Getting a car in Cyprus
Whether you come to Cyprus as a tourist or a digital nomad, sooner or later you will want to step beyond the comforts of the city and explore the island in all its natural beauty and glory. Conveniently, Cyprus boasts a well-developed network of roads that makes such exploration easy – provided that you have a car. The car is by far the most convenient way to move around the island. Not only will it take you where you want, whenever you want, but it will also let you enjoy Cyprus’ beautiful scenery and nature.
There are 3 ways in which you can get a car in Cyprus: rental, a purchase from a local dealer or reseller or buying an imported car. Each of these options entails other related issues you will have to take care of such as a road tax, rental insurance or automobile liability insurance.
In the next section, you will find a detailed explanation of each of these 3 ways to obtain a means of transportation that will take yourself, your friends, and your family wherever and whenever you want.
3 Ways to Get a Car in Cyprus
Depending on your plans in Cyprus, you can decide which of these options best suits your needs and budget. Here are some things to take into consideration:
1. Renting a car in Cyprus
If you visit the country for a short period, your best option might be renting a car. It gives you the possibility to move around, get to know Cyprus in its entirety, and have a means of transportation ready whenever you decide to travel.
It is important to mention that all rental cars have license plates that identify the car as rented. Because of their red and black colours, your car will stand out in the local traffic.
In addition to this, you should know that your insurance may not be equally valid on all roads. Your insurance policy should specify which roads you may and may not drive on depending on the quality. In general, rental car insurance policy will not kick in if you get into an accident on the following kinds of routes
- Roads in remote areas
- 4WD roads
- Some mountain roads
Before renting a car, ask the car rental company for more information about your insurance policy. Make sure what accidents it does and doesn’t cover as well as where you are legally allowed to drive your car to avoid any difficulties.
On the other hand, you should be mindful that crossing to the Northern Cyprus border in your rented car may entail additional costs. For example, as it is a part of Turkish territory, some rental car companies charge extra insurance fee if you drive there. What is more, you are not allowed to cross the border without a valid insurance document.
Although you can buy this insurance document at the border for €20, the insurance company can still view you as legally responsible for any damage to the car if you crossed the border without notifying them beforehand about your plans.
To rent a car in Cyprus, you will need:
- A valid driver’s license
- Your passport
- A credit card
The average cost of a rental car is approximately €10-50 per day. But this may vary according to the following factors:
- High season will be more expensive (April - October)
- Different types of car (a 4WD is usually more expensive than a smaller 2WD)
Rental Car Agencies
These are some of the most popular rental car agencies you can find in different cities around the island.
- 7777Rent- Cyprus car hire
- Champion Rent a Car
- Demis Rent a Car
- AIDA Rent a Car
- ASTRA Self Dive Cars
- Kyrenia Car Hire
2. Buying a car
If your primary intention is to live in Cyprus for an extended period or permanently, then buying a car may be a wise choice. Due to low taxes on vehicles, the cost of buying a car in Cyprus is relatively low in comparison to many other EU countries.
When buying a car, you should carefully examine its condition and shape - both outside and inside. However, you should also consider where you will primarily use your car. A vehicle that’s perfect for city driving will likely be inadequate for a road trip in the mountains or for driving off-road.
Car companies offer lots of deals to help you find the right car for you,r with both new or second-hand options available. In addition, you might also buy a car from a private person directly.
Importantly, non-EU citizens can legally own a car on the island too. After obtaining a residence permit, a category F visa or a multiple-entry visa in your passport, you’ll be able to purchase a car as a non-EU citizen without any problems.
Where Can I Buy a Car?
If you are looking for a new car, you can buy one from an authorized dealer of a car brand you’re interested in. But if you want to get a used car, you can also buy directly from a private seller(importantly, you will need to legally change the ownership of the vehicle once the transaction is finalized).
Below, you will find useful links that will help you find your first car in Cyprus - either a new or a used one:
To acquire a used car, you will need:
- Buyer and seller’s identification, e.g. passport.
- G. Frantzis Motors Ltd
- DoRT (MOT) test certificate.
- Insurance coverage (provided by the buyer).
- All documents required for an ownership change, signed by both the seller and the buyer.
3. Importing a Car to Cyprus
This third way to get a car in Cyprus is admittedly the most complicated and the most expensive one. You need to be prepared to get through many additional registration procedures and to pay significant fees.
Still, as new cars are often quite expensive anyway, it may be worth trying to get an imported car despite the high import costs. You should also take into consideration that cars imported from markets other than the UK and Japan will need to undergo a complicated procedure of transferring the car’s steering wheel to its right side.
In Cyprus, to be able to drive on a public road, you need to obtain a license from the government. This license - or more precisely, the payment for it - is commonly known as a road tax.
You can buy a license that is valid for either 6 or 12 months. Its cost is based on the engine capacity and it is charged per calendar year, that is to say, from January 1st to December 31st.
Costs depending on the engine capacity:
- Up to 2.0-litre engines: €240 per year approximately.
- Up to 2.6-litre engines: €520 per year approx.
- More than 2.6-litre engines: double in tax per year.
The road tax can be paid monthly or yearly. A failure to pay the tax will result in your car’s license being revoked. In practical terms, this means you will no longer be able to legally drive your car.
Where You Can Pay the Road Tax
These are the places where you can pay your tax road monthly or yearly.
- On the Road Transport Department website
- On the JCC website
- Both commercial and cooperative banks
- Service centres
- The office of the Department of Road Transportation
According to the EU law, all vehicles must be insured with a third party liability insurance. In other words, you should get an insurance policy against personal injury and material damages that a third party may experience if you cause an accident.
As there is no public insurance in Cyprus, you need to obtain your car insurance through a private insurance company and choose a policy according to your needs and budget.
The country is part of the Multilateral Guarantee Agreement (MGA) . Under this agreement, any vehicle legally insured in the EU is will automatically have valid insurance in Cyprus.
In case of an accident, you should take the following steps to resolve the situation as fast as possible and be able to recover any financial losses from your insurance policy:
- Do not move the cars (unless it could be dangerous for other users of the road or if the cars clearly obstruct traffic). Call the police immediately.
- Take the other driver’s personal information such as name, address, and insurance details.
- Contact your insurance company immediately. Inform them about the accident.
Here, you will find a list of some of the popular Cyprus insurance companies that will help you get your car insurance.
The following steps will help you to choose the right kind of insurance for your car:
- Do proper research on each insurance company. Compare different offers, paying special attention to complete insurance costs.
- Read the terms and conditions of the policy before deciding to buy it.
- Ask what happens if you decide to upgrade your car. Check for plan modifications options, hidden costs, etc.
- Check whether the policy covers engine malfunction.
- Ideally, you should be able to choose a policy with zero depreciation coverage. In practical terms, this means that you won’t have to pay for any property damage to the car.
Ensure that you make an informed decision based on what you need, the information the insurer provides, and the budget you have. Evaluate all the options available for you and if you are in doubt, get in touch with a professional yet objective consultant.
Make an Informed Decision
Getting a car is by far the best way to ensure you’ll have a reliable means of moving around the cities and exploring the island whenever you want and need. To obtain a vehicle, you may choose to rent a car or purchase a car from one of the local dealers, resellers or a private person. Under certain circumstances it may also be a good idea to import a car from abroad.
If you rent a car, make sure to double-check with your rental agency the important details of your rental especially those that have to do with the insurance. If you buy a car, you need to remember that you need to buy a valid liability insurance and pay the road tax.
If you need any further information or advice, feel free to contact us and get a free personal consultation with one of our informed specialists.