Explore the joys and challenges of driving in Cyprus with our comprehensive guide. From scenic routes to local tips, embark on your Cypriot road adventure!
Cyprus is the third-largest island in the Mediterranean, located north of Egypt and east of Greece. The Republic of Cyprus shares the island on the south and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, recognized only by Turkey. Here, you will find a long and diverse history with ancient ruins, Byzantine churches and medieval castles, and pristine beaches with clear waters and picturesque mountain villages. Cypriot cuisine is delicious and influenced by various cultures. You can savor fresh seafood, halloumi cheese, and traditional dishes like souvlaki and moussaka, so a little bit of everything for everyone!
Discover the timeless allure of Cyprus, where ancient history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture come together on this beautiful Mediterranean island. Bustling markets, lively cafes, and a welcoming atmosphere make Larnaca a delightful Mediterranean destination, perfect for those seeking cultural exploration and leisure by the azure waters. Its charming harbor, lined with vibrant cafes and tavernas makes Paphos a perfect place for leisurely strolls against a backdrop of rich history and fascinating mythology. Below, we'll guide you to navigating this sun-kissed blend of ruins, azure coastlines, and bustling cities.
To begin with, driving in Cyprus presents challenges, mainly due to the unique way the locals interpret traffic rules. Nonetheless, if you drive cautiously and adapt to the local driving style, you'll have a smooth and joyous experience. As you become more accustomed to it, you'll discover some captivating road journeys in this region. Still, here are our top ten tips to help you navigate this beautiful island!
- Right side driving
- Road conditions
- Speed limits
- Road Signage
- Drinking and driving
- Visiting the north of Cyprus
- Car rental requirements
TOP 10 MUST-KNOW TIPS FOR DRIVING IN SUNNY CYPRUS!
1. On what side do they drive in Cyprus?
In Cyprus, they drive on the left side of the road, similar to the driving conventions in the United Kingdom. It means that the steering wheel is on the right side of the car, and you will be driving on the left-hand side of the road.
2. What are the roads like to drive in Cyprus?
The roads are generally well maintained, especially the highways and main roads around the cities. If you plan on travelling to remote areas or up mountain roads, be prepared for narrow streets and winding roads, though! Local drivers are known to be quite aggressive, so stay alert at all times, obey traffic rules, and drive defensively!
3. What are the speed limits in Cyprus?
Speed limits are typically well-marked in English as well as Greek. But they are simple to remember; in urban areas, it's usually 50 km/h, 80 km/h on other main roads and 100 km/h on highways. Ensure not to drive too slowly on the highways, as they require a minimum speed of 65 km/h!
4. Are road signs in English?
Good news, yes! Road signs are typically Greek and English, making navigation easier for tourists, so no worries, you won't get lost.
5. Drinking and driving in Cyprus?
Cyprus has strict regulations regarding alcohol consumption and driving. The legal blood alcohol limit is low, so it's best to avoid any alcohol if you plan to drive. However, for reference, 0.05% / 50mg per 100ml and over will get you a fine of 100€ or higher!
6. Where can I park in Cyprus?
Parking in busy city areas or popular tourist destinations can be challenging, so preparing in advance pays off. Many multi-tiered parking garages are available in major cities, as on-street parking can be hard to find. Both offer parking meters, though! Parking in rural areas is much easier, as you can find spaces along the road or in open areas without much trouble!
7. Where are gas stations in Cyprus?
Gas stations are well-marked and aplenty in Cyprus, so you shouldn't worry about running out of gas! Around major cities, they are scattered along all major roads and usually open for long hours, including weekends. You will also find plenty of stations along highways and popular tourist areas. Remember to check your fuel level before embarking on long journeys, especially if you plan to explore less populated or rural areas. It is to be noted that there are no self-service stations in Cyprus; tell the attendant how much and what fuel you wish to pump!
8. Are there any tolls on roads in Cyprus?
Cyprus has tolls on certain motorways, specifically the A1 motorway, which connects Nicosia to Limassol and Paphos, and the A2 motorway, which connects Nicosia to Larnaca. These are the main highways where tolls are applied. They use special ETC devices, which can be topped off with a credit card.
9. Can I drive to the north side of Cyprus?
Cyprus is a divided island, and there is a demilitarized zone known as the "Green Line," which separates the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus in the south from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) in the north.
