Istanbul Car Rental

All the Useful Hints and Tips about Istanbul Car Rentals

Rent a Car in Istanbul

Renting a car in Istanbul comes with a variety of benefits. Planning your itinerary independently and with complete freedom is unquestionably the major one. Still, with a rental car, you can save time while sightseeing and avoid all the hassle of public transportation. Last but not least, it is one of the safest ways to travel, as you don’t have to constantly keep an eye on your personal belongings. So, if you opt for an Istanbul car rental, here is all the useful info -plus some extra tips- for car hire in the exotic Turkish city.

Is it a Good Idea to Rent a Car in Istanbul?​

It’s a fact that Istanbul’s road traffic is notorious. Especially during rush hours, traffic congestion is really heavy. Therefore, it’s a factor that must be taken into account while weighing up your transfer options. Nevertheless, if making your own plans, whenever and however you want, is a key priority and driving in traffic is a non-deterrent for you, then a car rental will allow you to explore Istanbul comfortably and enjoy your trip to the fullest.

Useful Info 1: The traffic is usually heavier from 07:30 am to 9:30 am and from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Hence, you should avoid moving around during these peak hours or adjust your plans to the existing traffic levels.

Useful Info 2: Make sure you have a GPS navigation system, as the urban planning of Istanbul tends to be complicated, and the road’s name is often obscure or even non-existing.

How to Rent a Car in Istanbul?​

All the major car rental providers are present in Istanbul, along with many local car hire companies. Thus, you’ll have plenty of options for your Istanbul car rental, yet also a lot of searching to do to secure the best deals and the lowest prices. To sort things out, you can follow these steps to optimize your efforts and find the best value-for-money car rental in Istanbul!

  • Explore all your options and compare prices to find the cheapest car rentals.
  • Book your car rental at the earliest opportunity. In that way, you will benefit from the best car hire deals.
  • Don’t choose the airport as your pick-up location. Surely it is convenient, but the total price may be much higher than renting a car from another pick-up location in Istanbul.
  • If possible, check different dates. Find the lowest car rental prices and plan your journey in Istanbul accordingly. 

How Much does it Cost to Rent a Car in Istanbul?​

The car rental prices vary depending on the time of the year, the length of the rental period, and, of course, the type of preferred vehicle. Overall, the average price of a standard car rental is 25€-30€ per day. Depending on your needs and requirements, you can opt for an economy or a mini car. These are normally the best value-for-money options. 

Useful Info: Hyundai i20, Fiat Panda, and Ford Focus are the most popular rental vehicles in Istanbul.

What Documents do I Need to Drive in Turkey?

If you decide to rent a car in Istanbul, you must hand over to the car rental company a valid passport and a visa or (if your country of origin is in the EU) an identity card. Furthermore, a credit card is also required – the provider may even secure an amount as a deposit. Lastly, your driving license is necessary. Keep in mind that if your license is written in a non-Latin alphabet, it’s not acceptable, and you should get an International Driving Permit.

Useful Info: Always check out the car rental company’s age limits. Most car hire agencies offer their services to drivers aged 21 to 75 with at least one year of driving experience. However, other age limits may be imposed for luxury car models.

How Can I Get the Cheapest Car Rental?

The bottom-up rule for finding the lowest car rental price is one: search and compare. However, there are also a few tips on finding the best deals and bargains.

  • The longer the rental period, the lowest the per-day price for the car rental. Thus, it’s preferable, for instance, to book your vehicle per week and not per day.
  • Extra drivers mean extra fees. Hence, if it’s possible, stick to one driver.
  • There is usually an extra cost for young drivers.
  • Pay with a credit card that provides insurance to reduce the final insurance cost.
  • Check out the company’s cancellation policy to be sure about the consequences of any inevitable changes in your journey plans.
  • Take pictures of your rental vehicle to capture any already existing damages.
  • Choose a fuel-to-fuel policy. In that way, you may be obliged to fill up the vehicle before returning it, but you will do it at a much lower price than the agency’s fuel charge rate.
  • Car hire agencies charge per 24h. Hence, choose the drop-off time accordingly to the pick-up hour and avoid any extra charges.

Useful Info: Tolls are to be found in some of Istanbul’s motorways. However, they cannot be paid in cash or by credit card, but an electronic chip sticker is required for the payment. Most car rental vehicles are already equipped with that sticker, yet you should clear it out with your provider and agree on the potential extra fee.

Do you Need a Car Insurance in Turkey?

Car insurance is important as it’s the only way to be covered in case of an accident or damage. Firstly, you should check if your prime insurance extends to your car rental vehicle as well as if your credit card offers insurance coverage. In that way, you can save money but stay insured at the same time. Otherwise, it’s advisable to get the car rental agency’s insurance.

Driving your Car Rental: What are the Do’s and Don’ts in Istanbul?

Do’s while Driving in Istanbul

  • Do keep in the car the insurance papers and the vehicle license.
  • Do, at all times, carry with you your passport and identity card.
  • Do call the police (155) or the emergency number (112) in case of an accident. Never leave the place, even if the damage is minor.
  • Do prefer to park your vehicle outside the city center, as parking in the downtown area is difficult. Furthermore, it’s advisable to use a parking lot and not leave it on the street. 
  • Do respect the speed limits and the road signs.

Dont’s while Driving in Istanbul

  • Don’t wait until the last minute to fill up your car rental. There aren’t many gas stations in Istanbul’s city center.
  • Don’t drive and use your mobile phone. Otherwise, you will be fined.
  • Don’t drink and drive. The blood/breath alcohol limit is 0,05%.