Driving in Cyprus

Вождение на Кипре
10 May 2020 Angelica Michael

It is difficult to live without a car in Cyprus. According to the EU standards, there is no public transport here.

There are intercity buses that run every hour or two. There are bus routes in cities that run between the center and the suburbs during the day. A trip from one area to another will take lots of hours one way, since sometimes you need to change a bus in a city's center.

Taxis are available in Cyprus, but they are quite expensive. Getting around by bike is difficult due to the heat. If you don't want your life to be within a half-hour walk round your home, you need a car.

We've collected 10 of the most useful and important driving facts in Cyprus. If you decide to buy or rent a car, it will be useful to consider this information.

• The island is a former British colony, therefore there is left-hand traffic in Cyprus. It can be difficult to get used to the new system, therefore, coming to the island from a country with right-hand traffic, in the first days you should be especially careful, follow the traffic rules and use a navigator to make your driving easier. The second point follows from the first point, which at first seems strange and illogical to you: there is priority to the right rule. Left-hand traffic but priority to the right!

• At roundabouts, cars in roundabouts have priority. To enter the roundabout, you must turn on the right turn indicator, and when leaving it, you need to turn the left one.

• Cities of Cyprus are relatively small. Most of them have roads with one or two lanes. Some roads have an extension at intersections, an additional lane to turn right or left. If you intend to go straight, you should not turn off into this lane as other road users will be furious and will not hesitate to inform you about this by all means available to them.

• Traffic lights have a green arrow that allows you to turn left or right. Even if the arrow has already gone out, you can still turn to the green signal, if you first let oncoming cars pass.

• The driver and all passengers are required to wear seat belts. Yes, and those who sit in the back seats too. And if the Cypriot police treat the "back" passengers condescendingly, the driver who is not wearing a seat and / or the passenger sitting in the front seat are usually fined. The amount of the fine (as of May 2020) is €150. Children under 12 years old can only be transported in a special car seat installed strictly on the back seat of the car. From 12 years old, children can be transported without a car seat.

Speeding is the most common traffic violation in Cyprus. The maximum speed in the urban area is 50 km / h (near schools, kindergartens 30 km / h). Formally, the speed limit on the motorway is 100 km / h. If you accelerate to 119 km / h, this is acceptable, but 120 km / h is considered a violation and is fraught with a fine of € 5 per km, and 2-4 penalty points. If the speeding is up to 50%, from 3 to 6 penalty points are awarded. In case of exceeding the speed limit of 75%, the offender receives from 4 to 8 points. With 12 penalty points, the driver is deprived of his license for a period of six months. Points are canceled after two years. We hope this knowledge is never useful to you, but forewarned means forearmed.

• The second common reason for fines in Cyprus, according to statistics, is talking on a mobile phone while driving. According to the Cyprus Traffic Regulations, if a driver is in a car standing still and the engine is turned on, this is considered "driving". If you need to talk on the phone, it's best to park on the side of the road and turn off the engine. Otherwise, you risk a € 150 fine. You also can't eat or drink (even water) while driving. There are no exceptions to this rule: while driving, both hands must be on the steering wheel. The penalty for the violation is also € 150.

Drunk driving is not recommended anywhere, including in Cyprus. The maximum allowed blood alcohol level is 0.22 ppm.

The penalty varies depending on the degree of intoxication of the driver:

  • 0.22 to 0.35 ppm is € 100 to € 125
  • From 0.35 to 0.55 ppm is € 200- € 300
  • From 0.55 to 0.7 ppm is € 300- € 500
  • More than 0.7 ppm will cost you € 15,000.

In addition, the driver will face trial and could face up to four years in prison. Driving while under the influence of drugs can go to jail for up to six months.

• Parking in the wrong place is also a common cause of fines. Such places include: parking in places for the disabled, on the side of the road with two yellow lines, on the opposite side of the road to traffic, near traffic lights and pedestrian crossings. The fine is €85, and if you leave your car in a disabled parking lot, you face a fine of € 1,285 or up to a year in prison.

• All gas stations in Cyprus operate automatically around the clock (payment by credit card or cash through the terminal), so there are no problems with refueling the car. Some large gas stations have service stations where the oil and filters are changed.

Good luck on the roads of Cyprus!

Read more:

  • How to get Schengen visa from Cyprus? (link)
  • Quad bike and buggy in Cyprus (link)
  • Cyprus cuisine (link)
  • Golf in Cyprus - courses and reviews (link)
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