Essential Malta: Importing a Car

There are a lot of steps to climb if you want to import a car into Malta!

There are a lot of steps to climb if you want to import a car into Malta!

This is probably one of the most difficult topics we’ve covered. We can only guide you, provide some personal insights and give you a feeling for what’s involved. We’ll be building on this article, adding to the body of links here. Your insights will be invaluable too.

[UPDATE 21/01/16:] As an addition to the info below, we’re adding this link to a Transport Malta blog post dealing with the importation of used cars and permits. This may override some info below.

Basic background
If you are foreign and importing a car into Malta to drive it here beyond the six months deemed permissible as a ‘tourist’ stay, then you will have to pay a vehicle registration tax (though may be eligible for an exemption). If you have a Maltese ID card, you will not be able to drive the car beyond the ferry and home, if that, without having it licensed here. With Maltese ID, you cannot claim to be a tourist visiting.

Vehicle Registration Tax
Malta has among the highest registration taxes for most types of vehicles. Some concessions were made in the 2008 budget, effective from 1 January 2009, that reduced the tax on some small- and medium-sized vehicles but increased them for larger ones. The new system was introduced to encourage us to purchase/import more environmentally-friendly cars so the calculations involve the registered value (RV), car length, carbon dioxide emission volumes and particulate matter volumes (diesel only). Also, under the new system comes a useful exemption – private individuals relocating to Malta will be able to bring in a car they’ve owned for two or more years without having to pay vehicle registration tax here. This exemption is limited to one vehicle per person relocating.

Of key interest to those bringing a car into Malta is the Registration Value (RV). The old system depended on a valuation carried out by the Malta Transport Authority and was a somewhat haphazard affair I’ve heard. But now, to quote the official document: “As of 1st January 2009, the valuation system [is] replaced with a new system which will take into account the depreciation rate (and residual value) of a similar vehicle in Malta, and [is] available online. The system [allows] the user to calculate the tax that would be due if the vehicle were to be registered.”

Vehicle registation tax rates have long been a contentious issue, among both local Maltese and incoming residents – the latter often left facing a nasty tax shock when their six months’ temporary vehicle permit (tourist stay period on the vehicle) is up! It can still be the case, when the RV calculations are done, that you face car registration taxes that are higher than the real value of the car. But, since used car prices hold up in Malta (see photo above for how we keep our cars going!), you might end up selling it here and not losing out too much in the long run, depending on vehicle type and its demand.

If you do end up driving a car with foreign plates for several months here, but within your six-month, temporary permit period (which you should get earlier rather than later in your stay!), you might be pulled over by ADT (Malta Transport Authority) officials doing road-side, spot checks. They can be officious.

These are quite long and complicated and we’ve some links to help get you through them.
Malta Transport site Registration, Tax & Documentation page gives you a blow by blow list of the procedures and what paperwork you’ll need.
The Malta Chamber for SMEs – the GRTU – has an unofficial guide that makes for an interesting read, and mirrors the official one step by step.
British Expat Forum – Malta has lots of Q&A threads that are worth spending an hour drilling through.

Official Links:
The Malta Transport site has downloadable forms and details of the various, possibly useful, tax exemptions such as for overseas’ students or people taking up fixed-term, contract work in Malta who wish to bring their own car in with them for their stay. This is a quick, online calculator of the RV you can expect to pay.

Expat Insights
If expats have friends already here, they know the ropes and often opt to hire or buy in situ in Malta. Average hire car rates, for a family car (Ford Focus) on long-term hire, can be around €10/day.

Here’s one car import tale:
“Bringing the car in was fairly easy as you are given a 6 month visitor’s permit. However, the hassle started once this permit ran out. We were being asked to pay massive duty on the car (I think it was about 60% of the total car value) to get Maltese registration or send it back to the UK. Finally, after many meetings and heated discussions my husband ended up meeting both the finance and transport ministers (eds. note: Malta is small, and if your business has clout or you have connections, it’s possible!….) to get them to agree on an exemption for cars of incoming foreign staff at our firm. This meant we only had to pay a comparatively small fee to get it registered. The ADT seem to have clamped down significantly on foreign cars. Our main issues were: (1) duties and (2) the whole minefield of a procedure for getting the car registered.

Would I do it again? Maybe if laws on duty were relaxed – but at the time? No! It was major hassle and meant we couldn’t drive the car for months on end once the permit had expired. One guy I know in the same firm had his car seized and was told: either pay the duty or put the car on the next ferry out of Malta.

Another person’s experience…
We now have some kind of deal on vehicle registration tax because we have had the car more than 2 yrs and therefore fulfilled another criteria. We paid around €300 to get it registered with ADT, BUT they have our UK plates and logbook – which basically means we can’t sell the car here. Unless of course we pay the import duty, which seems to be assessed also, unofficial word has it, on the state of your car; if it looks a bit bashed up, you are more likely to get a lower rate!”

Photo: Gethin Thomas

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155 Comments about “Essential Malta: Importing a Car”

  1. When my wife and I arrived here in Malta to start our new life we brought with us our 1 year old Rav4. I knew that registration costs would be involved, what took us by surprise was the cost of said registration. Let me explain – cost of vehicle as bought in the UK £22000.00, UK value of Rav4 at 1 year old £16000.00 (ouch). An interesting point to note is that to by the same vehicle from a Maltese main agent at 1 year old would have cost an astonishing €42000.00
    Cost of registration in Malta €12400.00 plus admin cost and cost of Maltese plates.
    I drove the car back to the UK and part exchanged it for a 6 month old Toyota Prius cost of registration €3200.00 this is a vast improvement on the Rav4 but still represents a rip off.

    Now the Prius for those that don’t know is a Petrol electric hybrid and so is subject to a discount over a car of the same type that was petrol or diesel only. After standing in a line at the ADT for 4 hours to submit my paperwork I got to the counter and was told a discount had to applied and this had to be applied by a manager, unfortunatly the manager is on holiday this week and he is the only person in Malta that can carry out this complicated procedure, would I mind returning next week when he will have returned from his vacation. Well I had to laugh, lets face it nobody likes to see a grown man cry.

    Enough ranting from me, you can make big savings by bringing a vehicle in from the UK, just be prepared for the hassle.

  2. Hi, Can anyone help me My wife is going back to malta to stay permanently and she has a car to take back and we have no idea on how to go about it. Do we have to pay registration tax. She own the car 4 years now. If she decided to sell the car in a few year time does she need to pay Reg Tax/ import duty. Her car is Audi A4 1999 2.4SE. Anyone can help me please email me on thanks

  3. No easy answers to this one, but do see our post on the issue of importing a car. It has a lot of info, plus links to various official bodies and other online ‘unofficial’ help! Let us know too if you come across something of use we can add to our site…

  4. Hi, I am Maltese and tried to live in UK but i did not have work so i decided to go back home.
    I bought a Peugeot 407 coupe multimedia sport 163, Fap 20cc In UK and its an 09 Reg Oct.
    Just in May 2010 i had taken An ADT online vehicle valuation
    and came up to euro 6055.00 Reg Tax. all a sudden i went to get a copy of this on the first of Jun 1st 2010 and found
    it went up to euro 6500.00, i call ADT to check, and they said the value change each month,
    I taught we had by time to get lower in car registration as we
    are the only place in EU with expensive rates on car Reg, insurance and car windscreen road Tax are even higher then in UK.
    I pay with TESCO £450 for a car under £40000-00 in value got a quote in Malta it came up euro 815.00 and that’s only on 30000.00 euro value.

    Funny is i cant believe it my self as we join EU but things are not right like other EU countries.
    another thing is if all car registration go dawn it will go dawn even on new cars so the car manufacture has no worries of loosing
    few grand on the old stock, they made millions anyway and they can always get help from government or EU for the loss, beside all the same cars like mine
    with same engine and co 2 even higher they pay much less even older ones, so some brands get away cheaper while well-known brands are
    getting unfair rate of Tax.
    seems in Malta all things are special and more expensive then UK, the funny thing is in Malta one can earn min of 200 euro BEFORE TAX a week in wages and in UK one can earn £500 a week after TAX just for a driver job
    WELL i was a voter for EU and for this present government but for me i find that we where not given the promises that where suppose to be done.
    i am so angry that my decision is no more vote will be given by me that’s for sure.
    Msg to the Government is your doing great things for the country as projects, but not enough for the people to enjoy life and live liberty to choose
    There right of how they spend there money with out getting robed with tax vat and so on.

    Noel Borg

  5. hi can anyone help ?
    i’ve read all you’ve got on this site and yet i’m still confused.
    if i import a car i have to pay registration tax this i understand, but do i also then have to pay registration value and also for registration plates

  6. Rob,
    It is confusing, but since we posted this, things have changed so I need to do an update on the car article. I know a lot of people here in Malta are ‘ordering’ ace second hand cars from the UK and getting them imported at very fair rates. So the situation is definitely different. I will make sure this is on my first ‘to do’ list in the new year! I’ll alert you when we’ve got things clearer. But certainly it’s not the stinger it used to be.

