Driving & Transport

  • 3 years ago

In Cyprus we drive on the left side of the road and cars are right-hand drive, exactly the same as they are in the UK. Most road signs are written both in Greek and in English, with standard EU conventions for Sign post colourings. Distances are measured in Kilometers and the police monitor your speed as they do in the UK but without quite so many cameras.

Cars must be insured and have an annual Ministry check and road tax must be paid annually. Cars are maintained to a high standard, so it is often a great Idea to rent a car & explore the Island.

Driving in Cyprus 


· Drive on the left in Cyprus (as in the UK, unlike the rest of western Europe)
· Front seat belts for driver and passenger are compulsory. Occupants should be belted when they are provided in rear seats.
· It is obligatory for all children under the age of five to sit in the back, strapped into a proper child car seat. Children from five to ten years of age may occupy the front passenger seat provided a child’s seat belt has been fitted.
· Using a mobile phone while driving is prohibited unless using a “handsfree” unit .
· Motorcyclists must wear a helmet.
· Road signs are in English and Greek.
· Distances are marked in kilometers.
· Road speeds are marked in kilometers-per hour (Km/h).
· All roads on the entire island are toll free.
· Horns must not be used between 22:00-06:00. Hooting near a hospital is forbidden at any time of day.
· Third party liability insurance is obligatory.
· Emergency assistance call 112 or 199 .


Items to Carry in the Car

It is compulsory to carry two red warning triangles in the vehicle and use them to warn other traffic when involved in an incident, breakdown or accident.

Driving Licences

Cyprus accepts the driving licences of all EU Member States and any person with a valid licence may drive legally on it in Cyprus. According to EU rulings, old driving licences issued before 1996 do not have to be exchanged for the new Community Model and remain valid until their expiration.

Foreign citizens with an EU licence who are resident in the country may convert their driving licence to a Cyprus licence after six months. The old licence will be returned to the issuing authority. Cyprus licences are issued via the Department of Road Transport. 

Non-EU citizens may drive on valid foreign licences for a period (for those with a US licence the period is six months). Please consult the relevant Consular authorities.

Road Conditions

In recent years, Cyprus has ranked among the top three European countries (per capita) for traffic fatalities. Common causes of traffic accidents include speeding, tailgating, overtaking and a disregard for traffic lights.

Driving in Cyprus is almost a necessity as public transport services are not available to all areas or at all times. Well-maintained, good-sized roads connect the villages and the towns, with four lane motorways connecting the main towns of Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca, Ayia Napa and Paphos. Minor roads and forest roads are usually kept in good condition although they may be un-surfaced. Many mountain roads may close in the winter.

Drivers should always have sunglasses available as the glare of light can be dangerously blinding, particularly in summer or when driving westward in the late afternoon.

Road Tax

Road tax (also known as a circulation fee) is paid annually to the Department of Motor Vehicles for the period January to December. It is usually paid in full. The rate of tax depends on the vehicle engine size, with the fee increasing with the engine size.

·Payment can be made to any high street Bank or online. Take your Vehicle Registration Document
·Payment can be made online in English: Click here 
·Road Transport Department – At: 17 Vasileos Pavlou, 1425 Engomi Tel: 22 807 104 Fax: 22 807 105, e-mail,  website

The Vehicle Registration (tax) disc should be displayed on the car windscreen.
· 2007: Please note that no reminders are being sent out from 2007 

Speed Limits

· The speed limit on motorways is 100 Km/h
· Regional roads: 80 km/h, unless otherwise indicated
· Built up areas (towns and villages): 50 Km/h, unless otherwise indicated
· Speeding is penalised with a fine

Speed checks are frequent as the police try to stem the high death toll on Cyprus’ roads. Some traffic cameras now operate in Cyprus, set mainly at traffic lights to catch drivers jumping the lights, using mobile phones while driving, not wearing a seatbelts etc. More will be rolled out over time, including fixed speed cameras on the Nicosia to Limassol motorway.

Police may use mobile cameras during their speed checks.

Drink Driving or Driving under the Influence of Alcohol

It is illegal to drive a car or motorbike – or even pedal cycle – while under the influence of alcohol. A driver is considered to be driving drunk in Cyprus if:

· The breath/alcohol level equals or exceeds 39 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 milliliters of breath
· The blood/alcohol level equals or exceeds 90 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood (0,9 grams per liter)

A holder of a Cypriot driving licence could have from 3 to 6 points deducted from the licence for drink driving. The fine will be determined by the court. Foreign licence holders not living in Cyprus can be imprisoned or fined on the spot.

