Wondering how to buy a car in Cyprus? Well, you are in the right place. Buying a second hand Car in Cyprus was one of the most stressful things we did since arriving on this beautiful Island to live as digital nomads in Cyprus. Seriously. It was a nightmare! But lucky for you, you can read this blog post and learn from my mistakes on how to buy a car in Cyprus without getting totally ripped off.
In this post I’m going to cover the following:
- Buying a car in Cyprus (expats)
- Where to find a used car in Cyprus
- How to sell your car in Cyprus
- Insuring a car in Cyprus
- Car tax in Cyprus
Do You Need A Car In Cyprus?
The first question you need to ask yourself is do you need a car in Cyprus? For us we absolutely did and renting a car in Cyprus is a great short-term solution. But if you are staying here for a while then it is throwing away a lot of money. So we decided that it would make more financial sense to buy a used car in Cyprus and then sell it when we left.
Where we live in Pervolia there is an infrequent bus service and the nearest supermarket is in the next town which is a 15-minute drive. The closest shop is in the town which is a 30-minute walk. Plus we wanted to go out and do things and with the baby having our own used car in Cyprus was a must.
As a British in Cyprus it is great for me because they drive on the left side of the road, as we do in the UK. But not so great for my Mexican husband for a few reasons, which I’ll get into later.
Regardless of which side of the road you normally drive on, Cyprus is a very easy country to dive in. It’s a small island with only a few highways and all of the roads are very well-kept. There are no tolls and gas (petrol) isn’t too expensive. There are buses to get intercity and to travel locally.
But they can be infrequent and the bus drivers are some of the most unfriendly people I’ve ever come across! This is crazy as Cypriot people are some of the friendliest people I’ve come across… not sure what they are teaching them in bus driving school.
Anyway, I digress.
If you are staying short term, rent a car. It’s far simpler. But if you are going to be here 3 months or more, then buy a car in Cyprus. But follow this guide to avoid some of the stress and drama I had!
Did you get insurance yet?
If you are planning a trip right now for you and your family, then you NEED to think seriously about insurance. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that you need to be prepared for anything! I’m pretty sure we have all had travel plans messed up because of COVID and not all insurers covered this. So you need to find an insurer that covers travel disruption due to COVID-19, World Nomads, Safety Wing, or Travel Insurance Master are the ones to go for.
World Nomads is great for incidents that happen prior to your trip, so if you get sick or are unable to travel due to travel restrictions some of their policies will cover that as cancellation cover.
Safety Wing goes the extra mile and covers quarantine outside your home for up to 10 days, they also have a really handy map on their website showing requirements and restrictions for each country.
I also use Travel Insurance Master for some short vacation type trips as they are cheaper than World Nomads a lot of the time.
If you are doing shorter trips or a longer backpacking trip then WorldNomads or Travel Insurance Master are the best option. If you are a digital nomad or planning travel of at least 6 months then go for SafetyWing.
Legally buying a car in Cyprus [expats]
Pre-Brexit this was very simple for us Brits. But I did a lot of internet searches to see if I could legally buy a car in Cyprus as an ex-pat without residency and couldn’t find any up-to-date answers.
I am in the process of applying for Cypriot residency through their Cyprus Digital Nomad residency program. So I don’t yet have my papers and I can confirm that I was able to buy and register a car in my name in Cyprus in 2022 and get insurance with no problem as a British passport holder.
I was asked several times for my pink or yellow slip. I told them I didn’t have one and they seemed to accept that. But I think without a British or EU passport I wouldn’t have gotten away with it.
To be able to have a car in your name in Cyprus you need to be on the system. Once they register you on the system then it’s easy to buy and sell cars and transfer ownership. So you might want to check if you can get on the system before buying a used car in Cyprus.
To do this just go down to the Department Of Transport Office in one of the cities in Cyprus and ask to be put on the system as you want to buy a car. You will need a driver’s license (international if it’s not in English), your passport, proof of residency (if you have it), and a bill with your address on it.
We didn’t try, however, I don’t believe it would have been possible for my husband to buy the car and put it in his name, and insure it as a Mexican passport holder. Or maybe it would have, but it would have been really complicated for a few reasons:
- They really didn’t like his Mexican driver’s license. The insurance company wanted a British license or an international one. So be sure to get an international driver’s license before you travel.
- If you have a driver’s license from a country other than Cyprus or the UK they want you to have had at least 2 years of experience driving on the left side of the road before they will insure you! Crazy. My nanny told me she was able to get around this by buying a life insurance policy in case you have the same issue.
