Driving in Malta presents unique challenges and experiences due to its distinct road conditions and traffic culture. The nation drives on the left, inheriting this from British rule, which can be initially challenging for those accustomed to right-hand driving. The roads are generally narrow and winding, with main roads better maintained than minor ones. Speed limits range from 50 kilometers/hour in built-up areas to 80 kilometers/hour on open roads. Drivers in Malta are known for their aggressive style, particularly in lane changing. Road safety tips include being vigilant for erratic drivers and poor road conditions like potholes. Seat belts are mandatory and the blood alcohol content limit is 0.08%. Due to Malta's size, most locations are reachable within an hour, reducing the need for speeding. Malta travel rules include extra caution is necessary due to narrow roads and unpredictable driving behaviors. Understanding local traffic signs, which follow international standards, is crucial for safe navigation.
- What is Driving in Malta?
- What are Road Safety Tips When Driving in Malta?
- 1. Speed Limits
- 2. Overtaking
- 3. Malta Road Signs
- 4. Alcohol limit for driving in Malta
- What are Famous Places in Malta that You Can Drive by?
- What is the Proper Driving Etiquette when Driving in Malta?
Renting a car in Malta requires a valid driving license, with an International Driving Permit recommended if the original license is not in English. Compact cars are advised for easier maneuvering through narrow streets. It's essential to understand the rental agreement, including insurance policies. Car inspections before use are recommended to avoid liability for pre-existing damages. Driving in Malta is difficult, especially for those not used to left-hand traffic. The roads can be congested, with parking often difficult to find. Public transportation or guided tours might be more suitable for those uncomfortable with local driving conditions. With caution and adherence to local driving norms, navigating Malta by car can be a feasible and enjoyable way to explore the island.
What is Driving in Malta?
Driving in Malta offers an exciting experience with its historic architecture, scenic views and distinctive driving rules. The Maltese drive on the left side of the road is similar to the UK and the speed limit is usually 50 kilometers/hour in built-up areas and 80 kilometers/hour outside. Malta has no motorways and wearing seat belts in both the front and rear seats is compulsory. The blood alcohol content limit for drivers is 0.08%, the same as in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The main roads are generally well-maintained and well-signposted, some minor roads are in poor condition, so visitors need to watch out for potholes. Local drivers are known for being rather erratic and particularly aggressive when changing lanes.
One of the most common routes is Triq l-Imdina in Żebbug, where visitors will see the green fields on one side and the gorgeous Mdina on the other. Triq il-Panorama in Qrendi is part of a long scenic route, with views of the sea, benches, sunset spots and the lonely Filfla. Triq Wied Musa in Mellieħa is one of Malta’s straightest roads, connecting popular tourist spots like Għadira and Ċirkewwa to beautiful bays like Popeye’s Village. Driving along the coast road, which has been extensively rebuilt, offers views straight out onto the ocean on one side and a cliff face on the other. This road connects the north and south of the island, providing a quick and scenic journey.
Is it Easy to Drive in Malta?
No, it is not easy to drive in Malta. Driving in Malta can be challenging for those not accustomed to driving on the left side of the road. Roads are generally narrow, winding, prone to flooding and often congested, leading to bottlenecks and accidents. Main roads are divided into two lanes in each direction but are not true motorways. Drivers tend to be aggressive and impatient, often playing “chicken” with oncoming cars on tight roads. Parking can also be extremely difficult to find in towns and cities, requiring circling many times. Roads can be hazardous in bad weather. Visitors should have caution, patience and familiarity with local driving customs, it can still be done safely. Using apps like the Maltese Traffic App view and avoid current trouble spots. Buses or guided tours may be a less stressful option for inexperienced drivers to navigate the islands. Obtaining an International Driving Permit and having appropriate car insurance is also highly recommended.
On which side of the road do people drive in Malta?
