This guide will explain the process of renting a car and how to import yours should you choose to go through with it.
Renting a car
To hire a car in Turkey, you of course need a valid driving license, however it needn’t be an international driving permit. If you are using a driving license from your home country you will need to present your passport; however if you have applied for and received a Turkish license this will not be necessary.
Despite the minimum age of obtaining a driving license being 18, to rent a car you must be 21 or over and have held a license for at least 1 year. It is also not uncommon for more expensive cars to be restricted to those over 27 years old.
The cost of renting a car varies dramatically, ranging from ₺70 (€20) to ₺1359 (€397). These prices are according to Travel Supermaket, with the pickup point of the car being Ataturk Airport in Istanbul. Due to the variation in price, it is important to shop around before committing to a company or car.
To help you make that decision, here are some car rental companies to compare and find what is right for you:
Importing a car
If you are moving to Turkey and want to import your car, it really might be easier to dismiss the idea, ignore everything that is about to follow, and simply refer to the renting guidelines above.
Bringing your vehicle into Turkey as an expat is nigh on impossible, and on the off-chance you can manage it, the process is convoluted and likely to be very expensive. For the stubborn among you however, below are guidelines on how you might go about it.
Firstly, your vehicle can only remain within the country’s borders for a duration of 6 months, after which it must leave the country for 6 months before reentering. This process can be repeated twice, after which the vehicle is prohibited from crossing the border into Turkey. If you plan on sneaking it across, don’t. The vehicle’s details are written on a page in your passport with the entry dates stamped, and if caught in violation you will be heavily fined.
There are two exceptions, the first of which is dependant on you holding a retirement visa, in which case your vehicle may stay in Turkey for 1 year.
Secondly, if you are a foreign diplomat you will be granted a diplomatic license plate, free of tax, from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
It is possible to import your car for the length of your stay however, and for this you must get a ‘temporary entry card’.
Temporary entry card
To import your car into Turkey you must apply for a ‘temporary entry card’ (Yabancı Taşıtlar Geçici Giriş Belgesi). The documentation required for this is heavy, and is listed below:
- Residency permit (for work, education or retirement)
- Work permit if employed
- If retired, a document showing pension value
- If a student, a certificate from the institution where you are studying
- Driving license (and copy)
- Passport (and copy)
- Ownership documents pertaining to vehicle
- Proof of insurance (must be valid in Turkey)
- Security deposit, determined by the age and size of your vehicle. This can be paid in cash or substituted by a bank guarantee
- Completed and signed application form
All documents not written in Turkish must be translated and notarised, and submitted to the relevant office listed towards the bottom of this page. Upon receipt of your card, you must pay a customs fee (dictated by age and size of vehicle) at the Turkish Customs Office.
Registering your vehicle
Finally, you must go to the traffic registrations office (Trafik Tescil Genel Müdürlüğü), entry card in hand, and have your vehicle registered. There you will be given a foreign resident’s license plate which is valid for the duration of your residence/work permit.
Your car must leave the country when you do and cannot be sold or lent to anybody else.