PLANNING TO GET A RENTAL CAR IN KUSADASI, TURKEY?
Let me please help you.
You are in the right place — because I live in Kusadasi — and I have a lot of car rental experience!
In this article, I will walk you through the whole rent a car process, and after reading this blog, you will feel confident about renting a car in Kusadasi plus you will get many travel tips from a local.
If you’re ready to get your Kusadasi car rental, my short answer is, I recommend and personally use Discover Cars. The website searches for both international and local companies, so you always get the best rates.
I also always get their full coverage insurance — which is usually less than $10 USD per day.
If you’re looking into renting a car in Kusadasi (and Turkey), you may have encountered some conflicting information.
There are official rules for renting a car in Turkey, yet then there’s how things play out in the real world.
Don’t worry! By the end of this article, you’ll know what to do and also what Not to do when renting a car in Turkey.
Now if you are ready? Let me teach you all about how to rent a car in Kusadasi. Let’s start with the most frequently asked questions about renting cars in Turkey.
Renting A Car in Kusadasi FAQs
Is Driving in Kusadasi safe?
Kusadasi is considered safe to drive in Turkey. Kusadası and surrounding Western Turkey is the most developed part of Turkey and the road network is on par with European countries.
The one obvious caveat is that you’ll be driving in another country, where you’re unfamiliar with local customs and driving laws.
Below, you’ll find 10 Kusadasi driving tips that will help you get comfortable with how to drive in Kusadasi, the Turkish Aegean region, and anywhere in Turkey.
Is it safe to drive in Kusadasi Turkey?
Short Answer: Yes — For the vast majority of visitors, it is a perfectly safe and comfortable way to explore the region to its fullest.
Long Answer: Turkey has flying scores when compared to Asian countries roads and drivers.
Turkey has European rules, and road systems yet, you will want to drive with more caution than usual because of Turkish drivers.
Turkish drivers are warm-blooded Mediterranean drivers and have a tendency to bend the rules.
Yet, in my personal experience, Kusadasi drivers are more law-abiding drivers than the average Turkish driver. Kusadasi is definitely one of the best places to drive in Turkey.
I am a 40-year-old Turkish driver, I have been driving in Turkey since I became 18 and I have never been involved in a car accident.
Why Should you rent a car in Kusadasi?
You’ll be venturing the Turkish Riviera (also called the Aegean region), which is known to be the cradle of Western civilization and culture.
You will have many things to do and see in Kusadasi. As a local of this region, I can attest that this is the most modern and friendly part of Turkey.
The entire region is a very tourist-friendly place. Kusadasi itself is one of the safest cities in Turkey, but also the entire Aegean Region is also very safe for driving and travel.
With many tours, you only have a limited amount of time to explore, but with your own rental, you set the schedule.
Renting a car in Kusadasi gives you freedom — both to venture off the beaten path and make some day trips from Kusadasi to Ephesus, House of Mary, Didim, Temple Artemis, Zeus Cave, Sirince, Pamukkale, and much more.
You can combine destinations with enjoying the region to its fullest.
If you are only planning to stay in the Kusadasi town center, then you probably need a car because even the best beaches of Kusadasi are located outside of the town.
Lastly, shopping in downtown Kusadasi is expensive and can be a tourist trap. We shop from local shops, souvenirs from Sirince, and normal shopping from Soke and Kusadasi malls.
All these places are half an hour’s drive from Kusadasi town center. You can also read my Kusadasi shopping guide to learn more.
The public transportation in Kusadasi is also good with many minibusses to hop onto yet the routes are mostly limited to residential and commercial areas.
I have not used minibusses for ages, because I love driving my car with air conditioning, then sitting in a crowded minibus under the summer sun.
Additionally, taxis can be hard to find, especially if you are traveling outside of the town center.
KUSADASI AIRPORT CAR RENTAL
If you’re coming to Kusadasi by plane, the closest airport is Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport (Code: ADB) is the best place to get a rental car.
Kusadasi downtown also has a vast selection of the majority of car rental companies.
KUSADASI AIRPORT TRANSFER
By the way, if you need airport transport check out the transport options below.
How much does renting a car in Kusadasi cost?
Turkish rental car rates will always vary. Especially touristy areas of Kusadasi and Izmir will have higher rates in the summer season and lower rates in winter.
The average rate is $243 per week ($35 per day) for an economy car with full coverage insurance.
As you read through this article, you’ll discover why you should not believe the cheap prices from random places online that are much lower than $30-45 USD.
What Do You Need to Rent a Car in Kusadasi?
