Rent a car in Turkey – 2022. My experience and important tips

Rent a car in Turkey: 1600 km in a rented car in Turkey

My first experience of renting a car was in Turkey. I want to write a few lines, sentences, paragraphs )) as it will turn out, because I searched the Internet for experience, impressions and details of such travel by car in Turkey. Grain by grains of information to make a decision on the trip and further action.

Our route by car in Turkey: Ankara – Cappadocia – Egirdir – Pamukale – Eskisehir – Istanbul (5 persons, distance over 1600 km, budget 390 dollars per person).

I must say that he was classically COMOM!!! Starting with the occasional lack of my registration in the landlord’s program, to the complete lack of understanding and unpreparedness of my mind to perceive the problem of paying for services and the deposit NOT by credit card.

Features of renting a car in Turkey

I want to emphasize for those who will decide to rent a car abroad, that the payment for the deposit and additional services of the company the landlords do not take from our debit cards, – cards, on which we ourselves put our “savings”. I will write below in detail.

An important problem – the language barrier, especially when there are unexpected nuances. For example, we had about two hours to explain to the English-speaking manager on the phone that we have the required voucher in hand, there is also a confirmation of payment and driving documents in order! We explained it in our Russian-English and the Turkish manager in Turkish-English … Perhaps that is why it took so much time to find out a simple question: why are we not given a car that we paid for in Ukraine).

Finally, in England decided to reveal confidential information and confirmed the Turkish manager that the car we had ordered was paid for! Thank you!!!

Travelling in Turkey by car

Travelling in Turkey by car. Eskhisehir

Here we should really thank the Turkish company employee, who as a compensation for our lost and nervous first hours in Turkey gave us a car a few orders of magnitude higher than we had booked.

Deposit only by credit card.

However, we were waiting for another “discovery” that I wrote about at the beginning. This is the reluctance of rental companies to accept non-credit card payments. Credit cards only! With no “debet” written on the chip.

Surprisingly one of my daughter’s cards fit the bill, BUT only the driver of the car has to pay the deposit. And again we were lucky, by chance my daughter brought her driver’s license (not supposed to drive, since she had almost no driving experience). Already home, the Turkish manager quickly made a decision for us and at no extra charge (although it is specified in the rules of the lease) has made a second driver – my daughter, which made it possible to pay with her card … phew))

That’s how we picked up our first rental car PEGEOT 3008 (2019, diesel, automatic transmission, front and rear parking sensors, leather interior, sunroof, air conditioning and even toll roads, as it turned out later) from the parking lot

A road trip in Turkey

We planned to drive about 1600 km through central Turkey. Ankara – Cappadocia – Egirdir – Pamukale – Eskisehir – Istanbul. We had booked overnights everywhere in advance, which did not allow us to stay somewhere or stay late, and there was no other way to explore the country than by car.

Everyone who is planning a similar trip, I think, like me, trying to get acquainted with the specifics of driving, the nuances of the rules, parking and fines. Be sure to read everything you find on the Internet, paying attention to the dates.

Turkey in April

Turkey in April

Roads in Turkey

The quality of roads in Turkey is very good. Only in remote mountain villages we drove on roads not divided by lanes with bumpers. There is nothing to say about the potholes – they are nowhere to be found!

Istanbul in spring

Istanbul in spring

The spring weather we had a variety: snow, rain, sun, but it did not affect the safety of driving. Road pavement, drains, wind protection are all competent and civilized, as it should be.

Speed limit on the roads

As to the speed limits … The Turks have differentiated approach to the issue of speed limits, the signs are divided into three variants: the passenger cars will drive in the city mode with the speed of 82 km/hour , the minibuses 70 km/hour and the trucks 60 km/hour. Of course there are sections with a limit of 50, 40 and 30 at junctions, or near schools, markets. But the observance of the speed limit is definitely not about Turkey!!!)

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Pamukkale, Turkey.

