Friday, 1 January 2010

What Side Of The Road Are You Driving On?

What Side Of The Road Are You Driving On?

Taking a vacation in a foreign country is one of the most exciting things you and your family will ever experience. When visiting North Cyprus, you will be able to see a land that is steeped in rich tradition and history. It is a land with pristine beaches, beautiful mountains to explore, meadows and vistas teaming with flora and fauna, small villages that are warm and inviting, and historical ruins that are amazing in their complexity.

While visiting North Cyprus offers you a wide range of things to do – from swimming in the ocean waters to hiking up the Five Finger Mountains – there is one thing you will need to adjust to while visiting: driving on the left hand side of the road. If you are visiting North Cyprus from a country that drives on the right hand side of the road you will need to be aware of which side you are driving on at all times. The last thing you want is for you vacation to be ruined due to an accident that could’ve been preventable.
Here is a mantra to keep in your head if you are visiting North Cyprus from a country other than the United Kingdom: ‘Left is right. Right is wrong.’ Sounds a little confusing, doesn’t it? If you keep it in your head, you will ensure that you stay on the proper side of the roadway. When you pick up your vehicle from North Cyprus Car Hire, we will even remind you of this fact before you drive away. Your safety is important to us.
It is, undoubtedly, a disconcerting feeling to drive on what seems to be the wrong side of the road. Not only do you drive in the left hand lane, the vehicle you are driving will have the steering wheel in the wrong place. When you get a car from North Cyprus Car Hire you will notice that the steering wheel is on the right hand side of the car. The gear shift in a manual transmission vehicle will be to your left. Yes, this is even more confusing if you are not used to it. We recommend that you hire an automatic transmission car if you’re not used to this set up.
What else can you do when you are new to driving on the left hand side of the road? Here are some tips the staff at North Cyprus Car Hire have put together to help you get used to things being backwards on the road.

Tip #1: When in North Cyprus, keep to the left
The United Kingdom and North Cyprus are just a few of the countries where driving is done on the left hand side of the road. We cannot stress this enough. The left lane in North Cyprus is your regular driving lane while the right lane is the passing lane when allowed. If you are not quite comfortable driving in the left lane, do not try to pass a slower car or truck ahead of you. Take your time and get used to driving on the opposite side of the road instead.
Tip #2: General driving rules apply in North Cyprus but things come from the opposite directionMost of the standard driving rules that you learned in the country where you learned how to drive apply in North Cyprus. Many of them are common sense. While you may not understand all of the text on the road signs in the country, the pictures that accompany them are self-explanatory. Also, the signs along the road will be to your left along the roadside as that is the side you are driving on. Additionally, keep in mind that when you approach roundabouts and four way stops, the traffic is going to merge from the opposite side.
Tip #3: Keep an eye on your speed at all timesAs if you do not have enough to worry about remembering to stay on the left hand side of the road, it is a good idea to keep to the speed limits when driving in North Cyprus. You are going to be fighting your natural instinct to drive on the right hand side of the road, unless you are from the United Kingdom. By keeping your speed at the speed limit you give yourself the extra time your mind will need to make a decision when needed, especially on roads that are very unfamiliar to you.
Tip #4: It’s okay to follow that crowdYou can get a lot of useful information about driving in North Cyprus by watching the other people that are driving. By paying attention to how other drivers exit parking lots, how they come out of junctions, and how they handle roundabouts you can learn how to negotiate the roads on the opposite side from what you are used to. However, if you should happen to be leaving the airport, try to follow the North Cyprus Car Hire employee that met you or a taxi cab so that you are following someone used to driving in the country.
Tip #5: Take the time to get familiar with your North Cyprus Car Hire vehicle
Remember us mentioning the gear shift in a manual transmission vehicle being to your left in a car where the steering wheel is on the right? This is why it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the vehicle you hire before driving away. The brake and gas pedal will be in the same position – gas on the right, brake on the left – but you need to know where all of the other controls are located. It is better to take the extra time than try to find turn signals and windshield wipers before you hit the road.
Tip #6: Know where the curb is at all times
When you drive in a vehicle that has the steering wheel on the right, the bulk of your car is going to be to your left. You will have problems gauging distances and space. Once again, take your time driving, especially if you drive down any narrow streets, and be careful when you park your car. Additionally, remember that your car bulk is to your left when overtaking other vehicles.