  7. Is there a written procedure that details what is required to import a car from the UK to Malta. If so can any one let me know where to find it ?

  8. Simon, we’re doing another piece this week on importation of cars – mainly the trade in secondhand ones (2yrs old) from the UK. Once I’ve the details together, I’ll let you know.

  9. Im currently in the process of taking my car over to Malta, and was relieved to find out that with the ‘Transfer of Residence’ form, I will be able to avoid paying the registration tax…. HOWEVER, it costs 300 euros for this application! And then in a few years, if I decide to sell the car to get something else, or even SCRAP the car, I will then have to pay the registration tax which would have been paid when it came to Malta!! So they will get their money either way, PLUS 300 euros….. WHAT A JOKE.

  10. Hi there,

    You have a very informative article but i am a bit confused. I plan on relocating to Malta soon. I am from Ireland and i wish to bring my car with me. I have my car less than two years so i expect to pay the full tax. I was wondering if this registration tax (which is very high) has to be paid annually or is there a different annual tax? I’m beginning to think that it would be cheaper for me to sell my car and buy one in UK and import it from there. I’ve looked for cars for sale in Malta too but no luck. I would be grateful if you could point me in the right direction as I am completely lost and don’t know what to do.

    Thank you,

  11. Kevin,
    You will have to pay the RV tax on your car when importing it. That’s a one-off thing and you’ve correctly worked out that is has to be paid. You get 6 months as a tourist, but if you are opting for residency, pay it earlier rather than later (as our article suggests) to save you the hassle of being stopped by traffic police re. your Irish plates. When you have your car registered in Malta, you are then subject to the annual road vehicle licence tax, which may first require a VRT (same as MOT) test to pass the car as road worthy. The frequency of the VRT depends on the age of your car. I just paid my annual road tax – Euro 180.00 – to the ADT office. My insurer here does it all from their office; the VRT garage has an online system to show my car passed, all connected to the ADT and which my insurer accesses. My VRT test was due and it cost me Euro20.00. Does this help?

  12. […] Essential Malta: Importing a Car […]

  13. Hi i am Maltese and interested in buying a 2001 car which was imported to Malta from UK. Engine is 15 petrol. the owner has showed me papers that the car has passed vrt and he paid nearly 350 Euro for road licence. Why is the licence so high? is it a fixed sum or it will eventually go up??

    I have tried to look on Transport Malta website but did not find the info i require. Your help is appreciated

  14. Hi, To import a car from UK.
    If your a UK resident and have owned a car over 2 years you will not pay registration Tax but you would have to pay for Insurance, the Maltese number plates and logbook and road tax= (windscreen license).

    People that live in Malta to import a car from UK will have to pay registration Tax.
    As said from ADT:If this vehicle has not been registered for more than 6 months after the date of first entry into service and/or has not traveled for more than 6,000 km an additional 18% VAT on the Invoice value shall be paid.

    Example: I imported a car 6 months old few days over and 11000 miles, as i came of the ferry in Malta right away i drove it straight in to the garage as your not allowed to use it on the road until you pay your registration tax have it insured and road taxed.
    If your Maltese and just visiting you must apply for longer permission of stay.

    THINGS TO DO: First i went to do insurance agent. then called ADT for an appointment,
    then they give you a day and inspect your mileage and take a look at the car, after they give you the paper with how much you have to pay registration Tax, in my case came to 4300 euro,then in an near by office you go to pay in cash its best to check if cheques or visa are excepted, then you give your UK Plates and Logbook and they give you the Maltese plates and logbook plus you pay your maltese road tax, your insurance agent will ask you for a first letter of your plate as they cant do insurance with out knowing the first letter this is for the starting month of year, then you can go back to the insurance agent to verify your real full number plate chosen by you. in my case i chose a letter P but if you wont personalized plates then best to check with ADT for availability so you could tel your Insurance agent.

    to get a Used Motor Vehicle Valuation link:

    i hope this helps.


    PS: don’t be 100% of the vehicle valuation as it mite come less when done on site by ADT did for mine.

  15. OPSSS forgot!!! i had to do a vrt test even if the car is under a year.
    so i did it early before i went for my ADT appointment on same day.
    its for 2 years.

    sorry about that.


  16. Kevin

    Registration Tax is only paid onece.

    you will only have to pay for road tax, Insuiance every year,
    and MOT VRT depends how old the car,
    and in my case i was given 2 years VRT on a 6 month old car.

    AS for number plates These plates may be also personalized in 2 ways:

    Either in the XXX999 format (€122)

    Or any combination from 1-8 characters. In this case, one would place a bid for the requested combination against a deposit of €1,165. If after 30 days no one challenges the bid, the plates can be claimed.

    for a number normal number plate there should be a small fee.

    All privately owned vehicles are allocated randomly chosen marks, except that the first letter shows in which month the vehicle’s annual tax disc is due for renewal.

    January’s letters are A, M, and Y
    February’s are B, N, and Z
    March’s are C and O
    April’s are D and P
    May’s are E and Q
    June’s are F and R
    July’s are G and S
    August’s are H and T
    September’s are I and U
    October’s are J and V
    November’s are K and W
    December’s are L and X.

    Effective as of 1st January 2009

  18. @Noel, thanks for all your helpful comments to this thread. You’ve expanded our info with real life advice, much appreciated. Thanks for taking the time.

  19. @Elizabeth Ayling,

    your welcome, coffee is on you then:).

  20. Certainly is Noel!

  21. I would like to share info and links that mite come in handy.

    Travailing from UK crossings and ferries rails ext:

    IMPORTANT: before planing you must inform your Car insurance agent in UK to caver
    EU and .European Breakdown Cover, and to get a green card from insurance agent.
    Make sure you have all documents receipt of the car,and passports.
    you mite need a certificate of conformity from your dealer.
    You must inform DVLA BY sending the part of your UK Registration Certificate to exportation,i think it was the brown part at the back.
    IF you recently had your license renewed you can claim back the money by getting an Application for a refund of vehicle tax V14 by post.


    Things you must have in car:2 Reflective Jackets,Headlamp beam converter,Warning Triangle,First Aid Kit, Fire extinguisher.

    As for money, best to have at least for one person and car around 600 euro cash
    make sure you have coins for tools.this is only to caver fuel and tolls
    and snacks from service station, if you plan longer stops or eating out prepare much more,its better not using the visa in EU as you mite get riped off, as herd from others, so try to avoid as possible.
    Fuel up on full tank nearest to your departure from UK you probably need to fill in again in Italy, hide your money if possible divide in 4 places,do your breaks in safe places.

    Calais to Livorno/Genova by car to take ferry to Malta
    If no ferry to Malta from Genova then on each Saturday one can find ferry to Malta from Calata Tripoli Livorno Italy Dep 10 pm.

    You Can book with Grandi Navi Veloci direct,or if from UK one can book from and from Genova with

    Or if you like to have an easy relaxed trip you can use the Motorail but it runs from June i think from s’Hertogenbosch to Livorno, Motorail runs on Fridays, loads cars 10:30-12:30, departs s’Hertogenbosch 14:16, arrives Livorno 10:05..,it will save you driving all the way to Livorno.
    They had to do a Motorail from Calais, I’m not sure if they started to operate as yet.
    This saves you wear and tear on your car ,fuel and tolls beside hassle free from driving, OR possible border checks.
    best way to cross from UK for this is to take ferry from Harwich hook of Holland.

    Info that mite help on Toll charges:

    Departure:by car 62100 Calais
    Destination: Livorno
    Time: 12h42 including 11h47 on motorways
    Distance: 852mi including 822mi on motorways
    Toll costs:144.30 EUR Total costs 312.72 EUR,

  22. PART2

    My case was about 500 Eur for fuel and tolls via Mount blanch tunnel,
    15 hrs of driving with few breaks of 40 min, arrived 5 hrs early from boarding the ferry.
    i drove mostly at night time, no traffic nice and easy trip,
    this estimate is for a diesel car 20cc.

    Ways of crossing from UK:

    Seafrance – Dover to Calais – Crossing take approximately 70 minutes, up to 30 crossings a day

    P&O Ferries – Dover to Calais – Crossing take approximately 90 minutes, up to 25 crossings a day.

    NorfolkLine – Dover – Dunkerque – Sails every 2 hours from midnight, crossings take 2 hours.

    P&O Ferries – Hull to Rotterdam or Zeebrugge – Overnight ferries both ways and very convenient for ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Leaves Hull at either 1900 or 2100 arriving at approximately 8am and returning 1900 or 2100 arriving at approximately 8am again.

    Stena Line – Harwich to Hook of Holland – You will need the overnight ferry going out at 23:45 and return daytime at 14.30. The journey time in both directions takes 6 hrs 15 min.

