Thursday, November 29, 2007

Paying car tax in Cyprus

In August last year, we bought a 'new' car. New to us, that is. It was about ten years old at the time.

In the UK, when one buys a car from a garage, its tax and MOT are up-to-date. It didn't occur to Richard to ask about either; we assumed documentation would come through when either was needed. The tax disc actually showing on the windscreen was dated June 2005, but we didn't really think anything of it - people often seem to show outdated tax discs in Cyprus. Sometimes because they're behind on payments, sometimes because they've forgotten to put the new disc on the window. Not a big deal either way, it seems. Car tax is always paid up to the end of June or December, so we assumed we would have to pay from January 2007.

In about February, paperwork arrived at our new house telling us we needed to pay car tax on our old car (the one that's nearly 20 years old).

However, nothing arrived for the new car.

So Richard asked around, and eventually was given some rather scruffy photocopied paperwork: the application for car tax, when one hasn't paid it before. He also learned that it hadn't been taxed in the latter part of 2006. Oops.

He filled in the paperwork, then realised he had no idea where to take it. So he put it on a shelf, and somehow it got forgotten...

In the summer, we learned that the MOT was due for the newer car. Fair enough, it happens every year. When I went to pay the car tax for the older car (about six months late...) I was told that its MOT had also expired. So that also needed one, before we could pay the tax.

We got them done early in September, as described in this post about some of the oddities of Cyprus life.

I went to pay the tax for the older car, and was successful. Since I had regular renewal paperwork, I just went to the co-op (not a supermarket here - a place to pay bills) and paid. They didn't even comment on the fact that I was now nine months late in doing so.

However Richard still didn't know where to take the paperwork for the newer car, so as we were leaving Cyprus for seven weeks a day later, and nobody was driving it in the meantime, he put the paperwork back on the shelf....

Yesterday I reminded him, and suggested he take it to the co-op. Even if they couldn't deal with it, I thought they might know where he could go. So, armed with all the relevant bits of paper, he went there.

They told him: yes, they could deal with it.

Unfortunately, they refused to take a cheque. Due to their new and efficient car tax collecting system, where it's all online on their computers, they can only take cash. Bizarre.

So he had to go to the bank, draw out the large amount of money necessary for 18 months worth of car tax on a biggish car, and pay it in cash...

We're not entirely sure how that's more efficient than a cheque, though I suppose it saves us the 12c it effectively costs us to write a cheque (free banking is not a concept that Cyprus understands: we are charged £6 per book of 50 cheques)

1 comment:

Rosemary said...

Thanks Sue. Your message reminded me that our car tax is due today!