If you were to place all the cars, buses, trucks and motorcycles in Malta bumper to bumper and door to door, they would, using a conservative estimate, cover an area of 2.86 square kilometers, or 286 hectares.
By comparison, the whole of Sliema is only 1.3 square kilometers, and Valletta 0.8sq km. The closest town is Birkirkara, which comes in at 2.7 kilometers squared.
How we calculated the area
‘Vehicles’ come in many shapes and sizes, so before we calculated how much area they take, vehicles was split into a category according to data from the NSO’s Vehicle stock statistics.
Secondly, since we couldn’t find an ‘average car size’, this was calculated by drawing two random samples from each category of car featured on automobiledimension.com. Preference as slightly given to cars more likely to be found on Maltese roads. The dimensions for buses, goods carrying vehicles and motorcycles were calculated from one specific model alone; a Isuzu Elf and a Piaggio Vespa respectively.
To calculate the total area, the average area footprint of every vehicle class was multiplied by the numbers of vehicles in that class. The list excludes agricultural and special use vehicles like tractors, and takes a conservative estimate of larger lorries.