In Malta, motorists drive on the left-hand side of the road, a practice inherited from British rule. This means the driver's seat is on the right side of the car. For those accustomed to driving on the right, this can take some getting used to and may require extra caution, especially during the initial adjustment. This applies throughout the Maltese islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino. For visitors from countries that drive on the right, adjusting to left-hand driving takes extra care and awareness when navigating Maltese streets.
What are Road Safety Tips When Driving in Malta?
Driving safely on Malta's roads requires extra caution and adaptability for visitors unaccustomed to its unique challenges. The island's narrow, winding streets, inconsistent lighting and heavy scooter traffic pose hazards. Always drive on the left, buckle seatbelts and avoid speeding or night trips when feasible. Carrying insurance is mandatory and will provide vital protection in an accident—Malta has a high collision rate compared to European standards. Be prepared to yield suddenly for scooters cutting through traffic and pedestrians crossing poorly marked intersections. Parking spaces come at a premium as well across the islands. Visitors can better react to conditions and reach destinations safely by maintaining slower speeds, avoiding unnecessary risks like driving at night on dim country roads and bracing for the movements of smaller vehicles.
1. Speed Limits
Speed limits in Malta range from 30 kilometers/hour to 80 kilometers/hour depending on the area. The standard speed limit is 50 kilometers/hour in urban areas, 80 kilometers/hour on main roads and sometimes just 35 kilometers/hour in village centers. There are speed cameras across Malta to enforce limits, so fines for speeding can be costly. Always check speed limit signs and obey the posted limits. For safety reasons, limits may be lower than the standard in certain designated traffic-calmed zones. Some roads have variable speed limits that change based on weather conditions or other factors – look for electronic signs indicating the proper speed. Slower speed limits like 60 kilometers/hour could also be posted along certain stretches of highways.
Allow extra time to reach the destination without needing to speed. Since Malta is small, most drives between sights or towns will be under an hour anyway. Get accustomed to urban and village speed limits before increasing your highway speed. Avoid tailgating or aggressive acceleration. Driving over the speed limit risks accidents or injuries for others. Slower speeds also allow more reaction time on narrow roads. Moderate speeds can improve fuel efficiency as well. Speeding fines can be hundreds of euros depending on how much over the limit are clocked at.
Overtaking other vehicles in Malta requires extra caution due to narrow roads and aggressive driving behaviors. Before overtaking, check mirrors and blind spots to confirm no vehicles are approaching from behind. Signal intention to change lanes. Do not overtake near junctions, bends, dips or other areas with limited visibility. Watch for vehicles drifting across lanes and pedestrians suddenly crossing mid-block. Expect other cars to pull out suddenly, so overtake swiftly but safely. Give space to any vehicle pass, especially if it drifts towards the lane. Avoid overtaking slower, wider vehicles like buses and trucks on tight roads. Be prepared to slow down if an oncoming vehicle approaches. Only overtake one vehicle at a time and do not attempt to pass multiple cars in succession around blind curves.
If other drivers tailgate or create unsafe conditions, do not retaliate. Increase the following distance and allow them to pass when it is legal and secure. Using turn signals properly, driving defensively and never assuming other cars obey traffic laws will help overtake cautiously. Remain calm even if other drivers honk, gesture or exhibit road rage. Focus on the rules of the road and do not engage aggressive drivers. Extra care and attention before pulling out to pass vehicles, overtaking in Malta can be done safely.
3. Malta Road Signs
Road signs in Malta conform to international standards, using triangular warning signs, round regulatory signs and rectangular information signs. Unique signs indicate blind pedestrians, animal crossings, narrowing roads and other local conditions to watch for. Always obey regulatory signs for speed limits, parking directions, one-way streets and no-entry warnings to avoid fines or accidents. Watch for warning signs alerting to upcoming hazards like sharp bends, blind spots when overtaking, school zones, disabled access areas and residential zones where children could run into the road. Information signs display hospital locations, parking areas and distance to destinations. Take note when signs indicate that priority rules are reversed, requiring to give way to oncoming traffic.
