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There is a plethora of car-hire agencies in North Cyprus. In summer even they can be fully stretched meeting demand and it is definitely best to book in advance, before you reach the country. The minimum age for rental is 25 and the only document required is a valid UK driving licence, national or international. Third party insurance is compulsory, but fully comprehensive is recommended at just a few extra pounds a day. Insurance is invalid if you are found to be drunk at the time of an accident. All hire cars have red registration plates which are prefixed by 'Z', so have the advantage of being immediately recognisable by police and military, should you go astray.
Traffic still drives on the left, a hangover from British administration. Speed limit signs are in kilometres, while distance markers are in arandom mixture of miles and kilometres. The hire cars, too, are a mixture of right-hand and left-hand drive, and if you have a preference, it is best to state it at the time of booking. The cheapest cars to hire are usually the Renault 9, at about £20 per day in high season (inclusive of unlimited mileage and collision damage waiver insurance) while a 4x4 Suzuki Jeep costs about £26. Rates decrease during the off-season.
Something to look out for is any company's promise of '24-hour guaranteed services'. But it is worth checking just how far the company will go to help you out in case of a problem.
Petrol is cheaper than in Europe, and there are just two grades, unleaded and 'super'. Petrol stations are not hard to come by; they are dotted frequently along the main roads, both in towns, where prices are minimally higher, and between main destinations.
Public transport in North Cyprus is limited and you are far better advised to hire a car. However, for those who do not want this extra cost, there are buses, but they are infrequent and do not run to a timetable. Lefkosa is the main transport hub, and you'll find buses and shared taxis run to ail of the major towns from the bus station in the south of the town. Fares are very reasonable. The only problem is, many of North Cyprus's main attractions are in isolated and remote locations far from any town or village.
Private taxis (with yellow TAKSI signs on the roof) are also reasonably priced, charging fixed official tariffs, but they do not cruise and can only be found at taxi-stands, which close at night. There are no functioning railways. Sightseeing tours are widely available from numerous tour operators and these are perhaps the best option for non-drivers. Your hotel will often have noticeboards or folders maintained by the tour operators to advise you on the options.
As in Greek Cyprus, by far the best way for the visitor to travel is self-drive hire car. All you need is a UK/international driving licence, and vehicles can be picked up and returned at Ercan Airport to avoid taxi transfer costs, which amount to about £15 one-way to Girne. The road network is very good and is being regularly improved, with an increasing number of dual carriageways between the main towns.
A car in North Cyprus is essential if you want to explore the beauties the island has to offer. We can organise car hire for you or you can contact one of the following:
Best Cyprus Hotels