Stone face at
best reached by car
Which model car
should you rent in Turkey?
cars in Turkey tend to be smaller,
simpler and less powerful than in
North America and parts of Europe.
Most are perfectly adequate for a
single traveler or a couple (with
or without a child). Here are some
features to consider:
Cars in Turkey run on benzin (gasoline/petrol), dizel/mazot (diesel
fuel), "clean" (ultra-low-sulfur) Euro-dizel,
or LNG (liquified
natural gas). Turkish drivers complain
that they pay the highest prices in the
world for fuel, but there are ways to
save money. More...
capacity is usually measured in liters:
1.2 liters, 1.6 liters, etc. Small motors
are thrifty with
fuel. However, a small motor may
be inadequate if
your party has three or four adults
and/or lots of heavy baggage.
great progress has been made in widening Turkey's
principal highways to four lanes, the country
still has many two-lane roads, which means
you'll need sufficient power to pass/overtake
the omnipresent trucks/lorries
quickly. Without an adequately powerful
motor, it may be unsafe to overtake, and you
may sit behind a stinky diesel truck
for miles. Also, Turkey has lots of mountains,
and you'll want a sufficiently powerful
car to get up them...
...and down: it can be unsafe to load too many people
and too much luggage into a small car and rely
on its brakes not to fail during
a long descent on a mountain road. (I've smelled
the overheated brakes in more than one rental car,
and I was traveling alone!)
I suggest that you rent the
cheapest cars only if you are traveling
Pay a bit more if you are traveling
with one other person, and a bit more
again if you are two adults and a child.
Be careful on those mountain descents
and leave time for a few stops to allow
the brakes to cool. Here's
a cost comparison of means of transport.
The cheapest cars rarely have much room in the trunk/boot
for luggage. Soft luggage that can
be crammed into odd spaces is better than large,
hard-sided suitcases. You may have to carry some
of your stuff in the rear seat.
As in any country, it's best not to leave
anything visible in your car when you park
it. This applies especially to big cities. Keep this
in mind when you choose a rental car: can you conceal
your stuff when you park?
In the hot months of June
through September, you'll really appreciate air
conditioning, especially if you are driving along
coast. Besides being cool, conditioned air is dry,
which is much better than the humid, moisture-laden
air that is the norm in this region in summer.
Humid air may be fine on the beach, but it's wretched
in a car in traffic on a hot black road.
Automatic transmission is a luxury item in Turkey. Most
rental cars have standard transmissions ("stick
shift"). If you have not learned how to drive
a car with standard transmission, don't expect to
learn while on your trip. It's uncertain enough to
be driving an unfamiliar car in an unfamiliar country
do things differently than what you
may be used to at home. Don't add the burden of learning
a whole new way to drive.