If you can keep these tips in mind when you drive in North Cyprus from a country other than the United Kingdom, you will have no problem at all. And getting used to the new driving situation gives you the chance to take your time and enjoy everything North Cyprus has to offer.

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Saturday, 26 December 2009

10 Tips for Driving During North Cyprus Winters

Here in North Cyprus we are extremely lucky in that our winters consist mainly of heavy rainfall that can make our roads as slick as heavy snow in other parts of the world. Only the highest mountain elevations may see snow, and if they do it is a rare occurrence. Driving in the winter in North Cyprus can be a challenge, but when you invest in a car from North Cyprus Car Hire during the winter months, you are investing in a vehicle that has been checked out and prepared for the nasty weather.
Driving in the winter anywhere around the world causes you to cope with road conditions that are less than favorable. Slick wet roads can be accompanied by fog, wet leaves and debris, glare from the head lights of other vehicles, wind and of course rain. Add to the weather hazards unfamiliarity with the roads, the vehicle and the possibility of suddenly driving on what you perceive as the ‘wrong side of the road’, winter travel in North Cyprus can turn into an adventure.
When you hire a car from North Cyprus Car Hire, we want you to have the best holiday possible. Here are a few tips to help you cope with winter driving in North Cyprus.
Tip #1:
Before setting out on your daily excursion, check the weather conditions
It’s a good idea to be informed about the weather before you set out site seeing. While the weather where you are staying may be warm and sunny it could be something completely different a few hours away. While you may not believe the weather can be that drastic, it can, especially when you travel from the coast to the higher elevation. To be prepared for a change in the weather is to be forearmed to deal with driving conditions.
Tip #2:
Maintain a safe distance between yourself and other vehicles
While you cannot control the driver behind you riding your bumper you can control your position on the road with the car in front of you. If the weather turns wet and rainy, slow down and maintain a safe distance between yourself and other vehicles. It takes longer to stop on a wet road than it does on a dry one. A car can easily hydroplane on a wet road and accidents can occur.
Tip #3:
Consider driving in a lower gear if the road is slick
Wet roads can get as slick as icy roads, especially if you are climbing a hill. Shift down into a lower gear to maintain connection with the road if you feel your vehicle slipping. Drive slower and take your time. Ease your foot off the gas and maintain a safe speed and distance.
Tip #4:
Keep your foot off the brake
Hydroplaning on a wet road can be caused by driving too fast and hitting the brakes. You can easily lose control of the vehicle and start to slide as if you were sliding on ice or snow. When this happens, take your foot off the gas and turn into the slide. Never slam on the brakes. This can make the slide worse. If you are driving a manual transmission, put the car into neutral to help slow it down so you can regain control.
Tip #5:
Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination
You are on holiday so there is absolutely no reason to be in a rush to go anywhere. When you make plans to visit someplace in North Cyprus make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get there. Even if the weather report says the day is going to be sunny and mild, it can change in a heartbeat. After all, you are vacationing on an island and you never know what type of weather may come in off the Mediterranean.
Tip #6:
Use your headlights
Because winter driving in North Cyprus consists of heavy rains you should always turn on your headlights so that other vehicles can see you and so you can see the road. Vision during rain storms becomes impaired, and when you add fog to the road conditions you need the extra light. If you are driving in foggy conditions, use fog lights if the car is equipped with them or keep your lights on the low setting. Putting your high beams on in fog will only cause the light to be reflected back at you. When the weather conditions improve and visibility is restored, turn the headlights off.
Tip #7:
Do not drive through flooded roads
There are areas in North Cyprus that flood in the winter due to the heavy rains. No matter what you do, do not drive through high water and flooded roads. High water and flooded roads can cause the car to flood and the engine to stop, leaving you stranded. If the water is high enough and moving at a fast enough pace, it could sweep you off the road all together. Instead, turn around and look for an alternate route to where you are going.
Tip #8:Keep an emergency kit in your car and make sure the vehicle has plenty of fuel
North Cyprus does not boast a lot of gas stations. Before you leave on your trip, make sure you have a full tank of fuel. It is also a good idea to keep an emergency kit in your car that includes boots, warm clothing, blankets, a jacket that is highly visible and warm, and food and water. While North Cyprus Car Hire maintains their vehicles to ensure you do not get stranded, accidents can and do happen. It is better to be prepared and not need the emergency kit.
Tip #9:
Let someone know where you are going and when you have arrived
If you are visiting friends and relatives in North Cyprus during the winter, let them know where you are going if you take a day trip site seeing. Call them and let them know you have arrived safely at your destination and then when you leave to return home or to your hotel. You can also alert the hotel staff as to where you are going and the approximate time you will return. This way if something happens they can alert the proper authorities that something could be wrong.
Tip #10:
Keep North Cyprus Car Hire’s 24 hour service phone number with you at all times
When you rent a car from us we will provide you with 24 hour road side service if the car breaks down or is in an accident. We will bring you a new car hire and make sure you get back to where you are staying safely.

