On any vacation, you should familiarize yourself with the most important rules of the vacation country. Here you can find the essential rules for traffic in Cyprus.
Traffic rules in Cyprus
The most important rule in Cyprus? You drive on the left :-). The long British rule has also left its mark on the road traffic in Cyprus. Therefore, please drive a little more carefully after arriving in Cyprus and taking over the rental car, whose steering wheel is on the right in the direction of travel.
The road signs in Cyprus are based on the British road signs, but are easy for us to interpret.
The speed indications on the road signs are often -especially on the highways- in miles per hour and in kilometers per hour. The maximum speed limit on Cyprus’s highways is 100km/h, on country roads 80km/h and within built-up areas 50 km/h, and the signs must be obeyed. A minimum speed of 65km/h applies on the highways.
Drinking and driving
In the Republic of Cyprus there is a limit of 0.5 per mille of alcohol in the blood for drivers of motor vehicles, while in the Noden of Cyprus the limit is 0.0 per mille. My personal recommendation: Do not drink and drive.
Cell phones during traffic
Cell phones are completely prohibited behind the wheel in Cyprus. Cell phones are also not allowed in a stationary vehicle with the engine running. The car must therefore be switched off completely, and only then may you reach for your cell phone.
Cyprus is a country of many round abouts. You turn left into these and whoever is already in the circle has the right of way. It cannot be said otherwise: The round abouts, especially at the beginning and at the end of the highways are really easy to drive and provide smooth on and off ramps at the highways without traffic jams. When you exit a freeway, orient yourself by the big green signs. They will show you which lane to get into to reach your destination.
Street signs in southern Cyprus are in Greek and Latin script, with English names for street and place names in Latin script. In northern Cyprus, the information on the signs is mostly in Turkish only.
Buckling up in the front and rear seats is mandatory.
Unfortunately, Cyprus is one of the worst countries in Europe in terms of road safety. Drive carefully and defensively and nothing will happen to you.
Country codes and license plates
The country code is “CY”. Until 2013, the license plates on registered vehicles were white with black lettering at the front and yellow with black lettering at the rear.
Since 2014 the license plates are -as in Germany- white with black letters in the front and in the back. If you wonder what the small numbers in the middle mean: the numbers indicate the year of manufacture of the vehicle in month and year.
Some cars have red license plates. Those are for commercial cars that are rented out.
Roads in Cyprus
Most roads in Cyprus are in good condition. In the mountains and on some of the peninsulas, four-wheel drive or off-road vehicles are recommended.
The major cities of Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca, Paphos and Ayia Napa are connected by highways.
|Name of motorway|
|A1||Nicosia – Limassol|
|A2||Nicosia – Larnaca|
|A3||Larnaca Airport – Ayia Napa|
|A4||Larnaca – Larnaca Airport|
|A5||Larnaca – Limassol|
|A6||Limassol – Paphos|
To give you a feeling of how big the distances between the individual cities are, a distance table follows. The fastest travel time is always taken into account, i.e. mostly via a highway, if available. All figures are in kilometers.
|Nicosia||Limass.||Larnaca||Larnaca Airport||Ayia Napa||Paphos||Polis||Troodos|
Old Towns and Parking
In the old towns, the streets and alleys are sometimes very narrow and traffic density is high. Parking within the cities of Cyprus is available, but usually costs some money (about 2€ flat rate). It is advisable to leave the car outside the city center and explore the city centers by foot.
You can recognize a general parking ban by the yellow lines on the curbs. At such marked places there is a general parking ban. Experience shows that you can park there for a short time, but if you want to be safe, don’t take the chance.
Car rental in Cyprus
Car rental agencies are available at both Larnaca and Paphos airports and in the cities. During the peak vacation season (April to October), it is advisable to book in advance. The minimum age for renting a car in Cyprus is 21, and you must have held a driver’s license for at least one year. Both international and national driving licenses are accepted in Cyprus.
A special feature of Cypriot rental cars is the special license plate. Unlike non-rental vehicles, rental cars always have a license plate with a red background. The local Cypriots joke that this makes it easier to recognize foreign drivers and that you behave differently to the driver than you would to a local 😉
Car rental in the north of Cyprus
Only a few rental companies in South Cyprus allow you to use the car also for trips to the Turkish occupied north area. Please inquire about this when picking up the rental car. Special insurance may be required.