Used Car Sales In Cyprus
Here is the process for buying a used car in Cyprus:
- Find a used car in Cyprus
- Complete the transfer documentation with car dealers or go to a registered mechanic with the seller to do this.
- Call up to start insurance – you have to do this over the phone and many places close at 2-3 pm so you will need to make sure this is set up before you do the transfer, more on this later.
- Check road tax is valid
- Check MOT is in date
- Once you have the car log book, transfer document signed and stamped by both parties, proof of MOT and Tax, and your insurance cover note you can legally take your new car!
- You then have 30 days from the transfer of ownership to take the transfer form and the car log book to the department of transportation in your city to do the official transfer.
- If you are not on their system they will add you (which takes a few days) and then o the transfer. The cost is around 8 euros.
- You will then need to return to the department of transport to collect your log book – be aware they will NOT tell you about this, you just need to know to do it. Give it 1-2 weeks and then just go in and ask for it. I assumed they would post it to me, but nope!
Buying A Car In Cyprus – Things to watch out for
I wish someone had told me about all of the common things to watch out for when you are buying a car in Cyprus. I would have saved myself so much stress.
The first thing to know is that used cars in Cyprus are expensive, it’s an island so everything is expensive! So lower your expectations, or raise your budget haha.
The first car we bought was on a super tight budget. We bought it privately and I honestly would not recommend anyone to buy a car privately in Cyprus, especially if you are an ex-pat. You won’t have any warranty, you don’t know how the system works, and you just don’t know about the car. We bought the car being told that we needed to fix something that was very easy, well it ended up being a whole expensive mess… you know how it goes.
Anyway, 6 weeks later we were in a dealership with our pile of shit car begging them to take it and give us something that was capable of doing more than 50 mph on the highway.
It’s really common in Cyprus for the mileage to be altered. There is much more chance of this happening in private sales than from dealerships. But it does still happen with them. Normally this gets found out when you transfer the ownership as the government keeps records of milages with each MOT. So you could end up in a complicated situation… If the car has low milage beware!
Where to Buy Used Cars in Cyprus
There are 3 main places to find used cars in Cyprus:
- Dealerships (recommended)
Buying A Used Car In Cyprus From The Dealerships
You can also get super ripped off here. So be aware and ask for recommendations from people you know. We went to several dealerships in Larnaca and they all tried to sell us shitty cars and refused to budge on the prices. We gave up and bought something privately from Facebook.
In hindsight, I wish we have persevered with the dealership search and found a good one the first time around.
When we needed to get rid of the banger we bought we found an amazing dealership in Larnaca which I can’t recommend enough. They were so honest and helpful and sold us a great car. They even took our old car, gave us a discount, and handled all of the paperwork. It was such a relief after all of the stress we had buying privately!
So if you need to buy a used car in the Larnaca area then I highly recommend going to D. Mandilas Car Sales. It’s a father and son business, they both speak perfect English and they will help take all of the stress out of buying a car in Cyprus.
They even called up my insurance company, organized the changeover, and picked up the old car logbook from the department of transportation for me. You can call Andreas the son on +357 2463 6106 make sure you tell him I sent you!
Buying A Used Car In Cyprus From Facebook or Bazaraki
Uff this was such a stress. People never replied to my messages. I think language was a bit issue here too as many people can speak in English, but they don’t write in English. So you will need to call people messaging is no good most of the time. And no one had WhatsApp, which was crazy for me as in Mexico everything, even booking an appointment with your doctor is done through WhatsApp.
So if you do this be prepared to need to make a lot of phone calls, and spend a lot of time chasing people up. Several times I was told to come and view and then before I’d arrived the car was sold.
If you go down this route you will need to be prepared to pay for the mechanic to do the transfer documentation you will need to go with the current owner. You will need your passport and driver’s license when you do this.
You will also need to check the MOT is in date. It has road tax and you will need to call up and arrange the insurance before you take the car. I honestly had no idea what I was doing! I got lucky that the seller gave me all of the stuff I needed and told me to go hand in the paperwork to the department of transportation, otherwise, I’d have been screwed!
When you use a dealer they do all of this for you.
The Best Car in Cyprus To Buy
Everyone will tell you that the best car to buy in Cyprus are Honda cars. You will see lots of them being driven, and lots for sale. They are reliable and when anything does go wrong then it’s easy and cheap to get parts here.
Another good car to buy is a Ford as again, parts are cheap.
We ended up buying a VW and they aren’t bad either!
Selling A Car In Cyprus
When you leave Cyrpus and need to sell your car then it’s a bit more straightforward. You just need to know where you can go to get the transfer paperwork done. So check in with your normal mechanic to see if they can do this for you, and how much it costs.