As far as what’s required to get your Kusadasi Turkey car rental, there are only four things you need to have:
1. A VALID DRIVER’S LICENSE
If you have a valid driver’s license from the U.S., Canada, UK, or any European Countries, or from any country with a driving license with the Roman alphabet (this alphabet) and a photo, you can rent a car in Kusadasi and Turkey with it.
Drivers from Arabic countries, China or Japan may need an International Driving Permit, or IDP if their driving licenses are not written in Roman Alphabet. Need an IDP? Apply for one here.
You will also need to carry your passport (or your national ID depending on the country with your entrance document to Turkey) because foreign driving licenses are valid for six months after your entry.
If you are not renting a car after your 7th month in Turkey, no problem. If you are a long-term visitor, you can read my guides about the validity of foreign driving licenses and getting a Turkish driving license.
2. A VALID CREDIT CARD OR DEBIT CARD
When you rent a car in Kusadasi, the rental company will swipe your credit or debit card to have a record in the event you damage the car or pay for your traffic rules violation fines.
Different companies hold different amounts of money, but it’s usually less than $1,000 USD.
Note: With full coverage insurance, rental companies usually require less money for deposits.
When leaving a card on file for your Kusadasi car rental, opt for the credit card over your debit.
When you use the debit for this, the money will be removed from your account (then returned when you return the car), but with the credit card, it’s just on hold and not temporarily taken.
3. YOU MUST BE 25 TO RENT A CAR IN KUSADASI
Like many countries, people who are 25 and older can rent a car in Turkey from a Turkish rental company.
Some companies rent to drivers ages 21-24, and a surcharge of $10-25USD may be applied for underage drivers. The amount will depend on the company, so always double-check before booking.
Rarely some Turkish car rental companies may rent to drivers ages 18-20. Most of the big-name companies (like Hertz, and Avis) will not rent to underage drivers. For this reason, I always double-check by calling or emailing before renting a car.
4. ALL TURKISH CARS HAVE INSURANCE BUT YOU SHOULD HAVE FULL INSURANCE
All cars in Turkey are insured by mandatory traffic insurance for damages you may inflict on other people or cars.
Yet, You need to buy car insurance in Turkey.
Firstly, compulsory insurance does not cover your damages, only damages you inflict on innocent third parties.
Also, mandatory insurance coverage limits are low to cover all losses. For this reason, I always take full insurance (Kasko).
Anything can happen. I want to be on the safe side rather than sorry.
This is the short answer.
There is a whole section of this article that will explain everything you need to know about getting the best Turkish auto insurance, as it’s a big topic.
If you want to jump ahead, here’s the link to find out all about getting insurance to drive in Turkey.
What’s the Best Car Rental Company in Kusadasi?
Many big-name International car rentals companies like Europcar, Avis, Budget, and Hertz have offices in Kusadası and Izmir Airport (Code: ADB).
The other good but lesser-known car rental companies which I personally used and liked are Expy, AutoUnion, AutoVia, and HelloCar.
🚗💨 Ready to book your Kusadasi car rental? Click the link to book directly with Discover Cars, which searches all national and local companies to get you the best rates.
Where do you book a Kusadası car rental?
I always use Discover Cars, which searches all the companies listed above.
Using an aggregate search service helps you find great deals because Discover Cars checks all the best Kusadasi car rental companies, both national and local at once, so you get the lowest prices.
Additionally, Discover Car rates the companies’ service level, to uphold their reputation and rating in Discover Cars, they provide better service than booking directly with the rental company.
Do You Need Turkish Car Insurance?
Yes — You do need insurance for driving in Turkey.
At the minimum, all cars are obligated to have Turkish Traffic Liability Insurance. Since this is mandatory, most of the big companies include this insurance in their rental price.
What does insurance cover for driving in Turkey?
Turkish Traffic Liability covers limited damages third-party damages that occur at your fault and not your damages.
Most car rentals also include a “Collision Damage Waiver” in their rental prices which makes you liable not for all damages but up to a certain threshold.
To further reduce your liabilities, you can opt for full coverage insurance.
Full coverage insurance reduces stress on your Turkish trip and essentially allows you to return the car in any condition and never have to pay a single cent more for dings and damage.
How Does Car Rental Deductible Insurance Work in turkey?
Most Car rental companies also include a “Collision Damage Waiver” in their rental price. This means if the car’s bodywork is damaged you’ll pay at most the deductible amount which is around $3.000.
If you have a $4,000 deductible, and you cause $5,250 in damage to the rental car, you’re responsible for paying the $4,000 “deductible.”
The insurance will then kick in to cover the remaining $1250 after you pay your $4,000 deductible amount.
