Next May will mark the ten year anniversary of the Controlled Vehicular Access system in Valletta, and yet, we meet so many people who still aren’t quite sure what to exactly do when looking into accessing Valletta by car.
To put that into perspective for you, this system we currently have in place which not everyone is 100% familiar with was introduced back when we were still using Maltese Lira and the old City Gate was still around. To top it all off, some of the rules surrounding the system have changed over the last decade.
So we’ve broken down the entire system for you, along with information about different coloured parking spaces and other useful tips:
1. First, let’s start simple: White parking spaces are for everyone, all the time.
Pretty obvious, but if we’re covering everything, we want to make sure we’re starting from the basics. Nothing to see or learn here really – if you’re looking for a parking space and you see an empty white one, no matter what time it is, go for it!
2. Green is only for Valletta residents, all the time.
If you’re not a resident, this parking space is pretty much as good as a garage; you can’t park. Cue the inevitable begrudging nods as you spot an empty parking space at night and prepare to swoop in to claim it, only to catch the faint green lines at the very last second. Heads up; there should be 100 of these parking bays in Valletta, if anyone wants to go on a counting spree.
3. Blue is a combination of both, depending on the time.
Ok, so, it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Basically, from 6pm to 6am, blue bays are reserved for residents. Makes sense; that’s the time people would be going back home to eventually sleep, and the last thing you’d want if you live in Valletta and are heading back home is to go on a parking-hunt.
From 6am to 6pm (which pretty much covers most working days), any car can use a blue parking bay, which is great and very useful for the people who work in the capital city. Think of it as a sort of combination of white and green, depending on who needs it the most when. Also, if you were wondering, there should be around 400 blue parking spaces in Valletta.
4. So what actually is the CVA?
Something we’ve heard countless times before. In a nutshell, it’s a impressive system using Automatic Number Pate Reading (ANPR) technology on over a dozen cameras placed around Valletta that not only identify vehicles entering and leaving the city, but as a result of that calculate their length of stay, issuing a bill where necessary. And when is it necessary? Well, that’s where the blue parkings’ times come in.
During the day is when more cars are obviously going to want to park in Valletta, and that’s why more parking bays (400 more, actually) are available to everyone between 6am and 6pm. Parking in those times, however, comes at a fee. An admittedly pretty tiny fee, but a tariff nonetheless, so it’s good to know what rates we’re talking about here.
Access for the first 30 minutes is free of charge, which is good news if you’re looking to pop by for a very quick errand. Beyond that, it’s 82c per hour, with a maximum charge of €6.52 daily. More recently, a system was put in place whereby parking was also made free for entrances after 2pm between Monday and Friday and all day long on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays. If you drive an electric car, a motorcycle or an awesome combination of both, you’ll also automatically be exempted from the payment scheme.
Clearly, even though the CVA was put in place to regulate the negative repurcussiosn of having Valetta be a highly traffic congested zone, it still allows visitors to make the most out of your beautiful capital city. For even more information on the system—including exemption procedures and how to pay tariffs—check out the CVA’s website.
5. That’s all well and good…but where exactly in Valletta does the CVA apply?
Well, everywhere. But even in the case of a five hundred-year old city with high walls outlining its edges, not everyone will agree where exactly Valetta ends and Floriana begins, especially when it comes to the beautiful art of nitpicking to avoid paying a penalty. That however has already been accounted for, with this handy map of all the entry and exit points in the city. You’re welcome.
6. What if I want to park just outside of Valletta and walk into the city?
This is probably what most people opt for in the first place anyway to avoid the daytime hustle and bustle of the capital city and its sometimes overcrowded narrow streets. Of course, everything outside the CVA is your basic “white good, yellow bad” shindig, but there are also a handful of carparks in and around Valletta.
If you work in the area and are going to need quick, hassle-free and reliable parking on a daily basis, we’d recommend the MCP Floriana carpark, which has a very handy tariff breakdown on its site along with deals for yearly pass cards. It’s also the closest parking area to Valletta outside the city, situated literally three minutes’ walk away from City Gate.
If one-off trips to the city are more your thing, then your best bets are carparks like the ones next to the Floriana football ground just opposite Phoenicia Hotel, or better yet (but tougher to park in during the day), the Central Bank one just opposite St. James Cavalier and Castille. In the case of these carparks, you’ll most probably find a parker, which means that what you pay is pretty much up to you.
7. Is Park & Ride still a thing?
The Floriana Park & Ride Facility has over 750 parking spaces, including of course a free shuttle service (operating every 5 – 10 minutes depending on the time of day) that takes you straight to the heart of Valletta. And all of this for only 40c per day! The facility is open Mondays to Sundays (including Public Holidays) from 6am to 9pm, and you can find more detailed information and a very handy map detailing all the stops on the shuttle’s route online.
Imagine just how many cars we can get off the streets and away from Valletta and its surrounding areas if people daily coupled carpooling with the park and ride!
BONUS: Alternatively, ditch all of the above and catch a bus.
It’s not like you can use the excuse that not a lot of buses go to the capital city; all public transport roads lead to Valletta. So go on – be a good person, and earn some bonus bragging rights for decreasing your carbon footprint.