Car Insurance

Third party liability insurance is compulsory under Cyprus law. Third party insurance is readily available from all insurance brokers and formalities are straightforward.

Cyprus is signatory to the Multilateral Guarantee Agreement (MGA). Vehicles legally registered and insured in signatory states (which includes all EU countries) are automatically legally insured in Cyprus. The MGA, also known as the “Registration Agreement” and “Number plate Agreement”, replaces the requirement to carry the Green Card.

Vehicle Roadworthiness

The Department of Road Transport (DORT) roadworthiness test must be carried out on any car older than four years and then at two year intervals thereafter. The roadworthiness tests are not required for motor bikes.

The test includes:
· an emissions check
· checks of suspension, brakes, steering, lights and tyres

If your address and vehicle ownership are registered with the Department of Road Transport you should receive notification by post that a test is due (do not rely on this; if you have not received a written reminder, you should visit the office and start the process yourself; driving with an invalid roadworthiness disc can lead to prosecution).

You will receive a receipt. Take this and the registration documents to an authorised control centre. After tests are complete, and if the car has passed, you will receive a copy of the results, one of the emissions and one of all other aspects tested. The testing centre will send these results to the DORT and the roadworthiness disc will be sent to you. This should be displayed on your windscreen.


Municipal and private parking places and garages are widely available. Pay street parking is available in the town centers (no fee on Saturday afternoons, Sundays, or public holidays).

· It is illegal to park or wait at a double yellow line
· Short stops to load or unload may be made at a single yellow line (although parking is prohibited).

Petrol & Fuel
· All petrol (gas) stations sell premium and unleaded petrol (super and 95) and diesel
· Petrol is measured by the liter .
· Many petrol stations in urban and coastal areas operate with self service machine taking payment by credit card or bank notes. These are usually available 24 hours a day .
· Petrol may not be available inland or in rural areas on weekends or public holidays.

Note: in August many rural petrol stations may be closed.

Traffic Offences & Penalties

If you commit a traffic offence you will receive a fixed penalty and a ticket. If you do not accept the ticket, you will receive a court summons. The penalties are issued in conjunction with penalty points. The courts have the power to disqualify drivers when they have 12 points on their licence; when the disqualification is removed, the offender will be able to drive again, but the points will remain for another three years.

Points and fines for traffic offences:

· Causing death through dangerous driving: min 5, max. 10
· Hit and run: min 5, max. 10 (The fine will be determined by the court)
· Thoughtless or dangerous driving: min 3, max. 6 (The fine will be determined by the court)
· Careless driving: min 2, max. 4. (The fine will be determined by the court)
· Driving under the influence of alcohol: Min 3, max. 6. (The fine will be determined by the court)
· Ignoring traffic lights: min 2, max. 4 (a fine)
· Motorcyclists without helmets: in built-up areas – min 1, max. 2. Out of town or rural and suburban min 2, max. 4 (a fine)
· Not wearing a seat belt: min 2, max. 4


Accident & Breakdown

In case of accident or breakdown: Note that while there are SOS phones on the motorways these rarely work. It’s recommended you carry a cellular/mobile telephone.

The Cyprus Automobile Association is a non-profit organisation providing 24-hour emergency service to members and members of affiliate organisations.

· CAA 24-hour emergency service: 22 313 131

There are several private 24hr breakdown service and towing companies.

The implementation of the principle of free movement of people, is one of the cornerstones of our European construction, has meant the introduction a series of practical rules to ensure that citizens can travel freely and easily to any Member State of the European Union. Traveling across the EU with one’s car has become a lot less problematic. The European Commission has set a series of common regulations governing the mutual recognition of driving licences, the validity of car insurance, and the possibility of registering your car in a host country.

Your driving licence in the EU

There is currently no common EU driving licence in place, but the EU Member States have introduced a “Community Model” driving licence. This common model ensures that driving licences issued by different EU countries are easily recognised in other Member States. A principle of mutual recognition is generally applied. The licence is issued in accordance to national law, but should incorporate provisions concerning the Community Model, such as the basic conditions to be granted a licence.

Old driving licences issued before 1996 do not have to be exchanged for the new Community Model driving licence and remain valid until their expiration.

If an EU citizen takes up residence in another Member State, it is not necessary to exchange the driving licence, although many often do for practical reasons. Also, some Member States require that additional data be entered onto the licence to fulfill certain administrative requirements.

