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Road Rules and Traffic Regulations in Turkey - Driving Nuances

1. Roads in Turkey are distinguished by high quality of surface and excellent informative support. This is particularly true about the roads in the south-western region of the country, as well as the roads that pass through popular tourist destinations.
2. Right driving is generally accepted in the country, but local drivers do not bother to follow traffic regulations. It is not uncommon to see a car that moves right in the center of the road without paying any attention to the lanes for each direction.
3. Local drivers are inclined to making violent maneuvers on the road. You can expect virtually anything from them. Sharp turns and sudden stops, passing the red light and speeding – these are the most common traffic violations in Turkey. It is also worth considering that drivers make maneuvers without turning on light signals. This fact makes the situation on the roads of the country really complicated.
4. The speed limit in settlements is 50 km/h, and on country roads the maximum allowed speed is 90 km/h. On motorways, drivers are allowed to move at a speed of 120 km/h. As it has been noted above, local people rarely pay attention to such little and “insignificant” things like speed limit.
5. Foreign drivers are recommended to refrain from traveling at night. The fact is, even at night local drivers prefer not to turn the beams on and can stop their cars right in the middle of the road.
6. The risk of car accidents increases significantly during rain, and during such religious holidays as the holy month of Ramadan there are usually heavy traffic jams.

Nuances of Car Rental in Turkey

To save on your rental, we advise to book your car in advance. You will save the most if you do this several weeks or even several months prior to your trip. Rental offices in Turkey usually raise rental prices over time, based on the number of cars left available for the accounting period.

When looking for an exotic car (cabriolet, minivan or limousine), we advise to check in the rental offices located at airports, as they usually provide much wider choice comparing to offices in urban areas.

Upon receipt of invoices, bills and documents for your car at the rental location, please compare the obtained data with your voucher. Quite often, employees of rental offices in Turkey try to add optional charges or services without informing customers.

It is very important to pick up your car at the rental office in Turkey in a correct way. Prior to leaving the office, carefully inspect the car for various defects, and ensure that all the discovered defects are mentioned in your rental documents. In case of a non-compliance found, place a demand for correction to the rental officer.

You can always check our car actual rental offers in Turkey. Simply use the search form at the top of the page. We guarantee that you will not find better prices anywhere else!
7. Foreign tourists, who plan to stay in the country for less than three months, are allowed to drive, using the driving license acquired in the home country. In addition to the driving license, you will certainly need the insurance certificate for the vehicle.
8. In small towns, in addition to cars and motorcycles, there are many horse-drawn vehicles and massive agricultural machines that drive slowly on the country roads. They also make the traffic there even more chaotic.
9. Some participants of traffic have the priority in Turkey. These are ambulances and fire engines, police cars, as well as security and civil defense cars. If you hear a siren while driving, then it is necessary to move to the right lane and free the left lane, so one of the abovementioned cars can drive without any obstacles.
10. Police officers are constantly on duty on the roads. They have the right to stop and check any car. There is a serious struggle against terrorism in the country, so foreign drivers should treat the decision of the police to check their cars with understanding and patience.
11. Very often, police officers are on duty on the roads that are located near popular restaurants, bars and night clubs. Drivers, who ride there, are often stopped in order to take the blood alcohol content test.
12. In order to avoid problems with the police, in addition to the standard set of documents all car drivers must have a warning triangle and a first aid kit.
13. It should be noted that in case of an accident the police always offers drivers to take a breath test that defines the content of alcohol in the blood. You shouldn’t refuse to go through this formal procedure because the refusal can result in the suspension of the driving license.
14. The maximum permitted blood alcohol level is 0.5 ppm. This is equal to 200 ml of wine or 800 ml of beer. Driving a vehicle while intoxicated is considered a serious violation, as well as driving without fastening a seat belt, so it is better not to risk.
15. A large part of traffic signs on local roads is absolutely the same with international road signs. However, there are still some differences. For example, instead of the «STOP» sign drivers can see the «DUR» sign. The road signs that warn drivers of ascends and descends are also different - they do not have the percent of slope ascend/descend as it is common in some countries.
16. The entrance to the highway is usually marked with the special green sign. The highway exit, in its turn, is marked with the blue sign. If you see a brown sign with white inscription on the road, then there is a landmark nearby.
17. Signs that prohibit parking and stopping look standard. However, they often have a specific label. In fact, some road signs have power only in a certain period of time or on certain days of week, so it is important to study the information indicated on labels very carefully.
18. The majority of intersections are equipped with traditional three-section traffic lights, while in some large intersections it is possible to see traffic lights with a timer. It is very simple to understand how they work because they show the remaining time till the switch of the signal.
19. As it has been noted above, local drivers (and pedestrians) pay attention to the traffic signals rarely. In order to make traffic on heavily loaded streets at least somewhat organized, there are many police patrols on busy roads and at intersections. If the officer's hand is raised up, then all vehicles must stop. The direction, in which it is allowed to move, is shown with one hand.
20. Foreign drivers are recommended to behave confidently and carefully on the road. Do not forget to follow all traffic regulations in order not to get fined. The local police are the people of principle. If you have broken some rule, escaping the fine will be almost impossible.
21. In order to help foreign travellers not to get lost on the road, we’d like to share one simple rule. While driving, you should always monitor closely the vehicle that moves in front of you. Prior to stopping or making another maneuver, you should pay attention to the cars that drive behind you.
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