Some rental agencies will allow you to travel with the vehicle to the north, and some may not – usually, specific fees apply that vary with different car rental agencies. Be aware that the currency used on the island's northern side is Turkish Lira and that additional rules and regulations might apply in TRNC, so adhere to their driving laws. You might also have to consider contacting your embassy to stay informed if you require visiting Visas for traveling to the north.
10. What are the requirements for renting a car in Cyprus?
As always, there are age requirements, as most rental companies require the driver to be at least 21 years old, and some additional fees might apply for drivers younger than 25 (young driver fee).
You will need a valid driver's license from your home country. You might need an International Driver's Permit if your local license is not in English – check with your rental agency beforehand.
Car rental companies typically require a credit card in the main driver's name to make a security deposit and pay for the rental at pick-up time. Debit cards are only sometimes accepted, and some companies may require a credit card with a sufficient credit limit, so check with the agency before you arrive!
RENTING A CAR IN CYPRUS IS A GREAT WAY TO GET AROUND!
The requirements for car rental in Cyprus are generally in line with the rest of Europe. However, it's important to note that some agencies may have unique policies you must adhere to. Therefore, it is advisable to carefully review the terms and conditions before your rental to ensure you have all the required documentation. In general, you should be prepared to meet the following criteria:
- Age requirement: Most agencies accept drivers 21 or older, but an additional fee for young or senior drivers will usually apply to drivers younger than 25 or older than 75.
- Driver's license: You must always present a valid driver's license when renting your vehicle. In some cases, an additional fee of 5-10€ will apply also if you hold your license for less than 1-3 years. If you are a non-EU citizen, you will typically need an International Driving Permit and your local driver's license.
- Credit card: In most cases, the agency will require you to have a valid credit card to make the security deposit in case of any damages to the vehicle. You must be cautious because debit cards or cash are often not accepted to make the security deposit.
- Identification: Make sure to have your passport or identification card of your country of residence if you're an EU resident with you. Otherwise, you will not be able to collect the car.
- Additional drivers: If you plan to add any other drivers to your rental, ensure you have all the necessary documentation, such as driver's license and identification documents, with you.
You must read the terms and conditions when booking or ask before your rental to ensure you meet all the requirements and avoid problems when picking up your car at the agency.
HOW AM I INSURED DURING MY RENTAL?
When renting a car in Cyprus or any other location, some standard insurance coverages are typically included in the rental cost. These may vary slightly depending on the rental company, so it's crucial to read the terms and conditions of your rental agreement. However, the following insurance coverages are commonly included: Third-Party Liability Insurance, Collision Damage Waiver, and Theft Protection.
With us, you can purchase Premium Coverage, which makes it possible for us to reimburse you in case of any charges due to damages to the rental vehicle. The price is typically around 4.8€ per day, and you will be covered for up to 3000€ if those occur. Premium Coverage protection waiver will cover the charges for physical loss or damage to the Rental Vehicle to the below amounts:
· Excess/deductible / CDW charges for damage or theft (Up to 3,000 €);
· Damage to the Vehicle body, fire, theft; windscreen and other glass, wheels, tires and hubcaps, locks, bodywork and roof which are a result of the collision (Up to 3,000 €);
· Lost / damaged key cover (Up to 500 €);
· Miss - Fueling (Up to 300 €);
· Administration charges (Up to 500 €);
· Towing expenses (Up to € 500);
WHICH AGENCY SHOULD I CHOOSE?
There are many options for agencies that offer rental cars in Cyprus. Here you can find some tips to make your rental and your trip as seamless and enjoyable as possible:
- Read reviews: Start by using search engines and review websites like Google, TripAdvisor, or TrustPilot to search for car agencies in the area or the location you plan to rent. Look for agencies with high ratings and positive reviews to make your decision easier.
- Check for Accreditation: Look for accreditation or affiliations with well-known industry organizations.
- Compare Prices: Get quotes from several agencies to compare prices. For this, you can use the search engine at Orbit Car Hire.
- Read the Fine Print: Carefully read the terms and conditions of the car rental or purchase agreement. Look for fees, mileage restrictions, and any other terms you are unsure about.
- Ask questions: If you are unsure about your rental, do not hesitate to ask to be informed. You can contact our customer service anytime.