In the event of expiry, loss or theft, a new driving licence can be issued in the Member State of residence, in accordance to national conditions. Citizens should contact the competent authorities.

Registering your car in the host country

In the event you reside in another EU Member State and drive your car there for more that six months, you will be obliged to register the car with the local authorities and pay the host country’s registration tax.

Car Insurance

EU citizens can insure their car in any EU country, as long as the chosen insurance company is licensed by the host national authority to issue the relevant insurance policies. A company based in another Member State is entitled sell a policy for compulsory civil liability only if certain conditions are met. Insurance will be valid throughout the Union, no matter where the accident takes place.


Value Added Tax or VAT on motor vehicles is ordinarily paid in the country where the car is purchased, although under certain conditions, VAT is paid in the country of destination.

More information on the rules which apply when a vehicle is acquired in one EU Member State and is intended to be registered in another EU Member State is available on the link “Motor vehicle tax”.

Further information
· Department of Customs:
Tel: 22 601 657 and 22 601 658.
· Road Traffic Department:
Tel: 22 807 000 / 22 807
· Department of Customs & Excise website
· Department of Road Transport (DRT), All Districts
At: 106 Nicos Pattichis Street, Limassol
Tel: 25 305 668
Fax: 25 305 674
· The Cyprus Automobile Association (CAA)
At: 12 Chrysanthou Mylona Street, Nicosia
Tel: 22 313 233
Fax: 22 313 482

External Link to Driving Resources.

Intercity / Inter Urban Bus Services

Various bus companies link all major towns with a regular service leaving every one or two hours. There is no service on Sunday.

Note: Dogs may not be taken on buses.

Bus companies serve the following routes: 

· Larnaca – Nicosia – Limassol – Larnaca Airport – Ayia Napa – Protaras
Intercity Buses (Green Buses)
Tel: 24 643 492 or 24 722 700
Schedule online
· Ayia Napa – Larnaca – Paralimni 
Eman Buses
Tel: 23 721 321
· Nicosia – Limassol
Lefkosia Interurban Co Ltd
Tel: 22 665 814
· Larnaca – Nicosia 
Larnaca – Limassol
K. Interurban Co Ltd
Tel: 24 643 492 or 24 722 700 or 24 665 814
· Paphos – Limassol – Polis
Nea Amoroza Transport Co Ltd.
Tel: 26 936 822 or 26 936 740
· Larnaca – Paralimni – Protaras
E.P.A. Co.
Tel: 23 821 318 or 23 825 607 or 99 484 818
· Paralimni – Protaras – Ayia Napa
Paralimni – Deryneia – Larnaca
Paralimni – Protaras – Larnaca

Leopa Bus Service



Urban buses

Within the urban areas, city buses run on fixed routes roughly every half hour, with services ending in the evenings at about 18:00 daily (except Sunday). Hours are extended until midnight during the tourist season.

Schedule times are available from tourist offices or directly from the bus companies.

Urban Bus Companies

· Nicosia
Nicosia Bus Company Ltd (schedule online)
Buses terminus at: Solomos Square/Plateia Solomou.
Generally run every 20 to 30 minutes
Tl: 22 665 814
Nicosia also runs the Yellow Busses. Free ride within the city walls.
· Limassol
A. Themistocleous
Tel: 25 370 592 or 25 354 050
· Larnaca:
Gonia Karaoli & Dimitriou 36A
Tel: 2 4 650 477 or 24 657 466
· Paphos: Osypa Busses
Karavella Bus Station
Tel: 26 934 410 or 26 934 252
· Paralimni: 
Agiou Georgiou 12
Tel: 23 821 318
· Ayia Napa:
Leofcros Makariou 32A
Tel: 23 821 318
· Polis
Tel: 26 321 114


Rural buses

Rural buses connect towns and villages making many stops. However, the service is infrequent with schedules limited to one or two routes per day.

Intercity / Inter Urban Shared Service Taxis

This is a shared taxi in a 4- to 8-seater minibus, which provides a connection service between all major towns. You can be collected anywhere in the urban centers and taken to a limited number of destinations at a fixed rate. The taxis do not operate between towns and villages.

You can either board a taxi from the service taxi office in town or call for a pick-up and drop off service, reserving your place by telephone. You may ask to be dropped anywhere within the Municipal zone. Payment is made to the driver.

