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Driving Guide Cyprus

Driving Guide CyprusEven the most confident driver should conduct some research before driving abroad – despite many aspects that stay the same, different countries abide by different rules of the road, and it’s important that you’re aware of these before you zoom off into the sunset.

If you’re about to hire a car in Cyprus, this article will tell you all you need to know to make sure you get behind the wheel feeling prepared…

Licence Documentation

Firstly, make sure your driving licence is up to scratch. Visitors to Cyprus can drive using an EU-issued national full driving licence or a current international driving licence, but age restrictions are not the same as in the UK. For example, you must be 18 to drive a car or small motorcycle in Cyprus.

Speed Limits

It’s also worth bearing in mind that speed limit notifications don’t behave as they do in the UK. In Cyprus, speed limits posted at hazards are technically mandatory and must be obeyed, and as a result, they are often placed with little thought as to the affect they will have on traffic. Be wary when approaching difficult or bendy terrain, as you will find that many locals don’t pay any heed to speed restrictions. Remember that the maximum speed limit is lower than in the UK, and this can lead you to unwittingly break it if you become impatient with slower drivers.

  • Motorway maximum speed limit: 100 km/h (approx. 62mph)
  • Built-up areas speed limit: 50 km/h (approx. 31mph)
  • Country roads speed limit: 65 km/h  (approx. 40mph)
  • Hazardous roads speed limit: 30 km/h (approx. 18mph)

Safety

There are many problems foreign drivers can come across in Cyprus, and it’s always good practice to use common sense, and drive cautiously if in doubt. Traffic lights are operated on a timer, so the wait can appear lengthy. This often prompts impatient drivers to jump the lights. When your light turns green, always thoroughly check around you to make doubly sure no traffic is approaching, and always treat traffic light-controlled junctions with extreme caution.

Local Driving Behaviour

You may find locals’ driving behaviour rude or aggressive, but it’s neither – it’s just the way drivers in Cyprus operate. Spur-of-the-moment actions that cause you to slow down, swerve or stop are considered above board by many drivers, particularly when trying to get out of a junction. Take extra care when negotiating bends – you will often find that when drivers negotiate a right hand bend they will drift over to the opposing side of the road. This manoeuvre serves no purpose, as in doing this, the driver is making the bend more severe than it need be. As a consequence, the driver travelling in the opposite direction (you) will be forced to move over to the left.

Fuel

You should have no problem finding fuel – petrol stations in Cyprus are easy to find in many towns. However, be sure to tailor your trips to suit your fuel consumption. Mountain driving uses lots of petrol, so if you are planning such a trip, be sure you fill up before you leave. It’s worth remembering that most petrol stations close on Tuesdays and Sundays; this is not usually a problem though, as many have machines that accept bank notes, major credit and debit cards, so you can refuel whenever you need to.

Breaking Down

In case of a breakdown, remember that you’ve got to have the right kit. By law, vehicles must carry a reflective warning triangle at all times. Larger vehicles should carry two. Items such as a First Aid Kit, fire extinguisher and fluorescent jacket, are advisable but not compulsory.

If you require a rescue and recovery service, one of the biggest and most-used companies is RescueLine (+00357 22 44 66 00). They also operate a recovery service for motorcycles.

Vicky Anscombe writes for Further, a Norwich-based SEO and Marketing Agency.