Travelling to the European continent is perhaps the best way to relax and enjoy life. It can be made better if you plan to get a rental car and drive because as they say, Europe’s beauty shines strong when you drive around. One of the most beautiful places to go for a family vacation or a trip is the beautiful island country Malta. But before you take your beach clothes and prepare for a relaxing yoga session, you need to know about car insurance for foreign drivers in Malta.

Driving around the country is the best way to save money on expensive cabs. But if you are not properly insured and are involved in accident, not only will this relaxing trip turn into a legal mess, but you might end up spending more money than what the flight tickets cost. Here’s everything you need to know about car insurance for foreign drivers in Malta.

Insurance terms

In the US, liability insurance coverage is the term used for the insurance policy that covers the cost of repairs and medical treatments of the other driver in an accident that’s your fault. Malta also has a similar law when it comes to auto insurance. All the drivers are mandated to have an auto insurance policy that covers the cost of repairs and medical treatments for the other driver. 

The difference here is that instead of calling it “liability insurance coverage”, it’s called “third-party insurance” and the coverage is the same as liability insurance. So getting just “third-party” insurance will not cut it. If you get in an accident, you might have to pay for the repairs of the rental car from your pockets. 

Collision Damage Waiver is the term used for collision damage coverage and it covers the repair cost for the rental car. Getting a collision damage waiver will insure your rental car so that you don’t have to pay from your pocket. Similarly, Loss Damage Waiver is the insurance coverage that insures your rental car against theft. It is not covered under CDW and if you want to get theft protection, you need to get a collision damage waiver and loss damage waiver to properly insure your rental car. 

Personal Accident insurance is the term for a personal injury protection plan in Malta. This insurance policy will cover the cost of medical treatments for the injuries sustained by you in an accident. This is also an optional coverage and it does not cost too much (around $10-$15). Getting personal accident insurance is recommended, even though medical treatments are cheaper in Malta than in the US, but in fairness so is every other place in the world. 

Get roadside assistance

When you are traveling in a foreign country in a car, it goes without saying that you need to have roadside assistance. Since most of your time will be spent driving around in a rental car with a higher chance of breaking down or malfunctioning, roadside assistance will be a blessing if you are stuck in the middle of the road with no idea about the local garage. 

Roadside assistance covers tire replacement, towing services, gas refilling, car jump start, etc. Different insurance companies have different services under roadside assistance, so it is better to ask the insurance company what is included in RSA. But do not skip roadside assistance at all. 

Compare prices

Just because you are in a foreign country does not mean that you’ll get rental car insurance that the rental company suggests or sells. Getting rental car insurance directly from the rental company might be quicker and easier, but the coverage they offer is not worth it. These policies are expensive and are lacking in so many places. 

The best way to get great car insurance at affordable rates is by comparing different insurance policies and getting it yourself. For example, many rental car companies will sell you policies that do not include loss damage waiver, roadside assistance, and much more. Some collision damage waivers sold by these companies do not cover towing charges, administrative charges, windscreen damage, and others.

But if you search the internet and look for other car insurance companies, you can get a rental car insurance policy that includes third-party coverage, CDW, and LDW along with coverage for towing charges, administrative costs, etc. It also includes roadside assistance, and surprisingly, no deductibles as well! These policies are cheaper and much better than what the rental car company will sell. 

Driving licence

Driving in Malta with your US driving licence is perfectly fine and legal, but only if you drive in Malta for less than 12 months. After that, you’ll have to get a Maltese licence. But since you are just visiting, you’d be perfectly fine. Just do not fall for any scams that might ask you to exchange your driving licence for some international driving permit or such.

Take photos

Before you get in your rental car, you must take pictures of the car properly before you start driving. As soon as you get the rental car, take pictures of it from every angle, notice any dents or scratches or any damage to the car and take a picture, preferably in front of the rental car agent. After you are done using the car, again take pictures before you hand the keys back to the company. 

There are many insurance scams where rental car companies might try to blame old dents and damages to foreigners and use their insurance policy to pay for the repairs. You must be extra careful when it comes to rental cars, and taking pictures is the perfect way to prevent any scam.

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