Driving in Cyprus
The best way to travel around Cyprus is by car. It is possible to rent a modern car through The Villa Group, before your departure.
Vehicles are available with both manual and automatic transmissions. As for roads, they are generally well paved and modern, except for some mountain areas. The main thing to remember is that in Cyprus, driving is on the left, as in the United Kingdom. On the motorways, maximum speed is 100 kilometers per hour. Use of mobile phones at any time while driving is strictly prohibited unless a hands-free equipment is used.
If you don't wish to drive yourself, private taxis are another option. Taxis are reasonably priced and are especially good options for airport transfers on the first and or last day of your trip.
Driving in Cyprus is most advisable as regular transport service is not available to all remote areas where many places of interest are to be found.
Fairly good surfaced roads complying with international traffic requirements link the towns and the various villages.
Four-lane motorways connect the capital, Lefkosia with the coastal towns of Lemesos, Larnaka and one part of Pafos.
Minor roads and forest roads are still largely unsurfaced but in good to fair condition. Appropriate care should be taken when using these roads, especially during wet weather.
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. The period may be extended accordingly, provided the person is considered a visitor by the Department of Customs & Excise.
Hands-free during driving is mandatory
During driving, the driver should take all necessary measures, so that his/her hands are free at all times in order to have full control of the vehicle. Therefore the use of a mobile phone is strictly prohibited.
Visitors in Cyprus can drive using a valid International driving license, or their National driving license provided it is valid for the class of vehicle they wish to drive.
Insurance requirements for foreign motorists entering Cyprus
With effect from 1st January 2001, Cyprus became a signatory to the Multilateral Guarantee Agreement ( M.G.A.)
This means that, as far as insurance cover is concerned, Cyprus is considered as one unified territory with all other signatories of the M.G.M., which at this moment are 24. The M.G.A. countries are the 15 E.U. member states, as well as Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, Iceland, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia and Cyprus.
If a foreign visitor brings to Cyprus a motor vehicle bearing the registration plate of one of the M.G.A countries, he should not be intercepted at his point of entry in Cyprus for proof of insurance cover, as it is presumed that he is covered by insurance in his own country, even if he may not be so covered. In the latter case, the international insurance Bureau of his country will be held responsible to compensate the claimant as a result of the Guarantee Agreement in force.
If a foreign visitor brings into Cyprus a motor vehicle bearing a registration plate not belonging to a country member of the M.G.A. the Cyprus Authorities should check whether the foreign motorist has a valid Green Card in force for Cyprus. A foreign visitor may have a Green Card in force, even if his country of origin is not a member of the Green Card System.
Cyprus has signed an Agreement called "Uniform Agreement", with all foreign Bureaux members of the Green Card System, with the exception of Turkey. (The Agreement with Iraq is suspended).
If a foreign motorist enters Cyprus and does not have a registration plate belonging to one of the M.G.A. countries, but does not have a Green Card valid for Cyprus either, then this motorist should not be allowed to drive his car in the territory of Cyprus. He should be asked first to secure cover to drive in Cyprus for the period he is expecting to stay on the island, with a Cypriot insurer. It is made clear that the granting of such cover is on the absolute discretion of the Insurance Companies and, in the presence of negative features, he will have a problem to secure Insurance cover. It is, therefore, advisable for a non-M.G.A. motorist to secure a Green Card before entering Cyprus. As Russia is not a member of the Green Card System, Russian motorists should be advised of the position, so as to avoid possible inconvenience.
As from the 1st of July 2003, the M.G.A. and the Uniform Agreement have been unified to one agreement, the Unified Agreement (Internal Regulation).
For further information please contact:
Motor Insurers´ Fund
Zinonos Sozou 23, 1075 Lefkosia (Nicosia)
P.O.Box 22030, 1516 Lefkosia (Nicosia)
Tel: 22 76 39 13, Fax: 22 76 10 07
Motor fuel and unleaded petrol may be bought in unlimited quantities at Petrol stations. Brands available are: EKO, Exxon Mobil, Esso, Lukoil, Petrolina, Lina and Agip. Petrol is sold by the litre.
Petrol Stations are Open:
Monday - Friday: 06:00 - 19:00 (April 1 - September 30)
Monday - Friday: 06:00 - 18:00 (October 1 - March 31)
Wednesday: 06:00 - 14:00 (Lefkosia district)
Tuesday: 06:00 - 14:00 (Lemesos, Larnaka, Pafos and Ammochostos districts)
Saturday: 06:00 - 15:00
Petrol stations in Lefkosia and all seaside areas are equipped with petrol vending machines, accepting bank notes and credit cards. Vending machines operate during non-working hours, on weekends and on holidays. Petrol stations in rural areas may be found open on Weekends and on Holidays. A list of petrol stations can be found in the yellow pages of the Telephone Directory.
1. Parking places (municipal and private) are found in town centers, charging approximately CY£1,00 for a half day's parking.
2. Parking meters in the center of towns may be used on payment of ONE 20-cents COIN per hour, on weekdays, during office hours. Parking meters do not operate on Saturday afternoons, Sundays and Public Holidays.
Parking and waiting is prohibited along a double yellow line.
Along a single yellow line, loading and unloading is allowed but parking is prohibited at all times.
"Mini" guide to drivers
Traffic moves on the LEFT-hand side of the road, NOT on the right.
International road traffic signs are in use, and placed along the roads and highways, on the left-hand-side.
Distances and road speed limits are posted in kilometers and kilometer-per-hour (km/h) respectively.
The maximum speed limit on the motorways is 100 km/h and the lower speed limit is 65 km/h. On all other roads, the general speed limit is 80 km/h, unless a lower one is indicated. In built-up areas generally, the speed limit is 50km/h, unless a different one is indicated.
The use of seat-belts is compulsory (front and back)
Children under the age of five MUST NOT, under any circumstances sit in the front passenger seat.
Children from five to ten years old may occupy the front passenger seat only if an appropriate child's seat belt has been fitted.
Rush hours in the towns are approximately between 07:30-08:00 / 13:00-13:30 and in late afternoon 17:00-18:00 in winter, or 18:00-19:00 in summer.
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.
Driving with alcohol concentration above the prescribed limit:
Driving or being in charge of a motor vehicle or pedal cycle with alcohol concentration in breath or blood above the prescribed limit, is an offence.
The prescribed limit in breath is 39 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 milliliters of breath. The prescribed limit in blood is 90 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. (As of 2004 this is subject to change!)