Guide to Driving In Malta - Drive Safe in Malta

With our Drive Smart guide you're fully prepared to hire a car in Malta and stay safe on unfamiliar roads.

URBAN SPEED LIMIT

50 kph

urban
More info  

RURAL SPEED LIMIT

60 kph

rural
More info  

motorway speed limit

n/a kph

speed limit
More info  

Drink Drive Limit

 80mg

drink and drive limit
More info  
urban
You drive in Malta on the Left side  
urban
The currency in Malta is EUR €
urban
To rent a car is  23 years and to drive is 18 years of age
urban
Current fuel price in Malta 1.36 €/Ltr

Driving Laws in Malta

Are there any special requirements for driving or hiring a car in Malta?

In Malta all traffic drives on the left hand side of the road as in the UK.

Malta Driving

You must give priority on the road to any form of public transport including school buses. That includes stopping whilst they let passengers or schoolchildren on and off the vehicle. 

Roundabouts- whoever is coming from the right has right of way.

Many of the roads in Malta are in poor condition so you should exercise caution when traversing them. Malta’s drivers are also known for driving fast and recklessly. They are particularly aggressive when it comes to overtaking. Renting a four by four vehicle is always a good investment. However since the standardization of driving tests quality of driving has really improved. You can always spot a rental car as they always have a Q in the number plate!

Try to avoid driving in the capital Valetta during the rush hour as the traffic can be really bad. 

Rules of the road

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Emergency Services Numbers

Police Police: 112

Police Fire: 112

Police Ambulance: 112

Notes:

Fuel Prices in Malta by Month

Parking Information

Parking regulations

Parking can be a problem. Whatever you do, do not park anywhere where there are double yellow lines. Cars which are not parked properly can be clamped or towed away. However in practice this would apply to most of the cars in the city centre. When visiting certain localities in Malta and its neighbouring islands of Gozo and Comino watch out for “Time Parking Zones”. These are zones where parking is limited to a one hour maximum time frame.

At the main airport there are more than 600 spaces for cars to park. Of course when you rent a vehicle you do not need to worry about finding a space.  If any motoring or parking offence is committed for which a fine is payable then this will be required to be settled before departure. Otherwise your car hire Malta company will send the fine on to you.
 
Parking regulations
 
Don't park on double yellow lines anywhere - it's a surefire way to get clamped then towed. Watch out for the Time Parking Zones found in many of the town, not always clear, you'll get towed or clamped if you overstay the time
 
Paid parking
 
Paid parking is a good idea and isn't expensive, except in Valletta where demand pushes up the prices. Most paid parking is a dusty parking lot on waste ground but there are surfaced lots in the main towns. It's not expensive and at least you know your car is safe from the clampers.
 
Enforcement
 
Enforcement is quite strict as it's a money spinner for the country. It's usually done by police although clamping firms often tour the streets looking for victims. 
 
Disabled parking
 
In theory Malta follows the Blue Badge scheme but it's always better to check before leaving your car anywhere. Don't risk parking on double yellows as you might at home - your badge will count for little there. 

Emergency Information

Emergency Information

Police Police: 112

Police Fire: 112

Police Ambulance: 112

The emergency services are on 112.

The British High Commission is at Whitehall Mansions, Ta' Xbiex Seafront, Ta' Xbiex XBX 1026, Malta GC and can be contacted on(356) 2323 0000.
Their website is http://ukinmalta.fco.gov.uk/en/

The American Embassy is at U.S. Embassy Valletta
Ta' Qali National Park
Attard, ATD 4000
 Their website is https://mt.usembassy.gov/  and can be contacted on (356) 2561 4000

What to do in an emergency

If simply having trouble with the car, call the number given to you by your hire car representative, don your reflective jacket and stand in a position of safety.

If you've been involved in a crash, call the police and wait until they arrive. In the meantime, take photographs of the scene and don't move the cars unless they are causing a danger. Ask for a copy of the police report for your insurers or car hire company.

Handy Guides

World Driving Guides

Road Signs

Handy Phrases

English is widely spoken in Malta so you should have no trouble being understood. For our American friends, here are some of the more common English words you may not be used to:

Petrol – Gasoline
Hard Shoulder – Left hand lane of motorway only to be used for stopping in emergencies..
Zebra crossings - Pedestrian crossings
Excess – Deductible (insurance)
Gearbox – Transmission
Boot – Trunk
Bumper – Fender
Detour – Diversion
Indicators - Blinkers

Malta Fuel Price History

Fuel Prices in Malta by Month
Month, YearDiesel €/ltrUnleaded €/ltr
Oct, 2018 1.23 1.36
Sep, 2018 1.23 1.36
Aug, 2018 1.21 1.34
Jul, 2018 1.18 1.31
Jun, 2018 1.18 1.31
May, 2018 1.18 1.31

Hiring a Car

With our Drive Smart guide you're fully prepared to hire a car in Malta and stay safe on unfamiliar roads.

Visitor Comments

  • 10/31/2018

    Dusky

    Careful on roundabouts. They love to use these to overtake. The general rule seems to be who ever drives fastest has right of way.
  • 10/31/2018

    Keith

    Watch out for lorries aproacing from your left. They wil always pullout in front of you no matter how close the margin
  • 10/31/2018

    Tim

    I am COMING TO MALTA to live. I want to import my 30yr old car. It is a restored and heavily modified Triumph TR6. Cost me in the region of GBP 45,000. It has a non standard V8 engine. I can't find out from the various websites how much in import tax I will have to pay. Can you assist ? Thanks
  • 10/31/2018

    Rod James

    blimey ! Malta really is in the silly Eu now isn't it ! must have a reflective coat if wmtwapdaj down, that would feel nice when it's 95 degrees outside ! must have a warning triangle, I remember the island before all of this garbage, I don't ever visit there now, the European union destroyed st for me
  • 10/31/2018

    Jack

    Malta isn't as scary to drive in as this article implies it is. Drivers are assertive but not crazy, and speeds on the streets are low enough that you don't feel like you're taking your life into your hands, If you were in a roundabout and there was some doubt as to who would go first, the key was making eye contact with the other driver so you'd each know the other was there, and then one of you would go. No problem. Granted it was several years ago, but how bad could it have gotten since then?
  • 10/31/2018

    Michael

    Wow, this is so outdated. Roundabouts: whoever is coming from the right has right of way, simple as that. Now that driving tests have been standardized the quality of driving has improved drastically. Of course there will always be problems. You will always have random people getting drunk and putting other people's lives at risk, or an overly aggressive driver, or the driver that goes in a 5kph and just causes a traffic jam. With major influx of tourism from the Nordic countries over the last few years there have also been a lot of occasions when they've driven on the wrong side of the rod coming out from the corner. I would say in the last 20 years of me driving in Malta the 2 times I've come closest to having a terrible collision is in that situation. Rented cars all have a Q in the license plate so they are easily spotted.
  • 10/31/2018

    Paul

    We travel to Malta at ;east twice a year and have done for years, driving there is no worse than driving in most UK cities, while there is something of a culture of who get's there first has right of way it's not difficult to get around, all the road signs are easy to read and very abundant, just remember that despite driving on the left you're in Kph and you'll be fine
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