Maltese road signs generally follow European norms, visitors may encounter informal, non-standard signs as well, so remain alert. If unsure what a sign means, slow down and proceed cautiously rather than ignore it. Having a passenger help navigate and spot signs can be useful, too. Road markings like yellow lines, crosswalks, arrow markings and bike lane markings also serve as critical guides. Understand priority rules at intersections without signals and roundabouts, watching for give-way signs and lines. Always double-check both ways at a junction before proceeding, even in the right of way.
4. Alcohol limit for driving in Malta
The legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for driving in Malta is currently 0.8 grams per liter, with lower limits of 0.5 grams per liter for motorcyclists and professional drivers and 0.2 grams per liter for novice and young drivers. The limit for private vehicle drivers will soon decrease to 0.5 grams per liter, with only certain medical specialists and emergency professionals allowed up to 0.8 grams per liter. Penalties for drunk driving include substantial fines, license suspension, vehicle impoundment and even imprisonment, especially for repeat offenses. License suspension periods range from months to years depending on the number of priors and severity of intoxication. Jail time is rare for first offenses but likely for frequent or dangerous drunk driving.
To avoid drunk driving, have a designated sober driver, use public transportation or taxis or do not drink alcohol at all if intend to drive. Even a small amount of alcohol can impair the judgment and reaction times necessary for safe driving. If causes an injury accident while over the legal limit, it could face years in prison, permanent license revocation and vehicle confiscation. Strict drunk driving laws and enforcement aim to reduce alcohol-related crashes and fatalities in Malta, so comply fully. If found driving over the limit, remain respectful to police but say as little as possible. Consult a local attorney; a skilled lawyer may negotiate lesser charges, fines or suspension lengths. Seek counseling after punishment to avoid repeating offenses.
What Should You Need to Know About Petrol Stations in Malta?
Listed below are the things visitors should know about petrol stations in Malta.
- Fuel Types in Malta. In Malta, several types of fuel are available at petrol stations. These include 92, 95 and 98 gasoline, diesel and gas (LPG). Some stations offer diesel, unleaded, ePower Petrol and ePower Diesel. Biofuel and racing fuel are also available at certain stations.
- Fuel Prices in Malta. The prices for different types of fuel in Malta were as follows. 92 gasoline. €1.36 ($1.51, £1.20) per liter, 95 gasoline. €1.42 ($1.58, £1.26) per liter, 98 gasoline. €1.53 ($1.70, £1.36) per liter, Diesel. €1.29 ($1.43, £1.14) per liter and Gas (LPG). €0.85 ($0.94, £0.75) per liter. Fuel prices can fluctuate, so checking current prices before refueling is advisable.
- Fuel Stations in Malta. There are numerous petrol stations across Malta and Gozo, many of which operate 24 hours a day. Some stations offer additional services such as tire repair and replacements, air conditioning services, electric wheel alignment, car wash and more.
- Working Hours of Petrol Stations in Malta. The working hours of petrol stations in Malta and Gozo have been extended. The new opening hours are from Monday to Friday, from 6 am till 5 pm and Saturdays from 6 am till 2 pm. During the remaining hours, including Sundays and Public Holidays, all fuel stations continue operating by self-service only and are available 24 hours a day.
- Safety Rules at Petrol Stations in Malta. Safety and health standards are crucial in operating petrol stations in Malta. These standards aim to protect employees working in petrol stations, the people in the neighborhood and the immediate environment. Laws and regulations have been implemented to ensure these standards are met. The height of a proposed fuel station cannot exceed seven meters and fuel stations that are inactive for three years will be demolished at the cost of the owner
What are Hotline Numbers In Case of Emergencies Driving in Malta?
Listed below are the hotline numbers in case of emergency driving in Malta.
