Although many tourists consider car hire in a foreign country an expensive bet, there are a few advantages why to decide for this option. In Northern Cyprus you can use some alternate means of transportation such as mini buses or taxi however, they might happen to be at a drawback, especially when visiting the island during summer holiday. Due to the irregular bus schedules and some nice places of interest that are hard to access by public transport, planning your itinerary and trips can be quite hassling. For the convenience and freedom that a car rental allows you in North Cyprus it is the most advisable transport solution. Even if you stay for a few days, you will have a chance to enjoy a drive and explore far remote places that the TRNC offers.
Renting a car in North Cyprus is easy and cheap. There are many good car hire companies in North Cyprus, particularly in Kyrenia. Many offer free airport and hotel delivery, so most can meet you when you arrive at Ercan Aiport. It is advised to make reservations before you arrive as many companies have special offers. Bear in mind that many of them offer 10-20% discount on online reservations.
To make things easier it is recommended to arrange your car rental in advance by filling an online car reservation form. The visitors may pick their car from the Northern Cyprus Ercan Airport where the representatives will be waiting for them holding a renter’s name sign. You do not have to be, however bound to the airport only. Car rental companies with online reservation often provide to choose your own pick-up and drop-off location. You can also visit local car hire offices directly after the arrival or contact them via travel agencies in North Cyprus. Car rental companies are situated in all TRNC major cities, particularly great many of them are housed in Kyrenia, the centre of tourism in Northern Cyprus. There are car rental companies that provide airport pick-ups form Larnaca airport in the South part of Cyprus Island.
In North Cyprus you will find several car hire companies operating a large car fleet. At competitive prices, they match good quality services and customer care. Both manual and automatic cars are available with air-conditioning especially useful during hot summer days when temperature rises above 30 degrees. Majority of the cars are right hand drive, since traffic on the island moves on the left. Left hand drive cars are to get too, although little in number. Car rates vary according to the rental and season period. In Northern Cyprus payment for car rental services can be done with currencies like US Dollar, British Pound, Euro, Cyprus Pound or North Cyprus currency which is Turkish Lira. Customers can also pay with credit cards and traveller’s cheques, depending on the agency.
For renting a car in North Cyprus you have to be over 25, however some exceptions can still occur. You need to own a valid driving licence from any country in the world or international driving licence. Only the approved person(s) at the time of rental can drive the car. Further requests are to be agreed with your car hire agent.
Rental cars in Northern Cyprus have distinctive red number plates, and are known as “Z” cars, usually with the logo of the company placed on the car. Please note that you are not allowed to cross the border to Southern Cyprus once your car was rented from the North. If you still wish to cross to the South you can drive up to the check point and park your car at the border. From there you can walk across.
Check the company’s offer before you rent a car and make sure it is inspected and maintained properly as to your satisfaction. Discuss minimal rental period since the periods vary with different car rental companies. Inquire about fuel type filling, “Collision Damage Waiver” insurance charge, possible delays when collecting the car, and further issues referring the rental cost before signing a contract. At some companies you may encounter special offers for groups or families. Those wishing to go off-roading ask about a suitable vehicle.
If you are coming from UK, driving in North Cyprus will not be different for you as the traffic moves on the left and majority of cars are being right hand drive. The traffic signs are international and the roads are generally well surfaced, except for some mountain areas. Front seatbelt use is a compulsory. Children under five are not allowed to occupy the front seats. When driving in Northern Cyprus avoid alcohol, drinking or using telephone (unless hands-free).
The speed limits are similar on both parts of the island. In Northern Cyprus is generally applied 100 kph/60mph on the Kyrenia – Nicosia - Famagusta highway, 60 kph/40 mph on the smaller back roads and 50 kph/30 mph in built-up areas, unless otherwise indicated. Watch the road signs attentively.
Read more driving tips in North Cyprus