Driving in Cyprus
For getting around in Cyprus, driving a car is by far the most preferred method of transport – mainly due to the somewhat irregular public transport service which does not always go to the more remote areas of the island 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, Nicosia with the coastal towns of Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos.
Minor roads and forest roads are 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 licence of its country of origin. The period may be extended accordingly, provided the person is considered a visitor by the Department of Customs & Excise.
During driving the use of a mobile phone or smoking in the car is strictly prohibited.
Visitors in Cyprus can 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.
Traffic moves on the LEFT hand-side of the road (like in the UK), NOT on the right. At roundabouts give way to traffic approaching from the right.
Distances and road speed limits are posted in kilometres and kilometres-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.
The use of seat-belts is compulsory (front and back).
Children under the age of five(5) are not allowed to be in the front passenger’s seat by any means.
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 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 limit is lower than the UK. The limit in Cyprus is 22 micrograms of alcohol per 100 milliliters of breath.
Any fines issued for speeding or parking violations are the responsibility of the driver of the car at the time of issue, and should be dealt with at the nearest branch of the Traffic Police. Traffic fines are not paid to the officer at the roadside.
Petrol stations are open from 07.00 – 18.00 every day except Tuesday and Saturday afternoons when they close at 13.00 and 12.00 respectively. They are also closed all day Sunday and on Public Holidays. All stations are fitted with automated ATM machines that accept cash and credit card transactions when no cashier is on duty.