- Emergency Services. 112 is the main emergency number in Malta that connects to ambulance, fire and police services. It can be dialed free of charge from any phone, including mobiles, without a SIM card. Call 112 for any life-threatening medical emergencies, fires, crimes in progress, traffic accidents with injuries or are lost. Be prepared to give the location, describe the emergency and answer questions. 112 should only be used for true emergencies, so lines remain available.
- Ambulance. 196 connects directly to emergency medical services in Malta for serious injuries or health issues that require an ambulance. Examples include heart attacks, strokes, seizures, serious wounds, unconsciousness or major trauma from a traffic accident. Be ready to describe symptoms and conditions to the dispatcher. Stay on the line and follow instructions until paramedics arrive to transport you to the nearest hospital. Use 196 instead of 112 if only ambulance assistance is needed.
- Police. To report crimes, traffic accidents without injuries or other non-emergency situations requiring police assistance while driving in Malta, call 2122 4001-7. Describe what happened and the specific location. If possible, remain on the scene until officers arrive. For emergency crimes in progress, serious collisions with injuries or life-threatening situations, call 112 instead to activate all emergency responders.
- Traffic Accident Reporting. For minor traffic accidents with no injuries, call 2132 0202 to file an official report with transport authorities in Malta. Exchange insurance and driver contact details with the other motorist involved and document the incident scene with photos. Provide vehicle, location and driver specifics when calling for proper documentation. For major crashes, dial 112 or 196 if emergency medical or police response is required.
- Crime Stop Hotline. To anonymously report crimes or suspicious activities while driving in Malta, contact the Crime Stop hotline at 2122 1111. Information that leads to an arrest or prevention of a crime may be eligible for a monetary reward. Be prepared to give detailed descriptions of people and vehicles involved, exact locations and times and the type of incident observed. Callers can remain anonymous. For crimes in progress, call 112 instead.
- Air Force Rescue Helicopter. If witness an emergency while driving in a remote area of Malta that requires helicopter airlift capabilities, call 2124 4371 to activate the Air Force rescue helicopter response. Scenarios can include hikers stranded in dangerous terrain, individuals trapped in flooding, lost persons in isolated areas or seriously injured accident victims that ground transport cannot easily access. Provide detailed location specifics when calling for assistance.
- Armed Forces Patrol Boat. For emergencies at sea where rescue boats are needed, contact the Armed Forces of Malta at 2123 8797. State what needs immediate patrol boat assistance and be prepared to give vessel description and exact location coordinates. Use this number for situations like boats taking on water, capsizing, engine failure, running aground or medical issues on board. The patrol boats can also aid in searches for missing boats and passengers.
- Emergency Vet Services. If come across injured livestock, wildlife or stray domestic animals while driving in remote areas of Malta, call 5004 3888 for emergency veterinary assistance. Be ready to describe the animal, condition, species type and exact location where it is. Vets can humanely capture injured strays, euthanize severely wounded animals or provide emergency care until transport to a clinic is arranged depending on the situation. This number is for urgent veterinary intervention only.
What are the conditions of roads in Malta?
The road conditions in Malta can vary greatly depending on the location. In cities and towns, the roads are generally reasonably well-maintained but the narrow, winding streets of town centers can be tricky to navigate by car. In rural areas, roads often have more potholes and are not maintained to the same standard that UK drivers may be used to. Malta's small size makes it easy to drive around but the variable road quality and aggressive driving habits of some Maltese motorists can make for a stressful driving experience for visitors. Major roads and arteries are prone to bottlenecks and accidents that can bring traffic to a standstill. Buses are the main form of public transport while taxis are safe but can be expensive. Real-time traffic information is available through sites and apps that allow drivers to view maps with pinned locations of traffic jams, accidents, construction zones and other delays.
What are Famous Places in Malta that You Can Drive by?
Listed below are the famous places in Malta that visitors can drive by.
