International Car Shipping or Buying a Car?

Buying a car in Cyprus - Duty Free or Duty Paid?

If you decide to opt out of the international car shipping procedure and buy a car in Cyprus we have made all information regarding 'Duty Payable' available in our Ebook 'Live The Med Lifestyle In Cyprus'.

Duty will be payable on any car purchased in Cyprus unless you are able to obtain relief from excise duty.

A Yellow Pages link is given below for New and Used car dealers.

Car Insurance
Whether you decide to take the international car shipping route or purchase locally, insurance for cars in Cyprus is cheaper than in the UK and as is the norm in most countries, we recommend that you refer to the yellow pages to obtain a quote or speak to people already living here to see who they are happy with. Most of the larger companies have English speaking staff and quotes are given over the phone. We personally used a smaller Insurance Agent in Pegeia, who dealt with all our insurance needs. Andreas was helpful, explained all the procedures to us and we would recommend him to anyone. Andreas Petrou is the name and his contact details can be obtained below.

International Car Shipping
international car shipping

International car shipping is certainly possible, but we feel we have to advise that the importation procedure is complicated and can prove to be expensive. We imported our car and even though we did not appear to suffer half the problems of our fellow expats, we feel the importation procedure was frustrating, time consuming and anxiety ridden.

The international car shipping procedure was fine once we were advised of the pick up procedure in Cyprus. Our own 'Big Dipper' ride began when we attempted to insure the car in Cyprus and we were told that in order to insure it, it had to be registered and have Cyprus plates and in order for that to happen, we needed to become residents of Cyprus.

There are a series of registration procedures, all of which seem to be open to interpretation and will finally depend on the official who is dealing with your particular case. Because of the changes about to happen with Cyprus entering the E.U. we would strongly advise that you make yourselves familiar with the Cyprus Government website and that you fully digest the contents of our Ebook and ensure that you have all the necessary vehicle documentation prior to any decision being made on international car shipping.

We would strongly recommend putting the whole process of international car shipping and the required documentation for importing cars into the capable hands of an agent, who will advise you each step of the way and actually undertake many of the processes for you. International Car Shipping companies can be found on the following websites:


International Movers

These websites above should prove useful for all your relocation requirements as well as your international car shipping.

Once in Cyprus - Our helping hand came from:- Gwenny Mary Demitriou. Gwenny deals with all aspects of immigration, passport renewals, registrations, driving licences, customs and excise, transfer of ownership documentation, imports and exports. Tel: 9941 2925 Fax: 2693 1262
The fees for Gwenny's services are not expensive and we assure you they are well worth every penny if you want to take the international car shipping passage. All's well that ends well!

Cypriot Driving Licence
Should you wish to obtain a Cypriot Driving Licence you must either:

a) Pass the Cypriot driving test for the category of vehicle you intend to drive. The driving test consists of the usual practical and theory sessions. The practical takes about 30 minutes and the theory consists of a short series of questions on the Highway Code for cars in Cyprus and takes about 15 minutes. As is the case in most countries, you will be advised of your results at the end of your tests and if successful your licence is valid for your lifetime.

b) The second option for obtaining a Cypriot driving licence is to surrender your existing domestic licence to the Department of Transport which can be found on the Mesogi Industrial Estate, close to E & S Supermarket on the Paphos to Polis road. The building is clearly signposted from the main road.

The cost of the Cypriot licence is:
EU€60 (up to 60 years of age)
EU€26 (60 to 65 years of age)
The cost of a provisional licence is EU€8.50

We sincerely hope that we have given a fair cross view and plenty of contact information on whether it is better to go with the international car shipping option or bite the bullet and leave your treasured possession behind and now, after all the rules and regulations that you have had to read and digest above we would like to share with you some advice from the Road Safety and Advanced Driving Society. What follows is an excerpt taken from one of their articles. It may make you chuckle and those of us who have lived here for some time will recognise each and every comment.

ARTICLE - Road Safety and Advanced Driving Society.

When driving cars in Cyprus you must assume full responsibility for your own safety. Remember that some drivers may not be capable and competent.

You must take into account the fact that Cyprus has very many tourists. It is their nature to be relaxed, often looking around at the scenery, or maybe even lost. They are also likely to be driving vehicles that they are unfamiliar with. They may not be concentrating fully on their driving and as a result may well make driving decisions and act in a way that they would not contemplate when driving at home.

Many Cypriot drivers have been brought up in a totally different driving environment than many Europeans. Their training and knowledge was adequate at one time for the environment that they had to operate in. Unfortunately the training has remained static while the remainder of Cyprus progresses. You should expect that some of the decisions some drivers of cars in Cyprus make, can seem to you unreasoned and irrational.

The inconsistent way the road network has been expanded does not help matters! We will identify some common faults and advise you what you might do if confronted by them.

Traffic lights:
Cyprus traffic light sequencing and rules will be familiar to most people. However, many local drivers of cars in Cyprus will drive over the white line and well into the junction before stopping. They may not stop at all. Failing to comply with the red light is a common occurrence. Do not assume that if your light is green it is safe to go. Always treat traffic light controlled junctions with extreme caution.

Tailgating and overtaking:
The inability to judge speed and the lack of knowledge on the handling and acceleration characteristics of their own vehicles often lead to inappropriate or dangerous overtaking. If you see someone travelling behind you who you think will overtake, the chances are they will. Be aware that drivers of cars in Cyprus will not necessarily wait until it is safe to do so. This may be preceded by a period of tailgating.

An inability of drivers to accurately judge the speed of approaching vehicles and poor judgement, often manifests itself by vehicles pulling out in front of you from side roads and parking areas at inappropriate times. Bear in mind that causing you to slowdown, swerve or stop are considered normal by many locals trying to get out of a junction or crossing your path.

As with red traffic lights, stop signs and solid white centre lines are widely disregarded. Ensure that you can change course, slow or stop if necessary.

The overriding message we wish to convey when driving in Cyprus, is that you should not take anything for granted and assume that any sign in your favour will be complied with. SAFE DRIVING!

Information on Car Dealers can be found in the Cyprus Yellow Pages

CYPRUS AA: Website:
Tel: 22 313233 Fax: 22 313482

Andreas Petrou, Insurance Agent: M Kyprianou 30, Pegeia 8560 Paphos
Tel: 00357 26815511 Fax: 00357 26815510
Mob: 00357 99485199

Commercial Union Cyprus: Demetra Court, 1 Parthenonos Street, 8035 Paphos
Telephone: 26 954 085 Fax: 26 954 086

GAN Direct: Website:

EUROCOMP Motor Insurance, contact
Freephone Line on 80 05 10 15

Royal Crown Insurance: Website:
Telephone : 22673333/22885555

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