Our Experience with Car Rental in Turkey. We’ve had several years of experience renting cars from various rental agencies in Turkey.
We’ve traveled all over Turkey, from Istanbul to the Mediterranean Sea, explored central Turkey in places like Erciyes and Cappadocia, and ventured into lesser known but equally fascinating locations.
Starting from 2022, car rental in Turkey has become much more convenient and, most importantly, cheaper.
Recommended: How to Organize a Trip to Cappadocia
In Turkey, there’s LocalRent, a service that allows you to rent a specific car at a transparent price with no hidden fees. Besides the quality of the vehicle, ease of car pickup, and the actual cost are important to us. We’ve used this platform for car rentals in Georgia, Cyprus, Greece, and Montenegro, with over two dozen rental episodes through this site. I can confidently recommend it as the best choice, even in Turkey.
How to Rent a Car in Turkey
To rent a car in Turkey, follow these simple steps:
- Visit a car rental website.
- Enter the country and city where you want to pick up the car.
- Choose the car class and rental dates. It’s a good idea to plan ahead, but you can also make arrangements a week or two before your trip.
Can You Rent a Car Without a Deposit?
This is a critical question that concerns many and often deters them from international rental agencies.
Yes, you can rent a car without a deposit. Just check the “No Deposit” option, and the system will show you a selection of cars without a deposit.
Personally, I rarely opt for the “No Deposit” option, as it typically comes at a slightly higher cost. Deposits aren’t as intimidating as they might seem. If you have a credit card, the deposit amount is merely blocked on the credit limit of the card, so you’re not risking your own money. When you return the car, the deposit hold is released within a few days. I don’t see any problems with this.
Hotel Delivery Option
On the rental platform, you’ll find the option to have the car delivered to your hotel. I particularly love this option because I don’t always need a car right after I arrive.
For instance, in Istanbul, you won’t need a car right away, as public transportation is sufficient. However, if you plan to travel beyond Istanbul in Turkey, having a car becomes essential. They can deliver the car directly to your hotel, where you can sign the agreement and inspect the vehicle for any damages before setting off on your journey.
Customer Support in English
LocalRent website offers customer support in English through Whatsapp, available 24/7. Language barriers won’t be an issue, and I believe this is crucial for many travelers.
Rental Car Insurance
The basic comprehensive insurance (KASKO) is already included in the rental cost. However, it’s important to note that this basic insurance doesn’t cover damage to windows and tires. If you want full coverage, including windows and tires, you’ll need to purchase extended KASKO insurance. From my experience, we’ve only used the basic insurance. Turkey has excellent roads and decent driving culture. I’ll discuss the roads further below.
Steps for Renting a Car in Turkey
Here’s a simple guide for renting a car in Turkey:
- Visit the car rental website.
- Select your rental city and dates. Pay attention to the rental start times.
- Choose the car pickup location (this can be changed later).
- If necessary, select the “No Deposit” option. Keep in mind that this may limit your car choices.
- Pay a 15% deposit of the rental amount and receive a voucher via email.
- Print the voucher or save it on your smartphone to present when picking up the car.
- If your plans change, you can cancel the reservation no later than 24 hours before the rental start time.
Documents Needed for Car Rental in Turkey
To rent a car in Turkey, you’ll need your driver’s license, and a European-style driver’s license with your details in Latin letters and an expiration date will suffice. You don’t need an International Driving Permit (IDP) for car rental in Turkey. You’ll also need a valid passport.
Car Rental Payment
We pay a 15% deposit, which is refundable if you cancel the reservation at least 24 hours before the rental start time. The remaining amount can be paid on-site in either US dollars, euros, or Turkish lira in cash or by card.
When Do You Need a Car in Turkey?
If you’re purchasing a tour to Turkey’s beach regions or just visiting Istanbul, you likely won’t need a car.
However, if your plans include exploring the central part of the country, places like Cappadocia, Pamukkale, historic cities, or driving along the coast, having a car is essential.
Driving on Roads and Highways in Turkey
Here’s a brief overview of Turkey’s roads and driving rules.
Turkey has toll roads, marked with the letter “O”. Toll fees also apply to crossing the bridges in Istanbul from Europe to Asia, but not the other way around; it’s free to return.
For toll payment in Turkey, they use the HGS (HIZLI GEÇİŞ SİSTEMİ) – the Fast Pass System, which is more advanced than what you find in Europe.
If you’re driving your own car, you buy a sticker, attach it to your windshield behind the rearview mirror, and pass through the toll road. Cameras read the information on the sticker, and the barrier opens automatically.
Important! When entering a toll road in Turkey, make sure to use the lane marked with “HGS” above it.
Turkey doesn’t have toll booth tickets like in Europe or coin payments as in France. This system is far more convenient and progressive than the outdated European approach.
Important! If you rent a car in Turkey, the HGS sticker is typically already applied to the windshield, and you don’t have to pay anything extra. The payment is included in the rental cost.
In general, the key rule when entering a toll road is to use the lane with the “HGS” sign. Slow down to about 30 km/h for the system to read the sticker, and the barrier will open, allowing you to continue your journey.
If, for some reason, the rental car doesn’t have the HGS sticker, you can purchase it at a PTT post office for 35 Turkish lira. There will be 30 lira on the sticker, covering all toll payments.
Note: This information is based on my personal experience and knowledge as of my last update in September 2021. Please check for any updates or changes in regulations since then.
Where to Buy Plane Tickets
If you’re in Ukraine and looking to purchase plane tickets, Aviasales is the go-to website. It’s the best platform for searching and buying plane tickets, offering a wide range of options, including both direct flights and those with layovers.
When it comes to exploring Cappadocia, the best experience you can have is taking a hot air balloon ride. The memories from this adventure will last you for years to come. Hot air balloons operate year-round, and the climate in this region remains mild even during the winter.
Travel Insurance for Turkey
Turkey requires travelers to have medical travel insurance. Even if it weren’t mandatory, it’s essential to emphasize the importance of having travel insurance when visiting a foreign country. It saves you time, money, and, most importantly, safeguards your health. In case of an emergency, having a valid insurance policy ensures that you receive prompt medical attention. Trust me, we’ve all been through that.
We purchase our travel insurance online through the Hotline Finance Ukraine website. It’s a convenient option, and they offer excellent insurance coverage paired with assistance services. We’ve never encountered any issues with them.
Booking Hotels in Turkey
It’s crucial to remember that if you’re already in Turkey, booking a hotel through Booking.com won’t work without a VPN. Therefore, it’s best to plan ahead of your trip and make hotel reservations through Booking.com before you travel.