- How to rent a car?
- Is it easy to drive?
- Tips for renting
- Price for a rental car
- Where to rent a car?
How to rent a car in Malta
You can easily explore the islands of Malta in different ways due to their small size. However, the best way to see as much of it as possible on your own schedule is to rent a car. Out of the three islands that make up the archipelago, you can drive on the larger two; Malta and Gozo. Besides visiting famous Game of Thrones filming locations and various UNESCO sites, you have the chance to explore off-the-beaten tracks – possibly the biggest benefit of all! This guide will tell you exactly how to drive and rent a car in Malta.
What do you need to rent a car in Malta?
When you rent a car in Malta, there are a couple of documents that you need to bring with you:
- Your driver’s license from your home country
- Your ID (passport)
- Credit Card in your name
- International Driving Permit (IDP)
The legal driving age in Malta is 18 years old. However, the minimum age to rent a car varies, depending on the agency. Most of them will ask you to be at least 21 years old and that you’ve had your driver’s license for more than one year. All drivers must provide a valid driver’s license, a passport as identification, and a credit card to make the payment.
Rental car insurance in Malta
When renting a car in Malta, it’s mandatory that you’re covered with third-party liability insurance. This comes in the form of a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), which is arranged upon booking. Additional insurance, such as theft cover, is recommended but not mandatory. When you decide to add additional coverage, try to arrange that in your initial booking, as the prices are the best when booked like this. You can also check if your credit card policy covers car rental insurance in Malta.
Is it easy to drive in Malta?
Driving in Malta can be an incredible experience and is relatively easy as most roads, though narrow, are well maintained. Regardless of the car that you choose to drive, it’s always good to know some of the road rules and customs of the country.
Roads & Speed limits
The most important rule that you should always keep in mind is that people drive on the left-hand side of the road in Malta. These roads are generally in good condition, with only a few smaller B roads that have some potholes.
The general speed limits in Malta are 80 km/h on open roads, 50 km/h within urban areas, and sometimes 35 km/h within village centers. However, due to traffic and many winding roads, you’ll likely not be driving above 50 km/h all too often. Try to stick to the speed limits, as there are a number of fixed speed cameras and police monitors on the islands. You can always spot the speed limits on road signs along your routes.
CVA in Valletta
There aren’t any toll roads in Malta or Gozo, but there is an entrance tax that you’ll have to pay when entering the capital city Valletta. This so-called Controlled Vehicular Access allows you to enter all the streets of Valletta from 8 AM until 6 PM. If you enter the zone after 2 PM, however, the car won’t be charged any fees. We, therefore, recommend either parking the car in one of the car parks outside the city or entering Valletta after 2 PM.
Traffic on Malta
As this Mediterranean must-see island is relatively small in size, you’re likely to experience some traffic. Throughout the week, this is mostly around peak commute times in the bigger towns, and on weekends more around the beaches. Getting from one place to another can become a long journey if you travel at the busiest time of the day. Gozo, on the other hand, is relatively quieter, and traffic tends to be much less.
Is driving in Malta safe?
Although Malta has the smallest roads per capita in Europe and experiences some traffic, driving is overall quite safe. Just like in any other country, you should pay attention to the other drivers and adjust to traffic.
Rental cars in Malta are easily identifiable by the number plates containing a K or (Q)Z, meaning that locals will be aware you’re not experienced with driving on Maltese roads. Though, don’t expect everyone to always be considerate as a result.
Drivers in Malta are known not to use their indicators as often and can, for example, stop in the middle of the road without their lights on and block traffic. As long as you’re aware of this and keep an eye out, driving in Malta will go smoothly.
In case you do end up in an accident, you’re requested to call the traffic police to file a report. After that, make sure to call your rental company so you can fill in the claims. The emergency number in Malta is 112.
Top tips for renting a car in Malta
1. Do a walk-around when picking up the car
When you go and pick up the car, make sure to inspect it thoroughly before starting on your journey. Together with your agent, do a walk-around and log any existing damages. Additionally, you can take some photos or a video of the damages, if the car has any, to have extra ‘proof’ if necessary. Do the same with the inside of the car and check whether you’ve got a full tank of gas.
2. Getting gas
Getting gas in Malta is relatively easy, as you can find gas stations all over the islands. You can choose to either use the self-service pump or to have an attendant fill up your vehicle. You can pay in cash or credit card at most gas stations, even at the assisted pumps. While en route, you can find the one closest to you through Google Maps.
Most rental cars run on unleaded petrol, but if you’re ever in doubt about which type of fuel you need, try to find the sticker in your rental car that provides that information. You can usually find this on the car key, the dashboard, or the fuel door. The current cost of gas in Malta is around 1,34 EUR (1,30 USD) per liter of unleaded (6,03 USD per gallon) and 1,21 EUR per liter of diesel.
3. Be mindful of where you park
Because of the size of Malta and Gozo, parking spots can sometimes be hard to come by. In the summer, the primary tourist season, areas such as Sliema or St. Julians can get extremely crowded. It might take a while for you to find a parking spot. Once you find one, mind the color of the parking spot. There are four differently colored parking spots in Malta;
- White parking spots: Everyone can use these spots.
- Yellow parking spots: Don’t park here.
- Green parking spots: These are reserved for residents all day.
- Blue parking spots: These are reserved for residents between 7 PM and 7 AM. You’ll generally only find green and blue parking spots in Valletta.
Tip: You can ask the hotel if there is any parking nearby when booking. Ideally, your accommodation has private parking that you can use.
How much does a car rental in Malta cost?
Rental cars are overall quite affordable in Malta. The price typically depends on a few things; the time of the year you’re visiting, the duration of your trip, and the time you book in advance. During the summer months, there’s always an increased demand for renting a car in Malta, which slightly drives up the prices. It’s also better to book in advance and to book for more days if you can, as that will often bring down the price per day!
Getting the right vehicle
The general rule in many European countries is that the smaller the car, the lower the price. Bigger cars are more expensive because they require more fuel. Opting for a smaller car is also better on the small roads and busy towns of Malta. This way, you drive more comfortably and don’t have to worry when parking. You can browse your options online via a comparison site to make sure you get the best deal.
Where do I rent a car in Malta?
Malta is quite a popular destination, especially in the summer, which means that demands can be high for a rental car. There are plenty of car rentals in Malta to choose from, and you can research them beforehand.
If you’re planning on renting a car during the high season, we recommend booking your car in advance. It’s not uncommon for Malta to run out of rental cars everywhere. By booking in advance, you secure the type of car you want, possibly at a lower price, and it allows you to compare options.
Good to know: As the islands are so small, it’s not typical to arrange a one-way rental. Most rental companies allow the rental car to be taken on the ferry to Gozo but expect them to be brought back to the office in Malta. Taking the rental car on a ferry to another country is unfortunately not allowed.