Tips and Tricks to Driving in Turkey

Driving in Turkey: Tips, Tricks, and Everything in Between

Driving in Turkey can be an exciting and rewarding experience for tourists and expats alike. With its stunning scenery, rich history, and diverse culture, Turkey has become a popular destination for travelers from all over the world. But before you hit the road, there are a few things you need to know.

This article will provide you with everything you need to know about driving in Turkey. From the legal requirements for driving, renting a car, navigating the roads, and understanding the rules of the road, we've got you covered. So sit back, relax, and let's get started.

Legal Requirements for Driving in Turkey

Before you hit the road in Turkey, you need to ensure that you have all the necessary legal requirements. These include:

  1. Valid Driving License: To drive in Turkey, you must have a valid driving license issued by your home country. If your driving license is not in English, you must also have an International Driving Permit (IDP).

  2. Age Limit: The legal driving age in Turkey is 18 years old. If you are under 18 years old, you are not allowed to drive in Turkey.

  3. Insurance: It is mandatory to have car insurance in Turkey. You can either purchase insurance from a local insurance company or from the car rental agency.

  4. Documentation: You must carry your passport, driving license, and car insurance documents with you at all times when driving in Turkey.

Renting a Car in Turkey

Renting a car in Turkey is relatively easy and straightforward. You can either rent a car from the airport or from one of the many car rental agencies located throughout the country. Here are some tips to keep in mind when renting a car in Turkey:

  1. Book in Advance: To get the best deals, it's best to book your car rental in advance. This way, you can compare prices and choose the best option for your needs.

  2. Choose the Right Car: When choosing a car, consider the size of your group, the amount of luggage you have, and the type of roads you'll be driving on. If you plan on doing a lot of off-road driving, consider renting an SUV or a 4x4.

  3. Check the Condition of the Car: Before you sign the rental agreement, check the condition of the car thoroughly. Look for scratches, dents, and any other damages that may have been caused by previous renters. If you notice any issues, report them to the rental company before you drive off.

  4. Read the Fine Print: Make sure you read the rental agreement carefully and understand the terms and conditions. Pay attention to the insurance coverage, fuel policy, and any additional fees that may be charged.

Navigating the Roads in Turkey

Navigating the roads in Turkey can be challenging, especially if you are not familiar with the area. Here are some tips to help you navigate the roads in Turkey:

  1. Use a GPS: A GPS is an essential tool for navigating the roads in Turkey. You can either rent a GPS with your car rental or use a mobile app such as Google Maps.

  2. Follow the Signs: Road signs in Turkey are written in both Turkish and English. Pay attention to the signs, especially when driving in cities or on highways.

  3. Watch Out for Other Drivers: Turkish drivers can be aggressive and tend to drive fast. Keep an eye out for other drivers and be prepared to react quickly if necessary.

  4. Stay Alert: The roads in Turkey can be unpredictable, so it's essential to stay alert at all times. Watch out for pedestrians, animals, and other hazards on the road.

  5. Drive defensively: Defensive driving is the best way to stay safe on the roads in Turkey. Keep a safe distance from other vehicles, avoid sudden lane changes, and always use your turn signals.

  6. Avoid Rush Hour: If possible, try to avoid driving during rush hour. Traffic can be very congested, especially in major cities such as Istanbul and Ankara.

Rules of the Road in Turkey

To drive safely in Turkey, it's important to understand the rules of the road. Here are some of the most important rules to keep in mind:

  1. Seat Belts: It's mandatory to wear seat belts when driving in Turkey. Both the driver and passengers must wear seat belts at all times.

  2. Speed Limits: Speed limits in Turkey are in kilometers per hour (km/h). The speed limit on highways is 120 km/h, while the speed limit in cities is usually between 50 and 70 km/h.

  3. Overtaking: You can overtake on the left-hand side in Turkey. However, you must signal and make sure it's safe to do so.

  4. Traffic Lights: Traffic lights in Turkey follow the standard red, yellow, and green system. However, in some cities, the lights are horizontal instead of vertical.

  5. Roundabouts: Roundabouts are common in Turkey. You must give way to traffic on your right when entering a roundabout.


Q: Do I need an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in Turkey?

A: If your driving license is not in English, you must have an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in Turkey.

Q: Can I use my mobile phone while driving in Turkey?

A: No, it's illegal to use your mobile phone while driving in Turkey. You can use a hands-free device or a Bluetooth headset.

Q: What are the penalties for breaking traffic laws in Turkey?

A: Penalties for breaking traffic laws in Turkey include fines, points deducted from your driving license, and in some cases, imprisonment.

Q: Is it safe to drive in Turkey?

A: Yes, it's safe to drive in Turkey. However, you should always be cautious and follow the rules of the road.

Driving in Turkey can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it's important to be prepared. Make sure you have all the necessary legal requirements, choose the right car, and follow the rules of the road. With these tips, you can enjoy your journey and create unforgettable memories in this beautiful country. Remember, safety should always come first when driving in Turkey.