Essential information for driving in Cyprus. What are the speed limits, drink driving limits and age restrictions for cars and motorcycles?
A car is pretty essential if you live in Cyprus, as even if you live in one of the main cities, most shops are spread around a large area, making it impossible to park and do all your shopping in one place.
Many tourists hire a car when they visit the island as it's the best way to see the beautiful mountain areas and escape from the more touristy coastal areas. This page offers advice on driving on the island, so you stay safe and avoid any fines or penalty points should you be stopped by the police when driving your car.
We drive on the left here in Cyprus, just as in the UK; this confuses many Europeans who drive on the right, so watch out for those big signs when you leave the airport, reminding you to KEEP LEFT when driving!
All speed signs are marked in KILOMETRES, unlike the UK where everything is in miles. This can be confusing, especially if you have brought your car over from the UK and the speedometer is marked in miles!
The speed limits are as follows:
MAXIMUM of 100 km/h on motorways with a MINIMUM of 60 km/h. In reality, police will usually only stop you if you exceed 120km/h, beware of the growing number of mobile speed checks.
Rural roads = 80 km/h, unless otherwise indicated. NB: it's often 65km/h on many rural roads in the Polis area.
Developed areas (towns and villages) = 50 km/h, often much slower and believe me 30km/h seems painfully slow!
There are more and more police speed checks appearing, so beware. Both residents and foreign nationals will receive fines and penalty points if they are caught speeding. If you see a friendly local flashing his lights, there is a policeman close by!
When we first arrived on the island, we were shocked at the number of expats who indulged in drinking and driving home after copious amounts of alcohol. They seemed to think it was fine to drink and drive on a sleepy little island like Cyprus.
While many people ignore the drink drive limit in Cyprus, I will warn you now that the police are much tougher on catching people who take needless risks and endanger the lives of others as well as themselves.
You will be found guilty of drink driving in Cyprus if:
Your breath/alcohol level equals or exceeds 22 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.
Your blood/alcohol level equals or exceeds 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood (0.5 grams per litre)
So please take care and either get a taxi next time you go out or take it in turns with friends and family to drive.
The minimum age for car drivers when driving in Cyprus is 17 and a half. You can drive a moped from the age of 17 but only if it's 50cc. You must be 18 to hire a light motorcycle of up to 125cc and 21 to hire larger more powerful motorbikes.
Just as in the UK, seat belts are compulsory for both drivers and ALL passengers whether in the front or the rear. The fact that you will see many Cypriots driving around with children clambering all over the car does NOT mean seatbelts are not required! NB: Kids under 5 MUST be secured in the rear of the car in a child seat; if older they can sit in the front.
You MUST hear a helmet if you hire a moped or motorcycle. Again, you will see many locals driving around with the helmet latched over their arm.
Hopefully this iniformation will help you when driving in Cyprus. Please see the related pages below for more tips on cars and what to expect from local drivers.