Hiring a car and driving around North Cyprus is a great way to explore the island. Distances between places of interest are not large and it is possible to enjoy many parts of the island even when you are just staying for a few days.
The majority of roads are in good condition, even in rural areas. Within cities traffic can be quite heavy and the rush hour should be avoided, but in rural areas traffic is usually sparse.
The North Cyprus road network is quite well sign-posted and it is easy to find your way around. The most complicated areas are the older parts of Nicosia and Famagusta, but even these have one-way systems that direct you back onto main roads. The local people are generally very helpful in case you get lost, don’t hesitate to ask.
Important information while hiring a car in North Cyprus:
• You need to have a valid driving license or an International Driving Permit. This should be kept with you at all times when driving.
• You need to be aged at least 25 with 5 years of driving experience in order to rent a car.
• It is possible to nominate a second driver without extra charge. Each driver needs to have their own driving license and be over 25 years of age.
• On hiring a car you will sign a rental agreement with the car rental company, please read the terms and conditions carefully. Your copy of this agreement should be kept with you at all times in the car when driving. Only those people whose names are written on the agreement are allowed to drive the hire car.
• Your hire car can be picked up and returned from Ercan Airport or your hotel in Northern Cyprus. You can pick the car up in one location (e.g. at your hotel) and return it to another (e.g. Ercan airport) if preferred. Please inform us of your preference when booking.
• Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) insurance is compulsory and all Vivid Cyprus’ quoted car prices automatically include this insurance. Windscreens, mirrors, tyres and loss or damage of keys are not covered by this. Some require an excess payment in case of careless use of the car.
All insurances are invalidated by drinking alcohol and driving. Do not drink and drive!
• Child-seats and booster seats are available; please let us know when booking if they are required.
• All of our customers have 24-hour, 7 day a week, road-side assistance included with their rental.
• All cars are well maintained and serviced on a regular basis. In the unlikely event of an irreparable breakdown a replacement car will be provided.
• Car-rental is charged on 24-hour periods (days). For example, if you hire a car from 13:00 on a Monday for 5 days, you do not have to return it until 13:00 on the Saturday. Please note there is no discount/refund if you return a car early on the last day of your hire. If returning your car from your hotel it is usually possible to leave the keys with the hotel reception to return to the hire car company if you are out or by the pool. Please check with your hotel’s reception if you wish to do this.
• We do not advise at present to take a hire car from Northern Cyprus into Southern Cyprus, given our previous experience of the lack of cooperation with the authorities when problems occur.
• Automatic and manual gearboxes are available. Please make your preference clear when booking.
• A wide range of different car options is available, from small compact cars, through to 4x4s and large 7-seaters.
Important and useful information while driving in North Cyprus:
• People drive on the left-hand side of the road in North Cyprus. All rental cars therefore having the steering wheel on the right-side.
• Speed limits are in km/h. Depending on your location road speeds tend to be 50km/h; 65 km/h or 100km/h (major motorways only).
• There are well signed speed cameras on motorways and main roads, police also carry out regular speed checks. Be careful not to exceed the speed limit at any time as fines can be substantial and liability does not expire when you leave the country.
• Petrol costs in North Cyprus are reasonable. Attendants will fill your tank for you with the requested amount of petrol, either in litres or in Turkish Liras. If you would like your air and water checked, petrol station staff will help you to do this also.
• Please drive carefully and observe the rules of the road. Driving habits may be different to those you are used to. We always recommend visitors to drive slowly and carefully, and be aware of other drivers. Local drivers tend to park anywhere, but we do not advise you to take the same risks. Parking on yellow lines is likely to result in a fine. In town centres there are official car parks all of which are reasonably priced and well sign-posted. In the countryside and villages there are fewer restrictions and most people do tend to park anywhere that is safe.
• The alcohol consumption limit for those driving rental cars is ZERO (0) and the police are very strict on drink-driving and will fine drivers on the spot. In central city areas it is easy and very reasonable to get a taxi if you do wish to drink. It is safe to leave your car over-night in a local car-park if necessary and return to pick it up the next day. Don’t forget, alcohol consumption will invalidate your insurance.
• It is prohibited to use a mobile-phone whilst driving.
• It is compulsory to wear seat-belts at all times – for both drivers and passengers in the front and the rear.
• One should always give way to traffic on the right, especially at roundabouts. Traffic on the roundabout has the right of way.