Refueling in Cyprus
You can refuel in Cyprus 24 hours a day. The staffing is not as pronounced as in D-A-CH, but most gas stations are equipped with fuel dispensers. At these machines you have to pay with your credit card first and then refuel. Often you have to choose the quantity or the amount you want to refuel in advance. Therefore, it is advisable to know the tank size of the rental car, otherwise you will receive a voucher for the “overpayment” from the machine. If you are served by a gas station attendant, then he is happy about 1-2 € as a tip.
My tip: Fill up the rental car at a gas station of your choice before returning it to the rental car company, otherwise it will be expensive.
Involved in an accident – what to do???
If you are unlucky enough to be involved in a traffic accident in Cyprus, the process is a little different than at home.
The first and most important thing is to first get yourself and everyone else to safety and make sure the police have been contacted. The police should always be contacted if you are involved in a traffic accident in Cyprus. They will then call an ambulance or the fire department to the scene of the accident if deemed necessary. The police can be contacted on the emergency number 112.
However, after consulting with the police, it is important that you do not remove the car from the scene of the accident. No matter how small an accident is or where it happened, you should not move the car unless you want to take full responsibility for the accident, although this was not the case.
You should not move the car until both the police and insurance agents have documented the accident and taken photos, notes, and statements. It is likely that the police will arrive first, but even if the police are finished at the scene, do not move the car until you have received a release from the insurance agent.
Fines and penalties in Cyprus
Apart from the fact that many traffic offenses are overlooked by the police, most fines in Cyprus are relatively small compared to most other European countries.
Should you receive a fine for a traffic offense, you cannot pay it immediately at the roadside to the police officer. It is also not recommended to suggest this to the officer.
If you have received a fine, you can pay it either at a police station, at a bank, or by credit card online at the JCC Smart website. To do this, however, you will need to create a “customer account” on the website if you do not already have one. Once the account is created, paying through the app is easy. In this respect, Cyprus is far ahead of some supposedly more modern countries.
Explore Cyprus without a car
In Cyprus there are neither domestic flights nor trains. Therefore, if you want to explore the whole island and do not take a rental car, you have other options to explore the island.
Cyprus by bike
You just have to say it. The most beautiful way to explore Cyprus is by bike. There are nice tours in the Trodoos mountains and for small distances within the cities or from the hotel to the beach, it is a comfortable and above all safe method.
There are some bike rental stations that offer bikes for around 6€-7€ per day, but you can’t expect a brand new high-tech bike for that. For the discerning cyclist, I have compiled essential information on a separate bike page (unfortunately only German yet). Also in hotels it is worth asking at the reception for a bike.
If you get into a regular cab in Cyprus, you should have negotiated the price before or insist that the taximeter be turned on. These are actually basic rules that apply to any country. However, cab prices are definitely lower than in Germany.
In Cyprus there are still shared cabs that will take you back and forth between the larger cities. The prices are a bit higher than by bus, but the ride is more comfortable and faster. You can find a trustworthy company at travelexpress.com.cy.
If you want to explore Cyprus by bus, I recommend cyprusbybus.com. It provides you with all the essential information about routes, timetables and prices of bus lines in Cyprus. Unfortunately, this site is only available in English and Greek.
Do not despair if the bus is not on time. You can be sure, the bus will come … sometime.
In Cyprus there are still intercity buses that connect the larger cities. The stops are very centrally located and the prices for the trips are moderate.
The intercity buses in Cyprus offer a great and inexpensive way to commute between cities within Cyprus. Travel time is insignificantly longer than by car, as there are only a few stops between the central bus stops.
The buses are ultra-modern and offer a pleasant level of comfort. The website of Intercity Busses is: https://intercity-buses.com/en/routes/.
Die nachfolgenden Links bringen euch zu Angeboten unserer Werbepartner. Ihr zahlt nicht mehr, wenn ihr etwas über die nachfolgenden Links kauft oder bucht. Wir erhalten jedoch eine kleine Provision, mit der wir diese Website für euch anbieten können. Vielen Dank für eure Unterstützung.
Euer Team von www.zypern-info.de