Why Rent a Car in Turkey

Turkey is a perfect place to visit, and renting a car is one of the best ways to benefit from all of its beauty. Turkey has a good reputation for well-maintained roads and for linking cities, tourist attractions, and towns to each other. There are huge investments to improve transportation each year. Therefore, it is safe to say that Istanbul is actually comfortable to transport. Renting a car in Istanbul will make your journey more entertaining, especially if you want to see closeby villages or cities.

Turkey, especially Istanbul, is filled with numerous sights to visit. Renting a car in Turkey will allow you to explore the country with more depth and freedom. Using public transport, though sometimes more advantageous, could be time-consuming. You could choose to join a tour group or book private tours. However, if you want to explore the city by yourself and have more freedom, you might consider renting a car in Istanbul. Many tourists who visit Istanbul say that they enjoy renting a car for their visits since it allowed them to move at their own pace and be more spontaneous.

Requirements for Renting a Car in Turkey

Similar to all countries, there are certain requirements to rent a car in Turkey. Not everyone is allowed to rent a car in Turkey. For instance, even though the age may vary by car category, generally, to rent a car in Turkey, you should at least be 21 years old. Moreover, you need to have a driver's license for at least a year. You also need to have all the documents required. Here are some of the required documents:

  • A valid passport 

  • A valid credit card

  • A valid driver’s license

Why Rent a Car in Istanbul?

Rent-a-car, also known as car rental, is a service that enables individuals to rent vehicles for a specific period, typically ranging from a few hours to several days or weeks. In Istanbul, numerous reputable car rental agencies cater to the needs of tourists, offering a wide range of vehicles to suit different preferences and budgets.

Flexibility and Freedom

Renting a car in Istanbul grants you the freedom to design your itinerary and explore the city according to your own preferences. Unlike relying on public transportation or organized tours, a rental car allows you to set your own pace and visit the attractions that interest you the most. From the historical landmarks of Sultanahmet to the trendy neighborhoods of Beyoglu and the breathtaking views along the Bosphorus, having a rental car enables you to navigate the city with ease, ensuring you don't miss out on any hidden gems.

Convenience and Comfort

One of the major advantages of renting a car is the convenience it provides. You can conveniently pick up and drop off the vehicle at the airport or various locations throughout the city, saving you time and hassle. With a rental car at your disposal, you no longer have to worry about deciphering public transportation routes or waiting for taxis. It also eliminates the need to carry heavy bags while navigating crowded streets or relying on unfamiliar transportation systems.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Exploration

Renting a car opens up opportunities for off-the-beaten-path exploration beyond the city limits. Istanbul is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, picturesque coastal towns, and historical sites waiting to be discovered. With a rental car, you can embark on day trips to places like the tranquil Şile & Ağva, the ancient city of Troy, or the majestic landscapes of Cappadocia. These excursions allow you to delve deeper into Turkey's rich history and diverse culture, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Comfort and Safety

Rent-a-car services in Istanbul offer modern and well-maintained vehicles equipped with advanced safety features, ensuring a comfortable and secure journey. You can select the appropriate car size and model to suit your needs, whether it's a compact car for city exploration or a spacious SUV for a family adventure. Furthermore, having a rental car provides added safety and security, especially when traveling at night or in less crowded areas.

Rules to Obey If You Rent a Car

Driving in Istanbul might be chaotic and difficult sometimes. To prevent any discomfort or accidents from happening, you should be familiar with the traffic rules in Istanbul. Rules you need to obey are more or less the same around the world, but there are some things you should be aware of if you want to drive in Istanbul. You should, firstly, be careful about the caution signs on the right side of the road, especially in rural areas because there could be animals jumping on the road. In Turkey, the usual speed limit in urban areas is around 50 km/h. This limit could go up to 90 km/h in rural areas. If there are additional rules of the speed limit you need to be cautious about, they will be marked by road signs. Hence, being attentive to road signs is very important in Turkey. The police are very serious about the traffic rules and speed limit to prevent any accident from occurring. Reckless driving is not allowed in Istanbul, so, it could be said that it is safe to rent a car in Istanbul if you have doubts. 

Traffic in Istanbul could be excruciating sometimes, however, if you want to wander around Istanbul, renting a car could be the best option for you. It gives you a lot of freedom and flexibility. It is common for tourists to rent a car when they visit Istanbul. You should be aware of certain points before deciding to rent a car. However, car rental agencies will help you along the way. If you want to rent a car and do not want to deal with public transport or taxis until then, there are private transfer options from the airport you could consider as well. 

While renting a car in Istanbul provides numerous benefits, it's important to be aware of potential downsides to make an informed decision. Here are a few factors to consider:

Traffic Congestion: Istanbul is known for its heavy traffic as in all major cities in the world, particularly during rush hours. Navigating through congested areas can be time-consuming and frustrating, potentially affecting your travel plans. It's important to plan your routes carefully, considering alternative routes and avoiding peak traffic times whenever possible.

Limited Parking Spaces: Finding parking in Istanbul, especially in popular tourist areas or city centers, can be challenging. Limited parking spaces and strict parking regulations can make it difficult to find a convenient and secure spot. It's advisable to research parking options in advance, such as public parking garages or designated parking lots, to ensure you have a place to park your rental car.

Driving Culture and Road Conditions: Istanbul has a unique driving culture, and roads can be crowded and somewhat chaotic, particularly in certain areas. Some drivers may exhibit unpredictable behavior, which can be intimidating for visitors. Additionally, road conditions may vary, with narrow streets, potholes, and occasional construction. Being cautious and attentive while driving is essential to ensure a safe and comfortable journey.

Cost Considerations: Renting a car involves various costs, including rental fees, fuel expenses, tolls, and parking fees. It's important to factor in these additional expenses when planning your budget. Additionally, some rental agencies may require a security deposit, which will be refunded upon returning the vehicle undamaged. Understanding the cost implications beforehand can help you make an informed decision.

Alternative Transportation Options: Istanbul has an extensive public transportation network, including buses, trams, metros, and ferries, which can be a cost-effective and convenient way to get around the city. Depending on your specific needs and preferences, using public transportation or hiring private transportation services like taxis or rideshare apps may be a viable alternative to renting a car. There is an Unlimited Public Transportation Card specifically for tourists, click here to Buy Now!

Ultimately, the decision to rent a car in Istanbul should consider these potential downsides alongside the benefits. Careful planning, familiarity with traffic patterns, and being prepared for parking challenges can help minimize any inconveniences, allowing you to enjoy the freedom and flexibility that renting a car provides.

Frequently Asked Question

Can I use a rented car outside Turkey?
Most car rental companies do not allow rental cars to be driven outside Turkey.
Where can I rent a car in Istanbul after I landed?
Most of the rental companies locate rental car depots close to the airports so that you will not have to deal with finding one.
Do I need a driver’s license to rent a car in Turkey?
Yes. To rent a car in Turkey, you need to have a driver’s license for at least a year.
Do I need an international license to drive in Turkey?
You do not have to have an international license. As long as your driver’s license is valid in your country, you are not likely to encounter a problem with driving in Turkey.
What side of the road do I drive in Turkey?
The traffic flows from the right side of the road in Turkey. The driver’s seat is on the left of the car.