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Car Hire, bus or taxi?

Derbyshire, England
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Car Hire, bus or taxi?

My wife and I are visiting Malta for 5 days. I have heard that the traffic can be very busy and aggressive. Is it worth hiring a car or should we consider buses or taxi's. We are based in St Julian's.

South Yorkshire...
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1. Re: Car Hire, bus or taxi?

I suppose it depends on what traffic you are used to driving in in the UK. From my experience it is no busier or aggresive than driving in UK cities and frequently less so. You may know that Malta drives on the left so no difference to UK. As you would at home just observe what is happening around you and drive accordingly. Car hire gives you the option to be free of bus timetables and waiting for buses but from buses all can admire the scenery.

Although I've visited Malta many times I have never stayed in St Julian's so think an important question is would there be somewhere to park my hire car near my accommodation. Others on TA will, I am sure, be able to help with that.

Edinburgh, United...
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2. Re: Car Hire, bus or taxi?

The bus service is excellant and the roads are better than average with very good sign posts for tourists. When i go on hols i like to visit places and i found in Malta that i was able to view the Island using the very good bus service. The roads are not bad to drive on and if you wish to rent a car you will manage fine. Enjoy your holiday

England
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3. Re: Car Hire, bus or taxi?

It all really depends on where you want to go to.

St.Julians has a good bus service to most of the places that appeal to tourists so in theory you shouldn't need to hire a car. I would suggest that you start off by just using a buses and possibly taxis, then possibly hire a car at the end of your trip to mop up the places that you couldn't do using public transport.

Phil-the-Bus

Edited: 07 July 2012, 13:09
Wilmslow, United...
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4. Re: Car Hire, bus or taxi?

I spent last summer in Malta and used public transport all the time. I only have a car this year for two reasons. 1) I often need to be places early in the morning (6am) especially at the weekends and buses aren't always running early enough to enable me to get to my destination. 2) I sometimes needed to be somewhere at a specific time and I couldn't rely on the bus schedules as traffic conditions and busses arriving full up threw the schedules out of kilter.

If I was simply doing tourist trips I would use the bus. It's also a good way to see some of the island away from the tourist spots.

England, United...
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5. Re: Car Hire, bus or taxi?

I hired a car for the duration of my holiday in Malta during May 2012 and here are my observations.

The driving isn't aggressive and alot more disciplined than I had anticipated. (If you had visited during the 1980's, the Maltese Highway Code was probably the least observed and read book on the Island). Since then, the roads and traffic markings have improved. Of course, there is the occasional road hog who is in a tearing hurry and the morning rush hour is similar to that found in any UK city. Moreover, you will save time and have more flexibility with a car than waiting for buses, etc.

I think the main problem you will have based in St.Julians is parking. There are more cars than people in Malta and finding somewhere to park might be bothersome unless you are in a hotel with car parking facilities. Hope this helps.

Derbyshire, England
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6. Re: Car Hire, bus or taxi?

Many thanks for all your advice. Really appreciate everyone's input.

I think we will use buses for first few days then hire a car.

Belfast
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7. Re: Car Hire, bus or taxi?

i posted this on another question

I hired a car from Hertz at the airport, it was £40 for one week which was very cheap presumably because it was off season. The car wasnt great but that was probably down to condition of some of the roads in Malta

Absolutely no problem driving even in Valletta, If you are used to driving in any British city then you will have no problems.

I was warned about Maltese drivers by many people but didnt experience any problems. Roundabouts are a bit of a free for all but if you are not in a rush and take the usual standard of care and attention all would be fine.

Personally i would say car hire is a must for Malta. Those who travelled by bus said they were cheap and reliable but they were busy (sometimes full) and they had to go out of there way and double back to get to certain places.

Hertz policy on petrol was you left the petrol tank as you found it, ie we picked up a car half full and returned it half full.

8. Re: Car Hire, bus or taxi?

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Edinburgh, United...
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9. Re: Car Hire, bus or taxi?

The ARRIVA service is excellant i was in Malta for a week in May and the service was great no complaints at all. If you want to visit all over Malta by bus you will manage fine.

Barnsley, United...
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10. Re: Car Hire, bus or taxi?

Relying on the bus service will depend on what time of year the OP is visiting Malta. Although Malta is a year round island holiday destination May is still fairly low season. Wait until this month and August, when schools are out, and its high season it could well be a very different matter.

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