Getting Around Malta - Should You Hire a Car?

4 April 2017

If you're planning a holiday in Malta this year you might be wondering what is the best way to get around. For an island of a small size, the question is- to hire or not to hire a car in Malta? If you haven’t visited the island before it might be difficult knowing exactly what the best option is, so here’s a handy guide to the pros and cons of driving in Malta and everything in between.

 Should You Hire a Car?

Pros

  • Malta is only 316km2 so driving around to get from A to B and even C, will not take you much time or petrol and making driving a very low cost option.
  • Hiring rental cars is cheap when compared to other European destinations and you can pick up a basic rental for less than €10 per day.
  • The public busses are generally quite good, but during peak times they can operate with big delays and sometimes not even come at all! In the summer months when the island welcomes lots of tourists, the buses are often full up making you stand for long periods of time in the heat. Surely you can think of a better way to spend your day!
  • Hiring a car in Malta means you are free to explore at your own leisure and are not constrained to the operating hours of public transport. Most services finish by 11pm so having a car means you can stay out late or visit hidden places that are not directly served by bus routes.
  • If you are staying in a self-catering apartment and need room to transport your shopping, or even if you’re spending a day at the beach and have packed the whole kitchen with you, it’s useful to have a car to store and transport all of your essentials easily and efficiently.

Cons

There are only really two cons when it comes to driving in Malta; traffic congestion and parking. These are easily solved by avoiding travelling at peak times such as 8-10am and 4-6pm and by making use of various park and ride facilities in Marsa and Pembroke in order to access busy areas such as Valletta and Sliema.

Where can I hire a car?

Hiring a car is straight forward and with identification, a deposit, and a credit card you can quickly and easily hire the vehicle of your choice. There is a great selection of car rental options available at the airport that you can book online and have waiting for you when you land. From as little as €7 per day you can explore the beautiful coastline or cruise through the vibrant cities in comfort and style.

What are the alternatives to hiring a car?

Should You Hire a Car?

If however, driving isn’t your thing or you are heading to a wine festival and are leaving the car at your accommodation, don’t worry because there are some other good transport options available to you.

Bus: Busses run from 5:30am and finish at around 11 and the routes criss-cross the island from the capital Valletta, to most of the popular towns and villages. You can pay as you go or purchase week long passes if you think you will be using the services a few times during your stay.

Bicycle: If you’d like to explore the island and get some exercise at the same time you could consider hiring a bike. There are several bicycle hubs dotted around, with more popping up every week, where you can hire a bike for a few hours or a day.

Boat: If you fancy travelling by sea, you can use the water taxis that run frequently from Valletta to Sliema, or to The Three Cities. Tickets are the same price as the busses and they are a great way to take in the impressive views of the Grand Harbour.

Open top bus: You could also consider using an open top bus to get around as they are a great way to see the island. You can pick northern or southern circular routes and hop on and off whenever and wherever you please.

All of the above options are viable but driving in Malta is by far one of the easiest, quickest and most cost-effective methods of getting around. With so much to see and do, driving will allow you to make the most of your time here. So, book your flights to Malta now and come and explore this beautiful country and all the wonderful sights and sounds it has to offer.



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