Pamukkale, Turkey

Remembering my previous experience of driving in the U.S., for the first three days I tried to pay attention to the speed limit, my passengers were not even a couple of kilometers per hour, which was very annoying even to the trucks following me. I did not hear the horns, I did not hear the overtaking cars cursing in an incomprehensible language, although I have read that the Turkish drivers were very disrespectful to the women at the wheel. Finally, after the first few days on the road, I got into the traffic in Turkey, which means do not brake when you see the speed limit, drive 100-130 km / hr, guided by human logic to reduce the speed, i.e. traffic jams on the road, chaotic pedestrians in town, tourist attractions, etc.

Gas stations in Turkey

There are no problems with gas stations on the central roads of Turkey, there are many and quite a significant variation in price. Why – we do not understand, but the first filling station we liked with an average price of diesel, the difference in car power or other properties we did not feel.

Parking lots

After driving more than 1600 km, we did not encounter any difficulties in parking. It was always possible to stop next to the hotels for free just on the street. With safety, our questions quickly disappeared. If the first morning we walked around the parked car, looking carefully to see if random scratches or damage, the next days we relaxed and felt completely safe. Although I repeat, we parked on the streets, under the hotels, not in the paid, guarded parking lots.

Safety on the roads in Turkey

Surprisingly, the sense of security in Turkey does not come from the patrol cars or the presence of police stations. On the contrary, we laughed a lot that the police cars were made of cardboard or plywood, and we saw two policemen. They put up a bright and visible fence that warns in advance of the patrol. In general the police were not interested in us at all! And I have nothing to tell you in this part… However, making decisions about the trip, I read a lot about the biased attitude of the police to tourists. And also about blatant “scams” for money, or unreasonable payments because of language barriers. I will not tell my tall tales, because I am fully satisfied with the transport culture of all participants in Turkey.

View of the sea. Turkey itinerary

By car in Turkey, the sea view

To finish the section car rental, I will skip all the emotions and impressions associated with the route. And move on to the car return in Istanbul.

Car return in another city

Our plan was to return the car in another city. We took the car in Ankara, and returned it in Istanbul. This service is extra charge, in our case it cost us $65. Also, when returning a car we had to fill it up (in most cases the following rule is applied: give us the same amount of gas as you got, and return it with the same amount) and wash it. These were not easy tasks in Istanbul! If on the highway we encountered a disregard for speed limits, in Istanbul no one pays attention to the road signs either. “Brick” (no traffic) means nothing in Istanbul!

Istanbul, Turkey

An evening in Istanbul, Turkey

After driving around the outskirts of Istanbul looking for a car wash and gas station, we returned the car with unspeakable joy and almost immediately drank a bottle of Turkish wine to relieve the stress! We didn’t have any lengthy appointments or inspections of the car, just returning the keys and getting the car back deed. It was as simple as renting a car in the US. A couple of weeks later the deposit on my daughter’s card was credited (deposit), previously withdrawn at registration.

To end my first experience with rental cars I wrote a letter to an agent in England, offering a choice of rental companies and cars around the world. Of course, when I returned, their automatic system began to ask for my impressions of their service. I was not lazy and wrote back to them about my surprise at the problem I had with the voucher provided by their company and at the same time I thanked their Turkish partners who literally saved us, the situation and their reputation. In response, I immediately received a letter, which included not only an apology, but also promises to make a discount on the next rental … But about that in my next experience in Europe.

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Author: Larissa Traveling in Turkey by car: April 19 to 27, 2019.

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Rent a car in Turkey – how we rented a car

Rent a car in Turkey

Renting a car in Turkey is very popular among tourists. And you can rent a car in many cities. We will tell you about our experience, but the principle of rental and tips are relevant throughout the country. Our article will be useful for those who rent a car in Antalya, Alanya and Istanbul. Also popular rentals in the resort of Side, Belek, Kamera, Kayseri (Cappadocia), Cache. For these cities the article is also relevant.

Rent a car in Turkey – our review and real experience in 2022

We have already many times rented cars in different countries and we can share our knowledge.

Our articles about car rental abroad and in Russia:

  • Rent a car in Cyprus, Greece
  • Rent a car in Armenia, Georgia
  • Rent a Car in Crimea, Kaliningrad
  • Rent a car in California, Miami

We were in Turkey for a month and a half. We lived in Alanya and decided to see other cities in the south by car. We considered renting either in Alanya itself or from Antalya airport. There are a lot of rentals in Alanya, almost at every turn. Antalya and Istanbul airports also have a lot of rentals. We usually book a car in advance and we advise you to do the same. If you book in advance you can take your time selecting different rental options and learn all about the necessary surcharges and insurance. If you choose a car on the spot or in a hotel – you will surely be charged a lot of extras and the price will only initially seem small.

