for help with a false breakdown.
  • Making light signals.
  • Backing up from behind.

If this happens to you, do not slow down or stop. If possible, take down the vehicle’s registration number and stop at the nearest service station (or other busy and well-lit place) to notify the police. If the place seems safe, get out and check the car.

Do not leave anything inside the car and lock it

Do not leave anything valuable visible in the car (phone, GPS, etc.), especially at night. If you have to leave a suitcase or bag in the car, keep it concealed in the boot or glove compartment. Your insurance may well not cover items stolen from the car if they were not well stowed.

Into the light

If you feel threatened, are being followed or simply want to rest for a while, you should drive to a well-lit public place, such as a service station or restaurant. Lock up and don’t forget the keys.


Whenever possible, park in easily accessible and well-lit places. Check if there is video surveillance and park near the cameras. If this is not possible, at least try to avoid remote parking areas and if you are only making a short stop, always keep an eye on the car.

It is common for thieves to watch out for car parks located near remote coves, where drivers have no visibility of their cars while on the beach and where there is little traffic. We therefore recommend not leaving anything of value in the car when you are going to enjoy a nice day at the beach in a remote location.

Always have keys with you and have them at hand when approaching the vehicle.

Where to ask for help

With these simple tips you can save an unnecessary annoyance. If you have been the victim of a crime, get help by calling 091 (Police) or telephone 902 102 112 (Attention in several languages).

Do you have any interesting tips for other travellers? You can leave your comments here and help other tourists. Finally here you are some more advises when renting a car.

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