    Channel Tunnel Folkstone:The crossing takes just 35 minutes from platform to platform, although this can sometimes increase to 45 minutes at night.

    make sure your bookings and timing are correct as if you miss the ferry you will have to wait till next Sat
    so plan ahead.If you book few weeks early you save on UK crossing fees.

  23. PART3

    Best UK Booking site

    http://www DOT

    http://www DOT

    http://www DOT

    Motorail: http://www DOT

    http://www DOT

    http://www DOT

    Grandi Navi Veloci http://www3 DOT

    http://www DOT

    Driving in Europe

    General advice for motoring in Europe: http://www DOT

    Applying for a refund of vehicle tax http://www DOT

    hope this helps.

    DOT =.


  24. I had no problem using the TomTom satnav was perfect.
    Sorry about the links, i could not post so i replaced
    Dot for. says awaiting moderation. not sure if it’s allowed anyway
    so I’m sorry if they wont be listed.

  25. FERRY from Livorno via Palermo stop over 6 hrs, takes 30 hrs in all to
    arrive to Malta, nice ferry nice food, excellent.
    price for one person and car with 4 beds cabin shearing from
    135 Eur to 150 Eur food not included, food is a bit pricey
    but i learn a trick you give gift like key chains or souvenir to the cash
    person you get great discount. lol honestly.


  26. European Direct

    pdf link:

  27. […] Essential Malta: Importing a Car […]

  28. Hi
    I have accepted a job offer with a Maltese company and am moving to Malta later in June. I want to bring my 5 year old Yaris (its done 100,000 miles) with me and was wondering whether I could keep it on UK plates for 6 months before I take the plunge to register it locally. This is because I will be on ‘probation’ for the first 6 months in my new job and if things don’t work out, I will need to return to the UK. Is it likely that I will be stopped by the traffic police often? Also I would like to know whether the tax is likely to be less after the car has been in Malta for 6 months?
    Many thanks for your help and apologies if the answer to my questions is already in the thread!
    Best wishes

  29. Michael,
    I am going to scan the comments thread for you to try and pick out anything that can help. I need a day! I think the answers to most of your queries lie buried there! I’ll make sure I use the opportunity to update the original article with the choice bits we’re missing. Thanks for asking, and prompting us to reflect on the valuable info people have contributed here.

  30. Having just gone through the nightmare of registering and paying the import tax on my car, my family have now decided that they want to move back to UK. How long do I have to wait before I can sell my car in Malta, I was told 6 months but have recently been told it coul;d be 2 years? My car is 7 yhears oil, but we owned it less than 2 years when we moved here[Malta]]

  31. My cousin in Malta wants me to be a car for her here in England and drive it down to Malta and fly home. We’ve been on a Maltese government website to calculate taxes. I’ll be buying the car a month or so before taking it down. I’ve been put off by others saying it’s not possible as I haven’t owned the car for a period of time and can be made to leave Malta with the car and not give it my cousin. Anyone have any information on this? Is there any benefit to putting it in her name here in England and I’ll get temporary insurance to get me there? I’ll try the DVLA again Monday but yesterday couldn’t even speak to anyone as every option ended in a recorded message.

  32. o’cmon stop moaning,

  33. How can I go about selling used cars into Malta ????

  34. @Ian, I won’t know the finer points of this but as a starter this article we have may help guide you.

    Basically, it’s about a firm that is doing just that – getting secondhand cars to order for folks here in Malta. I would also suggest you contact Transport Malta which is the government entity overseeing all such legalities and regulations etc. Here’s the link:

  35. You can find help for importing a car from uk to malta on they do a lot of the work for you when you want to bring a car over


  36. Thanks for the info review the car!

  37. Hi, I have now been resident in Malta since April, I am staying with my future in-laws (expat) my partner is moving over at the end of the year. We are intending to drive our car (9 months old) here next month with a lot of our belongings. I intend to use the car to travel to work I have an ID card my partner does not what is the best way to proceed? THanks Nick

  38. Nick,
    There’s a lot of information in the comments above yours below the post. These issues never seem clear cut despite the official info. I would suggest you contact Transport Malta, which seems to be the govt entity regulating all things roads and on them. I would suggest you go over the comments with a tooth comb as it depends really on how old your car is. You may end up paying so much road tax, despite the law changes, that it won’t make that road trip worth it even if you are schlepping a lot of goods down in the car with you (think security there too, as I would expect you’ll be leaving personal effects in the car when you overnight en route down. TM should be your first port of call. It all seems such a grey area still.

  39. Dear Sirs,
    I kindly ask for a person to contact. I am importing a car from USA and would like to know what thw the Valuation Tax applicable. I have been given different numbers at Transport Malta but now they refereed me to Customs since it is coming from USA.
    Please I need you assistance.
    My number is 99470568 or give mw a contact person/number.
    Really appriciated.

  40. Lino,
    I don’t have a number for customs, but am sure you can find something on – try here:
    I would think Transport Malta know best on this! But do appreciate that you might have a run around from person to person and office to office. If it’s a car from a 3rd country (Non EU) then it might well be customs. Good luck, and if you do find a useful contact / number do post it here for others to use. Sorry I can’t be of more help. Try our Facebook wall too, in case someone can help there.

  41. Hi there,
    I am moving to Malta in 3 weeks and want to take my car with me. I have owned it for 20 months, it is a Peugeot 107.
    I am trying to find out what duties or taxes I will have to pay to use the car in Malta.
    I keep getting different answers everywhere I turn.
    Many thanks Lou

  42. Lou,
    I know, it isn’t easy. I’ll drill down the various comments people have kindly left on this post and see if I can point you to the parts that seem to make sense. Failing that, there’s always a call (or email – if they reply) to Malta Transport – .

    I don’t know if you’ve come across these links in particular, but this one deals with ‘How to Register a Used Vehicle brought into Malta from an EU State’ and it has links to the tax evaluation table:

    In some circumstances, vehicle registration tax is waived:

    This last link deals with tax relief in some cases for people moving to Malta permanently, though it does say the car has to have been in possession for 24 months – drill down it, and you may decide to keep the car out of Malta four months more!

  43. Hi everyone,

    I would like to ship a car from UK to Malta, but I do not know which is the best route. I would like to choose the fastest route, but if this is rather expensive I would prefer the slower cheaper one.

    Can anyone advise what ferries i need to board and tunnels to take from UK to Malta?



  44. Matthew, I have no ready answer to this one. Try posting your query on our facebook wall and someone might be able to help. I’ll see what I can dig out as well. Thanks!

  45. We offer an online booking service, and in fact transport a lot of cars from Italy to Malta. I once drove from the UK to Italy, and boarded our ferry from Livorno, disembarking in Valletta. Now the sailing has changed by leaving from Genoa instead of Livorno , but Genoa is only 90 minutes away from Livorno. You can get a quotation online at, or email us at…thank you !

  46. Seems to me it would be less hassle to sell car in uk, hire one in Malta and then buy in Malta when settled.

  47. @David, I couldn’t agree more! I had no choice when I moved to Malta in ’94 other than to sell up and buy here. The Vehicle licensing tax was astronomical back then as was buying here I have to say. Ideally, use the second hand import garages running a pretty tight ship getting you what you want here at reasonable prices – and most are specifically sourced to clients’ reqs, from the UK. Seems to work and they’ve sussed it all out.

  48. Hi,

    does anyone know someone in the uk who can do a quick inspection of a car before I go there next week? I am on a tight schedule and would like to reassure myself that the car I am buying is in good condition. my e-mail is


  49. Matthew, do post this up on our Facebook wall as well if you like as it might get more traction there given your deadline.

  50. ok have just brought a car in the uk and have questions the car is a 1.6 vauxhall safira estate model reg 2006
    Q1 we have been quoted 900 euros to ship basic papers good/bad
    Q2 once land as have w/perm I understand we have a week can this be done before arrive to save time/money?
    Q3 insurance can this also be done before arr so can drive
    Q4 the cost of everything here
    Q5 have worked out a route for trav est 800 mls approx 300 eu one way excluding ferries from genoa any advice ?

  51. John,
    I’ve replied by email to you, but I think this link answers some Qs and would be helpful to others; it’s a list of Malta Transport’s administrative fees which seem to have gone up in June 2011.

  52. Hi there, this website is a great resource thanks for your time setting it up. My questions is i am moving over permanently in Janurary and I want to bring my Vespa motorcycle. What taxes will I need to pay? Will it be treated as a car?


  53. Kieran,
    Thanks for your kind comments. Yes, we do try to give a service so to speak, and we’re glad you found it helpful. It’s a site run on a voluntary basis really right now, so every word of encouragement keeps us going!

    Re your Vespa query, well, I couldn’t find specific mention of mopeds, but certainly people moving from abroad are eligible for exemptions from vehicle registration tax (cars) so I would think the same applies to mopeds an motorbikes. Here’s the car link at Transport Malta. I suggest you contact them to check what applies in your case.