Car rental in Turkey is the freedom of movement

Car rental in Turkey gives you the freedom of movement.

Where to book a car:

    . We used them in the Crimea, Armenia, Cyprus, Georgia, and Greece. There was not a single complaint about the rental. In Turkey, they also work. (now do not work with Russian citizens). We used them in the U.S.. In Turkey they work. (They do not work with Russian citizens now).Used them in Romania. (They do not work with Russian citizens now). One of the largest car rental companies. As it happens, I have never rented a car through them.

The last 3 options are large brokers, who work with the well-known global brands such as Avis, Europcar, Hertz and others. Localrent work with local mid-sized rentals. On previous rentals, we really liked their quality control – the service was impeccable everywhere. Looking ahead, we booked a car with them in Turkey as well and were very satisfied.

Popular questions about car hire in Turkey

  1. Can I book a car without a deposit and a deductible? This is one of the most popular questions. Yes, you can. The situation in this case depends on insurance (about this in detail further below). If you take full insurance – the deposit is not required. Without the full insurance the deposit is required for any car.
  2. Do I need an international driver’s license? This is a controversial question. On the one hand you do not need an international driving license, and you may drive with a Russian one. On the other hand if you have an accident you may be required to have an international license. That is why we advise in all our articles to drive with an international license in other countries. It is now very easy to get it through Gosusluzhba.
  3. Are cars given to young drivers? Cars are given to drivers from 22 years of age with at least 2 years of driving experience.
  4. Can I pick up a car at the airport? It is what you should do. In our case, you could get it at the airport at the cheapest price.
  5. Can I rent a car in one city and then return it in the other? Yes, you can, but the rental cost will most likely increase. The charge would be significant if you rent a car in Istanbul and return it in Antalya (the cities are quite far apart). If the cities are close to each other, then the surcharge for renting in another place may be small.

How to find a car

It’s very simple. Localrent has a much more convenient site than the major rental companies. You visit it, choose a city and dates, and immediately see the best options. Then come the details of the choice – the type of insurance, the size of the deposit, the mileage limit, and so on. There is a clear description of each car – the year of manufacture, the cost of insurance, the deductible, the cost of car delivery to the hotel, and even the technical parameters of the car.

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How to find a rental car in Turkey

Very convenient menu – you can choose the necessary parameters in seconds.

What cars can be rented

We were not looking for something special. In general, in Turkey are very expensive cars with a large engine, and ordinary cars are also expensive. Therefore, the vast majority of cars in rentals are with 1.2-1.6 engines. The most popular color is white. We got a FIAT Edga 2021 on the mechanics of production, with a gasoline engine 1.4 (95 hp), although the original order was listed Renaul Clio with an engine 0.9 liters (or analogue). Although in other countries Localrent gave us exactly the car that was listed in the reservation. But here it said “analog”. If you do not add “analogue” – you will be given exactly the car you booked.

The most popular cars in Turkey (in rentals, too) – FIAT, all French manufacturers, Hyundai. Other brands are seldom in the rentals.

However, we liked the FIAT – the engine 1.4 is big enough, the cabin is roomy and the trunk is big. For a trip of 9 days it is quite enough.

Review of rent a car in Turkey

We are very satisfied with the rental FIAT. It’s fast enough, stylish as Italian and economical.

How to book a car

Once you have chosen a car – it is very easy to make a reservation. There are two options:

  • instant confirmation. In this case you pay immediately 15-20% of the total rental cost. In case of unforeseen circumstances, the reservation can be canceled and the money will be returned to you. The balance for the reservation is paid on the spot (you can pay by a bank card MIR, but not all rentals can work, it is desirable to have cash for payment).
  • Confirmation during business hours. We had this option. We booked in the evening, but the confirmation came in 10 minutes with a link to pay. After payment I got a voucher in the mail right away.

You need to book a car in season in advance. In summer, closer to the start of renting, the cost increases for all and the choice of cars is very small.

