My recommendations for car rentals in Cyprus

By: Nofar Ronen

From time to time I am asked about recommended car rental companies in Cyprus. Although I live here and do not rent a car regularly, I have had the chance to do so several times while here (for both long and short periods) and I also receive updates from my readers about their experiences, so I decided to write a specific guide to renting a car in Cyprus.

Do you need to rent a car in Cyprus?

Public transportation is relatively limited and I will detail it later in the post for those who are interested.

If you land in Paphos and intend to only stay in the city, you can probably forego a rental car. This is also true for those who land in Larnaca and do not intend to leave it, or for those who plan to stay for the entire vacation in and around the hotel and not travel around.

If you only plan to go on guided tours with a local guide, you can arrange transportation as part of the service. If you plan individual trips to relatively close places, you can take a taxi or bus.

But, if you arrive in the mood to explore Cyprus or travel at your own pace and stop at points spontaneously, a rental car is the way to go.

Most travelers who come with children on a trip to Cyprus like to take a rental car straight from the airport and get around with it. In general, you can find parking everywhere, even in Limassol or Nicosia, although it is better to choose accommodation that includes parking. I will detail parking options later.

If you plan to go to the villages in the Troodos Mountains, or move between several destinations during your trip, then you must have a rental car, and in my opinion, getting around with one is much easier, especially with children. You can leave the equipment in the car and not have to carry it from place to place.

Even if you are short on time for your vacation and want maximum flexibility, renting a car or using taxis will be the most effective.

Also keep in mind that taxi prices are expensive. A trip from Larnaca to Limassol costs around 60 euros by taxi one way. Even within the city, each trip is at least 10 euros and usually ranges between 10-20 euros for distances of 10-20 minutes.

A recommendation for the summer of 2024 and a benefit for blog followers

Local and recommended Cypriot car rental company

Cosmos Car Rental (to order a rental car directly from Cosmos don’t forget the 10% coupon code: trvbox) is a company that provides rental cars all over Cyprus.

What I like about them is that they provide a delivery service for a nominal fee to almost any destination in Cyprus, so you can start or end the rental from any hotel and not have to pick up the car and return it at that point.

They have a main office in Larnaca, so if you are nearby you can come and pick up or return the car from there at no extra cost, but you really don’t have to do even that – they provide a free delivery service to any hotel or other point in Larnaca, which is really convenient if you don’t take the car. You can just choose a pick-up point called Larnaca City and then you adjust exactly where they should deliver the car to you.

They have really good customer service and they don’t try to insist you into buying all kinds of insurance.

Car insurance at Cosmos

When renting from them, you can add such extended insurance that will reduce your participation fee by at least half (40% to be exact compared to their normal participation fee). For example, for a sum of about 100 euros for small family vehicles instead of 250 euros or for 350 euros for a van with 8/9 seats (instead of 900 euros). You will see the details during the order after choosing the vehicle and you can choose then.

It is also possible to additionally or only purchase windshield and tire insurance at a lower price of about five euros per day so that you do not pay at all for any damage caused to these items.

If you don’t want to upgrade to their insurance (for example if you take out external insurance) then the deductibles are generally fair and you can ask for the refund from the external insurance you took out, for example in the travel insurance abroad or through another insurance for a car rented abroad as I detailed in the post about renting a car abroad.

In terms of payment and deposit – they allow payment in cash so if you don’t have approx. Credit can still be rented from them and leave a deposit in cash.

A safety seat

If you are traveling with children, they provide you with baby and child car seats for free!

Crossing Turkish Cyprus with a rented car

Crossing Turkish Cyprus/Northern Cyprus with a rental car – most companies do not allow this, and the guys at Cosmos would also prefer that you not cross with the car, but if you need to, you can coordinate it with them. In general, they warn that they will not be able to provide you with road services or help in North Cyprus and you will have to deal with breakdowns on your own and bring the vehicle back to the border with Cyprus yourself and at your own expense. In addition, you must pay at the border crossing for a special insurance that will allow you to pass with the vehicle to Northern Cyprus. You can talk to them in advance and find out these details – and write to me where you are going to North Cyprus because, to be honest, I haven’t had the chance to travel there and I don’t know the area.

The bottom line is they really try to provide good service and I recommend them, and I would love to hear in the comments or if you write to me how it was for you.

Ordering the vehicle through the Cosmos company and a discount coupon

The most worthwhile part – you can order a car from them in two ways:

Order online with prepayment that gives a 10% discount on the price. But keep in mind that you can’t cancel with this option.