As what you select will depend on your budget, avoiding full coverage car insurance is one of those “you get what you pay for” situations.
If you’re wondering what’s the best Turkish car insurance — The answer is full coverage with no deductible.
How much is Turkish car insurance?
Different companies price coverage differently, but in general, Personal Liability Insurance for full coverage insurance plans is about $20 USD per day.
When I rent, I opt for full coverage through Discover Cars which is around 10 USD and I know what I’m paying before I book. While full coverage isn’t always cheap, it pays for peace of mind.
Discover Cars guarantees to pay the deductible amount they pay to the car rental company.
What type of car to rent in Turkey?
Be sure to check the transmission type of the car.
In Kusadasi and Turkey, manual-type transmission is the standard norm. Rental companies may ask for additional fees for automatic cars.
Also, white cars are the cheapest to rent.
If you are planning to stay in more urban areas, I would suggest small economic models. They are cheaper and easier to park in cities.
Yet, I have two SUVs, one Skoda Kodiaq and one Ford Ecosport, as our family cars. I find SUVs to be more comfortable because streets are not that narrow in Turkey compared to European countries like Italy and Greece.
Renting a Car Process
Receiving a rental car is a straightforward process. You will be inspecting the car with a rental agency agent.
The agent will mark the scratches and other malfunctioning parts of the car. You may want to take a video of the car or take photos of the vehicle in the process to avoid future arguments.
Car Toll Transponder or Sticker
Ask about road toll fees with your rental company agent. Some of the major roads are not free in Turkey.
Most paid roads are not paid with cash and do not have a cashier at the end of the road.
Payment is conducted automatically with onboard devices or chips placed on the windshield. (OGS or HGS).
What are the Turkish Car Rental Scams?
Demanding more than the car rental booking price
What’s known as a scam that’s specific to renting a car in Turkey, is a common practice all around the world.
The scam happens because most renters don’t read the fine print (who does?!) and they aren’t aware of what is not included in the price like fees, and taxes, then get tricked.
Yet, this has never happened to me, but really I see a lot of people talking about it.
If this scenario has also happened to you, then you’re already familiar with the “Turkish car rental scam,” which is actually not unique to Turkey.
Many end up paying about 25-40% more than what was quoted for online booking price, which is frustrating.
HOW TO AVOID THIS COMMON TURKISH TRAVEL SCAM
When renting a car in Turkey, you may see low rates like $5-10 USD per day — and if this seems too good to be true, it is a scam.
Turkey has the most taxes on cars and the most expensive car prices in Europe. It is economically impossible for a real Turkish car rental to provide these rental rates.
If you investigate further you will see that these prices are either a scam or do not include all the fees, and taxes that you do have to pay.
To avoid this most notorious rental car scam, you should pay at least $30 per day plus insurance of $10-$15. This amount is closer to what you end up paying anyway — and now you’ll feel less scammed.
Fake Online Website Scam
Lately, a new type of scam has become common.
Scammers copy word-to-word reputable car rental firm websites and make them appear on top results by promoting websites with ads.
When you click on the results, you go to a promoted fake website thinking you are booking from a reputable company. Please check the web address before booking a car rental.
10 Driving Tips For Turkey
1. Police Checks
If you are stopped at these checkpoints, this does not mean you did something wrong. These are both traffic and security control points.
Please drive slowly and carefully when nearing these checkpoints. Follow the lead of the police officers.
Never try to bribe Turkish police, they will be offended and cameras record everything.
Police checks are frequent, and checkpoints are located at the exits and entrances of significant settlements like Kusadasi, and there are also random checkpoints.
2. Mobile Telephone and Maps
Mobile internet coverage is very good in Turkey and especially around Kusadasi.
You can easily buy a sim card for your phone with data coverage and enjoy high-band mobile internet.
This means you can use Google Maps or Yandex Maps to find your way around Turkey. They have pretty accurate road assistance services. Most people use Yandex Maps in Turkey, but I like Google Maps.
Another option is to download an offline map from Google Maps or Maps.Me.
*** Sidenote: Using a mobile phone and driving is a violation of traffic rules in Turkey. Yet, connecting your cell phone to your car via Bluetooth and using it hands-free is okay.
3. Baby and Children Seats
The child seat is mandatory in Turkey for babies and kids who are shorter than 150 cm and under 36 kg. Fortunately, most rental car companies supply baby and child seats at your request.
4. Roundabouts and Crossroads
This is the most confusing part of Turkish traffic. Typically you should give priority to the traffic coming from the right. However, we do not follow this rule.
