Driving Tips, Rules & Regulations in Malta

One of the most common things you’ll hear about people when people talk about driving in Malta is this: technically, the Maltese are supposed to drive on the left, but when it gets really hot especially during the summer, people drive in the shade. This is highly reflective of the “survival of the fittest” principle when it comes to driving in this Mediterranean country. But for some tourists, this sort of thing can be an adventure.

You can use your domestic license in Malta. Just make sure you always bring your passport, driver’s license, and car registration with you at all times. Thanks to its history with the British, driving in Malta means driving on the left side – this is something that American tourists ought to get accustomed with. While staying on the left side of the lane isn’t too difficult, one does need to make sure that he or she checks the right first before making a turn in an intersection. Of course, this is nothing a little practice can’t fix.

With a population of 350,000 in the Maltese Islands, there are just as many cars as there are people in Malta. Their highways don’t look like the typical ones you’ll find in American or European roads. In more popular areas, expect traffic congestion and a speed limit of no more than 50 km/hour or 30 mph. People who will be driving in these roads shouldn’t be in a hurry – you’ll have no choice.

Most of the streets in the towns are narrow, so parking can be a little bit tricky. Be careful about choosing where to park, though – not all locals are parking in the right places, so you need to make sure for yourself if the spot you plan on taking is a legal parking spot. It’s best to slow down around these areas to easily spot an outgoing parked car so you can take its spot.

Also, be mindful of the pedestrians, since there will be a lot of them going around. Maltese streets are filled with so much obstructions. Sometimes there are no sidewalks so people just walk around the streets.

But the good thing about driving in Malta is that sign posts are well placed. It’ll be easy to spot one-way roads and other useful information despite the confusing streets.

Despite the chaos, public transport will still get the right of away. And no matter how slow you move around the streets, it’s still illegal to use your mobile phone while driving without a hands free kit. Of course, wearing a seat belt is still required by law. There is a 35mg limit for drink driving in Malta, but you should still avoid doing that, since your license could be taken from you by the police on the spot when caught.

One liter of unleaded petrol in Malta is approximately 1. 22 euros. There are a lot of 24 hour stations, most of which accept credit cards. Always bring gas money, though, since not all stations take credit.

Summary

Technically supposed to drive on the left.
You can use a domestic license in Malta.
Ensure you always have your passport, driver’s license, and car registration with you at all times.
Expect traffic congestion in popular areas.
Be aware of pedestrians. Sometimes there are no sidewalks, so people have to walk on the streets.
It’s still illegal to use your mobile phone while driving.
There is a 35mg alcohol limit for driving in Malta.
Always bring cash when refueling your car, since not all stations take credit cards.

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