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Getting Around in Malta

Car Rental & Driving

Most international car rental companies have a branch in Malta. Local companies, too, offer this service, with or without a chauffeur. Car rental rates are very reasonable compared to those in other European countries.

Nationals of EU member countries aged 18 or over are allowed to drive in Malta on their existing licences, or exchange them for a Maltese one after having lived in Malta for six months. Non-EU nationals aged 18 or over can drive on their existing valid licence for a maximum of twelve months from the date of their last arrival in Malta.

Applications for a Maltese licence must be made in person at the Licensing and Testing Directorate (LTD) on the DRV.01 application form (available from the Malta Transport Authority website: You also need to submit a colour passport-sized photo, current driving licence, passport and Maltese identity card, if available. A fee is payable on collection of your Maltese licence. You are not allowed to hold more than one EU-issued driving licence, so your previous licence will be returned to its country of origin.

If you import your own car to Malta from an EU member state, there is no VAT payable on cost, as long as the car is more than 6 months old or has been used for at least 6000 km. Registration tax and VAT are payable, but those gaining permanent residence status benefit from reduced rates on these. Full CIF VAT, Registration Tax and VAT are payable on new cars brought into Malta, and customs duty must also be paid on cars originating from non-EU countries. The Licensing and Testing Directorate must be notified of any vehicles brought into Malta within one week of arrival, and they must be registered within one month.

Driving is on the left in Malta, and the speed limits are 80kph (50mph) on highways and 50kph (30mph) in residential areas. Many of Malta's roads have not been well-maintained, especially outside the main towns.


Public transport is efficient and reasonably priced. The main bus terminus in Malta is in Valletta, just outside the City Gate. Malta buses are orange and show the route number on the front. Malta bus routes leave from and go to Valletta. A few do operate circular routes, but this is not the norm - an express bus service links the principal resorts with Sliema, Marsaxlokk, Mdina, the Three Cities and the main sandy beaches. All buses to Valletta pass through its suburb town, Floriana. In towns and villages, the bus terminus is generally found on or near the main square.

From here, buses go to practically every corner of the Island. The average length of a bus trip in Malta is 20 to 30 minutes: the longest trip takes 50 minutes. Gozo by public transport is easy: board a bus to Cirkewwa, go as a foot passenger on the ferry, and take a Gozo bus to the capital Victoria.

In Gozo, the bus terminus is in Main Gate Street, Victoria. Buses in Gozo are grey with a central red band and show the route number on the front. Unlike in Malta, Gozo buses operate along circular routes, leaving from and returning to Victoria without scheduled stops at termini. A regular service runs to and from Mgarr, route 25, and is timed to coincide with the ferry timetable.


Taxis are identifiable by their all-white livery. All taxis are fitted with metres and should charge government-controlled prices. However, you should agree the fare before starting the journey. Taxis available at the airport operate a different system. If you opt to take a taxi from Malta International Airport, pay the fare at the taxi ticket booth in the arrivals lounge. You will receive a ticket showing the destination and fare paid. You hand the ticket to the driver at the end of your journey. If you decide to go to a different destination from that paid for, drivers are obliged to use the meter. Any complaints should be addressed to the Public Transport Authority, Tel: (+356) 2143-8475.

Other Modes

A helicopter service operates frequent services between Malta and Gozo, with flights taking only around 15 minutes. There are also frequent passenger and car ferries between Malta and Gozo, with a journey time of about 30 minutes. Ferries from Malta to Comino operate only between March and November.




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