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.
It’s also fairly easy to rent a car with various car hire locations in Malta for wherever you decide to stay.
In this article, I’ll help you with:
You should hire a car in Malta if:
Car rental in Malta offers you the flexibility to plan your outings the way you want, rather than according to the available bus routes. Public transport in Malta is relatively inexpensive, but not always punctual and can increase travel time drastically.
Let’s start with the obvious: 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:
As for fuel, at the time of writing (August 2021), this is what you can expect to pay at the pump if you decide to hire a car in Malta:
Even though you may have had good experiences with particular international agencies, that’s not always a guarantee that the local branch will provide the same level of service.
I always recommend using the Rentalcars.com comparison search engine that gives you:
Search for the best rates at the top of this page: (Take me there – click or tap here)!
For regular passenger vehicles, the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit is 0.5g/l. On average that translates to one drink, depending on gender, weight, height, etc.
21. You must be at least 21 years old to be able to rent a car in Malta, and drivers under 25 years of age may incure a surcharge. The maximum age is 70 years old.
On open roads speed limits are set between 60 and 80 km/h, while in urban areas speed limits are as low as 30-50 km/h. Speed cameras are in operation in various areas, though do not measure average speeds. Spot controls are only occasionally done by local law enforcement.
Although there are a few other car hire locations in Malta, the most popular option is to hire a car from Malta International Airport. You can get your rental car sorted on arrival but booking online in advance makes things easier and quicker and you normally get the best rates through a price comparison search like that of Rentalcars.com (and at the top of this page).
You don’t need to worry too much about car hire locations in Malta really if you don’t want to pick it up and drop it off at Malta International Airport. Hiring a car in Malta is an easy process: You can book your car online and have the choice to have it delivered to the address of your accommodation as well. Your hire car agent will usually inspect the vehicle together with you to check for any pre-existing damage and will need to swipe your credit card and settle your bill (usually upon arrival).
Most Malta car hire agencies will require a deposit at the time of booking (usually an amount reserved on your credit card) in the case of damages or fines.
These are some of the more popular car rental agencies in Malta.
Most international car hire agencies like Avis, Hertz and Europcar operate in Malta but don’t discount the local agencies who generally do a good job of offering reliable service and quality rental cars.
These are a few important things to keep in mind when hiring a car in Malta:
Carefully read the small print, know what charges you can expect at what point. For example, the insurance excess (fee to pay should you need to make a claim after accidental damage) varies between rental agencies.
Unlike some other countries in Europe where the fuel policy is “Full to full”, i.e. return your car with a full tank), with car hire in Malta you usually encounter “Like for Like”. That basically means that you’re expected to return the car with the same fuel level as with which it was delivered to you. If the level is lower you’ll end up getting charged much higher fuel rates than you’d get at the pump.
I always recommend taking a photo with your phone of the fuel indicator when you pick up your hire car.
Make sure that your agent checks the state of the car together with you when the car is delivered to document any pre-existing damage. Take pictures yourself to have additional proof, also if you need to return the car outside of office hours.
Malta is one of the few countries in the world where people drive on the left (which the Maltese inherited from the United Kingdom, having been part of the British Empire). Pretty important to make note of before you drive off!
There are almost as many cars in Malta as there are locals, so the roads tend to get busy. Avoid rush hour during the week but also expect traffic congestion:
Parking spaces are already limited in popular destinations during the low season, and the problem is exacerbated in the busy high season with rental cars hitting the road as well.
Staying in Sliema, St. Julian’s, or St. Paul’s Bay? Make sure parking arrangements are available and easily accessible in advance to avoid frustration.
Google Maps does a good job in terms of route mapping and navigation, and the traffic layer is also useful. Both to anticipate traffic bottlenecks but also to warn you of roadworks in progress.
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).
Yes, you can take your hire car up to Gozo on the ferry service that runs from Ċirkewwa (at the northernmost tip of Malta). It’s a 20-min ride, costs €20.65 for car + driver (return fee) and gives you a great opportunity to take a little DIY tour around the island. Driving there tends to be calmer and easier.
Search for the best rates at the top of this page: Take me there (click or tap here)!
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