Cyprus is a beautiful island nation located in the Eastern Mediterranean, known for its picturesque beaches, ancient ruins, and delicious cuisine. If you're planning a trip to Cyprus, renting a car can be a great way to explore all that the island has to offer. In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about car hire in Cyprus, from the types of vehicles available to the best rental companies and tips for getting around the island.
Overview of the Transportation System in Cyprus
Cyprus offers options for travelling around the island mainly by bus and taxi. However, many travellers choose to rent a car as it provides the most flexibility and convenience when exploring the island.
Buses: The island has a comprehensive bus system, with routes connecting all the major cities and towns. The buses are relatively cheap and run on schedule, but they can get quite crowded during peak tourist season.
Taxis: Taxis are readily available in all the major cities and towns in Cyprus. They are metered and relatively inexpensive, but they can be difficult to find in more remote areas.
Car Hire: Renting a car is by far the most popular option for travellers, as it provides the most flexibility and convenience when exploring the island. With a rental car, you'll have the freedom to discover all the hidden gems of the island, and you'll be able to reach destinations that are not easily accessible by public transport.
Overall, the transportation system in Cyprus is reliable, efficient and reasonably priced. But for those who want to explore the island in a more flexible way, a rental car would be the best option.
Car Hire Cyprus: What to Know Before Renting
When hiring a car in Cyprus, there are a few important things to keep in mind to ensure a smooth and stress-free experience.
International Driver's Licence: If you're planning to hire a car in Cyprus, you'll need to have a valid driver's licence from your country of residence, as well as an International Driver's Permit (IDP). It is advisable to get the IDP before your trip as it may not be available on the island.
Insurance: Most car rental companies include basic insurance with their rentals, but it's always a good idea to check the specifics of the coverage before you book. Make sure you understand what is included, what is excluded, and if there are any excess or deductible amounts.
Fuel Policy: Be sure to ask about the fuel policy when renting a car. Some companies may require you to return the vehicle with a full tank, while others may include a full tank of fuel with the rental.
Additional Drivers: If you plan to share the driving with someone else, be sure to check if there's an additional charge for adding an additional driver to the rental agreement.
Pick-up and Drop-off Locations: Consider the location of the rental company and whether or not they have multiple pick-up and drop-off locations. This can help save time and money if you're planning to travel around the island.
Return Time: Be aware of the rental return time, some rental companies may charge extra if you return the car late.
By keeping these things in mind, you'll be well-prepared for a comfortable and enjoyable car rental experience.
How to Hire a Car: 4 Options
Hiring a car in Cyprus is a straightforward process, and there are several ways to do it. Here are the most common ways to rent a vehicle:
Online: One of the easiest and most convenient ways to rent a car in is to book online. Most car rental companies have websites where you can browse available vehicles, check prices and make a reservation. This can be done well in advance of your trip, and often at a discounted rate.
At the Airport: Most airports in Cyprus have car hire companies located on-site, so you can pick up your rental car as soon as you arrive. This can be a great option if you're short on time or don't want to arrange transportation at an outside rental location.
In Town: If you'll be staying in a city or town, you can also find car rental companies in the local area. These companies may offer a wider range of vehicles, and can be a great option if you're looking for a specific type of car. Travel Agent: You can also hire a car through a travel agent. This can be a good method if you're booking your trip through a travel agency, and you can often get a better deal by bundling your car rental with other travel services.
The most important things you should know when you want to order a rental car
Renting a car in Cyprus is undeniably the best idea. But before you start driving, you should consider the following:
Ordering a rental car is simple and fast. You must be in possession of a valid driver's license, be over 21 years of age and be able to present a travel or identity card.
Owning a rental car means being able to move around Cyprus at any time to experience the country, people and sights. You don't have to conform to anyone, order an expensive cab or wait for a bus in the heat. You can drive off whenever you want and for as long as you want.
Cyprus is made for cars. Whether you are going south, west or north, there are developed roads everywhere. Traffic around the cities of Limassol and Nicosia can be a bit challenging at rush hour, but if you adapt to the flow of traffic, this is not a problem either.
If you book your rental car early enough, this way of getting around is even more affordable. You can drive to every beach and every sight, where you would have far more problems with a trip by bus and not only financially.