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Saturday, 1 August 2009

North Cyprus Car Hire Pacific Won’t Leave You Stranded

Picture this: You and your family are taking a nice leisurely drive through the beautiful countryside of North Cyprus in your hired car when you suddenly hear this strange popping noise. The next thing you know there is smoke rolling out from under the hood and the engine dies. You manage to get the car coasted to a stop on the side of the road, but you are miles from the next town and you have no idea what is wrong with your hired car.

After all, you’re not an experienced mechanic and you were assured by the car hire agent that the car was in perfect running condition.
While your hired car may have been in perfect running conditions, things do happen that are beyond all of your control. Cars do break down, but if you hired a car from Pacific Rent-A-Car, then you have absolutely nothing to worry about if your car suddenly goes on the fritz. We are here to help you twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week for things just like this. My team and I try very hard to make sure that our cars are inspected and undergo a rigorous check before we let you sit behind the wheel and use them for your vacation, but even we know that sometimes they just break down.

This is why we provide all our Pacific customers with 24/7 roadside assistance. The service is free and you can reach us at 0090 542 852 1920. Write that number down and keep it with you when you hire a car from us. This way if your car breaks down during one of those road trips you and your family were trying to enjoy, all you have to do is call us. We will come with a tow truck and a new hire car for you. All you will have to do is transfer your belongings from the car that broke down to the new car we provide and go on your way. We will worry about bringing the other car back to our offices.

Additionally, if you should happen to get into an accident with one of our vehicles you should immediately call us. We care about our customers so the first thing we will do is ensure that you are all right, that no one was injured, and that matters are handled the way they need to be during this traumatic time. We will send out a team to collect the car and bring you a new one. If the accident is at night and you’d prefer to wait until morning to get your new car that is fine too. We’ll take you back to your lodgings and then deliver your new car to you in the morning so that you can relax after what happened.

Remember, my team and I here at Pacific are here to serve you, our customers. If anything happens to your hired car while you are visiting us or if you think something could be wrong with it – say you hear a strange knocking sound – call us. We will be more than happy to check out the car and bring you a new one if you should break down. Our twenty-four hour a day, seven day a week number is 0090 542 852 1920. Keep it with you and let’s hope you never have to use it

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Monday, 24 November 2008

North Cyprus Safe Driving Tips

No matter where you live or where you drive, following the rules of the road is imperative to staying safe. In North Cyprus, you drive on the left hand side of the road just as if you were driving in the United Kingdom. As a matter of fact, many of the laws that govern driving in North Cyprus are the same or similar to those in the U.K. The roads in North Cyprus have been improved over the years, and the new carriageway makes driving through the country a breeze.

However, there are a few quirks that Cypriot’s have when they drive that you should be aware of. Standard driving safety rules apply, but here are few things that you should keep in mind to help you stay safe on the roads.

