Thursday, May 07, 2009

Car Registration in Malta, (Is It an Extreme Sport?)

I have done what thousands of Maltese are doing at the moment, going to the UK and buying a car, why, because they are so much cheaper that's why, I mean by 60 or 70% cheaper in some cases. As I mentioned in my previous post I have brought back from the UK a Toyota Prius Hybrid and I am very pleased with it. Let me take you through the process of registering an imported car here in Malta..... My story.

  • When I arrived here in Malta (if my intention was to import the vehicle) I must inform the ADT (government car registration department) within 7 days of arrival, or I am told I am likely to get a fine.
  • I need to retain proof of when the vehicle entered the country and proceed to the ADT office in Valletta to 'open a file' on the car, this can not be done by post or on the Internet, it has to be done in person. After queuing for some 3 hours, this had been done, and I was to take the car to the vehicle inspector, his office is about 20 meters away from where I was standing, an appointment had to be made, and my appointment was in 2 days time.
  • I was issued with a green ticket, this meant that I was allowed to drive the car for one day in order to get a vehicle test certificate and enable me to drive the car to the vehicle inspection center, and if caught driving the vehicle at any time prior to completion of the registration process I would be shown no mercy and thrown into jail.
  • Two days later the vehicle was inspected, the engine, chassis number and mileage were checked, this process involved a one hour wait and took 3 minutes, I was instructed to return to the ADT office (20 meters away) in two days time, at which time I could complete the registration process. I was to take with me all relevant paperwork (equivalent to a small rain forest) including one year full year of insurance, and a sack full of cash, no credit cards, debit cards or personal cheques. Failure to do this would result in me being publicly flogged.
  • I arrived in Valletta as instructed to complete the registration process, I waited in the line to be seen for three hours and then, it was my turn, I smiled and said good morning I received an icy stare in return. I handed over the relevant documentation and relaxed, the young lady looked up and said 'oh the vehicle is under 12 months old and the valuation has to be confirmed by my manager', surprised I said oh ok, the young lady replied 'he is on holiday this week and is the only person in Malta that can make the valuation, you will have to come back next week'. I smiled and left. Almost forgot to mention, if I use the car before the registration process is complete I will be shot.
  • One week passed and I returned to the ADT office to attempt the final process again, I waited three hours again (this is not an exaggeration, all these times are correct) whoopee my turn again, the paperwork was rigorously checked all the paper work processed and I handed over my sack full of cash, I was told to wait nearby for my Maltese number plates to be issued. I sat and waited, 30 minutes later I was told the process had all been stopped, they had noticed that my insurance broker was one day short of the full year for my insurance cover, (a clerical error) so they could not give me my plates until my broker confirmed by email that my cover is in fact for 365 days and not the 364 days that my policy actually quoted. All this achieved I was finally issued with my number plates and windscreen tax.
I can now drive the car without fearing for my life. I did not get a fine, thrown in jail, get publicly flogged or get shot. The number plates have been attached to the car and the car and I are now very happy together.



Michael Carøe Andersen said...

Congrats :) That sounds like quite a feat.

Sabine said...

goodness gracious... nothing, but nothing at all has changed - or ever will. All this enormous waste of time... And here I am grumbling that I had to go to two places (in Gozo, and the same morning!) to get back my vote that had been robbed off me. *sheepishly shaking her head*

PS Well done for the smile you were able to keep... I'd have blown my top of LOL!