Rent a Car in Malta: Everything You Need to Know
Renting a car in Malta is an excellent way to discover the Mediterranean island and its 316 square kilometers. To avoid any inconvenience, discover our tips and advice before considering renting a car in Malta.
Why Rent a Car in Malta?
The public bus network of the Maltese archipelago is quite comprehensive and efficient. Buses are frequent and serve all corners of the island. VTCs (chauffeured cars) are also numerous in the archipelago. So why consider renting a car in Malta?
The first obvious reason to rent a car in Malta is simply the freedom it provides. Having your own means of transportation will allow you to plan your schedule as you please and to travel around the island without depending on a third party or bus schedules.
The second advantage lies in the island’s accessibility. Some places on the island are very difficult to reach, such as the Dingli Cliffs, some like Gnejna Bay, or even megalithic temples (Ġgantija and Ħaġar Qim). They require multiple transfers and endless bus travel times for just a few kilometers. In such cases, a car is often the best, if not the only, solution.
Finally, comfort, the Maltese bus network is generally very busy, and punctuality is not always guaranteed, especially during peak hours and in the summer, the high tourist season. Buses are often crowded, drivers regularly refuse passengers, which could force you to wait for the next bus. VTCs (Uber/Bolt/eCabs), on the other hand, provide a comfortable solution, but the frequent round trips will quickly cost you more than renting a car.
Where to Rent a Car in Malta?
Renting a car is a convenient way to explore the island during your stay in Malta. Two options are available to you for renting a vehicle in Malta.
Online Car Rental
Booking a rental car in advance online is the safest method to ensure you get a vehicle. The most convenient way is simply to use the Rentalcars platform to reserve a car.
The platform is both user-friendly and offers the best prices for renting a vehicle. This allows you to easily compare prices, different car options, and make advance reservations with various rental companies in Malta at a glance.
Renting at Malta Airport
It is also possible to rent a car directly upon your arrival at Malta Airport (Luqa Airport). There are car rental counters located in the arrivals hall, on the left side as you exit the baggage claim area.
Major international car rental companies are present there. However, please note that the majority of vehicles are reserved in advance, so last-minute availability is quite rare, especially during the high season.
Car Rental Companies at Malta Airport
- MALTA FIRST CAR HIRE
- SICILY BY CAR
How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Car in Malta?
In general, renting a car in Malta is quite affordable, especially when compared to other European destinations. The cost varies depending on several factors, including the vehicle model and the rental duration, but also based on seasonality and how far in advance you book.
For a rental, you can expect to pay around €10-€15 per day for a small city car and up to €50-€60 per day for a larger vehicle. To get the best deal, it’s advisable to book your car as early as possible.
Various Information About Renting a Car in Malta
In Malta, the legal driving age is 18 years. However, be aware that car rental companies usually set their own age limits. With most companies, you must be at least 21 years old and have had your driving license for more than a year to rent a car. To rent a car, you will need to present a valid driving license, an identity document (passport or ID card), and a credit card for payment.
If you are under 25, be aware that many car rental agencies in Malta charge additional fees. For drivers over 70, there are usually additional insurance fees, and some companies might not rent you a car at all because their insurance does not cover drivers of that age.
Road Regulations and Fines
Keep in mind that in Malta, driving is on the left side of the road, which can be a significant adjustment if you are used to driving on the right side. In urban areas, the speed limit is usually 50 km/h, and 80 km/h on highways.
Drivers in Malta sometimes have a “sporty driving” style and the roads are not always in good condition, so always remain vigilant and buckle up.
Using a mobile phone while driving is illegal, although you might notice that some Maltese drivers do not always adhere to this rule.
If you are caught driving over the speed limit in Malta, fines are applied depending on how much you exceed the limit:
- For speeding up to 15 km/h over the speed limit, the fine is €34.94.
- For speeding more than 15 km/h over the speed limit, the fine goes up to €69.88.
Regarding alcohol consumption, driving under the influence is a serious offense in Malta. The blood alcohol limit is 0.8 mg of alcohol per ml of blood, 107 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of urine, or 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 ml of breath. This equates to roughly one beer or a small glass of wine. It is therefore strongly advised to abstain completely from drinking if you have to drive.
You can find the complete list of driving offenses and their fines on the dedicated page: Land Transport Driving Offences on the Maltese government’s website.
Getting Around by Car in Malta
The roads in Malta are well maintained on the main arteries, but be aware that some rural areas outside of cities can be more chaotic. The roads are also not always lit, especially on the outskirts of major cities.
To get around, use Google Maps. It works very well on the archipelago. Therefore, it is advisable to make sure you have internet access on your mobile device. If your current mobile phone provider does not cover Malta, consider buying a SIM card with internet data as soon as you arrive. A small downside, Google Maps does not always integrate construction work (very frequent on the island), so you can regularly encounter blocked streets.
In Malta, we strongly advise you to rent a small car, as many roads, especially in older towns and rural areas, are quite narrow. A compact car will also make it easier for you to find parking, particularly in busy urban areas. Smaller cars are also more fuel-efficient.
Road Accident in Malta
Road accidents are common in Malta. In the event of an accident or emergency during your stay, including road accidents, dial the universal emergency number, 112. If you are involved in a road traffic accident that does not involve a medical emergency, it is important to contact the Local Enforcement System Agency (LESA) at the local number: +356 2132 0202. The collision unit will be in charge of drawing up the accident report, which is very important for the operation of rental companies’ insurance.
Always prioritize safety and notify your car rental company as soon as possible. They will guide you through their procedures and resolve any insurance issues. Don’t forget to exchange contact details and insurance information with the other parties involved and take photos of the accident scene for insurance documentation. Keep your rental agreement and insurance papers handy while driving.
Traveling to Gozo with a Rental Car from Malta
It is possible to go visit Gozo with your rental car, as most rental companies allow it. You will need to take the ferry at Ċirkewwa to make the crossing. The ferry fare is €15.70, covering both the car and the driver. The crossing itself takes about 20 minutes.
Gozo offers a variety of attractions, landscapes, and discoveries that are easier to explore by car. Just make sure to check with your rental provider about their policy regarding ferry trips to Gozo to ensure there are no restrictions or additional conditions, especially regarding coverage in case of any issues on-site.