Operation hours:

· The service runs every half hour
· Monday to Friday 06:00 to 18:00
· Saturdays and Sundays 07:00 to 17:00
· No service on public holidays

Service Taxi Routes 

Regular service taxis run between the following towns and airports:
· Nicosia – Limassol
· Larnaca – Nicosia
· Nicosia – Larnaca airport
· Larnaca – Limassol
· Limassol – Larnaca airport
· Limassol – Paphos
· Limassol – Paphos airport

The taxi does not operate between towns and villages. Call for full schedule timetable and detail of routes:

· Cyprus Interurban Taxi Co. Ltd (Pagkypria Eteria Yperastikon Taxi Ltd)
Tel: 77 777 474 (from any Cyprus telephone)
Tel: +357 22 730 888 (from outside Cyprus)

· Nicosia
Leoforos Salaminos, Municipal Parking Place (Kolokasi)
Tel: 22 730 888 or 77 777 474
· Limassol
Thessalonikis 21A, Othelos Bldg
Tel: 77 777 474
Gonia Kavazoglou & Misiaouli
Tel: 25 877 666
· Larnaca
Gonia Papakyriakou & Marsellou
Tel: 24 661 010 or 77 777 474
Corner Kitiou & Kilkis Str
Tel: 24 662 110 or 77 777 474
· Pafos
Kinyras 34
Tel: 26 923 800 or 77 777 474
Evagora Pallikaridi 9
Tel: 77 777 474


Urban Taxis

Urban taxis run 24 hours a day in all towns.

Taxis can be hired from the street although it is preferable to telephone book your taxi. Fares are measured by taxi meter based on a fixed rate chart. Taxi fares are regulated by law.

· Tariff I: daytime tariff is valid 06:01 to 20:30
· Tariff II: night tariff is valid 20:31 to 06:00
· Luggage costs extra
· Delaying a taxi costs extra
· There is a supplement payable on certain public holidays

Nicosia: Taxi rank at Eleftheria Square (City Centre). Taxis available 24 hours a day

Rural Taxis

Rural taxis must always be hired from the base station except if you are taking a taxi from the taxi rank at the airports or seaports.

There are two tariff scales with fees paid on a per-kilometer rate. There are further fees payable for extras:

· Tariff I is for a daytime: 06:01 to 20:30
· Tariff II, a higher night-time price, applies from 20:31 to 06:00
· There is an extra fee payable per piece of luggage weighing more than 12 kilograms
· There is a penalty payable if you keep the taxi waiting (higher for the Tariff II rate)

Note: Rural taxis do not have taxi meters.

Limassol Port

Limassol Port, situated west of the town, is the biggest port with the largest range of facilities. It is the stop-over for many cruise ships and has ferry connection with Greece, Israel, Egypt and Lebanon.

Services available at the port include:

· Tourist information desk
· Foreign Exchange bureau
· Public telephones: coin and card operated
· Duty Free shops
· Cafeteria
· Health Inspector’s Office
· First Aid centre
· Car insurance office
· There is easy access by taxi and buses are available to the town centre.
· Limassol (Lemesos) Tel: 25 819 200

Larnaca Port

Larnaca Port is to the east of the town, 5 kilometers from the Larnaca International Airport

· Services available at the port include:
· Public telephones: coin and card operated
· Cafeteria
· Health Inspector’s Office
· Access by taxi (rate based on the taxi-meters)
· Larnaca (Larnaka) Tel: 24 815 225

Contact Information

All the ports on Cyprus are managed by the Cyprus Ports Authority

Cyprus Ports Authority
At: 23 Crete street, 1516 Nicosia
Tel: 22 817 2 00
Fax: 22 765 4 20

Limassol (Lemesos) Tel: 25 819 200

Larnaca (Larnaka) Tel: 24 815 225

Paphos (Pafos) Tel: 26 946 840

Paphos International Airport

By taxi
Taxis are available from outside the terminal.
By car
To reach Paphos city from the airport, drive until you reach a ‘T’ junction and turn left towards Paphos. After about 1 km turn right and drive north, then after about 1 km turn left to use the motorway to Paphos.

By bus
There is a bus service from outside the airport terminal, with regular journeys between the airport and the town. Journeys take from 15 to 25 minutes depending on traffic.

Short- and long-term parking is available near the terminal.


Further information is available at the Travelers’ Information Desk located in the terminal building.

Airport information: +357 2624 0506
Flight information: +357 6 801800

Compare listings