Driving advice for every country in Europe

Find up-to-date driving laws and advice for any country in Europe before you visit, including any accessories you may need to purchase. Don't forget the RAC provides European breakdown cover while you're driving in Europe.

Driving in Malta

Malta
Population: 416,300
Area: 316 square kilometres
Currency: Euro (EUR) € = 100 cents

Coronavirus update

Please be aware that driving in Europe may be restricted at the moment.

Check the Foreign travel advice section of the GOV.UK website for up to date advice on all European countries.

Rich in history and natural beauty spots, the tiny Mediterranean archipelago of Malta is full of surprises. Exploring it in a car gives you the freedom to enjoy it at your own pace.

While driving there has many similarities to driving in the UK, you still need to make sure you’re fully prepared if you’re planning a road trip around Malta. 

To make your trip to the island as safe and effortless as possible, we’ve put together a guide to everything you need to know before you go, from required documents to rules of the road.  

Driving a rented vehicle? Jump to the advice for driving a hire car in Malta section.

RAC European Breakdown Cover (Basic and Comprehensive) provides a wide range of benefits should you breakdown in Malta to ensure you stay safe. 

To supplement this, RAC also offers travel insurance. Cover will include medical expenses, baggage, personal money and belongings, among many other benefits.

European Breakdown Cover

Get covered from just £7 this winter. Plus, get a full refund if Covid-19 restrictions prevent travel.†

Things to take when driving in Malta

driving-abroad-in-malta

Documents for driving in Malta

  • A valid, full UK driving licence (you must also be 18 or over)
  • A GB sticker (unless your car is equipped with EU number plates showing the country code in a circle of 12 gold stars on a blue background) 
  • Your motor insurance certificate
  • The V5 registration document for your own car or the hire car paperwork for a rental

Driving in Malta packing checklist

Aside from the documents above, there are some legally-required items you must bring with you to drive in Malta.

Unless your headlights can be adjusted, it's a legal requirement to carry headlamp converters (stickers for your headlights when driving on the right, so your lights don't dazzle motorists coming the other way).

A warning triangle is also compulsory to carry in vehicles in case of a breakdown.

It's also recommended to have:

  • Spare bulbs for your car's external lights
  • A fire extinguisher 
  • A first-aid kit
  • A reflective jacket
  • A Green Card (this is no longer a requirement, but it could be useful to back-up your insurance documents and show you've got the minimum legal level of cover. To find out more, contact your insurance company)

You can pick up all the car kit you need from RAC Shop.

Rules of the road in Malta

  • Wear a crash helmet if you're riding a motorcycle
  • Ensure your car is covered by third-party insurance recognised in Malta. This is the legal minimum cover for residents and visitors, so check with your provider before you travel
  • Like in the UK, you drive on the left and overtake on the right in Malta. Priority should be given to public transport and emergency vehicles 
  • You shouldn't use your horn in built-up areas between 11pm-6am
  • You won’t be given an on-the-spot traffic fine in Malta, but if you’re caught committing a motoring offence for which a fine is payable, you should settle this before you leave
  • Seat belts must be worn in all seats where a belt is available
  • Children under the age of 3 must use a suitable child restraint. Children aged 3-10 should use one where available but can use an adult seat belt if not
  • The drink-drive limit in Malta is 0.08% - the same as the UK limit. A breath test is compulsory after an accident that has caused injury or when a driver has committed a serious motoring offence

Maltese speed limits

In built-up areas, the speed limit is usually 50km/h unless otherwise signposted and 80km/h outside these areas. There are no motorways in Malta

Other things you should know when driving in Malta

driving-abroad-in-malta-tips

  • There are no toll roads in Malta
  • Unleaded petrol and diesel are readily available throughout Malta, but you can’t get LPG. There are automatic petrol pumps that you can operate with a credit card
  • Local drivers don't usually indicate when changing lanes
  • You’ll find parking meters valid for up to 2 hours’ parking on Malta’s major streets. Vehicles causing an obstruction can be towed away and, in some cases, wheel clamps may be used
  • If you're bringing your own car to Malta, you'll need a permit to enter the capital Valletta - or you can use the park and ride service

In an emergency

112 - Here's a really important bit of knowledge; you can dial 112 from anywhere in Europe and an operator will connect you to an emergency service in the country you're visiting.

Operators can answer your call in their native language, English or French.

Breaking down in Malta

RAC offers great-value, flexible RAC European breakdown cover tailored to meet your needs. We also offer comprehensive travel insurance, including cover for medical expenses, baggage, personal money and belongings.

Driving a hire car in Malta

Not all of the information in the guide above will be relevant to those looking to rent a hire car in Malta.