Watch our video about car rental in Turkey:

Prices for car rent in Turkey

How much does it cost to rent a car in Turkey? The cost depends very much on the season, the number of days, the type of your insurance. We rented a car in winter and the cost was very nice. We paid 144€ for 9 days (16€ per day). At the same time it was possible to rent a car at Antalya airport from 9€ per day. In summer the cost could increase 2-3 times (depending on demand). Note: Do not jump at the lowest price. Also check the insurance conditions. In our car the basic CASCO was already included and the deductible was small, the cheapest options may have only MTPL and expensive additional insurance. No surprise there – rentals make more money on insurance than they do on rentals.

Insurance and deposit for rentals in Turkey

About the deposit: most rentals in Turkey ask for a deposit. That’s fine. I liked that most cars had an option with any kind of insurance (MTPL, Casco and Super Casco, full coverage). The most expensive, but most reliable, is to take full coverage and then you don’t need a deposit at all. The cost of full coverage is quite reasonable – about 10€ per day. In general, the choice of insurance is great for every budget.

Rent a car in Turkey

In the description of each car there is an exact indication of the cost of each type of insurance, and about each insurance you can read separately and compare.

We chose an intermediate option: we took a car with a regular CASCO, but with a small deposit of 350 €. For those who think where the deposit is smaller, I should say at once that this is the Antalya airport. We took a more expensive car in Alanya, just because we didn’t want to go back to Antalya and spend time on such trips.

Receiving and surrendering the car

The process of getting a car was very simple: we took a cab to Mahmutlar area, here we found a cheap rental where there was a small deposit. It was possible to book a car pickup at the address, but that cost 15€. The cab was only 3,5€. We left our things in the apartment and picked them up on the way back.

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As soon as we got out of the car the guys from the rent-a-car noticed us and called. We went into their office and immediately received our documents: driving license, passport and credit card.

Getting a rental car

We got our car at the rental office in an ordinary neighborhood. Although the process was no different than at the airport.

We completed the contract in a few minutes. At Localrent it was very convenient that the company sent us a copy of the contract after we had made the reservation and we did not have to waste time on site, but just checked the main points.

I checked the contract, signed it. After that, the final payment for the rental (in euros) and the deposit (in liras) were taken from the credit card. After signing the contract we look at the car. Ask to indicate all scratches just in case. You can even take pictures and make a video of them. Usually car rentals know their cars inside out and sometimes they mark all scratches beforehand.

The scratches are also noted on the fuel level of the car.

Here, almost all Turkish rentals are cheating – they give the car not with a full tank of fuel.

We had 3 out of 8 and soon after the car became 2 out of 8. The trick is that it is problematic to return the car with the same fuel level, you usually get more. The rentals take advantage of this. We forgave them this, as the cost of rent in winter was quite small. In the end, we returned the car with the same fuel level.

Roads in Turkey, drivers, police, fines

Roads in Turkey are mostly excellent. Compared to Russia, we had no complaints at all. In some villages there can be potholes, but not in mass quantities.

Turkish roads

The roads in Turkey are excellent. Markings are always visible, the signs are informative and easy to read.

The drivers are more difficult. Turks drive badly and do not respect other road users. To cut into your lane when starting at the intersection – a common thing. And they come to the traffic lights by the side of the road and cut in. Pedestrians for drivers in Turkey do not exist at all. We read about it in advance and were ready for it. Do not let pedestrians on the sidewalk to avoid hitting you from behind. If you decide to let a pedestrian through – make sure there are no other cars behind you.

Otherwise, there were no revelations – driving in Turkey is about the same as in Russia. There are plenty of reckless drivers, but most drivers drive quite predictably. Personally, I got used to driving in about 5 minutes after starting the trip from Alanya. During the 9 days we had only one accident, and it was not serious. I think that the number of accidents here is much lower due to the fact that the vast majority of Turks do not drink alcohol.

Police encounters in Turkey

During the 9 days we had three police encounters. In all cases we were stopped along with all the other cars. All the police were very polite and courteous. Maybe they saw that we were tourists. We showed our driver’s license and passport to the cops, and in all cases they did not look at our documents and let us go immediately. Our impressions of the encounter with the police in Turkey were completely positive. They do not speak English in the province, but in the resort of Side, the officer spoke quite well in English. You should not be afraid of the police. Just have your documents at hand and do not break the traffic rules.