•The speed limit in North Cyprus is a minimum of 65km to a maximum of 100km. Most drivers go about 120km and tailgating is a popular and very dangerous ‘sport’ over there. Keeping it between the minimum and maximum speed limits is a good idea.
•Seat belts and understanding the Highway Code is required.
•Do not take the flashing of headlights as an invitation to turn or go first through an intersection. In North Cyprus it means ‘I’m coming through’.
•Don’t always trust turn signal indicators as many times Cypriot drivers forget to turn it off.
•The orange light at the traffic light before the red light usually indicates to Cypriot drivers that they should speed up and not slow down.
•Try to keep your cool if you are in a narrow road in town and the car in front of you and one going the other way decide to stop and chat. This is part of the laid back Cypriot life.
•Do not jump the lights even if you see someone else doing it. Cameras have been installed and you will get fined for doing it.
•Beware making a right hand turn in North Cyprus if you are not used to driving on the left hand side of the road.
•Watch out for cars going to the wrong way on a one way street as you’ll get the response of ‘I was only going one way’.

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Monday, 10 November 2008

Mobile Phone Use While Driving Is A No-No

Using a mobile phone while driving in North Cyprus – and pretty much anywhere in the world lately – is prohibited by law unless you are using what is referred to as a ‘hands free’ unit. A hands free unit could be a headset plugged into the mobile phone that allows you to keep both hands on the wheel or even a blue tooth wireless headset that works the same way. Anything that allows you to drive down the road with both hands available is acceptable.
You have probably seen many people driving down the road holding onto their mobile phone and chattering away without a care in the road. You could even be guilty of doing it yourself. While some countries want to ban mobile phone use in a vehicle all together because it is considered a distraction, they would have to consider banning listening to the radio or talking with other passengers as well. All of these things can be considered distractions, but trying to ban them is next to impossible.
If you are going to use your mobile phone while driving, do it safely. Try to only use it for a brief moment so that your concentration isn’t divided for very long. Always use a hands free method of talking. If you do not have a head set for your mobile phone, you could place your phone on speakerphone for the length of time your need to speak. Holding your mobile phone and speaking while driving is not worth the fine you will receive if you are pulled over by the authorities.

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Saturday, 1 November 2008

Don’t Drink And Drive In North Cyprus

The hazards of drinking and driving are known all over the world and it is one of the worst things anyone can do. If you are under the influence of alcohol, your judgment is impaired. This means that you could be driving too fast, driving too close to another car, even driving on the wrong side of the road especially if you’re not used to left hand side traffic patterns. If you are going to drink, make sure you have a designated driver or call a taxi instead of getting behind the wheel and causing injury or death to yourself or anyone else that could be with you or part of the accident.
In North Cyprus, it is illegal to drive a car, motorbike, or even pedal bike under the influence of alcohol. You are considered driving drunk if:
• The breath/alcohol level equals or exceeds 39 microgram’s of alcohol per 100 milliliters of breath
• The blood/alcohol level equals or exceeds 90 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood (0,9 grams per liter)

Use a designated driver. Or, better yet, you be the designated driver and enjoy your drink when you get back to your accommodations safe and sound.