The prices for rental cars are very attractive especially in the low season and besides, these are the best seasons to get to know the island in all its facets. No heat that drives you out of the car into the sea, but still temperatures similar to those in Germany in the summer. If you are planning a longer vacation in Cyprus and want to use a rental car, you can start saving on accommodation right away. Do not rent an apartment directly on the beach, but a little more inland. Finally, have a rental car to reach all your destinations.
Would you like to explore not only the Republic of Cyprus, but also want to go to the north with a rental car, read the useful tips below in the text.
What you should know when traveling by rental car in Cyprus
There are always prejudices concerning the subject of car rental in Cyprus. So that you can set off without worries, you should read the following points carefully before you order a rental car:
In Cyprus, you drive on the left and the steering wheel is usually on the right. If you come from a country with right-hand traffic and have not yet had any contact with the English way of driving, do not worry, you will quickly learn to change your mind. However, always make sure to shift gears with your left hand. If you are unsure, simply rent an automatic car. When you sit on the other side for the first time, you'll feel like you're taking your first driving lesson. Give yourself a day to try it out. Drive on roads that are not heavily traveled and slowly get used to the new situation. You will see, on the second day it goes much better.
If you rent a car, you will have to pay a deposit. Depending on the company, this can cost between 300 and 900 euros, depending on the vehicle. However, since some things are negotiable here in Cyprus, you may be able to negotiate a lower deposit.
With the tank filling it is in such a way with rented cars that these are filled up as a rule and should be delivered also in such a way again. Ask rather before, before you have to pay something on it later.
Some rental companies do not offer a rental car under 3 days and others do not rent longer than a week. Therefore, you should look for a rental car early, ideally right after booking your flight.
Some car rental companies also do not rent a car for one day only. Also here it is important to inquire early, should you need a rental car only for 24h.
If the rental price for a rental car is very low, you should take a closer look at the car. Here your personal impression counts. If you are planning a trip to the mountains, you should choose a rental car you trust.
Many car rental companies in Cyprus forbid the renter to take the car to the north of Cyprus. There, the rental car is then not insured. If you take out an insurance at the border, this only concerns the liability insurance. Whether you want to take over this risk, you decide. Ask at best with the renting.
A rental car with automatic transmission is more expensive than a car with gears. However, you should still spend a little more money if you are not yet so familiar with left-hand traffic.
If you want your rental car to have air conditioning, ask at the rental agency. In high summer it can be quite pleasant to cool down the air a bit. On short trips enjoy the wind with the window open.
All rental cars in Cyprus have a red license plate. This is how the locals recognize which driver they have in front of them and usually behave accordingly. If you see cars with red license plates that do not behave quite correctly, be gracious, because they are probably tourists as well.
Driving on all roads in Cyprus is free, there are no tolls.
In 2018, Cyprus was still among the safest countries for drivers in the EU, just behind Denmark. Only 7.5 accidents per 10,000 people were recorded. In contrast, England had 21.5, Spain 21, Italy 29 and Germany 37 accidents per 10,000 people. Read more at: How to stay safe while driving in Europe | Canvas Holidays Blog
Car Hire Cyprus - Where is the best place to rent a car?
You have a variety of options to order a rental car. From international companies, to small car rental in cities like Larnaka, Protaras, Ayia Napa, Paphos and more.
Except for the airports in Larnaca and Paphos, you can order a rental car anywhere. In many areas, inside and outside the big cities, there are rentals with different prices. During the high season, you should expect to pay around 40 euros per day for a rental car. During the low season, the prices then go down to 20 to 25 euros per day.
DiscoverCars - The best car rental companies at Paphos and Larnaca airports
DiscoverCars offers you reliable prices and good cars. The best car rental you can find at Paphos Airport and Larnaca. Also in the north of the island you have the possibility to order a rental car at DicoverCars.
The wide range of car rentals makes it possible to provide customers with excellent service and a good insurance offer.
Advantages you enjoy when you order a rental car through DiscoverCars
The most favorable prices compared to competitors.
Features like navigation, free passenger, unlimited mileage available.
Best insurance offer
Offer of car rentals also in the northern part of Nicosia and also in Kyrenia.