Turkish traffic police

There are often mock-ups of police officers and their vehicles on the highway. Often they have electricity and flashing lights.

Driving routes in Turkey

We enjoyed our car journeys in Turkey. For 9 days we had visited many interesting places. One of the great advantages of renting a car here is an opportunity to build circular routes. We visited Cirali, Kas, Oludeniz, Pamukkale and many other places around. However, we had only one long transfer of 380 kilometers from Pamukkale to Alanya. Most of the other moves were within two hours.

In total, we drove over 1,300 kilometers.

The concentration of tourist spots in the south is huge and we didn’t see everything. So you won’t get tired of the long drives, and you’ll focus on resting as much as possible. The same circular routes can be built from Antalya, Istanbul, Izmir and other cities. In the case of Istanbul, you will have longer transfers. We would call the ideal start from Antalya – you can fly here cheaply from Russia and other countries, it has the cheapest airport rentals and plenty of attractions within a car trip.

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Gas stations and fuel costs in Turkey

During our trip we hit galloping inflation in Turkey and the cost of fuel in lira doubled just before we arrived. The lira had fallen dramatically. At the beginning of our trip we were filling up at 14.5 lira per liter. On the penultimate day of the rental the price was already 15.5 liras per liter. This is why we will not give specific prices here, but it is worth orienting to +30% of the prices in Russia.

Rent a car in Turkey - fuel price

Gas stations in Turkey are convenient, it is easy to fill up. Almost everywhere you can buy cheap coffee. Toilets are clean and free.

You can fill up at any gas station and pay with a bank card. You just need to drive up to the pump and say the type of fuel: gasoline or diesel. Then everything is done by the filling station attendant, you can leave a tip if you want. After you fill up you get a receipt, and then you go to the cash desk and pay. There are no complications.

The cost of fuel in Turkey in 2022:

The total cost of renting a car

As mentioned above, we paid a total of 144€ for the rental. In addition we spent for gasoline and once for a paid parking in Pamukkale (10 lira). We did not have any other expenses. We spent 1117 liras for gasoline in total. For convenience, let’s convert the prices in Euros as of the date of writing the article and calculate all expenses. Total expenses for fuel are 72€. The FIAT has proved to be a very economical car. During our renting we drove about 1,300 kilometers and the average gasoline consumption was 5.7 liters per 100 kilometers. Low consumption is mainly due to a smooth driving and the presence of a 6-speed gearbox in the car.

We spent 216 € for the car rental in 9 days (144 € for the rental and 72 € for the petrol).

Once again, please note that these prices are out of season. In the summertime rental prices will be higher.

Rent a car in Turkey - the cost of car

And the cheapest way to travel around Turkey by car is outside the season.

Navigation for a trip to Turkey

On a trip to Turkey we used Google maps. It is convenient that the maps can be downloaded offline beforehand, and there is no need to waste mobile Internet. All the maps on our route took 180-200Mb in the phone memory – not much at all!

Also on the trip we used a travel sim card Drimsim . We searched for more information about attractions and read reviews of cafes. We didn’t buy a local SIM card. It was very interesting, because it works in many countries and we like the quality of connection. I bought a SIM card once and surfed the web in almost every country in the world.

Our review of car hire in Turkey

It was our first time renting a car in Turkey and we were very satisfied with our trip. Of course, there were doubts about the Turkish roads, drivers and police. The roads and police left an excellent impression and the manner of driving we quickly got used to. There are a lot of interesting cities, sights and historical places that are convenient to visit by car. In 9 days we have seen only a small part of them. We hope that more than once we will have a chance to drive in Turkey. We recommend our readers to have fewer doubts and to take a car. We recommend looking for a car rental company Localrent – they never let us down.

If you still have questions about rental – write in the forum below. We’ll be glad to answer! Have a nice holiday in Turkey!

Review of car rent in Turkey Antalya

We are happy to share our experiences on car rentals in Turkey. Have a nice rest and vivid impressions!

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