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Basic info and car hire in Turkey

  • Capital: Ankara
  • Population: 74.93 million (2013) 
  • Official language: Turkish
  • Currency: Turkish lira
  • Weather: Very diverse climates. Average temperatures fluctuate around 13 – 15 °C in winter / 27 – 28 °C in summer.
  • Map:

About Turkey

Turkey has unique mixture of western and the eastern culture.

At the crossroads of Europe and Asia, surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the southwest, the Aegean Sea in the West and the Black Sea to the north lies Turkey, land of rich history, beautiful landscapes - from beaches to mountains, and friendly locals, who really know how to enjoy life with tasty food and a cup of freshly prepared nice smelling Turkish coffee.

Driving in Turkey

Wonderful and affordable place for travelling

The best way for travelling inside Turkey is by plane or by car. The bus is not a good option on longer distances because is very low on comfort, and the rail transport network has only limited connections, so flying between cities or hiring a car is the most practical way to discover all the natural beauties and interesting cities. There are many good and wide highways between the Turkish capital, Ankara, and other bigger cities, like Istanbul or Izmir, which can offer you easy and quick travelling.


  • Suitable for tourists: Yes, but good insurance policy is advised (more on TripAdvisor)
  • Problematic areas: City centres and rural coastal roads.
  • Age limits: 17 (Some rental companies will limit their service to drivers older than 18 or 21 – so it’s wise to check with the help desk of the company of your choice.)
  • International Driving Permit: yes
  • Additional papers: It’s advisable to have your passport on you when you are driving. Also be sure to have a valid insurance policy (If your insurance company does not cover your insurance while driving in Turkey, it’s advisable to buy insurance at the rental car company.)
  • Additional requirements: Your vehicle needs to carry two warning triangles in case of an accident.
  • Pssssst: You must not use the horn in towns between 22h and sunrise.
  • Children in the car: Children under the age of 12 years must sit on the back seat.
  • Drink & drive: maximum BAC = 0.05 % (New drivers are effectively forbidden to drink and drive.)
  • Driving side of the road: right
  • Lights: Not necessary by day (Most of the Turkish drivers won't turn on the lights even at night.)
  • General speed limits: 120 on the motorway, 90 on main roads, 50 on urban roads (Never forget to read the signs.)
  • Parking suggestions: There is no metered parking in Turkey, and in residential areas, parking vehicles on the road is generally not permitted. Towns and cities in Turkey have parking lots and areas for parking.
  • Spaniards are pretty creative with their parking but it's not advised to be inspired by them. Parking in garages or hotel's parking area is advised.

Useful information for a pleasant journey

  • Some places you should not miss: Even more important than visiting modern capital Ankara is to spend some time in unforgettable city of Istanbul with deep historic roots, very rich culture and many events like is traditional whirling dervish show. Turkey is also famous for its natural beauties like 'fairy chimneys' in Cappadocia or hot springs in Pamukkale.
  • Weather and climate: Hot and dry summers and Mediterranean climate with mild winters are typical for coastal areas on the west and southwest, whereas the coast near the Black Sea has Oceanic climate and more rain. Anatolia in the middle of Turkey is closed by high mountains and has a continental climate with very cold winters in the eastern part.
  • Best time to visit: After the summer the temperatures are still high enough to swim, but is not too hot anymore for travelling around. In autumn you can also find cheaper accommodations in tourist areas, so this is the best time to visit Turkey and its beauties.
  • Driving around: Roads infrastructure is generally good, except some rural areas and places high in the mountains. Renting a car shouldn't be a problem in Turkey. However, there are many local agencies that do not provide insurance, so be careful. The safest way is by hiring a car from home. Use Vehicle Rent search engine and find the lowest price you can get!
  • Money: Turkey's currency is called the Turkish lira. Be prepared to visit exchange bureaus before the evening and during the week because they are normally closed at the weekends. Do not forget to have enough coins and small notes in your wallet, because there can often be a problem with a lack of change.