Who would not want to drive in the beautiful island country of Cyprus? Driving along the beautiful southern coastline seems improbable and daunting. Or perhaps a scenic drive through the Paphos forest as you checklist all your destination cities in Cyprus seems a bit impossible, right?
Not at all! We are here to tell you that it is possible to have a wonderful driving experience in Cyprus. If done right, this will make your trip to Cyprus a memorable one.
Driving in Cyprus can be easy with some guidelines. Be well equipped with some facts and you will love exploring this Mediterranean island country through driving. Let’s get started with the driving rules related to Cyprus.
Road Driving Tips in Cyprus
Driving in Cyprus can be tricky, mostly because of certain locals. But that does not mean your experience will be terrible. In order to make your driving experience in Cyprus worthwhile, let us get to know some facts straight.
Left Hand Side of the Road
Cyprus was a former British colony, and like most British colonies it inherited the left-hand side driving of the British. You also overtake here from the right.
In case you are not familiar with this driving style, take your time to be comfortable with it.
Meaning of the Single and Double Yellow Lines
In Cyprus, you will observe single and double yellow lines at certain places on the road. The single yellow line indicates that loading and unloading are allowed, but parking is not allowed at all times.
The double lines mean that parking and even waiting are not allowed at that spot.
Road Signs in Cyprus
The traffic signs in Cyprus are as per the EU standards and hence are easily recognizable if you are familiar with EU standard traffic signs. Most road signs in Cyprus are in Greek or Turkish, as well as in English. So, you can enjoy and relax on your drive without worrying about learning Greek or Turkish languages.
We have also observed that the speed limits are expressed in kilometers per hour. So, in case you are used to reading speed limits in miles per hour, you might want to use a converter. For every one mile approximately 1.6 kilometers are covered.
Road Quality and Types in Cyprus
Cyprus has five main types of road categories. Motorways (2 lanes for each direction), main roads, secondary roads, local roads, and unclassified roads. The motorways and main roads are always in good condition.
An exception to this is Turkish-controlled Cyprus. Also, the secondary and local roads may not be up to the mark.
Important Road Signs in Cyprus
Cyprus roads have some of the most commonly found road signs. Some of the types of signs are speed limit, prohibition, priority, warning, and special regulation signs.
There are some special road signs which do not conform to the EU conventions. Some of these include uneven road surface signs, end-of-priority roads, and horses only.
Also Read: Secret Beaches in Cyprus
Seat Belt Law in Cyprus
Seat belts are mandatory for each passenger sitting in the car. Both front-seat and rear-seat passengers must put on seat belts at all times.
In case any passenger in a driving car is found without a seat belt you can be charged a hefty penalty of 150 Euros. We would recommend you always use a seat belt, not just to avoid the fine, but for your own safety.
Parking Laws in Cyprus
Mostly it is alright to park near a curb as long as you are not obstructing any other vehicle or pathway. You can however attract a fine of 100 Euros if you park in the opposite direction of traffic. A fine of 100 Euros can also be charged to you if you park in the single and double yellow-lined area.
Make sure that you do not park in the parking for the disabled. Also, avoid parking near a bus stop or a pedestrian crossing. It is always best to understand the traffic offenses before you begin your road trip to Cyprus.
Mind the Speed Cameras and the Maximum Speed Limit
You need not worry about remembering all the speed limits. Usually, the signposts mark the speed limit for that road. However, for your convenience remember to not speed above 100 km/h (60 mph) on motorways or highways.
As a general rule of thumb for urban roads, do not speed above 50 km/h. In the case of non-urban roads do not exceed 80 km/h. Keep the speed limit to 30 kmph for pedestrian zones. It is mandatory to stick to the speed limits in Cyprus.
Failure to adhere to the speed limits can attract a fine. The fines here are charged as per limits of increase in speed for every kilometer. For instance, you can be charged up to 2 euros per kilometer for up to a 30% increase in speed.
