Driving in Turkey can be a quite enriching experience if you have a valid driver's license. Find out how to proceed in this article.
Turkey is a wide country which you will probably want to discover if you intend to settle there. Renting a car or using your own car can be the appropriate solution, provided you have a valid driver's license. So if you like driving, take the time to inquire on the conditions related to foreigners driving in the country and on traffic regulations.
Foreigners in Turkey are required to be in possession of a notarized and certified translation of their driver's license to be authorized to drive. In fact, an international driver's license does not necessarily apply. Conditions may vary from one country to another. Hence, the international driver's license may be invalid for some foreign nationals. You are advised to inquire first with the Turkish embassy or consulate in your home country before proceeding. In some cases, foreigners are eligible to convert their original driver's license into a Turkish driver's license.
Turkish nationals drive on the right side of the road. Thus, right side priority is respected. However, many drivers tend to drive in the middle of the road. Hence, you are advised to be very careful while driving, at crossroads in particular.
Good to know:
Speed limit is set at 50 km/h in agglomerations, at 90 km/h on highways and at 120 km/h on freeways.
Most roads in Turkey, whether in urban or rural regions, are in good condition. Road signs are also deemed to be fair enough, both by Turkish and foreign nationals. Highways and freeways generally link the country's key regions, namely from the Bulgarian border, near Edirne, to Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Antalya.
Note that the Turkish road network is in constant development and evolution in spite of snowy winters which tend to affect Eastern roads. In remote regions, routine police checks are quite frequent so as to verify if you have all necessary equipment in case of emergency. Moreover, landslides and rockfalls are quite frequent in some regions, particularly in the North-East of Anatolia due to the melting of snow and heavy rainfall.
It is better to seek all related information before setting out on these roads. Moreover, secondary roads in the North-East of the country are often under construction.
Good to know:
Major highways are tolled. You can hence choose between the green and orange toll cards which can be purchased and refilled near toll posts. However, these offices are not open 24/7. So you have to make all necessary arrangements in advance.
Beware of lousy and suspicious policemen in Turkey. In case you are fined, insist for a receipt. If you are driving a rental car, the police officer may ask you to pay the fine later on. You can then contact your car rental agency for an agreement to settle the fine. Note that the sooner you settle your fine, you may be eligible to a revised sum.
If you are moving to Turkey with your car, you will have to subscribe to international car insurance. If the latter does not cover accidents which may occur in Turkey, you may also subscribe to a complementary insurance at the country's border. Fees of some 80 euros per month will apply.
But if you are making a short stay in Turkey as a tourist, you will not be able to drive your car for more than a month. Other fees, such as customs rates, may apply.
Rent a car
You have to be at least 21 years old to be able to rent a car in Turkey. Moreover, your driver's license must have been issued at least a year prior to your visit to the country. Most car rental agencies request a payment card. Note that automatic car prices are higher. The same applies to cars which are picked up at a location and delivered at another.
Emergency phone numbers:
Fire Services: 110
Rural Police Stations: 156