Monday, February 25, 2008

Road tax in Cyprus, once again...

Last November, we paid our car/road tax.

It was not fun. Quite apart from the vast expense, it was a lengthy and convoluted process, as described in the relevant post (linked in the first paragraph).

But, we thought, it would be straightforward from now on. Road tax is valid up to the end of the calendar year, and the new one has to be paid by about March. At least, in theory - it never seems to matter much how late it is (which is just as well, considering how very late we were last year).

The department of road transport usually sends out letters at about the end of February, saying how much is due (it varies, depending on the type of car, and this year everything's in euros), with printed certificates that need to be stamped. So, we thought, we would wait until those arrived, then take them down to the co-op place as usual, and get it all sorted out.

But it seems that the system has changed this year.

Last week, two letters arrived in our PO Box, informing us that our car tax discs were about to expire. Fair enough, you might think. BUT... one of them was addressed to me, and the other - even more bizarrely - to Daniel. Neither of us drive. Both cars are registered in Richard's name. But no letter arrived for him.

Ah well, this is Cyprus.

The letters told us there were several ways of paying the road tax. It said we could phone, but we prefer to have printed records of transactions, so we didn't want to do that.

It included a form which we could fill in and fax to the bank. It told us to give the car registration and the last three digits of Richard's passport. The only problem was, it didn't tell us the amount payable.

It said we could go into the bank, which would have been our last resort (they usually charge for paying bills over the counter)... so we decided to opt for paying online at the Bank of Cyprus site.

Clicking the link there took us to the JCC link site. We typed in the car registration details, and the last three digits of Richard's passport... and were told that they didn't match. Same for the other car.

So he found his alien card, and tried the last three digits of that.

It worked!

I then used my debit card - and that worked too!

On screen appeared a picture of our new tax disc. With correct descriptions of the cars. There was a minor problem when the 'print' button produced something much too small, but a regular 'File-print' from the browser produced what we wanted.

All we need now is some of those round clear plastic things so as to affix the tax discs to the car windscreen.

I can't believe how easy it was, in the end.

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