Driving in Cyprus

Driving in Cyprus

Mountain Roads in Winter


English – Greek Road Signs


Traffic Police

Bringing your own car with you!

Cyprus allow you to bring your own car from another country. Visitors wishing to bring their car to Cyprus can do so, for a period up to 3 months provided the car has a valid registration license of its country of origin.

In order to be eligible to drive it in Cyprus, you need three important things to be valid.

1- Valid Car license

2- Valid Driving License. An EU Driver’s  License is acceptable, or an international valid license along with the original national license.

3. Car Insurance. Now this is somehow tricky. If your car has EU registration plates, then your original EU insurance would be valid in Cyprus. If you brought a car from outside the 29 European countries, then you must have a GREEN CARD in force. On the other hand, if you are a foreigner from outside the EU, and you still have a car bearing EU registration plates, then the insurance would still be valid. Please be sure of your insurance type, otherwise you won’t be covered. If you are unsure about your car’s eligibility, you can contact the motors insurer’s fund at the following address:

Motor Insurers’ Fund

Zinonos Sozou 23, CY 1075 Lefkosia

Tel: 22763913, Fax: 22761007

P.O.Box: 22030, CY 1516 Lefkosia

E-mail: mif@cytanet.com.cy

Renting a Car or Motorbike

Unless you are comfortable driving a right-sided steering-wheel car on the left side of the road (just the opposite in most countries in the world), you should consider renting a car in Cyprus. All rent-a-car and scooters are distinguished with red registration plates, in order to help local drivers to take extra caution, provided that tourists who rent those cars are not acquainted on driving on the left side of the street.

To rent a car you will need the following

1. Your Passport, or National EU ID

2. International Driver’sLicense or EU Driver’s License

3. A Valid Credit Card (Most car rental agencies require a credit card for the security deposit) – Check with your car rental agency.

Before you rent the car, always check about the insurance policy. DO NOT LET THEM FOOL YOU WITH THIS. It happened to us once. We rented a car, and the company gave us full insurance including CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) and Theft Waiver. We were very happy. When we returned the car, they discovered a small scratch on the bumper. They charged our credit card the amount of 60 pounds for fixing this scratch. While we argued that we have full insurance, CDW, etc…, there was a bottom small font line on the policy stating that although we have full insurance yet there is EXCESS. The excess is 200 pounds. So we have to pay for damages up to 200 pounds and the rest will be paid by the insurance company.

Do not fall a victim of the rent-a-car companies. Always ask for full insurance WITH NO EXCESS, and always ask this question to the agent. If I scratch the car or damage it, would I pay anything?

Another coverage which could benefit you, is to rent the car on your VISA Card. VISA provides full insurance for rented cars. Call your local VISA before you rent the car to be sure what are the regulations and what papers are needed.

Norms of Driving

Just like UK, driving in Cyprus is on the left hand. Seat belts are obligatory in front and in rear when they are available. A seat bet fine can reach up to 50 pounds. Traffic police in Cyprus are very strict and most fines reach up to 50 pounds. For example, if you were caught parking on the pavement you can be fined 50 pounds. Same if you are caught driving while using a mobile, 50 pounds fine is very well expected. When  parking in a “parking meter” space without using the meter, you can be fined up to 15 pounds. Breaking speed limits can result in a fine of pound/each kilometer above the limited speed.Motorcyclists on the other side, must use helmets. Road signs in Cyprus are all in English and speeds and distances are measured in kilometers.

Driving in Cyprus is very important since public transportation is not that well built. And if they do exist they don’t take you to rural areas where most interesting sites are a must see.  Four lanes roads connect big cities together like Nicosia with Larnaca as an example, while good sized, well maintained roads connect villages together. On the other hand, there are minor roads that are kept in good condition but un-surfaced mountain roads are a very good example.

Avery important thing we noticed on the roads (highways ) of Cyprus are the S.O.S Phones which can be used easily in case of a breakdown or accident but its preferable to always carry a mobile since an S.O.S. phone might not be working (usual).

Speed and Parking

Speed limits are as follow: 50km/h in cities ( built up areas), 100 km/h in highways (motorways ) and 80km/h on other general roads.

However, clear signs of speed limits are always used on highways and regional roads. As all other modern countries, driving under influence of alcohol  is highly prohibited. A holder of foreign license caught driving in Cyprus under the influence of alcohol may be set to prison or fined on the spot.

Do not park on a double yellow line, while short stops can be made on a single yellow line.

During wet weather, some mountain and forest roads can be very dangerous, so a proper car need to be used.

Parking meters found in cities like Nicosia only operate in weekdays but not on Saturday afternoons and Sundays as well as  public holidays.

When in operation 20 cents coin is enough to park for one hour. However there are also municipality parking lots in Cyprus too. One pound charge is  normal for half a day.

Distances between Cities

Nicosia to Larnaca 30 mintues

Larnaca to Limassol 25 minutes

Limassol to Paphos 50 minutes

Nicosia to Agia Napa 55 minutes

Airport to Nicoisa 35 minutes

Airoprt to Agia Napa 30 minutes

Safety Tips

Seatbelt, space, speed, traffic lights, pedestrians, vision, reversing, steering (two hands on it), tailgating, and most of all is fatigue.

Take your time and enjoy your ride and scenery.

It is advisable to avoid, if possible, driving due West in the late afternoon, as the glare of the setting sun can be unpleasant and potentially dangerous.

Because of the sometimes intense brightness of the clear Mediterranean sky, drivers are advised to wear sunglasses

The prescribed limit in breath is 39 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. The prescribed limit in blood is 90 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.

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