    Do post up any info you find on this thread that might help others. This is in fact our most read post! So all things cars and moving to Malta are on a lot of people’s radars. Personally, I just dream of a day when Malta’s roads are less hassly and crowded! But we can’t have it all can we?!

  54. if you exceed the 6 months vistor permit for a uk plated car can you go to sicily for a couple of days and re enter and start the 6 moinths again using the sicilian enter ticket?

  55. Helen, thanks for this info; yes,the six-monthly exit trips are even something we considered when we moved here 18 years ago, and when vehicle license tax was even higher! But, in reality, if you’re living here, the bother of paying the ferry over and staying a bit, works out expensive, unless you really want a holiday in Sicily anyway.

  56. hi i am a private car dealer in the uk, and would like more details on how to import cars to malta from the uk to used car dealers for their supply demand.can u help me with dealres that buy cars nd what customs and costs are involved basically can i mae money from doing this?

  57. Hi, My family are relocating to uk in July. We need to drive overland because we have to dogs to take with us. I wanted to know if it is possible to buy are car in uk and have it shipped to Malta and then within a week or so we would then drive it back to UK. Apart from the shipping costs what else would we have to pay and what sort of documentation would we need. Any help would be appreciated.

  58. Angelica,

    It seems to me as if your car would be in the country just a week max, in which case it would seem to fit a tourist visit! I don’t know if you are Maltese nationals, but that may have a bearing on things as I think if you have a Maltese ID card, the car wouldn’t be considered a tourist car even if it’s only on a very temporary visit. I think you will have to ask this Q of Malta Transport to get a clear answer. Isn’t there any way you can just take a car from Malta up to the UK? I guess you need something bigger to get stuff back with you overland, including those dogs! Here’s the Malta Transport link, so try contacting them.

  59. Very useful this website, still I didn’t find an answer for my situation: on 14-th of March, I will arrive to Malta, to work for an international institution. My contract is for 3 year. If i bring my car, I will have to pay any fees? My car is registered in an EU country, and I own it legally.

  60. Hi “Motorist’,
    I think in the long comment thread there is an answer, of sorts. As far I can glean, you will have to pay vehicle licensing fees – road tax. You are importing your own car, but importing none the less. The amount will depend on various factors – engine size, age, make, etc and also on whether you have owned the car, yourself, for 2 years or more. The latter point is important to note. In other words, if you’ve just bought it to bring down (import with yourself) then the tax is different. There are exemptions for some foreign workers on contracts so you might find yourself in this bracket. It’s worth checking. Also, some people have lobbied via their place of work here to seek exemptions so check with your employer here on this. Here are the relevant links you’ll need to drill down the info on Malta Transport, the official agency charged with administering road tax and vehicle licensing etc.

    Exemptions for some foreign workers on contract etc. –
    Registration procedure (and link to charge calculator) for import of ‘used’ vehicles
    The calculator for regstration tax is in fact in the article above, as are other useful links. It does take a bit of reading through, but the info is there. Do contact Malta Transport to ask specific queries though.

  61. Hi everyone. Last December I purchased a car from the UK and drove it to Malta. I know that it is quite a challenge to get the right information so if anyone would like some info just e-mail me and I will be glad to help.

    (I also have a post on this page, I had asked for some info before I headed to the UK and now that I managed I thought It would be nice to help those thinking of importing a car)


  62. Matthew,
    This is really kind of you, and much appreciated. It seems that whatever the official info on the TM site, there is still so much that’s vague about the whole import a car process! I am sure you personal insights will help clarify anyone’s specific queries. Great that you’re happy to be contacted by mail on this. Hope you aren’t inundated though as this is one of our most popular post threads!

  63. Hey i was wondering if somebody could help me if i go to Malta by car and than i do not want to pay the registration tax and all those other things can i just put my car into a scrapyard or something????

    thank you Peter

  64. hi there Elizabeth could you or any of your many readers please help me as i have been trying page after page to get some information but so far have just come up against a brick wall each time. well my question is can anyone tell me is there any ferries sailing from Northern Italy such as Genova or Livrono as my husband & i returned from Malta last year in a ferry run by GNV but unfortunately they are not doing this trip this year, and as my husband & i like to bring the car with us as we stay in Malta for quiet a few weeks & its so much easier with no luggage restrictions, we normally travel by road but as my husband is now into his seventies its becoming rather a long & tedious journey as we start our trip from the western coastline of Ireland, which means traveling right across Ireland then on a ferry to Wales drive on to the south coast of England on to another ferry to France then drive on to Switzerland on to Italy right down to Reggio Calabria on to yet another ferry across to Messina in Scicily & then drive on to Pozzallo & finally on to yet another ferry & then at last we arrive in Malta,after one week driving almost 2,500 miles we are glad to see Malta but then sadly we have to do it all again in reverse to travel home so if there is any shipping line travelling to Malta i would be more than grateful to hear about it.
    regards. Olive

  65. @Olive,
    Yes, I can see your problem with that huge drive! I couldn’t find the N Italy – Malta ferry either when I googled it, but perhaps you could at least take a ferry from Genoa or Livorno to Sicily (Palermo). Scan down the ferry lists in this link: It appears to have a regular timetable all summer. Hope this helps!

  66. @Peter,
    I am sure the authorities will have sussed out that loophole. I think once you drive the car off the ferry, the paperwork starts rolling! Not sure you can do the scrap thing. I doubt Malta would be happy to have a car arrive just to be scrapped (adding to environmental waste). Try the scrap dealers – there’s one I know of called Hompesch Steel Co – TRIQ ID-DEJMA in FGURA. phone (+356) 2169-2113. See what they say. They have a huge pile of scrap vehicles in their forecourt. They might be able to help.

  67. I’m moving to Malta for 18 months contract work for and I plan to stay permanently. I would lijke to take my one year old Peugeot RCZ. Can I use my car for one year my being the cars in and out of Malta for two periods of 6 months, then subsequently apply for Transfer of Residence to avoid the transfer tax?

  68. @Eddie
    I can see how you might think this idea would work but I have a feeling that you won’t be able to avoid the tax on it. Reason being is that the car will be deemed on a ‘tourist’ stay for those two 6 month periods (a trip to Sicily I guess and back?!). But once you lodge a permanent residents application then the car, in your name and with paperwork re the tourist stay, will be in the system and the authorities will know about it. I really don’t think you’d avoid it. I might be wrong. Anyone else have info on this?

  69. Can any one suggest a good place in the UK were to find good commercial vehicles and cars.
    Also would like to know what procedures are required to get these vehicles to Malta, to avoid a lot of hassles one can get here !!

  70. Can someone point me in the direction where I can find out how much the registration tax maybe for our type of vehicle or is this a changeable amount?? We are thinking of moving to malta and as we have only just purchased the car we would like to bring it with us but at the moment it is looking better to sell the car here and use the money to buy a new one in malta? Any help that is provided will be gratefully received. Cheers Emma

  71. Emma, registration tax calculator link is in the article and also in the thread of comments. Go to Transport Malta site and you’ll find it under land transport easy enough. I think it’s pretty accurate but if in doubt, try contacting them to find out.

  72. Hi everyone. My name is Toni and i’m a student at the university. In July i’m planning to bring car from Bulgaria(EU) with bulgarian registration. As a student i guess i’m not obligated to take the car out of Malta every six months.Anyway, If i’ll decide to register the car here,in Malta and to put maltese plates does someone know how much it will cost? Thank you!

  73. Dont know if anyone can help, we are going to live in Malta very soon, I am going to take my 2year old Boom trike with us. In the UK it is classed as a car and driven on a car licence (same as a Reliant Robin) do you think there would be a problem importing it. Made in Germany cost £25000 new
    Many thanks

  74. @David,
    I don’t think I can answer something as specific as that. I suggest you contact Transport Malta or hunt around their site. Good luck!

  75. Hi, we are romanian- maltese private law office specialised in CAR REGISTRATION TAX REEFUND for any imported car from other E.U. member state and registered in Malta. You can find us in Santa Venera, Imelda flats no.1, phone number 79613838

  76. would like to keep my alfa romeo 156 in malta whom can i speak to thank you

  77. Hello all,
    I am an EU foreign student undertaking my studies at the University of Malta. I have recently bought a car from the UK which I am planning to ship to Malta (not drive it down as I don’t live in the UK). I was informed but the transport authority that I am eligible to apply for exemption of the registration tax fee. Could anyone help me with the procedure of applying for registration? Do I have to book an appointment with the offices in floriana? Is there any chance they will deny to give me the exemption in the end?
    Also, I have paid for the shipping company to deliver my car to Malta but will I have to pay anything extra in order to receive my car from the port? Something like an administrative fee?
    The car is under my name and I agreed with a maltese insurance company to insure it temporarily with the foreign plates until it gets registered.
    Any help would be much much appreciated as I feel lost at the moment, particularly with the registration process.