- Valletta. Valletta is the capital city of Malta and a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its fortified city walls, narrow winding streets, grand buildings and historic attractions like St John's Co-Cathedral overlooking the Grand Harbour. Driving along the perimeter of Valletta, visitors can take in sights of Baroque architecture and medieval fortifications and panoramic sea views from vantage points like the Upper Barrakka Gardens. Valletta is considered one of the top places to visit in Malta.
- Mdina. Nicknamed the “Silent City”, Mdina is a medieval walled city that was the historic capital of Malta with origins dating back 4,000 years. Driving to Mdina, visitors can spot the baroque cathedral and city gates from afar. Walking its narrow cobblestone streets lined with Baroque architecture, visitors can travel through different eras of Mdina's rich history. Sites like Vilhena Palace and Bastion Walls offer scenic views over Malta.
- Marsaxlokk. The fishing village of Marsaxlokk is known for its colorful traditional fishing boats, harborfront seafood restaurants and local markets. Drive along the southeastern coast, visitors can spot the postcard-perfect Marsaxlokk harbor filled with luzzus. Take a relaxing walk around the harbor, dine on the day's catch and browse handmade wares from local artisans.
- Victoria. Victoria is a historic fortified citadel town perched atop a hill with panoramic views. Driving to Victoria on Gozo offers a quieter pace than Malta with scenic coastal outlooks. Must-see sights include the Gozo Cathedral, Citadel walls and winding streets lined with Baroque buildings leading to quaint shops and cafes.
- Three Cities. The scenic Three Cities of Cospicua, Vittoriosa and Senglea lie across the Grand Harbour from Valletta. Driving between them, visitors can take in the heavily fortified harborside architecture and maritime history. Highlights include the Inquisitor's Palace in Vittoriosa and the Vedette lookout between Cospicua and Senglea for iconic Valletta views. The Three Cities offer a distinctly different vibe from the rest of Malta.
What is the Proper Driving Etiquette when Driving in Malta?
There are 5 main proper driving etiquette when driving in Malta. Firstly, it is crucial to exercise extreme caution when approaching and driving through roundabouts in Malta. Many Maltese drivers fail to properly yield to traffic already circulating in the roundabout and choose incorrect lanes, so be prepared to use defensive driving techniques. Always check carefully for oncoming traffic and use turn signals before entering or exiting a roundabout. Avoid driving during high traffic times as congestion exacerbates poor roundabout etiquette. Secondly, not all Maltese drivers strictly follow turn signals or indicators. Expect that other cars may change direction without signaling, so drive attentively and always keep a safe distance from surrounding vehicles. Always use own turn signals to indicate driving intentions to other motorists and model proper road etiquette. Using indicators helps promote a courteous driving culture. Thirdly, lane discipline on Malta's roads is quite poor. Drivers often straddle lanes or fail to keep right except to pass. Stay alert to cars entering the lane suddenly and without signaling. Keep right except when passing, use turn signals and avoid tailgating. Defensive driving is key to safely navigating roads with poor lane discipline. Fourthly, overtaking in Malta can be risky due to narrow roads and lack of adherence to overtaking rules. Avoid overtaking near intersections, on curves and hills with obstructed views or in areas with pedestrians. Pass carefully in safe conditions, using turn signals and checking mirrors and blind spots before pulling out. Only overtake when necessary and keep within speed limits. Lastly, horn usage etiquette is not always followed, with drivers using horns late at night in prohibited areas like residential zones. Refrain from honking unnecessarily. Only use the horn to warn other drivers of imminent danger, not to express frustration or impatience. This promotes good driving etiquette and reduces noise pollution.
How to Park Your Car in Malta?
Listed below are the instructions to follow when parking a car in Malta.
- Firstly, find a legal parking spot marked with white lines and park between them. Avoid parking on double yellow lines or in no-parking zones. Parking in Malta is generally free and allowed overnight on public roads if parked legally.
- Secondly, if parking on narrow streets, fold in your side mirrors to avoid damage from passing cars. The streets in Malta can be very narrow.