Petrol Station Availability
Most major cities in Cyprus will have modern petrol and gas stations. It is however common to find attendants at petrol stations. You might have to ask them to fill in the fuel for you.
The petrol staff is available only between 6 P.M. and 6 A.M. during weekdays and till 4 P.M. on Saturdays. In case of the absence of an attendant, you might have to opt for self-service at the fuel station.
Alcohol Laws While Driving
The alcohol laws while driving in Cyprus are strict. The allowed amount of alcohol in your bloodstream should be around 0.05% or less. In other words, it should be no more than 22 mg per 100 grams of breath.
In case you need to drink, it is advisable to avoid driving. The fine that is attracted increases with the breath-alcohol ratio.
Mobile Phone Usage While Driving
Talking on the phone while driving is considered a serious offense in Cyprus. You can however use your phone for listening to music using a hands-free system. If caught you can be fined up to 150 euros.
Traffic Style in Cyprus
While driving in Cyprus you need to keep your car or vehicle to the left side of the road. With that said the movement of traffic is not well managed. There are however speed bumps to manage the speed.
Driving Style of Cyprian People
Despite all the rules and regulations, you may find that the driving style of Cyprian people is not that great. For your own smooth driving experience, we recommend that you drive defensively and follow all the traffic rules.
How Crowded Are the Main Cities in Cyprus?
Also Read: 5 Days in Cyprus Itinerary
Parking Options in Main Cities
Cyprus provides paid and free spaces for parking your vehicle. Parking in the city can cost you 0.4 to 0.6 euros approximately per hour. However, in cities like Limassol and Nicosia, it can be a little difficult to get a decent parking space during office hours on weekdays.
Is Driving in Cyprus Safe?
Driving in Cyprus can be tricky. You may observe that sometimes Cyprian people run red lights. It is always better to not rush when you see the green signal.
Jaywalking is also observed in Cyprus. In order to be safe while driving it is always to be defensive and keep your guard up.
Driving in North Cyprus (How Different Is It From South Cyprus?)
An important aspect while driving in Cyprus is to understand the difference between North and South Cyprus. North Cyprus is occupied by Turkey. Only a few southern car rental companies will allow using their cars in North Cyprus.
It is best to check about insurance and car rental conditions before hiring a car. Most insurance companies will not cover driving in North Cyprus. You can however get insurance at the border.
Rental Car Tips
If you’re someone who is interested in road trips and plans on having a rental car, you should consider the following things.
Rental Companies Preference
Car rental companies are present in most major cities of Cyprus. It is easier to hire a car through online booking portals. The WildyNess team recommends using Discover cars.
Prepare a Proper Credit Card
You need to have a proper credit card ready for a comfortable road trip in Cyprus. Most car rentals require credit cards. You cannot use cash to rent a car in Cyprus.
Another important reason is most fuel stations require credit cards for auto-refueling.
In case you end up facing a traffic fine credit card comes in handy. It is always convenient to pay using credit cards.
Choose an Automatic Transmission Car
Manual cars are commonly used in Cyprus. However, using a manual car can be quite a hassle. You must specifically mention an automatic transmission car while booking a rental car.
Prepare Your International Driving Permit
Create your international driving license if you are not in Europe. Citizens belonging to European countries can use their existing licenses. It is always safe to have an international driving license.
Minimum Age to Rent a Car In Cyprus
Some rental companies require your minimum age to be 21. Most of them, however, allow 18 years to be the minimum age.
In case you are below 25, you may have to pay additional charges. You must check with the individual car rental agency for the terms and conditions.
Choose the Insurance of the Comparison Portal
Along with booking a car, you must also ensure you get car insurance in case of damages or accidents. If you are a US citizen, your credit card probably covers vehicle insurance. In that case, you need not get insurance.
Driving in Cyprus can be a wonderful experience. You get the delight of driving across varied geographical areas from coastal areas to mountain roads. With the right knowledge of driving rules in Cyprus, you will make this experience truly rewarding.