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Buying Vs Renting a Car in Malta – The complete guide

Owning a Car in Malta – Buying Vs Renting – The complete guide to get you started.


I have owned a couple of cars in the past few years. I have always wondered the way forward on how to be more efficient – what type of fuel should the car use to be more efficient?  Being a small country with a high number of vehicles on the road, what assessment should you make prior to purchasing a vehicle? And if you’re a foreigner, what is the process you should take before you purchase or rent a car in Malta; or even obtaining a licence in Malta? 

We will be going through the process of owning a car in Malta, maintaining it and all of the above, within this blog. 

There are a few things that need to be taken into account before buying or renting a car. Following, you’ll find all the pointers to get you started! 


Buying vs Renting – Pros vs Cons 

  • Buying 
  • Renting in the Common Way 
  • Renting through minute-by-minute rates 

Driving licence in Malta – For EU and Non-EU citizens 

  • Short guide on how to get started
  • Conclusion
  • Summary 
  • Our personal experience 


Buying vs Renting a car in Malta


As stated, I’ve got quite a good feel in this process. We will be going over the pros and cons of each. 


Pros vs Cons 


Buying a Car 



  • It’s yours, you own it, you can do whatever you want with the vehicle within the confinements of the law. 
  • There are no established monthly fees. It’s a onetime payment. This might be interpreted differently to each situation as you might have bought the car with a loan. Still however, after you pay the loan, the car is still yours not the company’s. 
  • You’ve got the option to choose whatever car within your budget you desire. 
  • It is usually cheaper than renting a vehicle. (this will be further discussed in the blog.) – NOT ALWAYS THOUGH. 


  • A lot of maintenance cost – Servicing, repairing body scrapes that aren’t your fault, etc. 
  • The stress of having your car parked outside – being scared that you won’t find your bumper after work or something. 
  • If you want to sell the car, there is a whole process on how to do so. 
  • The car usually devalues/depreciates. It’s rare that a car appreciates in value – normally in this situation the car would be esteemed as a classic vehicle.  
  • Licence and insurance costs might fluctuate on the high side. 


For a full guide on how to buy a car in Malta – Click here. 


Renting a Car 

In recent times, there has been a new concept of renting a car which opens a totally new spectrum to renting a car. For this section, we will split the way of renting in two parts.  

Common Way – Mainstream Car rental companies like Hertz, Goldcar, Avis, etc.


  • Less worries as the vehicle is not yours.  
  • Less maintenance hassles and costs. This might differ from one company to another as some companies offer different services and terms.  


  • It is not as private as it is not yours. 
  • Monthly payment. 
  • Not customisable. 
  • Might be more costly. 
  • Might have some hassle with documentation (but not that likely). 
  • Fuel is on you. 


Renting a car per trip through Rental Apps – like Goto app

You’ll book a car with the app and you’ll go for it wherever it is parked. The car you book is not always the same one. 



  • Might be cheaper per month (personally it is cheaper). 
  • No maintenance costs. 
  • Parking spaces = less stress. 
  • Environmentally friendly as they are mainly electric (differing from company to company). 
  • No fuel costs. 
  • No insurance and Licence costs. 


  • The car might not be always available. 
  • You have to park in their established spaces – so you cannot park the car in front of your house, unless their parking area is in front of you. 
  • It is a minute per minute use. (not always a bad thing). 
  • No personal connection with the vehicle (for me it is a small difference). 


It depends which you choose. You need to make your homework on the regards. For myself I would consider the 3 of the following options accordingly. 

  • If you’re a foreigner coming for a week with your family  
  • I would rent a car the common way. 
  • If you’re living in Malta for the long haul 
  • I would analyse what is a must and what is not. 


Driving licence in Malta – For EU and Non-EU citizens


This might be a hectic process for some, but fear no more, we’ve got you covered. Firstly, let’s assume you have got a licence in your country. Following, you’ll find the minimum requirements: 

  • Minimum 18 years 
  • In possession of a driving permit in your country 

For EU citizens 

  •  As you’re an EU citizen, you’re able to drive without any hassle with your own licence obtained back in your native EU country.  
  • Your native licence should be valid. 
  • You could obtain a Maltese driving licence after 185 days living in Malta. 
  • You’ll find all the requirements in the following link. – Click Here

Non-EU citizens 

  • You’re able to drive in Malta with your obtained native licence up to 12 months. These 12 months start from the day of issuing in Malta. 
  • After these 12 months the licence expires and you are not able to use it anymore 
  • Following the date of expiry (12 months in Malta) you have to start the lessons to obtain the driving licence.  
  • All valid information it to be found within the following link. – Click Here

To obtain a licence in Malta click here 

To learn more regarding the driving licence points system – click here




For me personally, all of the above is the assessment that I usually take. However, I’ll guide you even more with some top tips. 

  1. Do your Accounts. – Financial and daily amends. 
  2. Do you really need a car daily 24/7?  
  3. Check this blog for the pros and cons of renting vs buying options 
  4. Most importantly is checking if you have got a valid licence and what is the process to obtain one. 

I think for myself, the most reasonable is to use the Goto app in Malta. For several reasons.  

  • I don’t use the car 24/7 
  • Too much maintenance and running costs. 
  • It is good for the environment 
  • Less hassle in general 

Not a commissioned, biased point of view, but an honest one. I really think this is the future of cars not only in Malta, but all over the world. I think that people will be more willing to use these kinds of services in the future rather than having their own car or using the conventional renting services. I think that a lot of things will be standardised and more people will start using them. As competition rises, prices will be bound to decrease. I see a future in this kind of service and an even bigger potential. 


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