Order online with no advance payment at all and free cancellation.

And I received from the owner a 10% discount coupon for ordering online without prepayment so that you actually earn both an order without prepayment on the credit card and free cancellation as well as the discounted price.

To order a rental car directly from Cosmos (don’t forget the 10% coupon code: trvbox)

To compare prices from all rental companies in Cyprus

Which rental companies are recommended?

All in all, all the companies that operate in Cyprus are usually fair and do not try to charge you for all kinds of damages or unfair payments. In several of my rentals, even when I didn’t take extended insurance from the rental company, I didn’t feel like I was being “searched” when returning the car like they have done to me in other destinations in Europe.

All companies, even the small ones, have the option of giving you car seats for babies or boosters for older children at affordable prices. You can also buy a small jumbo booster without a back for 8 euros.

In the big cities there are quite a few local rental companies that operate mainly in the season; some are not even active outside the summer so the supply is small then. On the other hand, so is the demand, so it’s fine.

My recommendation is to also check reviews of the branch through Google Maps – where customers will usually share their experience.

If you compare prices in the Papam Papam search engine, you will be able to filter and see only offers from recommended rental companies according to the score they have on Google Maps. The rental prices in Cyprus are also very cheap. If you take a manual car, it will of course be cheaper in most cases. In the off-season you can rent a small manual car for less than 25 euros per day.

Driving in Cyprus and driver’s license

Driving license when renting a car in Cyprus

To rent a car in Cyprus you need a valid driver’s license and all companies ask that you at least hold this license for about a year.

If your license is issued outside Europe, there will be rental companies that will also request an international IDP license.
The reports based on actual tourists in Cyprus show that there is no need for an international driver’s license (PaapmPaapm also checked the laws in Cyprus and confirm that Cypriot law allows non-Europeans to drive without the need for an international license) so you can skip it and drive with your home country license alone. Here is what they published about drivers’ licenses in Cyprus.

The driving experience in Cyprus

There are highways between Larnaca and Paphos that are very convenient and the roads to the mountains are generally pleasant and have wide margins. There are many gas stations along the way (the price of gas as in other European countries) and convenient stopping points. It is important to know that driving is done on the left side of the road (like in England), but you get used to it quite quickly in my opinion and from what other travelers have written to me.

Parking in Cyprus

In terms of parking, there is absolutely no reason to fear that you won’t find parking. In most places there is no problem finding a spot and all the big hotels have private parking lots. If you go to the more touristic areas such as the old town in Limassol, or the marina area in Larnaca and Paphos, you will find many parking lots that cost 2-3 euros for two to three hours. Please note that two yellow stripes on the side of the road mean that you are not allowed to park there even if the curb of the sidewalk is gray.

Public transport in Cyprus

For two years we lived in Limassol in an apartment close to the boardwalk where line 30 passes, the main line that runs from the remote part of the resorts like Parklane and Amara and reaches the other side where the mall is. The line runs frequently and is usually not busy. I traveled by bus a lot with Sophie when she was a baby (she didn’t like being in the car and I preferred to travel with her by bus when I could). But if I had to go to places where the bus does not go, I would take a taxi or drive my car. The buses in Limassol and in general in all of Cyprus do not reach the more distant places and taxis are not that easily available.

There are two apps through which you can order taxis, but keep in mind that many times you won’t find one through them and it would be better to coordinate with a driver in advance or call a taxi company: the Bolt app and the CABCY app.

Each city has its own bus company and they also make intercity trips.

Website for information on all bus lines in Cyprus

In Paphos you can find the official website of the local bus company Osypa where you’ll have information about all the lines in English, including timetables and a detailed map of the route. There are dedicated lines to attraction points such as line 622 to the Aphrodite baths and of course a bus from the Paphos Airport to the city center. There is also an interactive map where you can click on stations and see when the nearest bus arrives and where each bus goes in real time.

Children up to the age of five travel for free. A single ride costs €2 and a daily free ticket €6.50. For prices on the website.

Personally, I find it most convenient to use the Moovit app to find the line I need wherever I am in Cyprus. For the most part, the application is quite accurate.

Larnaca and Ayia Napa also have buses that travel along the promenade.

In conclusion, if you are coming to Cyprus for a short backpacking vacation, you do not have to rent a car, but if you want to travel around the villages or go to several destinations, I definitely recommend renting a car. Taxi prices are expensive in Cyprus and they are not always available, and the bus lines run almost only in the tourist areas and can be busy in the summer.

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