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Traffic Rules

Online since: 09. April 2013

Traffic Rules in Malta

There are traffic rules, it’s just that many people don’t observe them. Most Maltese drive any way they want, but they still show consideration for other drivers. If you drive slowly into an intersection or roundabout, someone will stop. The same is true for a stop sign; you shouldn’t actually stop, but slowly roll through it - otherwise a Maltese driver might get very close behind you very soon (because they expect you to keep going slowly ahead)!

In Malta you drive on the left side and not on the right, like in most other European countries. You take over another car on the right side. The wide roads have three lanes and it is important to drive on the far left side, as drivers from both directions use the middle lane to take over.

Expect potholes on all streets, but especially on the smaller side streets.


Traffic lights regulate the traffic at large intersections. At the smaller, narrower streets you have to slowly drive into the intersection, as this is the only way to see around the corner for any oncoming traffic. If there is little traffic, the Maltese often drive through a red light.


The roundabout is coming back to Malta. Slowly, one intersection after the other is being changed into a roundabout. However, some Maltese are still not familiar with them. The rules say that the cars driving around the roundabout have right of way, but many Maltese drive as if the opposite were true.

Maximum speed

The maximum speed in towns is 50 km/h (30 mph), and outside the towns it’s 80 km/h (50 mph).

Zebra crossings

Only very few zebra crossings have traffic lights. At night, they are marked with a red light.

Note: Maltese drivers will always assume they have right of way, so pedestrians have to be very careful.

Petrol stations

A litre of petrol costs about 1.52 Euros. Diesel about 1.41 Euros per litre. Most garages are open 24/7. The usual business hours are as follows (this may vary):


With garage attendant

No garage attendant

Monday to Friday

8 am to 5 pm

5 pm to 8 am


8 am to 12 pm

12 pm to 8 am



24 hours

A garage attendant will fill your car with fuel. No garage attendant means that you’ll need to do it yourself and pay at a machine.


Parking is a problem in Malta and Gozo. The streets are packed with parked cars and almost every inch is used.
Note: Yellow lines mean: No parking!
Parking discs are obligatory most of the time. Many public parking lots have car guards that expect to be paid - the amount is up to the driver.

Further advice

Driving under the influence of alcohol is prohibited.
You have to wear a safety belt when sitting in the car.
Using a mobile phone while driving is prohibited.
Riders of two-wheeled vehicles must wear a helmet.

S. Wagner

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