LocalRent - Cheap Car Rental in Cyprus
Here you will meet the local car rental companies, often with good prices and special offers.
Offers without deposit. These out-of-airport car rental companies have low costs and can make some good deals as a result.
If you have to leave a deposit, try to keep the price low. Usually, you can leave the deposit in cash. This way you don't need to charge your credit card.
Through LocalRent you have the possibility to order a rental car anywhere on the island, not only at the airport.
Advantages you enjoy when you order a rental car through LocalRent
No deposit or a small deposit
You do not order a car class, but you decide on a make, model and year of manufacture
All orders for rental cars can be canceled up to 24 h before pickup.
Good and fast customer service
Wide range of luxury cars and convertibles
What exactly do you need to order a rental car in Cyprus?
Valid driver's license. Minimum age of 21 years. Often rental rates are also higher for those under 25.
Credit card of the driver. Some rental companies will waive the deposit, others will allow you to pay it in cash.
If you booked online, you must present the rental voucher. A copy on your cell phone will suffice.
Which car rental model should you rent in Cyprus?
It all depends on how big your family is and how much luggage you need to transport. To feel comfortable on Cyprus roads, you should prefer a small or medium car. The rental cars bring enough comfort to go to the mountains and to always find a parking space in the cities.
If you visit the small villages of Lefkara, Kakopetria, Agros or similar, a small car is more suitable than a large one.
If you are in Cyprus during the winter months and want to drive from the coast up to the mountains, you should choose a car that has a 1.2 liter engine.
What to look for when you pick up your rental car
The largest transfer point for tenants in Cyprus is Larnaca Airport. Larnaca has the largest airport in Cyprus and this is also where most tourists land.
Rent directly at the airport, you save the expensive transfer to your accommodation, are flexible and save time.
You have the same procedure at the airport in Paphos.
If you are staying in one of the resorts in Limassol, Paphos, Ayia Napa, Protaras etc. and you need a rental car, you should use LocalRent. Here you also have the possibility to have the rental car brought directly to the resort.
Road traffic rules, speed limits and fines in Cyprus
Maximum speed in the city
Outside the cities
65 - 80 km/h
Even though the police didn't see the speed limit very closely in the past, this has already changed somewhat, so you should simply stick to the guidelines. If you drive appropriately, you will immediately get much more of the surrounding landscape.
The fines in Cyprus are generally very high. For example, you will have to pay 150 euros for not wearing a seatbelt. The same applies if you talk on the phone while driving.
Charges for speeding:
2 euros per km/h at 30% over limit
3 Euro per km/h at 50 % over limit
5 Euro per km/h at 75 % over limit
If you are driving more than 75% over the limit, it will be really expensive. The costs for this are determined in this case by the responsible court.
The blood alcohol limit is 0.3 per mille. Penalties for exceeding this per mille limit start at 200 euros and end, depending on the decision of the court. The same applies to drivers who disregard a red light.
If you park on a double yellow line or on the sidewalk, you face a fine of 100 euros.
If you cause an accident and move away from the scene of the accident, you face up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine of 15,000 euros. You will also have your driver's license revoked for 2 years.
Penalties for reckless driving are up to 6 months imprisonment or a fine of 1,500 euros. Depending on the offense, you may face up to 2 years in jail and/or a 6,000 euro fine for accompanying personal injuries.
There are many traffic circles in Cyprus. The one who is in the traffic circle always has the right of way. Turn signals are not only desirable, they are mandatory.
If you have an accident, set up two warning triangles. One behind and one in front of the car. Keep the hazard warning lights on. Call the police and inform your car rental company. If you have your cell phone with you, take photos of the vehicles involved and make a video of the entire accident scene.
With a rental car to the northern part of Cyprus?
If you want to make a trip to the north with your car rented in the south of the island, you should explicitly ask your car rental company about it. Also in the north of Cyprus you drive on the left, but there are far more cameras and also the fines are higher than in the south. Even though it is easier to make a trip across the border with the car you have already rented, you should still be careful.
Most car rental companies will tell you up front that it is not allowed to drive a rental car across the border. Legally, however, you are allowed to drive north with a car rented in the south. The liability insurance you have to take out at the border costs 35 euros for 3 days and only includes personal injury. If you are unlucky, it can be quite expensive.
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