Though it might be a good idea to read through everything anyway, here are the most important things to know for drivers of rental vehicles:

Rental information

  • The minimum age to hire a car is 21, although those under 25 may face a surcharge
  • You need a full, valid UK driving licence and usually a second proof of ID (passport)
  • Car rental companies ask that you have held your licence for a minimum term of 2 years
  • Leading providers may require you  to use a credit card for deposit
  • You may not be able to drive outside of Malta unless planned in advance - check with your hire company first
  • Make sure you get car hire excess insurance before your trip to protect yourself from unexpected costs. It's almost always cheaper to do this with a separate insurer and in advance

Hire car driving tips

  • The Maltese drive on the left, like the UK
  • In built-up areas, the speed limit is usually 50km/h unless otherwise signposted and 80km/h outside these areas. There are no motorways in Malta
  • Dial 112 in an emergency
  • It’s compulsory to wear seat belts in the front and rear seats
  • The blood alcohol content limit for drivers of private vehicles is 0.08%. That's the same as  the 0.08% in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but the higher than in Scotland.

Car hire excess cover

Protect yourself from unexpected excess costs when hiring a car.

Driving in Malta FAQs

  • Is it safe to drive in Malta?

    Yes, the main roads are generally well maintained and well signposted, and you’ll find driving there similar to the UK as the Maltese drive on the left. Some minor roads are in poor condition though, so you need to watch out for potholes.

    Local drivers are also known for being rather erratic and particularly aggressive when it comes to overtaking.

  • Can you drive in Malta with a UK licence?

    Yes. You can legally drive in Malta with a full and valid UK driving licence. International Driving Permits are also recognised but not required.

  • Can you drive in Valletta?

    Yes, but you’ll need to pay a small charge to enter the capital. It’s a very compact city so it can get congested and you may find it tricky to negotiate tight corners and one-way streets.

    Parking is also limited, so it’s recommended you park outside the city and walk in or use the park and ride service.

  • Do I need a green card to drive in Malta?

    Like the UK, Malta is a member of the Green Card System, a Europe-wide scheme that allows countries to recognise foreign vehicle insurance policies of visiting motorists.

    UK motorists are no longer required to carry a green card to drive in Malta, but you should check that your policy will cover you in all countries you plan to visit before setting off.

  • What side of the road do they drive on in Malta?

    As in the UK, motorists drive on the left-hand side of the road in Malta, so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting your bearings.

  • Do I need a GB sticker for Malta?

    You will need to display a GB sticker on the rear of your car unless it has EU number plates with the country code in a circle of 12 stars on a blue background.

  • Can I drive my car in Malta?

    Yes, although most foreign drivers hire a car on the island as it’s easier. You should always familiarise yourself with the laws around driving in Malta before you set off to keep yourself and others safe on the road while also ensuring you have the right insurance cover for your trip.

    Malta used to be part of the British Empire, so you’ll find it has a lot in common with driving in the UK.

  • How do I drive to Malta?

    Getting to Malta by car from the UK is a very long-winded journey as you’re travelling between two islands so, unless you’re on an epic European road trip, you might be better off hiring a car once you get there.

    If you do want to take your own car, firstly you’ll need to cross the Channel to Calais on either the Eurotunnel from Folkestone or a ferry from Dover. From Calais, drive down through France and Italy to catch the ferry to Sicily. Then catch another ferry from Pozzallo to Malta.

  • What age can you start driving in Malta?

    To legally drive in Malta, you must be 18 years or older and in possession of a full valid driving licence.

  • Are there any toll roads in Malta?

    No, there are no toll roads in Malta, but you will have to pay a congestion charge to enter the capital Valletta between the hours of 8am and 6pm on weekdays.

European Breakdown Cover

Get covered from just £7 this winter. Plus, get a full refund if Covid-19 restrictions prevent travel.†

UK Government travel advice

See up-to-date travel advice


Information in this guide is subject to change

British High Commission Malta

Whitehall Mansions, Ta’ Xbiex Seafront 
Ta’ Xbiex
XBX 1026
Malta

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: (+356) 2323 0000

Fax: political section (+356) 2323 2216

Fax: consular section (+356) 2323 2234

Fax: corporate services (+356) 2323 2269

† Price for 1 day cover for up to 9 people travelling in a vehicle up to 1 year old in Zone 1. For more information visit rac.co.uk/breakdown-cover/european-breakdown-cover

† Price for 1 day cover for up to 9 people travelling in a vehicle up to 1 year old in Zone 1. For more information visit rac.co.uk/breakdown-cover/european-breakdown-cover