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Thursday, 23 October 2008

Driving During The Rainy Season In North Cyprus

North Cyprus doesn’t usually get a lot of rain, and during the rainy season the 402mm it does get can make driving hazard. Even though this number is lower than the Mediterranean average, caution is best used when driving. Roads in North Cyprus tend to be very dusty thanks to the lack of rain throughout most of the year. When it does rain, however, the roads get slippery when the dust mixes with the rain. Add to it the cooler weather, drivers in North Cyprus should be very careful driving during the rainy season, especially during the first rainfall.
For the most part, visitors to North Cyprus usually do not have to worry about rain unless they are in the country during the winter rainy season which can start as early as November and go through as late as February. Winters are cold with January and February being the coldest months, although the island is blessedly free from frost and snow unless you are visiting the Troodos Mountain range in the south(Customers who use Pacific Rental car hire in northern Cyprus are restricted to the area and may not take the car hire company’s vehicles beyond the demarcation line into South Cyprus despite news reports to the contrary).
When you are driving in North Cyprus, especially if you are from a country that is not used to driving on the left hand side of the road, you are going to want to be very careful driving in the rain. Most of the roads are well surfaced and comply with international traffic requirements, but the road surfacing, especially in cooler weather, can make the roads as dangerous as if they were covered with snow and ice found in other places. The roads that lead into the most remote places on the island, such as the minor roads around cities and up into the mountainous areas and forests are still mostly unpaved. While the residents attempt to keep them in good to fair condition, they can still be hazardous. During the rainy season, because the rain can be torrential for a brief time, the back roads can get extremely muddy very fast.
Always keep your speed at the post limit or lower to avoid hydroplaning on paved surfaces or possibly hitting a patch of black ice if the temperature is low enough. Make sure you use your windshield wipers at all times, and make sure you turn on your lights so other cars can visibly see you. If you must travel one of the unpaved side roads, try to do it in a four wheel drive. Avoid any standing water as it may be hiding deep and dangerous pot holes and to manage your way through any mud. Use common sense when driving and remain safe.

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Wednesday, 15 October 2008

The Importance Of Having A Baby Seat In Your Hired Car in North Cyprus

Whenever you travel with a small child you always want to make sure that you have the proper child safety car seat with you for your infant to travel in, or make arrangements to have one provided for you at your destination. Today, many car hire companies will provide you with a child safety seat if you notify them ahead of time, usually when you make the vehicle reservations. In most countries, child safety seats are the rule and not the exception. When traveling to North Cyprus, all children under the age of 5 years old are required by law to sit in the back of the motor vehicles and be secured in a proper child safety seat. It is against the law to allow children 5 and under to travel in the front seat. Children from age 5 to 10 may sit in the front only if they have been provided with a booster seat for use with the adult seatbelt, or if a child’s seatbelt has been fitted to them.

Children 5 and under who are not properly secured in a child safety seat during an accident could get severely injured. As gruesome as it sounds, their little bodies could be thrown around the vehicle causing bone breaks, concussions, and other injuries far worse without even considering the fact that they could be killed. A child safety seat secures the infant and offers them a protective barrier of sorts. This is one of the reasons why parents are told to place the seat in the rear facing position and in the middle of the back seat. Additionally, if your child has graduated to a forward facing child seat, using the additional restraining strap helps keep the seat in place should the seat belt fail and the car seat come loose.

If your car hire company cannot provide you with a child safety seat for the duration of your trip, then it is advisable to bring one with you. Most airlines will also accept them for use with their smaller passengers.

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Thursday, 12 June 2008

Driving in the South Cyprus

For all drivers for car hire from Pacific Rent A Car in North Cyprus, including persons visiting on holiday, vacation, or business!

Please be aware, that our Rental Agreements and Insurance Policies do not allow you to take your vehicle across the border to South Cyprus under any circumstances. Our Insurance Company has advised us that any vehicle reported as being driven outside the TRNC will be reported as stolen and immediate legal action will be invoked.

When driving in the TRNC, you are covered under full insurance, allowing you to drive your vehicle without concern of liability, providing you remain within the restrictions of the Law and follow the rules of the road.

Please note that Northern Cyprus operates a Zero tolerance drink driving law.

If you would like to take the opportunity to visit South Cyprus during your stay, please contact our office where we will be able to advise you on the best travel options.

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Saturday, 17 November 2007

Excitment at Pacific Rent-A-Car

We're excited to be the first car rental company in North Cyprus to start a blog.

We want to be able to tell you about our latest special offers, new additions to our fleet and pass on useful information for your holidays in Northern Cyprus such as driving tips.

The manager of the company, Mr. Berkan Ocal, will be writing most of the blogs so you will learn everything from first person quickly.

Topics will include these subjects as listed alphabetically: announcements, cars, safety, service, tips, and travel.

We welcome customer and visitor comments.

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