    Thanks a million!

  78. p.s it is important to note that I do not hold a maltese ID card so I am considered as being in malta for the sole purpose of studying that is why I am entitled to the exemption.

  79. I own a 2.5 diesel Jeep which I use as a works vehicle. I am an electrician and am considering to move permenanlty relocating to Malta and starting my own business. Is is possible to register and license my vehicle prior to importing?

  80. Hi

    Is it possible to keep the initial license plate from an EU country after the 6 months tourist visa period? I intent to move for 1 year or 2, depending on my job. Having a left handed car, makes no sense to register and try to sell it in Malta, or register and re-register again when moving out for good.

    Thanks for the help.


  81. ‘Tax Exemption’ vehicle import into Malta – a 2012 case history.

    July 09. (Day 1) I dropped off my application and three files covering all the evidence required for the ‘Exemption’ process to Transport Malta. The correct office is ‘Hall B’ in Hornswork Ditch (Maltese = Triq G. Galdiano), Floriana. Inside, there were queues going to the left and the right, and an ‘Information Desk’ in the middle. I went to the Information Desk. The man was helpful, took all my files, which included some original documents, and gave me the telephone number of the Ministry of Finance, whom I could contact with any queries, as they would be processing the ‘evidence’ part of the procedures. He also gave me a document which confirmed that the application had been received by them, to be kept in the car in case I was stopped.

    July 13. (Day 5) I telephoned the Ministry of Finance to ascertain when I could get back the original documents. They could not find any trace of my application. They said the documents were only passed to them from Transport Malta on a weekly basis and that I should call again on July 17.

    July 17. (Day 9) After 4 attempts, I got through to the same person I had spoken to before. She (Elaine) said they still had not received the application. She asked for my mobile number, and said she would call me when they received my application.

    July 19. (Day 11) Elaine from the Ministry of Finance did call to confirm they had now received my application – 10 days after I had handed it in to Transport Malta. Furthermore, I could come to their offices to collect my original documents on July 27, which would give them enough time to take photocopies.

    July 27. (Day 19) All my original documents were ready for me to collect at the reception of the Ministry of Finance in Maison Demandols, South Street, Valletta. All present and correct. I telephoned Elaine to thank her, and took the opportunity of asking how long she felt the process would now take to complete. With several caveats about ‘depending on the successful scrutiny of the information supplied’ etc., she said my case is expected to be heard by the committee on August 14. I should hear from them some time afterwards.

    August 06. (Day 29) I received a letter by registered post from the Ministry of Finance. This was in effect the ‘temporary permit’, valid for 3 months, permitting me to ‘’make use of the said vehicle.’’ It contained some beautiful ‘old English’ grammar long since replaced by ‘plain English’ in the UK. Highlights included ‘’without prejudice to final deliberation on your application…’’ and ‘’the coverage of the vehicle by a valid insurance policy in accordance with local legislation not inconsistent with this temporary permit.’’ Lovely stuff.

    September 13. (Day 67) Almost a month to the day since the committee meeting had decided the fate of my application, a registered letter arrived to announce the good news that my application had been approved, and that I had 20 days to complete all the further formalities for registration. I had to research these remaining formalities on the Transport Malta Website, which were 1) to get my vehicle VRT tested, 2) to get local Maltese insurance, 3) to take the vehicle for an ‘Inspection & Verification’ process by the Technical Unit of the Land Transport Directorate, 4) to remove the foreign plates and 5) to take all the documentation and plates to the very same office of Transport Malta I had first visited on July 09. (Important note: it would be incomplete of me not to mention that a vehicle coming from the UK would also need an Odometer Certificate of Authenticity, which can be issued (quite simply I understand) by Jevic UK Ltd. in Surrey without them seeing the vehicle; however I did not need this as my vehicle was French registered).

    September 17. (Day 71) Devoting several days to accomplish the remaining tasks, I drove the vehicle to a VRT Testing garage, who issued me with the appropriate ‘pass’ certificate. All was not plain sailing here, as the Maltese authorities require the Engine number in addition to the Chassis number to be entered on the VRT certificate (and ultimately on the Maltese Log Book). Had my vehicle been UK registered, this would have been shown on the UK Log Book. However my vehicle was French registered, and the French Log Book (and Italian Log Books I understand) do not show the Engine number (as engines can be changed) – and the garage could not find it marked on the engine itself! A helpful dealer told me it is very hard to find without dismantling part of the Engine mounting – however this was eventually obtained by email. This extra hassle was ‘rough justice’ for the fact that I did not need the Odometer Certificate, I suppose!

    September 18. (Day 72) I visited Atlas Insurance in Ta’ Xbiex. Not difficult to find and easy parking outside. A very helpful girl accepted my French renewal notice showing full no-claim bonus on the promise that I would get them a confirmation letter from France. Paid the premium (less than half the price I paid in France) by credit card and walked away with the required Insurance certificate and maximum no-claims receipt in my hand. Then I made an appointment with Transport Malta Technical Unit for the final inspection the next day.

    September 19. (Day 73). Found the Technical Unit in Floriana. They took a few photos of the chassis number and plates and handed me a document to present to the adjacent Licensing Unit. The French number plates were riveted in place, so I went to a car body shop just 100 metres away, who immediately unriveted them as the foreign plates have to be handed in as part of the application to the Licencing Unit. With plates in hand and accompanying documents (Car Ferry tickets, Exemption Letter, copy of Passport, VRT certificate, Insurance certificate, Applications forms VEH 01 & 02, French Log Book – ex UK vehicles would also need an Odometer Certificate), I arrived back at Hall ‘C’, where the process had begun nearly 3 months earlier. Less than an hour later, I received my Maltese plates, Maltese Log Book, paid the Vehicle Licence, and then went back to the body shop to have the new plates riveted on to the car. They did this all for the princely sum of 5 Euros! Away I drove, proudly displaying the new personalised number I had chosen!

    Whilst in the Licencing Unit, I witnessed a Swedish gentleman counting out over €20,000 in cash for the registration tax for his imported Mercedes. I left with a smirk on my face in the knowledge that, despite the mounds of paperwork and the time, I had just registered my beautiful Range Rover Vogue for zero registration tax!

    Should anybody need clarification of any of the procedures and requirements, I would be happy to share my first-hand experience.

  82. Hi there to everyone.
    I was trying to understand what is needed to aply for ‘Tax Exemption‘
    For what I read here it depends on luck, lobbying and work place.
    But, is there any legal information about ‘Tax Exemption‘
    Thank you so much for your attention.

  83. Hi Micheal
    That is a great information. i am planing to move to Malta and bringing my sports car that is more like a show car is not going to be driven that much .
    i am a dual citizen . What explanation you had to provided to ministry of finance I think I am in title the same as your application and I did understand all the documents you had to provide, is there anything else like a form with questions and if so where can i get this form . When i went to the ministry finance they explain yes you have to file to there office and the board decides .
    Micheal yes you would of paid 8 to 9 thousand euros for the road tax

  84. Hello my intension is to bring my 2 year old Fiesta driving from the UK, March next year.
    Can some tell how long would it take if i payed the duty i had all the correct documents how many days would it take to get it transfered to maltse number

  85. Colin,
    I think if you view Michael’s long episode above, you’ll find the answer. His case was for an exemption though. If you’re paying the tax, I would assume 2 weeks or so. But if you do drill down all the comments on this post, I think you’ll find someone has the correct time frames. 2-3 weeks. You can drive on UK plates for up to six months I think.

  86. Hello
    Might be a problem i own a place in Malta have dual nationality but still work in the uk not ready to retire there yet, but i want to take my car there for the future so thats why i will pay the tax. I can only have 4 days to sort this as i have already booked my flight home in April.
    Do you think there is chances if i have all the documents and the fee it can be done in 4 days.

  87. Colin,
    No idea really. I think you’ll need to contact Transport Malta. This link goes to a pdf on the site which seems to follow what Michael says above ( in his detailed report of procedures). I can’t think you can do it in 4 days judging by all this. But call TM to find out. Michael seems to have had a very amenable person on the end of the line re his queries.

  88. hi any one helpme ? I go to uk to buy a car the year of manuf is 2011 and miles 7500.I need to pay the vat on this car?and how is calculated.if some one know the fees that i need to pay tell me please thanks

  89. hi guys
    Iwas wondering if I could import a left hand drive car to malta that I have been using over 2years now. I tried using the urls that have been mentioned in the above post but nothing seems to be working for some reason could you’ll suggest any link or website where I can get the information from.

