Car hire in Malta doesn’t have to be expensive with plenty of international and local rental agencies around that offer cheap car rental prices all year round for budget travellers.

Rentalcars.com is known for giving the best available Malta car hire rates

Renting a car in Malta can be relatively cheap compared to other European destinations. Malta is a very popular destination, especially in the summer months so demand for rental cars is usually high. It is always recommend securing your rental car as far in advance as possible.

Is it Better to Rent a Car or Use the Bus?

If you planning to visit different points of interest and to do some exploring, then renting a car is a better option. It offers you the flexibility to plan your outings the way you want, rather than according to the available bus routes and timetable

It allows you to travel at our own pace, visit off the beaten track sights and generally make the most of your time in Malta.

Public transport (bus ) in Malta is relatively inexpensive, but not always punctual and can increase travel time drastically.

Moreover, the bus routes offered around Malta and Gozo can make it difficult to plan to visit multiple places of interest within a short span of time.

Download a bus route map here

Install the Malta Public transport app to you smartphone

For Android phones from Google Play Store

For iPhone from iTunes

The app makes it easy to plan trips and get real-time info on routes when you’re on the go.

Parking

Parking spots can be hard to come by in the busy areas of Malta like St Julian’s, Sliema, St Paul’s Bay, Qawra and Bugibba, especially in peak tourist season.

  • Parking bays are usually clearly marked:
    • White paint: Anyone can park
    • Yellow paint: Do not park
    • Green paint: Reserved for residents all day (mostly applies to Valletta)
    • Blue paint: Reserved for residents between 7 pm and 7 am (mostly applies to Valletta)
  • If you park illegally on yellow lines and in no parking zones, you’ll be fined around €24. If you obstruct in a tow zone, your car may get clamped and/or towed (and you’ll be slapped with a €100 or so fine and another €70 for being clamped). Mind the signs and avoid the hassle altogether.

Driving in Malta

Driving is on the left-hand side of the road in Malta, similar to South Africa, the UK, Ireland and Australia.

Driving in Malta can be challenging, with impatient drivers, traffic jams and tricky traffic situations but overall the drivers are courteous.

  1. Traffic congestion – during rush hour mostly
  2. Parking – Lots of cars, not enough spaces in busy areas
  3. Hot-headed or ignorant drivers who are looking to cut off 1-2 minutes from their trip time, whatever the cost may be.
  4. Narrow roads in old city centres. Not the type that will cost you a side mirror, but the type with semi-blind corners.

Cost to Rent a Car

The earlier you book, the cheaper your car hire will end up costing. Having said that, premium rates for the high season (July – September) are often fixed well in advance.

To give you a rough idea, these are sample estimate prices for a small economy car at different times of the year:

  • January/February: €15 per day
  • March: €17 per day
  • April/May/June: €20 per day (€25-30 around Easter)
  • July/August: €27-35 per day
  • September/October: €25-30 per day
  • November/December: €15-20 per day (but a little higher around Christmas).

Refuelling your Rental Car

Refuelling can be done 24/7 at most petrol stations in Malta. Whereas during the day (normally 7 am – 6 pm) you’ll find fuel pump attendants who can help you refuel, outside of those hours automated pay machines are easy to use. Beware though: Older fuel stations may require you to pay in cash still (although most popular debit and credit cards are accepted by most nowadays).

A few facts

  • There are no real motorways or highways in Malta. Main roads are usually a dual carriageway (two lanes in either direction)
  • Speed limits: The national extra-urban speed limit is 80 km/h (50 mph), 50 km/h (31 mph) in built-up areas and sometimes 35 km/h (22 mph) within village centres (where you’ll rarely want to go faster anyway) unless otherwise specified. You will encounter lower speed limits like 60 and 70 km/h on main roads on particular stretches, out of safety considerations.
  • Although generally speaking the quality of the roads is decent, there are B roads and village roads which are in dire need of fresh tarmac. Don’t be surprised to encounter a bumpy ride from time to time, basically.
  • Traffic is monitored both by local wardens (dark green uniforms) as well as the police, for speed contraventions, illegal parking, entering one-way streets, using a mobile phone while driving, etc. Occasionally roadblocks are set up by the police for breathalyzer checks, especially around major events.
  • Rental cars can easily be recognised by other drivers, through visible car hire company branding and number plates containing a K or a Z, most of whom will be aware that you’re not experienced with driving on Maltese roads. Don’t expect everyone to be considerate and courteous, however.

Speed cameras around Malta

  • Speed control cameras are placed in a few places around main island Malta (no more than 10 in all), although none measure average speeds between checkpoints. Gozo has yet to be introduced to speed cameras.