Using your Car
Visitors who wish to bring their car to Cyprus can do so for a period up to three months provided the vehicle has a valid registration licence from its country of origin. This period may be extended, provided the motorist is considered to be a visitor by the Department of Customs and Excise.
Visitors from any of the European Union Member States, Switzerland, Croatia, Iceland and Norway, who bring motor vehicles with a registration plate of one of these countries to Cyprus will not be required to show proof of insurance cover at their point of entry, as it is assumed they are covered in their own country. If this is not the case, the International Insurance Bureau of the motorist’s country will be required to compensate any claims under the Guarantee Agreement in force (Unified Agreement or Internal Regulations). Foreign visitors who bring a motor vehicle with a registration plate not belonging to one of the above European countries will be required to show a valid Green Card to Cypriot authorities. Foreign visitors may take out a valid Green Card even if their country of origin is not a member of the Green Card system. Foreign visitors with a valid “frontier insurance” issued in one of the European Economic Area countries, can use this cover in Cyprus until its expiry date. Motorists may have a valid Green Card, even if their car has European registration plates. In such cases, the registration plate prevails over the Green Card agreement. This means police should allow the vehicle to enter Cyprus without checking the Green Card.
Foreign motorists who do not have a registration plate belonging to one of the European Economic Area countries, or a valid Green Card covering Cyprus, are not allowed to drive their car here and must first secure insurance cover with a Cypriot insurer for the period of their stay. The granting of such insurance cover is at the absolute discretion of insurance companies who may decline. It is therefore advisable for non-European motorists to secure a Green Card before entering Cyprus . As Russia is not a member of the Green Card system, Russian motorists should take note of this requirement so as to avoid possible inconvenience.
Driving in Cyprus
Driving in Cyprus can be enjoyable and in some cases essential as regular transport services to remote areas of interest are not always available. The minimum driving age is 18. To rent a car, drivers must be in possession of a driving licence for at least three years or be aged over 25. Visitors may drive using a valid international driving licence or their national driving licence, provided it is valid for the class of vehicle they wish to drive.
Fairly good surfaced roads complying within international traffic requirements link cities and villages. Four-lane motorways connect the capital, Lefkosia (Nicosia) with the coastal cities of Lemesos (Limassol), Larnaka (Larnaca) and Pafos (Paphos). Minor roads and forest roads are for the most parts unsurfaced, but in good condition. Drivers should note that driving is on the left-hand side of the road, not on the right. All the international road traffic signs are in use and placed on the left-hand side of roads and highways. Distances and speed limits are posted in kilometers and kilometer/per hour (km/h) respectively. The maximum speed limit on motorways is 100 km/h and the minimum is 65 km/h. The use of seatbelts is compulsory both in the front and back, while the use of mobile phones is strictly prohibited while driving. It is an offence to drive a motor vehicle or a pedal bicycle when under the influence of alcohol.
The legal limit in breath is 22 micrograms of alcohol per 100 milliliters of breath. The legal limit in blood is 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. Rush hours in the cities are approximately between 07:30 – 08:00 and 13:00 – 13:30 and in late afternoon 17:00 – 18:00 in winter or 18:00 – 19:00 in summer.