  90. One word of advice:- Do not import your family car in Malta, the maltese will rip you off blind, plus some small mined officals they just do not even know what day it is let alone give you an honest answer, verdict|:—no [editor deletion] knows. [editor deleted some of this comment]

  91. I can quite understand the frustration above, but unfortunitly the little island and its bright boys at their TM still haven’t got their act together right even now after being eu menbers for the past few years, the big boys do not only want subsidies from our taxes we pay back home for their treacherous & dangerous roads, they still have the audacity to charge the max.vat taxes and make one wait for months before some local inspector makes his mind whether he likes you or not then imply a max tax and make you wait for the offical (aol) papers and what not. my advice go to another country or buy one locally, saves alot of hasstle and your Money. i slipped up but now i seen the light and will never repeat the same mistake, we’re are off to Spain might be easier and a CLEANER COUNTRY AND ROADS UP TO EU STANDARD.

  92. Hello Harry (dirty) i brought my motor with us from the UK our 6 year old car valued in the UK at 3,600+_ pounds, when we moved to Malta i was charged nearly dble. that amount, now i ask you where is the logic in that and how can the local Transpoort Malta justy charging me an exsessive VAT registration tax of 6, 789 POUNDS i think not quite sure now as this was in 2007, its silly really, the best thing to do for anyone contemplating importing their vehicle is to buy one over here, cause going to the TM offices in Malta is a pain in the ass excuse my instead of svaing money one will be definitly our of pocket for sure.

  93. Hi Michael
    —–July 09. (Day 1) I dropped off my application and three files covering all the evidence required for the ‘Exemption’ process to Transport Malta.—–Can you please give a more detailed explanation of what “all the evidence required” involved? Thanks, Rui.

  94. @Rui, I hope Michael is monitoring the comments. I’ll contact him by mail to see if he can help directly.

  95. Hello Rui

    Actually ‘all the evidence required’ is shown on the Transport Malta website. Essentially you have to prove that you were not living in Malta for two years prior to your application and you have owned the vehicle for 2+ years.

    In my case, I provided copies of bank statements, credit card expenditure and utility bills for those two years. They were comprehensive, and I understand, needed to be.

    It can be done, particularly if your vehicle is high valued. If it is not, then perhaps you might consider paying the registration tax. In my case, I saved around €40,000 as my vehicle was a top end Range Rover.

    In my experience, I saved nearly €35,000 by working diligently to meet all their criteria, although I must have spent several weeks to accomplish this.

  96. i have a mgb 33 years old would i have to pay regitration tax

  97. Len, you’d always have to pay; it’s a question of how much! I doubt that car would feature on the online drop-down list on the tax calculator so you’d have to get a direct, personal quote from Malta Transport.

  98. […] Problem may be the attitude of the Maltese licencing authority on " post import" conversions since I doubt anything with more than 2 seats will qualify as a "commercial vehicle".…porting-a-car/ […]

  99. Hello. I’ve read through all of this, but i still have a few questions.
    The situation is that I lived in the UK for a year, and bought a 1995 bmw 328i cabrio. Its worth around 2k GBP in UK. What would the registration tax be? Actually, to get my bmw road legal with plates and everything, including all the fees, how much would it be?!
    Ive been living in malta for 3 weeks now.
    Thank you in advance.

  100. Juris,
    I can’t give you that kind of detailed info here from Malta Inside Out; you’d have to contact Transport Malta or use their online vehicle tax calculator – the link to it will be in the post and in the thread above.

    I had a feeling though, that you’d have to have owned the car for two years yourself, irrespective of the car’s age, to ensure it gets a lower evaluation. An old car may well be quite a hefty tax as the govt is trying, each recent budget, to promote newer, more emission efficient cars and not boost old car number on the road. Do check the calculator, and if you’re model/year is not on the list, you’ll have to contact TA directly. Not sure that’s a huge help. If you’re here with the car, you don’t have much time if you are not on a visitor stay, but aiming to be a resident.

  101. Thank you Elizabeth. I checked the site, and there’s what i came up with. RV – 1.8k eur, and registration tax 2k eur. Does that mean i have to pay 3.8k eur or 2k eur. And no, the car is in UK for now.
    What if i havent owned the car for two years?! Because if all i have to get the car registered is 2k eur, then thats fine by me.

  102. HI I LIKE TO KNOW,i want buy a car from uk and is audi tt 2001 year registration in uk and engime 1788cc hpw.i like to know how much have to pay tax if bring this car to malta,tks.

  103. Hi George,
    Try the online calculator from Transport Malta, though I am not sure older makes are on it. In which case, you need to contact them directly.

  104. Hi Elizabeth,
    I have been thinking of driving a car over to Malta for a couple of years now, and having read all of the stories above wonder whether it is really worth it?
    I thought of bringing over my wife’s 6 year old Citroen C3 which we have had from new, perhaps foolishly we have bought a new car to replace the old car (which should be going to Malta) but I have just realised that the car is in my wife’s name and she doesn’t fancy the drive down to Malta and would fly out sometime later.
    My question is, “what do you think would happen if I arrived in Malta, told them that I wanted to import the car and they saw it was registered to my wife but she was not with me!”.
    If I had all of the papers, ie log book, original invoice, MOT etc etc would they allow me in ?

    Thanks John

  105. John,
    I would think that the driver can be different from the owner at the port entry. Your wife would need to be in the country very soon after you arrive with it though as I believe you have a 2-3 week period max to register the car as an import – if that’s what’s intended – rather than a visitor stay (with car allowed for 6 months). I have no doubt that she would be needed to sign various docs during that process which is well documented above in another comment. That’s my reading of the lengthy and informative replies we’ve had in the thread above. Alternatively, can you change the owner name on the car registration in the UK prior to leaving? I am not able to give you watertight replies here, as it’s a very convoluted area, but I suggest you contact Malta Transport to get clarification on the owner-driver issue at this stage. The ‘is it worth it’ in the long run, re bringing the car here, will depend on the vehicle license tax and the costs involved in driving it down. I have seen expats work this out almost to the penny, and most say it’s about evens – shipping and driving down – depending on cost of overnight stays en route, time you take, ferry prices and time of year. All manner of things to think about there. There are garages here which will import a used UK car for you, of choice, to order. Though I know of Maltese who don’t want a used UK car as they know it’s been driven on salted snow! Horses for courses in all things, it seems!

  106. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly donate to this outstanding blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to brand new updates and will share this website with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

  107. this is a great thread , but I am still confused re the car import tax
    I am moving to Malta for work . going to stick the car {suzuki swift } that I have owned for 25 months in a 20 foot container with the rest of my stuff
    Do I pay vrt /import tax as I have had it for 24 months plus no tax is due ??or is it
    Do I just pay for road tax and number plates and the insurance ?
    help .
    the car cost me 9k
    thank you for any help given

  108. Susan,
    There is always tax – import tax is the getting it on the road here tax, so to speak, and that is dependent on age and model of car etc and how long you’ve owned it. Min two years required in your possession to qualify for lower rates. That’s the vehicle valuation (aka import tax) to pay to get it on the road (get it released from that container, in fact!). See the Transport Malta site; there seems to be a helpdesk tel number. I suggest calling to check the procedures. They might have changed from those kind commenters have detailed above in this thread.

  109. Hi thanks for that
    I checked the Malta Transport site
    its 2k tax etc plus and the cost of moving and all the registration ..a big palaver, I think I will just buy a car in Malta and sell mine here
    thanks again

  110. Susan,
    Yep, sadly that’s the case. I think the move alone is enough to worry about let alone the whole car issue. You can sort that later. Some people get a good deal on long-term car hire here, while they work out the car issue; some just stick to hiring all the time they’re here! Even residents…

  111. What is the situation re a car driven from UK to Malta Am relocating permanently
    Am particulerly interested in the insurance aspect and Road Tax

  112. Ruth,
    If you take a look at the entire comment thread here above, you’ll have all the information to hand. Various links and one comment in particular that goes to great length to explain how to do the registration when you arrive. Happy reading!

  113. Hello importing a vehicle in Malta

    Just to let you know that arrived on Saturday 23/3/13 and on Monday took vehicle for VRT test and got insurance Today Tuesday took the vehicle for checking and then paid the duty and got my new plates. Very quick service arriving on Saturday from UK and by Tuesday driving my car with Maltese plates

  114. Hi Colin,
    Great that it was that quick – but at what price? Any surprises there?

  115. The suprise was how quick the service was.
    When i went into Inspection where they take photos and check mileage of vehicle
    i already had the paper printed for tax but when i came out of office the duty went down and 2 hours later had my maltese plates fitted on my vehicle. Really good service as long as you have the correct papers Notice of arrive, VRT pass, malta insurance The milege confirm from UK and the money. I have a 2 1/2 year Fiesta
    Look at your note 28 Sept 2012

  116. Thanks Colin for the update and confirmation. Some people may not find it such plain sailing but it seems if you have your paperwork in order and facts confirmed from the country of origin, then generally things go smoothly. Tnx for your kind input here.

  117. Very good info, but very confusing!

    I have a couple of questions I need answering or pointing in the right direction.

