Getting to Malta
Malta is positioned as a gateway to Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. From most major cities such as London, Frankfurt, Paris, Rome and Istanbul it takes just two-to-three hours’ flying time to reach Malta International Airport (MIA), the island's only airport. Regular flights are provided by Air Malta, the national airline, as well as other carriers such as Lufthansa, Emirates, Turkish Airlines, British Airways, Alitalia, Ryanair, EasyJet, and WizzAir. Malta is also a short 90-minute trip by catamaran to Sicily, and car ferries operate on the sea routes between the main port of Valletta and mainland Italy and Sicily.
Being small enough to walk from one side of the island to the other in a day, makes getting around in Malta easy. The public transport system is safe and cheap. A network of routes and a fleet of modern buses provide an extensive service across Malta and Gozo. A train service does not exist in Malta.
Car Hire & Taxis
Cars can be hired at reasonable rates compared to those in other Western European countries. All the major car rental companies have a presence in Malta. Local firms also offer this service, with or without a chauffeur. There are different types of taxis: the white taxis are fitted with meters and charge government-controlled prices – you can flag these down in the street; alternatively, there are taxis owned by private companies that charge a set price depending on the location. Taxis at the airport operate on a different system, with set fares which must be paid at the taxi ticket booth in the arrivals lounge.
Malta has a road network of 1,500 kilometres, but it only takes one hour to cross the island. EU nationals (aged 18 and over) are allowed to drive on their existing licences, or exchange them for a Maltese one after having lived in the country for more than six months. Non-EU nationals can drive on their existing valid licences for a maximum of 12 months from the date of their last arrival in Malta. As in the UK, cars drive on the left.
Traveling time between Malta International Airport and an office or a home is rarely longer than 20 minutes, though this is dependent on the mode of transport, time of day and distance travelled. While distances in Malta are negligible, in similarity to many other successful business centres, the country suffers from traffic congestion during rush hours and it’s advisable to avoid peak times.
The Maltese drive on the left, so it does not always make sense to import your own car. EU citizens are allowed to drive their cars in Malta for a period of six out of 12 months if they do not live in Malta. However, if they relocate their residency to Malta, they are required to exchange their licence plates to Maltese and pay vehicle registration tax, road tax and insurance. EU citizens owning a car for a minimum of 24 months in their former home country have the option to apply at Transport Malta for an exemption on Maltese vehicle registration tax.