Few tourists look to rent a car in Turkey unless they are only visiting one limited area. Most visitors who travel from place to place get around by flying, and there is a good airport in virtually all the major tourist centers. Additionally, most of the major airports have good airport shuttle or taxi services. And, many people book vacation packages that include airport/hotel transfers as well as transportation in between the various cities. Nonetheless, car rentals in Turkey are readily available pretty much throughout the entire country.
Turkey car rental can be expensive, since many companies will require a hefty security deposit, sometimes as high as $1,000. As in the United States and most everywhere else in the world, a valid credit card and valid driver’s license are required. In many cases, you must have had your license for at least a year for an inexpensive Turkey car rental and more than two years for a more expensive vehicle. Normally, an International Driving Permit is not necessary. Most car rentals in Turkey also have an age requirement of between 21 and 27 years of age.
You will find that major international franchises to rent a car in Turkey such as Hertz and Avis have outlets in cities such as Istanbul and Ankara, the two largest cities, and in the Turquoise Coast resorts like Antalya and Izmir. Additionally, there are numerous local companies that offer car rentals in Turkey everywhere that tourists congregate. These are often local travel agencies, and it pays to do some research to ensure you are dealing with a reputable company.
Some of the better Turkey car rental firms and travel agencies include Auto Europe (which has a discount branch), Argeus Tourism and Travel, and Anker Travel. Auto Europe is, as its name suggests, is a continent-wide organization, with outlets throughout Europe, from England and other United Kingdom countries to Rome, Italy. Argeus is located in Cappadocia, and offers tours to Ephesus and even mountain biking expeditions in this beautiful region. Anker Travel is also in Cappadocia, with headquarters in Kusadasi, Izmir, and Cesme.
While the country is modern with a relatively good roads and highway infrastructure, it is nonetheless a developing country. As in many developing countries, renting a car in Turkey places you on the roads of one of the countries with a very high accident rate. For people with limited time for their vacations, self driving really isn’t necessary. If you’re planning to venture off the beaten path to places like Mount Nemrut or into the hills above Fethiye, having your own vehicle to get around can be quite attractive. If you do rent a car in Turkey then you should familiarize yourself with the country’s rules of the road (they do drive on the right) and drive defensively. Traffic in big cities like Istanbul is terrible. If you are only in this city, it is much more sensible to rely on the fairly sophisticated public transportation system or book tours that include transportation. Istanbul shore excursions from the cruise ships always include transportation.