Importing a car to Cyprus
Firstly, you will need to plan how you want to transport your vehicle. Research the best and cheapest transportation and prepare documents.
Important Note: You must have owned the car you want to import to Cyprus for at least six months before shipping. Bare this is mind if your thinking of buying a car with the intention of shipping to Cyprus straight away.
If you follow our own experience of importing a car to Cyprus, there shouldn’t be any significant problems. But first…
I will explain why and how we imported our own car from the UK.
Due to delays caused by the purchaser of our house, we didn’t have time to sell our car. Our neighbour offered to park it in his drive and try to sell it for us.
After several months and several ridiculous offers for the car we decided to import the car to Cyprus. The only problem was, we where living in Cyprus now. So we spoke with our neighbour again and he said there was no problem for him to help out transporting it to the docks if necessary. God bless him!!
Driving your car to Cyprus
It is possible to bring your car in by driving it yourself, depending on where you’re coming from. We have met people who have driven their car to Cyprus from the UK. There are also individuals you can hire to do it for you. It’s a personal choice.
If you fancy driving the distance… more power to you. In the end, it won’t save you money transporting your car this way. Especially considering the costs of petrol, accommodation along the way, ferry transfers etc, etc…. In my humble opinion, leave it to a professional shipping company.
Shipping a car to Cyprus
Finding a Shipping Company
We began to ring around different shipping companies in the UK to get quotes. We started with the shipping company who transported our household goods to Cyprus. Their quote was ridiculously high. So we soldiered on.
We found a shipping company who gave us two quotes. But he first asked which transport option we wanted, i.e.; how we wanted to ship it. Either roll on roll off or by container.
Roll on Roll Off
When we asked for more details about roll on roll off, he said it was a simple process. The car is driven on to the ship and driven off when it reaches it’s destination.
He informed us that this option did not guarantee the car would arrive in it’s original condition. Well, that really put us off that idea. So we chose, shipping by container.
Importing a car to Cyprus by Container
Shipping by container is a much safer option. It may cost a bit more but wouldn’t you rather pay the extra to see your car still in one piece when it arrives in Cyprus?
Yes, so did we!!
I need to make a very important point at this stage…
If you are serious about importing a car to Cyprus… or anywhere else for that matter, check to see if the shipping company have enough space on a part filled container. It is cheaper this way.
If they try to charge full price for the container and someone else’s stuff is on it, ask them to reconsider the price or just find another shipping company. Get several different quotes.
Our car was shipped in a shared container.
I would like to point out at this stage, that your shipping company should be linked to a clearing agent in Cyprus, ask for the name and contact phone number of the clearing company. They complete the paperwork for cars entering Cyprus through the port.
At an early stage after your car has set sail, ring the clearing agent in Cyprus to introduce yourself. They should explain the process when the car arrives in Cyprus.
When the car arrives in Cyprus
Clearing the car at Customs House
When your car arrives in Cyprus, the clearing agent will ring you to let you know your car has arrived at the dock and when (approximately) you can pick it up. The time between arrival and pick up can be 2 weeks. We waited 10 days before we could collect ours.
We couldn’t just get in the car and drive off
First the clearing agent took us to the customs office to go through the paper process of declaring the importation of the car to Cyprus, i.e. proving ownership and whether we were importing it duty free or paying duty.
Important point to make here… If you’re a couple and both intend to drive the car, you MUST remember to take both passports to customs. Our clearing agent told us only the passport of the owner of the car, was required.
Our car was in my name, so we only took my passport. When customs told us that, only the person who owns the car can drive it until the 2nd person produces their passport to customs.
Then the 2nd person’s name is inserted on the Yellow slip your given by them, which you must keep in your car all the time for identification purposes, failure to do so and you may find your car confiscated.
Some questions Customs asked us…
Does the car belong to us and how long we had owned it.
How long we had been living in Cyprus
How many days we had been out of Cyprus… basically you are allowed up to six months residence when importing a car that is duty free.
There is a lot of paperwork to complete and procedures to follow.
Duty Free or Duty Paid - Explained
Duty Free means you can import a car to Cyprus or buy a car in Cyprus duty free. Oh Goodie!! I here you say...
Sadly, you need to meet certain criteria to qualify.
You have to be retired or do not intend to work in Cyprus.
If you to import a car, you have to prove you have owned the car for at least six months prior to exporting it to Cyprus.
If you request duty free status be prepared for a long process.
After clearing Customs with your yellow slip which will have an expiration date on it, before it expires, you have to present the slip to the Custom offices in Nicosia and begin the procedure of importing duty free.
No matter where you are in the Republic of Cyprus, all car duty free imports are handled by the Customs Office in Nicosia.
When we imported our car to Cyprus, we chose to ask for duty free entry, because we chose not to work in Cyprus… at least not for sometime anyway.
You need to prove that you can financially support yourself. It is a lengthier process to get the approval from customs.
Duty Paid/Pay the Duty
Duty Paid means the car is being imported into Cyprus and you pay the duty straight away at the port to Customs.
Importing a car to Cyprus does need some planning, good advice, (which we hope you have found here!!) I am continually updating information on the site. So please visit regularly for updates.
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