Car rental in Istanbul airport

Should you rent a car in a megacity? You should definitely do it. Not only can you explore Istanbul by car, you can also visit many great places around the city.

Sapanca Lake, a green paradise of songbirds, cherry trees, and cool spas, is only one hour and a half drive away. Two hours’ drive away is the town of Kıyıköy with an ancient Byzantine fortress, monastery, and caves where pirates used to hide. About a hundred kilometres from Istanbul is the town of Ağva with secluded beaches, green forests, and very photogenic cliffs. Half an hour away is Anadolu Lighthouse with the ancient Yoros Castle and delightful fish restaurants.

This is by no means a complete list of places of interest near Istanbul that are worth visiting by a rental car.

Car rental at Istanbul Airport

If you are travelling to Istanbul by plane, it is best to have your rental car delivered directly to the airport by the time of your arrival. This way you don't have to hail a taxi or use public transport to get to the city with your suitcases. It takes only 15-20 minutes to pick up your car, and you are driving across beautiful Turkey in comfort.

The most popular cities for car hire in Turkey

Traffic regulations

The local roads have four lanes each way, multi-level interchanges, and very good quality pavement. Road signs and markings are the same as in Europe, they are bright and intuitive. You can’t use the special vehicle lanes.

And you can get into a traffic jam in the city only on Friday evenings and Monday mornings.

Toll roads

Expressways, some bridges and tunnels in Turkey are toll roads. Toll rates: expressways - €1-3per 100 km, bridges over the Straits of Istanbul - €1-3, bridges over the Dardanelles and the Sea of Marmara - €11-18.

They are quite easy to use. The car must be equipped with a transponder or a special HGS sticker. The linked account is charged when you pass through the automatic gate.


Most car parks in the city are chargeable: municipal parking is slightly cheaper and private parking is more expensive.

You will rarely find available free parking spaces during the daytime. Car parks near shops and restaurants are for their customers. Do not park near residential buildings because usually only residents are allowed to park there.

Petrol stations

There are different petrol station brands operating around the clock in Istanbul. The quality of fuel is the same everywhere, and the price difference is minimal. The petrol stations only differ in additional services. The petrol station does not officially charge for the service but it is considered good form to reward the petrol station attendants with a tip of 1-2 Turkish Liras.

Mobile service

There are two large providers, Turkcell and Vodafone, and a smaller one, Avea. The quality of mobile service is good. To get a local SIM card, go to one of the operators’ offices with your passport.