There are more than 20 rental car locations in Istanbul, with facilities offered on both sides of Bosporus, or Strait of Istanbul, which cuts through the heart of the city. Renters who want easy and autonomous access to some of the city’s key sites will enjoy the freedom that cheap car rentals in Istanbul provide. For instance, you can plan a trip on your own schedule to places like Little Hagia Sophia and Column of Marcian—both places are close to parking facilities, of which there are many throughout the city. For a trip that offers a bit of reprieve from the bustling streets, there is also access to nearby major freeways, like the 0-1, the E5 and the E80, that can take you beyond city limits. However, you may want to keep your Istanbul car rental parked in the many available spots and explore by foot before and after the traditional workday, as these are the rush hours.
Is it worthwhile to rent a vehicle while I’m visiting Istanbul?
If you have grabbed an economy car rental in Istanbul, then you’ve opened up a range of possibilities for your trip in the country of Turkey. And, best yet, with a broad number of available parking facilities throughout the city, you can toggle easily between exploring Istanbul on foot—especially in neighborhoods like Sultanahmet, which is the historic center of the city—and exploring by personal vehicle. With several large roadways providing service to the city, you can even head out to nearby areas like Bursa and Kocaeli Kent Ormanı. Each location is not more than a couple of hours away by car. If you’re heading out for a day trip, try to plan your departure for either before or after the morning rush hour so that you’re able to spend more time at the location and less time on the road.
What are some of the driving laws that I should keep in mind when driving in Istanbul?
If you’re choosing to grab one of the many available car rentals in Istanbul, then you’ll want to take some time getting familiar with the country’s traffic laws. For instance, the drinking and driving policies in Turkey are more stringent than those found in, say, the United States. If you have a BAC—or blood alcohol content—that is 0.05% or higher, than you cannot get behind the wheel of a vehicle. Also, those who are driving Istanbul car rentals will need to keep in mind that it’s mandatory for all people riding in a motor vehicle to wear a seatbelt that is properly fastened. This includes the driver. You’ll also want to pay special attention to the posted speed limits in your economy car rental since these tend to be a bit lower than similar roadways in western countries. While these guidelines are helpful, it’s always good to check with the department of motor vehicles for the city to learn of laws that may have recently changed.
Will I need a driver’s permit or a special license to drive a rental car in Istanbul if I’m visiting from abroad?
For all travelers who want to secure a rental car in Istanbul, there are a few items of documentation that will need to be provided upon check-in for your reserved vehicle. For instance, a major credit card with a fairly substantial balance is required, as is a government-granted driver’s license that is valid and has been held for more than a couple of years. An IDP (or International Driver’s Permit) isn’t required, but it is recommended since it will translate the language of the license. An IDP on its own cannot be used to secure a car. Many car rental companies may also require renters to supply their passport, too. In order to get a car rental in Istanbul, all drivers need to be no younger than 21.