    I am a British/Maltese currently British citizen, I do not have a Maltese I.D card yet. Currently researching the ins and outs of importing cars from the UK to Malta for re-sale purposes. I half understand the process of the registration etc.

    Questions I have are, the registration tax value, how accurate is it and is that the actual price you will be paying?
    I read that you must have owned the car for 2 years in order for you to be able to sell a vehicle, I would assume if you are registered as a trader this does not apply, right?
    Am I correct that you are allowed to drive the car from and to your address and the port/registering garages?

    If anyone has experience in doing so, any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks 😉

  118. Hi, I am trying to figure out what you actually will end up paying when registering an Imported vehicle.

    On the form Veh01 section F, there are two boxes on titled Total RV ££££
    the other Registration tax £££.

    Do you pay for both values or just the tax?


    What happened to my last post?

  119. Dmitri,

    You posted while we offline at MIO, so I’ve just approved both comments to go live! There’s a time delay always as we need to vet comments and then accept to publish.

    Re your queries, I think a call to Transport Malta would be the best way forward as you are intending to resell for commercial purpose rather than import a sole car for personal use. Clearly, a lot of people / garages do this in Malta these days. This post here on Malta Inside Out was contributed by just such a garage offering import service:

    I suggest speaking to TM – their site does have set areas for dealers, which I guess you looked at? We’re not experts here at Malta Inside Out, so can only do our best to point you in the right direction. I have no doubt someone will reply more fully than I can!

  120. Thanks for the reply Elizabeth 🙂

    You sure do know a lot for not being experts though. Thanks for your time.

  121. Hi Elizabeth,

    apologies if this is a double-post, but my connection timed-out when composing my previous comment 🙁

    I’m a Brit who arrived here in Malta back in January with the intent of setting up residence here. I drove down through France and Italy in my 2003 Audi A4 Avant, which I’ve owned for over 5 years (2007).

    From reading your article, the comments and various elements of TfM’s website, if I’ve understood the process correctly (it’s about as clear as mud, tbh :D), I can apply for a Transfer of Residence/Exemption from Motor Vehicle Registration Tax by presenting myself at TfM’s offices in Floriana with the supporting evidence, as per Michael’s account in September, which will then start the bureaucrats in motion to consider my case.

    My question then really is whether I am permitted to continue driving my car in the meantime, or whether I’ll need to make alternative arrangements? Upon arrival in January I contacted a Maltese insurer with whom I arranged a policy, despite not being registered yet(!) which has me wondering…

    Many thanks in advance, Rik.

  122. Rik,
    I’ll see if I can ask Michael to illuminate us on this as it’s a bit beyond my knowledge! I think those who’ve gone through the whole import car experience, recently,will be the best bet to answering your queries, whatever the paperwork or the info online says on the authority’s site. I’ll alert him to your comment.

  123. Can anyone tell me if vehicle keeps increasing on new licence when car over 16 yrs old please

  124. Hi, I am searching, to date in vain (mixed info from EU docs, and nothing on the Transport Malta site) to find information regarding the import/registration and licensing of an all electric motorcycle (2 wheel not quad style, type ‘zero motorcycles’) from the USA, I hold a Malta passport and ID now but if anyone has any experience or contacts in this area to assist me before the purchase is completed, that would be great
    thanks in advance

  125. Hi,I am jeanpaul,I bought a car peugeot 407 from uk,and today I went to pay the registration and they charge me 300 euros more,than last month cause last month I went with my friend as they charge him 1200 euros……….today the registration is 1498 euros…… question is can anyone tell how did they charge me 1498. Euros…..I hope you lll answer me many thanks.

  126. I would like to ask the following question which is a bit of a detail question. Now I understand that one can bring a UK car to Malta (ensuring that everything is kept UK valid throughout) for 6 months and then the car has to leave and not return for at least 6 months. So you are allowed 6 months in the year as a “tourist”. When you get off the boat you are given a 6 month pass a sort of “tourist visa for the car” so to speak. What happens if you arrive and stay for 2 months, take the ferry to Sicily and stay for a 3 months in Europe, and then return as a tourist for another few months?

    Do they say (using January 1 as a start date)…….
    A) Welcome back, it is now June 1st – we noted the car was issued with a 6 month pass on Jan 1st and therefore you only have 1 month left… you must leave by July 1st and not return until Jan 1st next year.
    B) Welcome back, it is now June 1st – we noted the car was issued with a 6 month pass on Jan 1st but we also noted that you let for all of March, April and May and thus you do still have 4 months of your 6 months pass left – you can stay for 4 more months, then you can return again Jan 1st next year.

    Any guidance on this matter would be much appreciated.

    Many thanks –

  127. Alan,
    I think it’s scenario B but can’t be sure. Will try to find out for you. But clearly, if you don’t stay the whole time, leave for more than a day (ie are away a month or more), then I’d think you’d be welcomed back as a tourist again. I don’t think you fit any residency status for that. Will ask around.

  128. Many thanks indeed – look forward to hearing back / anybody’s experience on this. Basically, I am seeing if I like the place, and may move there / partially move / there if I decide I like it. If I do, I know I will pay the tax / import the car as outlined in detail by the other knowledgeable posters here. But don’t want to be forced to import a car to a country I am still considering.

    On this subject as Malta seems very strict on cars etc – I have a simple question (that I would never ask regarding other EU nations) that anyone there may know the answer to – when (as a non-resident) you bring a (UK) car to Malta (drive off the ferry) as they issue you with a pass etc must the car be registered in YOUR name? I am aware that in other EU countries if you are driving a vehicle which is not in your name it is either the law, or simple good practice to carry a letter from the owner stating that they have given you permission to drive the car. This is to prove (or at least give you some back up) at the roadside that you have not stolen the car.

    Needless to say, all drivers would be named drivers / insured.

    Just for the sake of clarity to the good readers, here is what I am talking about – a family decide to rent a villa for a few months in Malta. The best car to use is a estate car owned by a lady (the mother in law of the would-be driver). The son-in law volunteers to take the long drive allowing all the rest of the family to arrive a few days later by plane.

    The car is registered to “Doreen Smith @ 22 Blue Street, Anytown” the driver is “John Watkins @ 44 Red Street, Othertown”.

    Different address, different town, different family name.

    If our friend (the son in law) carries a written declaration to use the car (signed by his mother-in-law) will this be enough?

  129. Hello I can tell you when i took my car to Malta in March driving off the ferry there was no checks and a person just telling us where the exit was, suprised how easy it was, the only checks were made in Sicily at the Dock,
    Regards Colin

  130. Colin,
    But they probably thought you were just a tourist visiting so they had no need to bother you. An import needs working out in advance otherwise things get complicated and time frames are tight. I think you have to sort the paperwork within 2-3 weeks of arriving with the imported car. Are you actually importing it or just on a short stay here?

  131. Hello all
    l bought property in malta 15 years ago so resident status l guess is a formallity (factoring out the only in Malta quotient or co-inefficent) My problem is theis l intend to com and live in Malta full time very soon retirement looming .
    l would like to bring accross my family car (owned for 5 years) and also a hobby vintage show car l have (owned for 15 yeras) Do l pay a fee on both of with residency a fee on one. Cant find a definative solution anywhere HELP


  132. Sorry l didnt say but l will be moving from the UK

  133. Hello everyone.
    The forum is full of very useful info, therefore more I read more and more confusion and questions is coming to my head (I guess I am not the only one). I am planning to move to Malta within 2 months. I am thinking of bringing my car (2000 reg audi a4) with me. I have had it for nearly 6 years so I do believe I qualify for exemption of registration tax. I do realize I will still have to pay VRT, registration plates and annual circulation licence which due to the age of my vehicle might be a bit high. Although would anyone be so kind an advise me what is the best route from UK. I was thinking to drive all the way down to Sicily and use Catania – Valetta Ferry. Would I be able to claim UK road tax return when I register it in Malta? Do I have 6 months from entry date to Malta to drive it on UK plates without having it registered? Any advice/help would be appreciated. Very best of luck to everyone here 🙂

  134. Hello again. Basically if I drive my car to Malta (owned for more than 5 years) I will not have to pay registration tax I believe. This is clear. The other question is: Can I drive it on UK plates up to 6 months as tourist?
    What about if I start to work over there? Will I become resident automatically?
    I read that no maltese resident can drive a car there on foreign plates. There is some 30 euros daily penalty also charged for not registering a car.
    “A daily fine of 30 euros is to start being imposed by the Public Transport Authority as from October for residents importing used vehicles and not registering them within 15 days”
    Would this start to affect me from the day I become a resident?
    Has anyone obtained famous odometer reading?

  135. @Syzmon,
    I think some,if not all your queries are answered in the thread above though granted, things change (at ADT etc) as do the various charges, rates, time frames, and regulations (almost at every budget here in Malta). I think you might find Matthew Vella’s comments helpful (March ’12) as he imported a car, driving down and he has kindly given his email ( should anyone wish to contact him to ask specific queries as he knows how difficult the whole thing is.