Just have all of the paperwork ready to hand over:
- MOT certificate
- Road Tax
- Transfer document
You just had it all over to the buyer and then the rest is up to them! You will want to follow up though and make sure the transfer goes through correctly and that the car is no longer in your name.
Insuring a car in Cyprus
This was way more complicated than I had anticipated! They will probably do this for you if you buy from a dealership. If you buy privately then you are going to need to do this independently and be prepared for it to take a few days…
I searched for car insurance in Cyprus for ex-pats and requested quotes for 4 different providers. 2 got back to me right away, and 2 took several days to reply.
My advice is to skip the online search forms and just call up. They all speak English and its faster.
For me, the best price was with CPN Asfalistiki through Pitas Insurance. I did an online quote and he emailed me quickly with the price for the car I was ready to buy. Then I had to call to go through the details and to get everything set up. It’s really important to do this before you buy the car as it can take a while. If you do it before going to pay and do the transfer then it’s a quick phone call to finalize it and get your cover note.
Once we went over the details I needed to email the following documents to him:
- Drivers license of all named drivers
- Passports of all named drivers
- First page of the tenancy agreement
With this, they had everything to get me into the system.
Then when I was ready to go ahead with the purchase I took a picture of the log book and other documents while we were doing the transfer paperwork and emailed them to the insurance broker. Once he received them I had to call up and pay. Then the cover note was emailed to me and I was free to drive the car.
One thing to be aware of is the opening hours… Most insurance brokers don’t work after 3 pm. On Fridays, it’s 2 pm and they will be closed on Saturdays. So you need to plan accordingly and don’t try to buy a car in the late afternoon!
Also, getting my Mexican husband named on the issuance was complicated! In Cyprus, insurance companies don’t like to insure people who come from countries that drive on the right-hand side. They want you to have had 2 years of experience driving on the left before they insure you… but how you are supposed to get 2 years of driving on the left experience when you can’t get car insurance in Cyprus is beyond me!
They also wouldn’t accept his Mexican driver’s license. So we were a bit screwed.
To avoid these issues, make sure you have an international driver’s license and fight back if they say no because you need experience. You can get around this by taking out an extra life insurance policy.
Most car insurance in Cyprus will cover anyone to drive your car with your permission, so long as they are over 25 and have a driver’s license in English, and have 2 years of experience driving on the left-hand side of the road.
No Claims Bonuses Cyprus Car Insurance
The good news for British ex-pats is they do accept your no-claims bonuses in Cyprus! Sadly for me, I hadn’t had car insurance in the UK for 6 years, haha, so my 10 years of no claims were long gone! But if you can provide proof of your no claims in the UK then this can be transferred to your Cypriot car insurance, which will save you some money!
Car tax in Cyprus
This was way easier than I had anticipated! It’s all done online here. You just register for an account and then follow the instructions. Super easy and all in English. Once it’s done you will need to print it out.
What documents do you need to keep in your car in Cyprus?
Strictly speaking non. Everything in Cyprus is electronic. So if you do have any issues the police should be able to just look you up. But, things happen, and systems crash. So it’s a good idea to keep the following documents in your car in Cyprus at all times:
- Road Tax
- A Copy of your logbook
- Cover not for your car insurance
And of course, always have your driver’s license on you when driving.
5 thoughts on “How To Buy A Car In Cyprus Everything You Need To Know”
Thanks a lot for the detailed information. Is the dealership that you recommend is D. Mandilas car sale Ltd. – https://m.facebook.com/100054413832540/?
Yes that’s the one! Just to follow on. Our car actually broke down on our way home at night. Called Andreas fro Mandalas, they received the car and fixed it within 2 days as it was under warrantee, and they even covered the cost of our taxis home and to collect the car. Couldn’t be more impressed with them. I’m actually still in shock with just how helpful and honest this dealership is.
Fantastic guide! Thank you so much for taking the time to write this. We will be moving to Cyprus in Jan and this has been bugging me for some time about how the whole process works (especially as we won’t have our permits for a few months!
Hi, thanks for this very helpful link. We are frequent visitors to Cyprus and stay 2-3 months per year. My partner and I both have Cypriot visas and my partner has her own property. We are thinking of driving a UK vehicle over to Cyprus now that a car ferry exists between Greece and Cyprus, and leaving it out there, but I was wondering whether you are familiar with the duty free process post Brexit, or whether you can recommend someone that knowns it inside out?
I’m not but I beleive you can bring one car tax free if you have your pink slips. Are you in the Cyprus Expats FB group? Thats the best place for info.