Everything you need to know about driving in Istanbul

Istanbul is a great place to explore and experience by driving a car. Having your own wheels will let you explore this vast and fascinating city by visiting both its European and Asian sides, as well as traveling to the Black Sea beaches and other Turkish cities nearby. Here you can find some useful information about renting a car in Istanbul.

Advantages of car rental in Istanbul:

One of the most important benefits of renting a car in Istanbul can be pointed to saving the expenses of using taxies and public transportation in the city. Istanbul is one of the most main tourism and commercial destinations in Turkey and the most well-known city in this country.
Every year many tourists come to this city for different purposes including business, fun and even settling down and that is the reason of being Turkey’s most crowded city. Accessing all parts of this mega city using public transportation will be very hard and time consuming.

Most popular types of car rentals in Istanbul:      

The most popular rental cars are the Hyundai i20, the Ford Fiesta and the Opel Corsa. Most highways are in good shape, but if you plan to travel to rural areas or mountains, renting an SUV might be a good idea.

Tolls in Istanbul:

Driving on most national motorways, as well as some bridges and tunnels in Istanbul require a toll payment.

Most Turkish toll roads only permit an electronic, contactless payment from an electronic toll-payment transponder that’s in a car or by an electronic chip-sticker that’s sticked to the car.
This means that you cannot pay either by cash or credit card for most toll roads.

All rental cars must be equipped either with a toll-payment transponder or with a toll-payment sticker. Some rental car providers might charge an extra fee for this service. Do contact your rental car provider in advance to find out more.

The toll roads in Turkey are divided in HGS, the High-Speed Passage System (Hızlı Geçiş Sistemi in Turkish) and OGS (Otomatik Geçiş Sistemi in Turkish). On HGS roads, you can pass through the toll area at a higher speed.
On OGS roads, you need to slow down as you go through a toll gate and the toll payment is registered through the electronic transponder that’s in a car.
The exact amount you’ll have to pay will depend on the specific road you drive on and on the distance of your travels. 

Traffic tips in Istanbul:

 

the speed limits are 120 km/h (74.5 mph) on highways, 90 km/h (55.9 mph) on two-lane roads, and 50 km/h (31 mph) in populated and built-up areas.

  • It is illegal to use the mobile phone while driving.
  • On regional roads there might be fewer gas stations than on the national highways. Never stay too low on gas and always set out your route in advance to know the location of the next gas station.
  • Due to high taxes, Turkey has a very expensive petrol, with prices higher than even in the most EU countries. Keep that in mind when setting out a route ahead!
  • Turkey is overall a warm country, but during winter roads can be covered with ice, especially in mountainous regions. Do ask your car rental provider in advance if your vehicle’s tires will be equipped for to the season.
  • Occasionally you might encounter police roadblocks and even military checkpoints, especially in Southeastern Turkey. They are there for your own safety, and on most cases they will only check your license and warn you about any potential danger that might lie ahead. 
  • The legal alcohol limit is 0.05%. Exceeding the limit can lead to large fines and a licence ban.
  • The insurance and car documentation needs to be in the car whenever you’re driving.
  • If you’re the driver, you need to always have your passport or ID card with you.
  • The general emergency number is 112. The police number is 155, the fire brigade number is 110, and the forest fire number is 177.

Daily car rental prices in Istanbul:

You can rent one of the cars of rental companies in Turkey according to your budget.

Car rental prices in Turkey starts from an average of around 200 Lira and its price increases depending on the model of your choice.
For example, the cost of renting a Hyundai i20 car is between 175 Lira and 220 Lira daily, which changes according to the rental company.

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