- Thirdly, set your time disc to show the current time if parking in time-restricted areas to avoid fines. Time discs are required in all vehicles.
- Fourthly, always park carefully between the lines and leave enough room for other cars. Never park in spaces reserved for disabled drivers without a proper blue badge.
- Lastly, if renting a car, inspect it thoroughly first for any prior damage and note everything down to avoid any unfair claims.
How to Avoid Getting Traffic Violation Tickets?
Listed below are the different ways to avoid getting traffic violation tickets.
- Adhere to Speed Limits. In Malta, speed limits vary depending on the area. Urban zones typically have a limit of 50 kilometers per hour (31 miles per hour), while open roads and highways allow up to 80 kilometers per hour (50 miles per hour). Speed cameras and traffic enforcement are active, so consistently monitoring speed is crucial. Exceeding speed limits not only risks fines but also endangers others.
- Observe Traffic Signals and Signs. Traffic signals and signs in Malta follow standard international conventions. Red lights, stop signs and yield signs must be strictly obeyed. Ignoring these can lead to fines and points on license. Paying attention to traffic signals ensures safety and compliance with local laws.
- Use Indicators Correctly. Indicators are essential for safe driving in Malta. They signal intentions to other drivers, reducing the risk of accidents. Failure to use indicators, especially when turning or changing lanes, can result in penalties. Always use indicators well in advance of maneuver.
- Park in Designated Areas. Parking regulations in Malta are strictly enforced. Look for designated parking areas and adhere to time limitations or payment requirements. Illegal parking, including on yellow lines or in disabled spots without a permit, leads to fines and possibly towing.
- Wear Seat Belts. All vehicle occupants require Seat belt usage in Malta. Not wearing a seat belt is a punishable offense with fines. This rule applies to both front and rear passengers, ensuring everyone's safety during travel.
- Avoid Mobile Phone Use While Driving. Using a mobile phone without a hands-free driving system is illegal in Malta. This includes texting or handling the phone in any way. Violating this law results in substantial fines and points on your license.
- Respect Pedestrian Crossings. Pedestrian crossings are common in Malta and drivers are required to yield to pedestrians. Not stopping pedestrians at crossings can lead to penalties. This rule is crucial in busy urban areas and near schools.
- Adhere to Roundabout Rules. Roundabouts are prevalent in Malta. Drivers must give way to traffic already on the roundabout and signal their exit. Incorrect navigation of roundabouts can lead to fines and dangerous situations.
- Avoid Drinking and Driving. Malta has strict drink-driving laws. The legal blood alcohol limit is lower than in many other countries, so even one drink can be put over the limit. The penalties for drunk driving are severe, including heavy fines and imprisonment.
- Keep Vehicle Documentation Handy. Drivers in Malta must always have their driving license, insurance and vehicle registration documents with them. Failure to produce these documents when requested by authorities can result in fines. Ensure these documents are up-to-date and easily accessible in your vehicle.
What are the Tips when Renting a Car in Malta?
Listed below are the tips when renting a car in Malta.
- Choose the Right Vehicle. In Malta, narrow streets and limited parking spaces are common, especially in older towns and villages. Opt for a compact car to navigate these areas with ease. Smaller vehicles are easier to maneuver and more practical for finding parking.
- Check Rental Requirements. Rental companies in Malta typically require drivers to be at least 21 years old and have held a valid driver's license for at least one year. Some may charge additional fees for drivers under 25. Ensure to meet all requirements before booking to avoid any surprises.
- Understand the Insurance Policy. Rental car insurance in Malta can vary. Basic insurance is usually included, but it is wise to understand what's covered. Consider additional coverage for extra peace of mind, especially for collision damage and theft. Be aware of any excess fees in the policy.
- Inspect the Rental Car. Before leaving the rental lot, thoroughly inspect the car for any damage. Take photos and report any dents, scratches or functional issues to the rental agency. This will protect from being held accountable for pre-existing damage.
