Car Travel in Turkey

Last Updated on July 7, 2022

Car travel gives you freedom to go where you want when you want, whether you drive your own car to Turkey or rent/hire a car in turkey.

But car travel has disadvantages too: expense (fuel isexpensive, especially according to US standards), and sometimes having to drive when you’d rather take public transport.

Here’s a map of the Turkish highway system (2MB JPEG).

Here’s info on temporarily importing your car or motorbiketo Turkey.

Will you be able to drive in Turkey? If you’re an experienced, confident driver who can use a standard transmission (“stick shift”), drive on the right-hand side of the road (as in continental Europe and North America), and are willing to adapt to a foreign country’s driving habits, then you’ll probably enjoy the freedom of driving in Turkey.

Here are translations of Turkish highway signs and auto driving words.

Here are Tom’s Turkish Road Warrior Driving Tips. Heed and believe!

A car is useful mostly for touring a specific region. For long-distance travel, public transport is usually more comfortable and cheaper. In other words, don’t plan to drive from Istanbul to Cappadociafly, or ride the bus to get there, then rent a car in Cappadocia to tour the region. Do the same if you’re going to Antalya or any of the other resorts.

Unless your driver’s license is from some exotic place, it will normally be accepted in Turkey. If in doubt, get an International Driving Permit through your local auto club. Now, read the pages on safe drivingdocuments and equipment, and car rental.

Driving your own car to Turkey? You’ll need a Green Cardinsurance document and Customs clearance from the Turkish Touring and Automobile AssociationMore…

Important note: you must pay highway and bridge tolls in Turkey by toll transponder—you cannot pay by cash or credit cardMore…

Fuel stations in Turkey generally supply unleaded gasoline/petrol (kurşunsuz benzin) in several octane grades, and also diesel (mazot) and ultra-low-sulfur diesel (eurodizel). Some stations also sell LNG (liquified natural gas). More…

For funny stories of car travel in eastern Turkey, see my Bright Sun, Strong Tea excerpts entitled “Eastern Sacrifice” and “Some People Never Learn.”

For tips on how to increase your safety while traveling by road, see ASIRT, the Association for Safe International Road Travel.

Use this handy Car Rental Search Box to check on rental rates, availability, and to choose the car you want:

—by Tom Brosnahan

Car Hire/Rental

Importing a Vehicle

How to Get Good Maps

Highway Signs

Car Documents & Equipment

Safe Driving

Road Warrior Driving Tips

Police Checkpoints

Highway Signs & Words

Air Travel

Bus Travel

Train Travel

Transport in Turkey

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