Car Hire in Malta - rental rates and general information
If you're looking for cheap car hire, Malta is your place. As one of the cheapest places in Europe for car rental, Malta makes it easy to explore the island any way you like. Some of the major rent a car companies including Hertz and Avis have branches in Malta, and booking via the Internet before you leave may save you money and will ensure availability, a must during the high season. The island also has a few local hire firms, which offer a good service at reasonable rates.
In practical terms, hiring a car in Malta is much like the rest of Europe. A current driving licence needs to be produced when you rent and it's likely you'll be asked to leave a deposit. There is an age restriction of 21 on car hire and some car hire companies will charge a daily supplement for those drivers under the age of 25 years. Seat belts are compulsory in the front and parking restrictions are promptly and harshly enforced.
Motorcycles and pushbikes are also widely available for hire in Malta. This is a great way to get around quickly and see some of the less accessible parts of the island. The long hours of daily sunshine and general all round pleasant weather give conditions perfect for riding, although the midday sun might prove too strong. Age restrictions apply to hiring motorcycles and scooters but if you are eligible to rent, you'll find them inexpensive. Motorbike crash helmets are compulsory though pushbike helmets are rare.
Vehicles in Malta drive on the left and at roundabouts those on the right have the right of way, although you're likely to find the locals flexible about this rule so special attention is needed at all times. If you're in doubt, pull over and give way to on coming traffic. All rental cars are easily spotted as they all end in the letter K. Due to the island's small size, there are no real stretches of open road and consequently traffic speeds are relatively low with a 80kpm limit on main roads and 50kpm in built up areas. Given the poor condition of the island's roads it is well advised to adhere to these speed limits.
Petrol filling stations throughout Malta and Gozo are generally open between the hours of 7.00am and 6pm Monday to Saturday. Outside of those hours many filling stations have automated machines which maybe used to fill up your vehicle with fuel and then pay by cash. You can expect to pay lower pertol prices here than those generally paid in the UK.
Malta's cities are easily explored on foot and with an excellent bus service linking the major tourist spots, many visitors find this is all they need. However, if you want to experience the real Malta, you will need to get off the tourist trail and see some of the areas less frequented by visitors. Getting a taxi is one way to explore but although the charges are regulated by the government, this can be expensive; hiring your own form of transport will give you the independence to see it your way.
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