- Familiarize Yourself with Local Traffic Laws. Malta drives on the left, which might be unfamiliar to some. Familiarize yourself with local traffic laws and road signs. Remember, seat belts are mandatory and using a mobile phone while driving is prohibited unless having a hands-free system.
- Plan Your Routes. Malta's roads can be confusing and GPS systems may not always be up-to-date. Plan routes in advance, especially when traveling to remote areas. Keeping a map handy is a good backup if technology fails.
- Be Prepared for Traffic. Malta experiences heavy traffic, particularly during rush hours in urban areas. Allow extra time for travel to accommodate potential delays, especially if have time-sensitive plans like catching a flight or a ferry.
- Know Your Fuel Policy. Understand the car's fuel policy. Some Malta car rental companies offer a full-to-full policy, receive the car with a full tank and must return it full. Others might have different arrangements. Knowing this in advance avoids unexpected charges.
- Consider Parking Situations. Parking in Malta can be challenging. Inquire about parking options and restrictions with your rental company. Some accommodations offer parking facilities, which can be a significant convenience.
- Return the Car on Time. Be punctual in returning a rental car to avoid extra charges. Allow sufficient time for the return process, especially if need to refuel or clean the vehicle beforehand. Late returns can lead to fees equivalent to an extra day's rental or more.
What Type of Rental Car do you Need for Malta Roads?
Listed below are the types of cars that visitors need for Malta Roads.
- Compact Cars. Compact cars are ideal for navigating Malta's narrow and winding streets. Their small size makes parking easier, particularly in crowded cities like Valletta and Mdina. These vehicles are economical on fuel, which is beneficial given Malta's high fuel prices.
- Economy Cars. Economy cars offer a balance between size and comfort. They are cost-effective and have good fuel efficiency, making them suitable for city driving and longer journeys across the island.
- Convertibles. A convertible is a great option for those looking to enjoy Malta's sunny weather. They provide an enjoyable driving experience, especially along the scenic coastal roads. They're more suitable for light travel due to limited luggage space.
- SUVs. SUVs are a good choice for families or groups needing more space and comfort. They offer a higher driving position, which can benefit visibility on rural roads. Their larger size can be a challenge in narrow streets and parking spaces.
- Electric Vehicles. Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming increasingly available in Malta. They're eco-friendly and offer a quiet driving experience. Ensure that aware of charging station locations across the island if considering an EV.
- Manual Transmission Cars. Manual cars are common in Malta and are usually cheaper to rent than automatics. If you're comfortable with a stick shift, they can be a budget-friendly option.
- Automatic Transmission Cars. For those not accustomed to a manual transmission, automatic cars are available, though they might come with a higher rental cost. They provide ease of driving, especially in traffic-heavy areas.
- Vans and Minibuses. For larger groups or families, vans and minibusses are ideal. They offer ample space for passengers and luggage. Their size can be challenging on Malta's smaller roads and in tight parking spots.
What are the Documents Necessary to Rent a Car in Malta?
Listed below are the necessary documents to rent a car in Malta.
- Valid Driver's License. A valid driver's license is mandatory for renting a car in Malta. Renters must have held their license for at least one year, which must remain valid throughout the rental period. International visitors from non-EU countries should have an International Driving Permit (IDP) alongside their national license. The IDP serves as a translation and validation of the driver's existing license and is required in addition to, not as a replacement for, the original license.
- Passport or National ID Card. A passport or national ID card is required for identity verification. For EU citizens, a national ID card suffices, but non-EU renters must present a valid passport. This document helps the rental company confirm the renter's identity and eligibility for car rental.
- Credit Card. A credit card in the primary driver's name is typically required for a security deposit. Rental companies hold this deposit to cover potential damages or additional charges incurred during the rental period. Some companies may accept debit cards, which is less common and often comes with stricter conditions.