    What you should try to think through clearly from the outset is whether you wish to be a six-month visitor only or a resident. If you can’t decide, perhaps see if you can leave the car in the UK til you decide on residency and get work and residency going first. Malta is manageable on public transport and hire cars are quite reasonable on long hires (rates nowhere near rest of EU prices in the main).

    You can’t drive on UK plates in Malta for more than 6 months, so I advise you to get the car sorted with Maltese plates, with or without that exemption scheme, asap you arrive should you roll off the ferry with it. It will save you the grief of constantly being stopped. Someone else in the thread gave a very detailed account of how to go about the exemption procedure. Residency is taking a bit of time these days given the backlog re, the new e-ID cards being issued to all those currently here, let alone newly arriving expats seeking residency. I suggest you work simultaneously on residency and car. As you have 6 months on the car, you should get residency by then. I wouldn’t know about the fine kicking in from day one, but I’d assume the letter of the law when it comes to speaking to traffic wardens or police! You will not automatically get residency if you work here. You will need to apply for that; see this link:

  136. Thank you very much indeed Elizabeth, you are doing fabulous job here!!!!
    I think I will drive from UK and sort myself, car and residency within 6 months then 🙂

  137. Hello for the third time (forgive me please but I am still confused)
    I found official document on Department of Transport website regarding Exemption from Motor Vehicle Registration Tax. Can someone clarify this:
    1) A vehicle is to be declared for exemption not earlier than two months before the date on which applicant becomes normally resident in
    Malta and not later then twelve months following that date.
    2) A vehicle that has already arrived in Malta – the application has to be made by the person transferring his residence within 30 days from the arrival of the vehicle in Malta.

    Will i be able to start registering process at the end of 6 months non resident (Tourist) period and still qualify for exemption in registration tax?
    Do I need to register Car within this 30 days from arrival to get this exemption?
    Does this 30 day compulsory period for registering starts from the the day I become resident?

  138. Hi, my wife is Maltese and after 43 years we are wanting to move back to Malta. She has a Maltese I D card, and has a Nissan Micra registered in 2004 which she as had for 8 years, would she have to pay Registration Tax been Maltese and having the car that long. And would there be other costs involved

  139. Hello All, Hope you can help.I am a regular visitor to Malta. My wife is a Maltese citizen but only has a British passport. We have an apartment in Malta which we own. I am retiring in less than a year & we want to stay longer in Malta when we visit. About 2 or 3 months at a time. We are considering buying a garage & taking our present car to Malta & leaving it there when we come back home for a couple of months. We have considered car hire but the car hire company we use at present, at very reasonable prices advised it would be very expensive to hire for long periods. I have my eye on a two car garage which is a good price because I could even put a small boat in it. Very keen to do a lot of fishing. Any advice would be appreciated.

  140. Paul,
    You will be paying the relevant taxes to get the UK car on the road in Malta – registration tax and road tax. Those depend on the age of the car, type, emissions, and various other criteria. You’ll find the links further up in this thread to Transport Malta and the quick online calculator for a ballpark on those taxes. As to the garage, well, they can be expensive as they can be like gold dust here in Malta. So hunt around, make sure it’s not a hugely long walk from where you end up living as in the heat, it’s not fun walking with shopping. So location vav accommodation needs sorting, but if you think the garage a good price, then go for it if it’s still available when you move over next year.

  141. Malc,
    As a Maltese citizen with an ID card, your wife will be paying Road Tax and vehicle registration tax to import and get it on the road here with Maltese plates. However, if you are moving your residence to Malta, you may, in some circumstances, be able to have an exemption. Check Transport Malta’s website which has a link to the pdf of the exemption form.

  142. I have registered a Maltese company in Malta which bought and furnished an apartment with garage in a designated development in Slima to rent out. As shareholder,director and employee of the company as well as tempory resident and taxpayer (currently not yet renewed due to slow prosessing) i would like to buy a yacht and vehicle in the name of the company as well. Are there other rules for importing/ buying in the name of a Maltese company?

  143. Hennie,
    I suggest you contact a local legal firm that deals with these types of enquiries are we don’t have the specific information here at Malta Inside Out.

  144. Hy, I have another type of question. I live in Malta at this time, 5 years here but I don’t know how much I will stay. My father he has a car in Romania but he don’t use and I want to drive it in Malta. He can make me a document wich I can drive the car in Malta without change the plates? Like this I drive in Italy for 3 years.thank you.

  145. Hi, I have an issue concerning bring in my car to Malta. I have lived in Finland for about 23 years and I am still Maltese citizen. I have owned my car for six years, I bought it new from Seat dealer here in Helsinki. Do I have to pay the registration tax ? I am planning to ship the car in a container with all other household goods , will this be a problem.

  146. Bit awkward…

    I’m due to be coming to Malta to begin a job in October, it’s a 12 month contract so i’d rather bring my car over than buy one there and store mine in the UK.
    Unfortunately i haven’t owned my car for 2 years (I have owned it for 1 year) so does that mean I’m not able to claim the exemption for contract work?

    RV on the car is Import Duty on the car is 11500 Euros (and the RV is only 8000!) because it is a 4 Litre TVR.

    I assume I won’t be able to bring it then?

    I could do the “tourist” route and bring it for 6 months but that seems pointless…


  147. Jules,
    I suggest selling the UK car, buying one for your stay in Malta and that saves all the hassle! Unless you’ve a car that has emotional value or is a vintage number. You’d be able to sell a secondhand car in Malta very easily (and buy one for that matter) – see for some idea of prices. Secondhand hold their value here. I’d really not bother with the whole import hassle for one year.

  148. My husband and I are planning to stay in Malta for 12 months (but will be away for three months of that). We have a jeep that we will have owned for 18 months when it arrives in Malta. Due to the value of the vehicle it will to be worth registering it if the cost is high. As we will have owned it for 2 years after the 6 months tourist exemption will we be able to use the two year rule at that time or would it be more cost effective jut to scrap it?

  149. Sorry comment above should read it will NOT be worth registering it if the cost is too high

  150. Debbie,
    Check with Transport Malta – you’ll find the relevant link earlier in the comment thread to the two-year rule page online. I think the rule applies the moment the car enters the country. I am not sure it’s wise to stay first as a tourist with it and then assume you can swap to permanent residency and claim that exemption.

  151. Jules,
    No, I don’t think you can swap from tourist to permanent residency and claim the exemption (that easily!). I suggest you see if your new employer here can sort things out for you on the ground with a phone call or two to get the full picture. Ask the firm to check with Transport Malta. I do know some firms (betting cos. in particular) have managed to gain some exemptions over and above the norm, by negotiation with the authorities. But it depends on your firm’s clout. Assume the two-year rule won’t apply to you though. TM are very keen to sting people on import duty!

  152. i have a big problem .
    i m italian ,my car is Italian, i spent 3 years in malta without to take it back to italy.
    police stopped me several time but ,as italian,they always just asked me driving licence and this made me think(wrongly) that they were not really interested in this registration .Transport malta autorities never stopped me in fact (probably they just stop English cars with yellow plates,because Maltese people buys them for the right drive)…but yesterday i read on TM website that there is a fine of 30e per day after the 6 months allowed ……so i got a shock! we are speaking of a potential fine of 27000 euros! for a an old fiat …my question is , do you think i can jsut run to get a ferry to italy, or when you leave the island there will be the TM authorities checking the cars leaving,plates ecc.. and if i just take it for few days to Sicily , can i take it back here getting 6 more months allowed? help!…thanks.

  153. Hi Simone,
    It seems that the authorities (police, wardens, TM or whatever) have assumed you were a temporary tourist whenever they’ve stopped you on the road. I have absolutely no idea about the issues you’ll face getting on the ferry. I don’t recall seeing TM personnel watching outbound vehicles when I went to Sicily a year or so ago with our car. But I can’t say for sure that they won’t be there. I suppose you could go out and back and start the whole ‘importing’ thing properly on your return. I suggest you see how much the registration is for your car. If it’s a lot for an old FIAT, then just buy a car here, sell yours in Italy and start again. It must be quite inconvenient with a left hand drive for 3 years here anyway, especially as you’re not really driving the car in Italy, and going back and forwards a lot. Whatever you opt to do, there are considerable costs (the ferry isn’t too cheap to get a car out on anyway).

  154. thanks elisabeth,
    ferry expensive ..but still cheaper than 27000 euros :/
    ..i checked to register my car here and apparently they consider the value of the car 1.200 euros and the registration is 4900 euros!
    is this not paradoxical ?
    anyway …

  155. Hi Simone,
    I still think you’d be better off selling the car in Italy secondhand (as left hand drive not ideal here if you are long stay), and buying something from Maltapark secondhand here! It depends how many more years your current car has really. So a case of doing more sums before you decide.

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