Driving in Cyprus. Car purchase and taxes.
If you come to the island for just a couple of weeks, it is possible to cope without a car. Especially if you prefer a quiet beach holiday and only rare trips outside of your resort town. In addition, the island has a developed taxi service, but keep in mind that the price of a one-way trip can cost you the cost of a daily car rental. You can also use city buses, but there are fewer routes than you would like and transport rarely travels - some buses operate only up to 5 flights a day.
If you are planning an extended stay or want to explore the island, it is worth considering renting or buying a car. We will tell you more about the options and conditions in this article.
Car traffic on the island
Left side traffic
Driving on the island is on the left. This rule has been in place since the territory was under the control of the British Empire. Although Cyprus has gained independence since 1960, left-hand traffic remains.
Also, right-hand drive cars predominate here. Therefore, at first, drivers from other countries need to be more careful since, in such vehicles, the dimensions are felt differently, and you need to get the hang of shifting the gearbox with your left hand. To simplify adaptation, choosing a car with an automatic transmission is better when buying or renting.
Everything on the island is thought out to the smallest detail, so motorists feel comfortable. The roads are of good quality, and all road signs and markings are installed. The road's edge is always illuminated in the evening, thanks to reflectors.
There are no toll roads, tunnels, and bridges in Cyprus. There are highways with a limit of 100 km/h. It is better to move within this limit, as fines begin when exceeding more than 20 km / h.
Cyprus is also one of the safest EU countries for drivers. The island recorded only 7.5 accidents per 10,000 people. For comparison, in Spain - 21, Italy - 29, and Germany - 37.
When renting a car on the island for the first time, it may seem that no one here has heard about parking rules. Actually, it is not. There are rules here, and you can get fined if you don't follow them.
For example, you can only park in Cyprus in the direction of travel. In places where the road near the curb is marked with a yellow line, you cannot park. The double yellow line indicates special vehicle parking spaces. Only a short stop can be made at a single yellow line to pick up or drop off passengers.
As in other countries, it is forbidden to park near pedestrian crossings, bus stops, and intersections. Parking is also strictly prohibited in disabled areas. The fine can be up to 1200 euros!
But you shouldn't worry. There are many paid and free parking lots on the island.
The cost of paid parking - from 50 cents per hour. The closer to the city center, the more expensive. The payment format is different. On some, parking is paid directly to the valet, while others are equipped with terminals that take the money and start a timer or issue a check (you need to put it on the dashboard, under the windshield of the car).
Finding a free seat is also quite possible. Look around, if there is no valet in the parking lot, no ticket terminal, and traffic rules do not directly prohibit parking - park calmly. Also, shopping centers, restaurants, and hotels offer visitors free parking.
From October 1, 2020, the permitted speed limit exceeding in populated areas has been reduced from 20% to 10% + two kilometers. That is:
● If the speed limit is 30 km/h, it is permissible to drive up to 35 km/h.
● The 65 km/h limit allows the vehicle to travel at speeds up to 73 km/h.
Speed exceeding up to 20% is allowed on high-speed roads and outside settlements. With a limit of 100 km / h, it is permissible to drive at a speed of up to 120 km / h
For speeding up to 30%, the fine will be - 2 euros per kilometer, 30-50% - 3 euros per kilometer, and 50-75% - 5 euros per kilometer. If you exceed the speed limit by more than 75% of the allowed speed, the court will determine the fine amount.
Also, be sure to pay attention to the following penalties:
● An unfastened seat belt can cost 150 euros.
● Transportation of children without a car seat - 150 euros.
● Talking on a mobile phone while driving without a special device - 150 euros.
● Overtaking in the wrong place - 150-200 euros.
● Passing through a red traffic light - 300 euros.
● Drunk driving: from 125 euros to a few thousand of euros, depending on the court decision.
However, you shouldn't worry too much. All rental cars in Cyprus have red numbers. So on the road, it is easy to distinguish a tourist, and the police can forgive small mistakes. The main thing is to be polite and calm.
Buying a car
Buying a car in Cyprus is quite simple, but you should pay attention to some features when choosing.
Suppose you are a citizen of a country outside the European Union. In that case, you can officially purchase a car only after obtaining any type of residence permit in Cyprus, or a passport with a multiple-entry visa. That is any document that allows you to live on the island for a long time.
Where to buy a car on the island?
You can buy a car in a car dealership or a private person. FORLIFY clients can always count on our support and discounts in such questions. Contact us!)
Which car to choose?
When buying a car, you should take into account the peculiarities of the local automotive market. This is important since Cyprus is an island state, and large purchases of spare parts are not made here. If you choose an exclusive model for yourself, you may have difficulties with repairs in the future.
Try to choose a car brand that is popular on the island. Among the popular ones are Toyota, Opel, Volkswagen, and the more expensive segment - Mercedes, BMW, and Land Rover. Also, on the roads of Cyprus, you can often find pickup trucks. Their popularity is due to 50% road tax benefits and a 100% discount on customs duties.
Before registration, the car must be insured. Compared to other European countries, the cost of car insurance in Cyprus is relatively low. One reason for this is the low hijacking rate. The final amount of insurance will depend on the car's cost, and the driver's driving experience.
One of the most popular insurance systems is Third Party. Payments under this insurance will cover the damage caused to you in the event of an accident. There is also Full insurance that covers your expenses in most cases in full amount, even if you caused the accident(not counting cases when a client was drunk etc.).
The amount of this tax in Cyprus is calculated depending on the CO2 emissions from your car's engine. Cars with CO2 lower than 175 g/km will cost up to 200 Euro yearly.
You can pay the tax only if you have valid insurance and a coupon for passing a technical inspection. It can be paid online or offline at banks, service centers, and the Department of Road Transport office.
Change of driving license
If you plan to drive a car on the island, then officially, in six months, you must change your native license to Cypriot. But in practice, not a lot of people do this.
Suppose you still want to get a Cypriot license. In that case, you must come to the Department of Road Transport and pass the Cyprus theory and driving exam.
New cars must undergo a technical inspection (MOT) every three years and used cars every two years. The cost of the technical inspection in Cyprus is about 25 euros. To pass it, you must provide a vehicle to one of the private certified services.
I am buying a used car. How to check the vehicle?
If you want to buy a used car, then before buying, we recommend that you consider a few essential points:
● In addition to carefully checking the car's technical condition, be sure to check whether the road tax (Road Tax) has been paid and whether the technical inspection (MOT) has been done. Even if the seller provides a printout of supporting documents, we recommend that you additionally check these data.
● To complete the car purchase procedure, you will need to make insurance (Cover Note). To do this, ask the owner for a logbook (Registration Certificate) copy. This will allow you to ensure that the car's registration parameters comply with the parameters specified by the seller.
● It is better to consider buying a car with road tax paid or paying it yourself later. You can find the amount of tax payable on the JCCSmart website in the road tax payment section.
● Inspection. Unfortunately, in Cyprus, there is no way to check the online status and find out the entire history of technical inspections of a particular car. This can only be done by employees of the station where the ILO is held.
Re-registration of the car to the new owner takes a minimum of time. For the buyer, this is a passport, driving license, and signing of a few papers, which FORLIFY will gladly help you with when you join our family. Contact us!)