Malta Driving Advice and Car Hire Info

Driving In Malta and Gozo

Malta drives on the left and you can use the photo licence of any country to drive here, providing it’s written in Roman alphabet. Drivers from other countries need their own licence plus an international driving permit. Speed limits range from 80kmh on rural roads to 50kmh in urban areas and sometimes 35kmh in places.

Malta has 3000km of roads of which 90% are paved. The island has no motorways and roads are in varying states of repair, though main routes are usually of a satisfactory standard. The main road running across the island is Route 1 – which runs from Ċirkewwa/Gozo ferry through Valetta and past the airport to Birżebbuġa in the south.

Malta drives on the left using right hand drive cars, meaning the gear stick will be on your left. Driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road and giving way to the right is likely to be the biggest challenge facing drivers from the US and mainland Europe, though you will find you quickly adapt. The main problem to be aware of is driving on the wrong side of the road after turning onto a quiet route with no other traffic. Roads are in generally okay condition in Malta though there will be a few bumps and pot holes. Driving style is typically Southern European so drivers from Northern Europe and USA may find that locals tend to drive fast and have a laissez faire attitude to road rules. Cars require a permit to enter Valetta so check with the rental company that they will provide this.

Parking can also be a problem in some towns and parking bays use a colour coding system-

  • 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)

The island of Gozo is much quieter than Malta and covering just 26 square miles it’s easy to tour the island in a day. Roads are generally in good condition though routes to beaches off the main road are often gravel tracks.

It’s possible to take a rental car between Malta and Gozo using the ferry which departs over 70 times a day, with a crossing time of 25 minutes. The ferry sails between Ċirkewwa in Malta and Mġarr on the southeast coast of Gozo. The fare for a car and driver is about 16 Euros. More info can be found here.

Although I try and keep the information in the site updated as much as possible, in a rapidly moving world, situations can change daily. Therefore please use the site as an approximate guide, and in conjunction with other resources in order to form your view on driving conditions, roads, safety etc.

Malta Car Rental –
Sixt, Hertz, Europcar, Alamo, National,Avis, Budget, Thrifty, Dollar, have outlets here. Also usually features on Car rental broker sites and Web discount sites such  Expedia.

We currently have no local car rental partners in Malta. If you are a local car rental company who would like to feature on please check details on our Partnering page or contact us on

Malta Self Drive Rules-
Cars are usually able to be driven in Malta and Gozo. Most companies won’t allow vehicles to be taken beyond the two islands though.


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