Eligibility to drive
To drive in Turkey you must be at least 18 years old and hold either a Turkish or foreign driving license, which must be kept with you along with ID, insurance papers, and all documents pertaining to the vehicle.
If you do not present your license, you could face a fine of ₺238 (€69.92), or of ₺115 (€33.88) for each of the other missing documents.
Rules and regulations
The first thing to note is that in Turkey you drive on the right-hand side of the road. Of equal importance, there are various laws making certain things compulsory or forbidden.
- You must wear a seatbelt at all times, regardless of whether you are in a front or back seat (fine - ₺55 (€16.16)).
- Third party insurance is required as a minimum.
- Where an accident has resulted in injuries or death, the traffic police must be called immediately (#155).
It is also required that you keep two warning triangles, a fire extinguisher and a first-aid kit in the car at all times.
- Using a mobile phone, unless through the use of a hands-free set, e.g. bluetooth.
- Children under the age of 12 are not permitted to sit in the front passenger seat.
- Between 10pm and sunrise you may not use the car horn.
Drinking and driving
The law on drink driving is tough in Turkey, with 0.05% being the legal alcohol limit. And that only applies if you are driving alone - if you have a passenger, your system must be completely free of alcohol.
If you are caught exceeding the level, you will be fined depending on whether it is your first, second or third offence, starting at ₺480 (€141) plus the suspension of your license. Allegedly, there is also the chance of being taken 20 miles out of town and being forced to walk home under police escort as a punishment.
The first thing to be aware of regarding speed limits in Turkey is that they are measured in kilometres per hour, so make sure you don’t break the speed limit accidently by reading signs in miles.
There are three typical limits around Turkey, which are 50kph in built-up areas; 90kph on open roads (the equivalent of a dual carriageway in the UK); and 120kph on the motorway.
The fine for breaking the speed limit depends on by how much you have exceeded it. A 10% leeway is granted, but if you exceed this by up to 30% you will face a fine of ₺115 (€34). Anything above that and the fine is ₺238 (€69.92).