Buying a car in Cyprus
Can I pay for a car in cash?
Yes, there are no restrictions on this. When entering or leaving Cyprus, you must declare any sum of money of or equivalent to EUR 10 000 and above to customs using a specific form.
What about payment of VAT?
Within an intra-EU transaction new cars should be sold without VAT. A car is considered new if no more than 6 months have passed since the date on which it was first registered or if its mileage does not exceed 6 000 km. In practice, some sellers may require payment of VAT as a deposit, to be refunded once the car is registered in the buyer's country. Check in advance with the seller how to claim the VAT refund, i.e. what documentation the seller needs from you. Be aware that you have no direct claim against the fiscal authorities, only against the seller, so you should claim any refund quickly. All other cars are considered second hand (more than 6 months since the date of first registration and mileage of more than 6 000 km). They are generally sold inclusive of VAT (19 %) if the supplier is a commercial seller (the supply is not liable to VAT if the supplier is a private person). You don't have to pay VAT in your country of residence.
Is the seller obliged to provide a vehicle inspection?
Yes, normally the seller is obliged to provide a technical check or report on the car. In Cyprus, the first periodic inspection has to take place 4 years after the vehicle is first registered and then every 2 years (approx. cost: EUR 35).
Is the Cypriot vehicle inspection recognised in my home country?
Some countries recognise it. Check in advance with your national authority to avoid unnecessary costs.
Can I have an expert carry out a check on the car at the seller's premises?
Yes, you can ask a technical expert to accompany you to the seller's premises to check the general condition of the car, mileage, etc., but you might want to inform the seller of this beforehand. A list of car mechanics in Cyprus is available (approx. cost: EUR 50-80).
What should I look out for in the contract of sale?
Read the contract carefully and only sign contracts you understand. Some traders try to exclude legal guarantee rights by claiming that the contract is a business-to-business contract or that the car is sold "without warranties" (only in business-to-consumer contracts would such a clause be considered null and void). Make sure that the name of the seller is the same as the name given in the registration document, or that the seller has power of attorney to sell the car in the registered owner's name. If you buy from a trader, make sure that the name of the company is mentioned in the contract and that there is an indication regarding VAT.
Can I cancel a signed contract?
If the contract is signed on the seller's premises, you have no legal right to withdraw, unless the contract is connected with a credit agreement. If the credit agreement is cancelled, the contract of sale is cancelled automatically.
If the contract is a distance sale contract and you have not yet collected the car from the seller's premises, you can withdraw from the contract before delivery. You can also withdraw up to 14 days from delivery of the car to your address. If you collect the car at the seller's premises, the contract is usually signed there and either will not foresee or will exclude the right to a cooling off period.
What documents should the seller provide?
- The contract of sale or an invoice;
- The registration certificate or ‘log book' ("Πιστοποιητικό Εγγραφής Μηχανοκίνητου Οχήματος");
- A European Certificate of Conformity (COC) for new cars. If no COC is available from the seller, you can contact the manufacturer;
- A technical check and report.
Check if other documents are needed in the country where youintend to register the car.
Should I apply for temporary plates to drive the car home?
Transit plates are not available in Cyprus. You may be able to apply for them from your country of residence. Check with your relevant national authority.
Regular national plates
If you wish to drive home with the national plates still on the car, are you obliged to return them to the competent registration offices, either in the country of previous registration or in the registration country?
If you reside in Cyprus and purchase a car from another EU Member State, then you are required to pay an administrative fee of EUR 150 to register the car in Cyprus and acquire new number plates. If the car was already registered in the other country, then you are required to return the number plates to the country of previous registration. If you reside in another EU Member State and purchases a car from Cyprus, the same rules apply – you have to pay the registration fee in your residence country and return the number plates to the country of previous registration.
Do I need temporary insurance?
When driving the car home, you must be covered by insurance allowing you to drive on public roads. EU citizens can insure their car in another EU/EEA Member State through an insurance company that either has a base in that country or that is licensed to sell insurance in Cyprus. It is important to check with the insurer whether the policy will be valid in the country to which you are taking the car. In most cases, the policy specifically only covers the journey home.
If I have a complaint about a cross-border purchase, whom do I contact?
What out of court dispute resolution body is available in Cyprus?
The Competition and Consumer Protection Service of the Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism is theel. (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
To whom do I report cases of fraud?
Consumers can report online frauds to the Criminal Investigation Office of the Cyprus Police (Economic Crime Investigating Office). If the consumer is a resident in Cyprus, he/she can report this to the abovementioned police department, either by sending an email, reporting this on the phone or visiting the nearest police station. The same applies for a consumer from another country, if the trader is located in Cyprus. For further information.
Information provided by ECC-Net in March 2016 - see our legal notice.