Essentials of Driving in North Cyprus: Rules and Insights

Table of Contents
  1. What Side of the Road Do They Drive in North Cyprus?
  2. Who Can Drive a Car in North Cyprus?
  3. Who Can Rent a Car in North Cyprus?
  4. Is It Allowed to Drive Between North and South Cyprus?
  5. North Cyprus Driving Regulations: General Traffic Rules

Any person with a valid driving license, regardless of their nation, can drive a car in Northern Cyprus.

Discovering this gorgeous Mediterranean country piece by piece with a car is an appealing idea. It is best to drive with a car to reach undiscovered places and the best beaches of North Cyprus. Even though public transportation is quite developed, driving along with a vehicle might give more flexibility in time management and comfort.

It is possible to come across some differences in traffic rules and regulations from the customs in your home country. And it would ease your way to be familiar with the general rules of driving in North Cyprus. Here is everything you need to know before a road trip in North Cyprus.

What Side of the Road Do They Drive in North Cyprus?

The traffic in Northern Cyprus flows as same as in the UKThe traffic in Northern Cyprus flows as same as in the UK or South Cyprus, on the left. Drivers must use the left side of the road, which is easier to adapt for British drivers.

In parallel to the traffic flowing from the left, most of the cars in North Cyprus are suitable for right-hand drive. While renting a car in North Cyprus, make sure you discuss the driving side beforehand.

Keep in mind that the traffic rules also differ while driving on the left side of the road from the right seat of the car. For example, overtaking the car in front of you must be done from the right side. Or on junctions, you should give way to the vehicle coming from the right, also.

Who Can Drive a Car in North Cyprus?

Anyone with a valid driving license is entitled to drive a car in North Cyprus. Foreign tourists can use their driving licenses in North Cyprus during their stay, for up to 3 months. However, if a foreigner becomes a resident in North Cyprus, they should convert their licenses into TRNC licenses after a 3-month validation period.

Who Can Rent a Car in North Cyprus?Here’s the catch; Drivers should be over 25 years old to be able to drive a rented car, regardless of whether they own a valid driving license or not. So, if you are a driving license holder whose age is below 25 years old, you won’t be allowed to drive a rented car in North Cyprus.

The TRNC driving licences are only valid for a certain period of time. Foreigners can get a minimum of two-year licenses on their first application for a TRNC license. The driving licenses are valid for a minimum of two years, and a maximum of 10 years.

At the end of the 10-year license period, license holders must apply for a renewal. For renewal, the applicant is given a 5-year period. If the driver won’t complete the renewal within 5 years, the license would be taken off the force completely.

To make the renewal, the old license is a must-have. The former license must be given to the authorities during the renewal process.

Who Can Rent a Car in North Cyprus?

Who Can Drive a Car in North Cyprus?Valid driving license holders from any nationality over the age of 25 can rent a car in North Cyprus. There is also a must: You have to rent the car with a rental agreement. This agreement is considered a substitute for the vehicle registration document. It shows that you are permitted by the vehicle’s actual owner to drive the car.

Rent-a-car establishments are widely common in North Cyprus due to the high touristic attraction and demand. It is possible to rent a car from any trusted car hire company you’ve researched beforehand.

Some rent-a-car companies allow you to pre-book a vehicle online, which is a more comfortable option and can be quite affordable. Or you can just rent it at the Ercan Airport, but the daily rental prices may be higher.

While driving a rented car, it is always best to carry all documents including the insurance and car rental agreement with you.

Is It Allowed to Drive Between North and South Cyprus?

Yes, and no. Legally, foreigners can cross the Green Line that divides the island into Northern and Southern parts. They can pass through certain checkpoints. However, in cases passing the border with a car, especially a rented one, some complications can occur.

Is It Allowed to Drive Between North and South Cyprus?While you can usually take a rental car from the South into the North, it is not the case for a vehicle rented from the North traveling to the South. The insurance of the car rented in the North will lose its validity in the South. It is also the same case in the Republic of Cyprus. The vehicles rented in the South will lose their car insurance in Northern Cyprus.

As a solution, there are certain companies that offer additional policies of insurance. Or you can get at-the-point insurance on the border, by the crossing point.

The most important thing is that you should definitely inform the company that you’ve rented the car about your plans on passing to the other side.

North Cyprus Driving Regulations: General Traffic Rules

As we mentioned earlier, the traffic flows on the left side of Northern Cyprus. But this is not the only difference you can come across while driving. And knowing what to do in certain situations would help you to fit in quite easily.

All roads are subject to speed limits in North Cyprus. On highways, the speed limit is determined as 100 km/h. In cities, the speed limit varies between 50 to 65 km/h.

North Cyprus Driving Regulations: General Traffic RulesIn residential areas, it is 50 km/h, and in non-residential areas, it is 65 km/h. Since roads are momentarily inspected via speed cameras, we suggest that you should stick to the North Cyprus road rules.

Road signs in North Cyprus and traffic lights operate according to universal standards. There are not many traffic lights, especially on the outskirts. Usually, the roads of small settlements of Northern Cyprus are controlled with roundabouts and junctions. Traffic lights are mostly used in the cities in North Cyprus.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or any kind of drug is strictly prohibited. For rented cars, the alcohol limit is zero, and if caught the car would be towed.

You can come across two parallel yellow lines in certain places. This means that any vehicle cannot park in the area bordered by these lines. They are mostly seen on the in-city or main roads.

Children under the age of 5 cannot travel in the front seatChildren under the age of 5 cannot travel in the front seat, even under the supervision of an adult. Children below 5 years old must sit in their child safety seats at the back of the car. Only children aged 5 - 10 years old can sit in the front seat if they have been given a booster seat to use with a seatbelt.

Drivers cannot eat, drink or smoke while driving. The law strictly forbids drivers to consume anything while on the steering wheel.

If you are traveling in North Cyprus according to the road signings, you will see that signs are in Turkish. However, some maps still use their Greek names. So it would be best to create your own road map beforehand. And you may want to know the Turkish names of the places you want to visit.

It may surprise you to see that some gas stations in Northern Cyprus operate between 08:00 in the morning to 10:00 in the night. But there are still some gas stations that operate 24/7.

Explore Northern Cyprus Piece by Piece!

The best way to live your best life in Northern Cyprus is with first-hand experiences. Visit our office in Northern Cyprus, find your dream home, and start your own unique journey on this gorgeous Mediterranean island. Contact us for more information.

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Created: 15.08.2023, 10.00Updated: 17.08.2023, 13.34
07.03.2024, 08.01
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