- Rental Agreement. The rental agreement is a crucial document outlining the terms and conditions of the car rental. This includes rental duration, fees, insurance coverage, fuel policy and other important details. Both the renter and the rental company representative must sign this agreement. Renters should read and understand all terms before signing.
- Insurance Documents. Insurance documentation is provided by the rental company and details the coverage included with the rental vehicle. Standard insurance typically covers basic liability, but additional coverage options like collision damage waiver (CDW) or theft protection may be offered for an extra fee. Understanding the insurance coverage is essential to know what is and isn't covered.
- Proof of Address. Some car rental companies may require proof of address, especially for long-term rentals. This can be a utility bill or a bank statement showing the renter's name and address. The document should be recent, typically within the last three months.
- Booking Confirmation. If the car was booked in advance, a booking confirmation (either printed or digital) should be presented at the rental counter. This confirms the reservation details, such as the car model, rental period and agreed-upon rates.
- Emergency Contact Information. Providing emergency contact information benefits both the renter and the rental company. In an emergency, accident or unforeseen circumstances, the rental company can contact the designated person.
- Additional Driver Documentation. If there will be more than one driver, each driver needs to present their driver's license and possibly additional documentation, as per the rental company's policy. This often includes an extra fee per additional driver.
- Voucher or Prepayment Receipt. For rentals booked through a third-party service or prepaid online, presenting the voucher or receipt of prepayment is necessary. This document proves that the rental has been paid for and outlines the terms agreed upon at the time of booking.
Do Rental Cars have Insurance?
Yes, rental cars in Malta automatically include basic insurance coverage as mandatory legal protection across vehicle contracts. At a minimum, this covers third-party liability at-fault accidents with the rental car causing bodily injury or property damages to outside parties. Renters remain liable for this basic coverage deductible if triggered. For fuller protection including reduction or elimination of renter deductibles, supplemental premium insurance packages prove necessary at added daily cost. Common extras feature collision/loss damage waiver removing financial liability for harm occurring to the rental car itself across incidents like theft, vandalism or traffic collisions. Upgraded premium packages can also incorporate roadside assistance and navigational equipment like built-in GPS. Review insurance options carefully during booking to understand whether a credit card's rental car automatic protections possibly overlap with vendor offerings.
Are Roads in Malta Safe?
Road safety in Malta is a topic of mixed opinions. The country's road network spans 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles), encompassing a range of highways, urban roads and rural paths. Major roads and highways in Malta are well-maintained and safe for driving. In urban areas and older parts of cities like Valletta, streets can be narrow and densely packed, posing challenges for drivers not used to such conditions. Some rural roads with uneven surfaces and limited signage may be less maintained, requiring extra caution. Traffic congestion is a common issue, especially during peak hours in and around urban centers, contributing to slower movement and potential frustration for drivers. Driving habits in Malta can vary, with some local drivers known for aggressive driving practices, such as speeding or not adhering strictly to traffic rules. This factor can increase the risk of road accidents. The Maltese government has been trying to improve road safety through infrastructure upgrades, stricter enforcement of traffic laws and public awareness campaigns. Malta's roads can be considered reasonably safe for attentive and cautious drivers.
Is a Driving License Required when Driving in Malta?
Yes, a valid driving license is required for anyone operating a motor vehicle. This requirement aligns with international driving regulations and ensures that all drivers on Maltese roads have met the necessary standards of driving competence and knowledge of traffic laws. Visitors from other countries can use their national driving license. It is important to note that an International Driving Permit (IDP) is also required if the license is not in English. The IDP is a translation of the original license and is recognized internationally. The legal driving age in Malta is 18 years, which applies to both residents and visitors. Renting a car typically has additional age requirements, often stipulating that the driver must be at least 21 years old and have held a license for a minimum duration, usually one year.
PIN FOR LATER
Find below the best Malta guides from WonderfulWanderings.