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Despite the admittedly sheer size of Turkey, it’s actually a very drivable country. If you’re considering visiting Turkey and you want to get around on your own steam, you’ll find excellent motorways and beautiful scenery to look at on your Turkey road trip.
Turkey has land and sea borders, which means it’s possible to travel into Turkey from both Greece, Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. In order to do so, you will need to have your passport and your car papers, including insurance and an international driving license.
However, if you are planning on renting a car in Turkey, you’ll need to pick up your automobile in Turkey and return it before leaving. Many companies will not allow you to cross land borders with a hire car in Turkey.
Let’s take a closer look at hiring a car in Turkey and a few driving tips you need to know about before you arrive.
Car Rental Companies In Turkey
The following car rental companies are commonly found in Turkey:
- Enterprise Rent a Car
- Rent Cars Turkey
- Green Motion Car Rental
- VIP Cars
- Wish Car Rental
- Sixt Rent a Car
- Thrifty Car Rental
- Circular Car Hire
- First Rent a Car
You’ll also find countless car hire companies that are unique to a particular town, and these offer lower prices than some of the bigger named companies at airports and in large cities.
Car Rental Turkey Tips In 2021
If you’re thinking about renting a car in Turkey, there are some things you’ll need to know first.
Always Book Ahead Of Time In Large Cities/Airports
It’s far better to book online ahead of your visit if possible, especially in large cities. In smaller resorts, you can often visit a car hire office and find reasonable prices. Still, large cities and airports won’t give you these benefits, and you’ll struggle to find a suitable car, or you’ll pay a considerable amount for it.
You May Need To Show A Return Plane Ticket
This isn’t a necessary rule for all car hire companies, but some airport car hire offices (Enterprise especially) may ask to see your return flight ticket before they will rent a vehicle to you. This may be problematic if you’re thinking of booking your return ticket at the last minute, so simply be aware of it.
Beware Of One Way Rental Fees
If you want to pick up your car in Istanbul and return it to Izmir, for example, you may find yourself falling foul of one-way rental fees. To avoid this, you need to return your car to the exact same place you picked it up. Not all companies enforce this rule, but again, it’s something to be careful of.
Check For Any Prior Damage
Before you accept the car, look carefully to spot any visual damage, note it down or take a photograph of it and keep this close to hand in case you’re somehow blamed for the damage when you return the car.
You’ll Need A Credit Card In Your Name
To hire a car in Turkey, you’ll need to show a credit card in your name, which will be pre-approved in case of any damage or non-return of the car. You don’t have to pay for the car with this card, but you will need to have it pre-approved regardless.
Make Sure You Re-Filled The Fuel
When you return the car, make sure it has been refilled. If it’s less than full, you’ll be charged the extra to top it up and probably have a hefty fee placed on top.
Car Hire Ages
You need to be 21 years of age to rent a car in Turkey, but the driving age is 18 years of age.
Driving In Turkey Information To Know
The HGS system is in place between large cities, especially if you’re driving to Istanbul. This is an electric toll system that tracks a vehicle via a compulsory device that all cars must have. The toll cost is then collected electronically.
If you’re using a hire car, you’ll be informed of any toll costs you need to pay when you return your car.
To say that Istanbul’s traffic is a problem does not do it justice. Driving in Istanbul can be a total nightmare, and it can take you hours to get to where you want to go at certain times of the day. The Asian side tends to move a little faster than the European side, thanks to faster roads, but that doesn’t mean you’re not likely to get caught up in some traffic at some point.
Avoid between 5 to 7 pm any day of the week, and Saturdays, in particular, are a problem no matter what the time. Also, between 8 am until 10 am can be a problem in central areas too.
One of the most important driving in Turkey advice we can give you is to avoid driving in Istanbul, especially with a rental car. There’s plenty of public transportation available to get around this huge city.
Lack Of Free Parking
There is very little free parking in Turkey as a whole, and instead, you’ll have to pay for street parking by the house or a multi-story car park on an hourly basis.
Parking costs vary, but you can expect to pay around 10TL per hour, on average.
There are speed limits in place, and these are “officially” enforced; however, don’t be surprised to find drivers choosing their own speed limits from time to time. However, this doesn’t mean you should join in on the act as police can and do stop speeding drivers.
In towns and cities, the official speed limit is 50 km/h; on motorways, it is 90 km/h, and on open roads, it is also 90 km/h.
Final Thoughts on Driving In Turkey
Turkish driving manners can be, shall we say… assertive. There are some crazy drivers in Turkey, but the same can be said for any country. The roads are high quality and, for the most part, extremely safe. However, you will need to stick to speed limits and always wear a seatbelt, even if local drivers don’t tend to do the same occasionally.
If you keep all these tips for driving in Turkey in mind, traveling by car is easily the best way to get around Turkey. After all, nothing offers you the sheer amount of freedom and flexibility that your own set of wheels can provide.
Driving in Turkey shouldn’t be avoided as it’s a great way to get around and see more, but you do need to be cautious and stick to the rules.
Please reference our online safety tips for general tips and techniques you should keep in mind to protect yourself and your privacy online. Additional information is also available about identifying and reporting suspected Human Trafficking.
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