As you tick off “things to-do” on your travel checklist, you must consider the issue of mobility and transport. If you’re travelling to the island of Malta you’ll find that it offers an excellent public transport system. But, a lot of people prefer car hire because driving yourself allows you to travel on your own terms.
If you’re going to get a rental car in Malta, there are certain conditions in the rental contract you should be aware of before you sign on the dotted line. The last thing you want is to come across hidden charges or unexpected problems because you didn’t pay enough attention to the finer details.
Car Rental Contracts in Malta
The car rental industry in Malta isn’t governed by any type of formal government legislation. But, you are protected by legislation such as Directive 93/13/EC on Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts and the Directive 2005/29/EC concerning unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market.
Apart from that, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when reading through your car rental contract.
When car rental companies advertise their services online, the quotation they offer is usually lower than the actual price. You’ll find that the contract comes with add-ons like additional driver insurance, child seat and GPS costs.
- Fuel policy
The fuel policy is another important clause to look at. There are typically two different types of fuel policies, namely;
- Collect full/ return full: In this scenario, you’ll receive a car with a full tank of fuel and you must return it in the same condition. This means you’ll likely spend your own money to fill up the car if you run out of fuel so you can return it with a full tank.
- Collect full/ return empty: This means you’ll receive the car with a full tank of fuel. If you run out, it’s okay to return it with an empty tank.
Driving age restrictions
Different countries carry different age restrictions when it comes to driving. You never know; maybe the driving age limit in Malta is different from your home country. Instead of making assumptions, check the car rental contract to make sure your designated driver for the trip meets the age requirements.
- Extra equipment
Check the contract to make sure it mentions which equipment comes with the rental car. This includes things like a spare wheel and the tools needed to change a tire. If you don’t have these things in writing, you can’t fault the rental company from denying them to you.
- Emergency instructions
The contract should include instructions on what to do in case of an emergency. Obviously, the first course of action would be to contact the relevant authorities, including the rental company and insurance provider. But, there are other less obvious things like the amount of excess you’ll pay and whether or not you’re allowed to fix the car without the rental company’s approval.
Although these small details don’t seem like much of an issue, it helps to have clear guidelines on what to do in unexpected situations. For instance, let’s say your car breaks down while you’re driving in a remote part of the island over the weekend, not too far from a local mechanic shop that happens to be open. Does the contract require you to wait for an approved mechanic to fix the car on Monday? Or can you fix the car on your own and charge the rental company after?
Knowing who’s responsible for what can save you a lot of time and grief in emergency situations, so make sure you’re clear and happy with the rental company’s regulations on this issue.
A majority of car rental transactions in Malta are processed in Euros.
Most car rental companies only accept credit and debit cards from particular payment processors like VISA and Mastercard. They typically don’t accept cash or cryptocurrency payments.
- After hours rentals
The rental contract should include information on how much you should expect to pay for after hour rentals. This refers to rentals that start outside of typical office hours.
Do you need to hire a car in Malta? Make sure to read through the rental contract thoroughly to make sure it covers all the important points mentioned in this article.