We are either too kind to give the right of passage or too aggressive to get your right of passage.
Turkish people tend to treat roundabouts as intersections, but our understanding may be illogical for a foreigner. Follow the locals. Proceed carefully in roundabouts and crossroads.
This advice is not about driving but about walking. Never assume that the car will stop and give you the way when crossing the street. Even in the pedestrian crossings.
Be watchful when crossing the streets until you have some experience in the Turkish way.
6. Turkish speed limits
Turkish street signs are in kilometers per hour, not miles per hour — and for those curious, 1 mile is 1.6 kilometers.
Rather than trying the math conversion, just make sure the car’s speedometer matches the speed limit sign number on the road.
These are the general speed limits.
- 50 km / h (31 miles per hour) inside town and cities
- 90 km / h (55 miles per hour) on intercity regular roads
- 110 km / h (68 miles per hour) on intercity divided roads
- 120 km / h (74 miles per hour) on motorways/highways
Additionally, strangely parked cars on intercity roads with different antennas are usually police speed radars, and there are also lots of speed cameras to be mindful of speed limits.
7. Fuel stations
In the Kusadasi area, there are many gas stations, and you should not worry about running out of gas without reaching one.
Yet, you may think petrol stations are trying to scam you when you see how expensive gasoline prices are.
Everything can be cheap in Turkey but not the fuel. Turkish gasoline prices are one of the highest in Europe.
Unlike in the USA, Turkish service members fill the gas for you in Turkey and you do not need to tip them.
A windshield cleaning service is available free of charge in most gas stations. Service members usually clean your windshield after filling your vehicle’s gas tank.
The service level you get in gas stations differs depending on their brands. My first choice is OPET. This brand usually has the cleanest toilets and a good supermarket. The other brands I like are Shell and BP.
8. Emergency in Turkey
For all emergencies, you can dial 112. It is the general helpline. To reach the Turkish police directly, you can dial 155 and call the gendarme (military police) by dialing 156 in rural areas.
Also, you should call your rental car company for specific instructions for other minor issues.
9. Driving after Drinking is not advised
Do not drive after you drink alcoholic beverages. The alcohol limit in Turkey is the same as in most European countries and lower than in the UK and the USA.
Non-commercial drivers like tourists and regular citizens have a limit of 0.5 per mile of alcohol when driving. The Turkish police strongly enforce this limit.
10. Watch for brown road labels.
These labels direct you to unique and historical places to visit near Kusadasi.
CLICK TO 👓 READ ALL MY ARTICLES ABOUT KUSADASI.
Final Thoughts: Renting A Car in Kusadasi Turkey
A Turkish road trip is one of the best ways to see the country, especially in places like the Sirince Village, Ephesus, Camlık Train Museum, Didim can be visited at their best hours.
Even if you’re not doing a full road trip, the easiest way to explore all of the amazing areas around the Kusadasi is by rental car. In the summer heat of Kusadasi, you do not want to walk or travel by public transport.
Driving in Kusadasi is generally considered safe, and renting a car is a (mostly) simple, hassle-free process.
One of the most important things to keep in mind for a Turkey car rental is to use a reputable company like Discover Cars.
Make sure you also purchase Turkish car insurance, as mandatory insurance is sufficient to cover all your risks.
Driving and Rent a Car Blogs For Turkey
Check out these linked guides if you wish to learn about car rental agencies throughout the country or more about driving-related issues when renting a car in Turkey.
- Driving in Turkey as a Tourist: A Turkish Lawyer’s Guide
- Driving in Turkey with US Driving License – Full Guide
- Driving in Turkey with UK Driving Licence – Full Guide
- 2 Ways to get a Turkish Driver’s License for Foreigners – Full Guide
Kusadasi Travel Planning Guide
🚑 Should I buy travel insurance for Turkey?
100% YES! — With basic coverage averaging just $5-10 USD per day, enjoy peace of mind with a plan from SafetyWing, one of the biggest names in travel insurance.
💧Can you drink the water in Kusadasi?
No — You’ll want to buy a Water-To-Go Bottle, which filters your drinking water so you don’t get sick from drinking water in Turkey, and helps keep you hydrated while traveling Turkey. (Read more)
🚙💨 Is it safe to rent a car in Kusadasi?
Yes — Renting a car in Kusadasi is one of the best ways to explore the Turkish Aegean Region! I always rent with Discover Cars, which checks both international companies and local Turkish companies, so you get the best rates.
🏩 What’s the best way to book my Kusadasi accommodation?
For Turkish hotels and hostels, Booking is the best site. If you’re considering an Airbnb, don’t forget also to check VRBO, which is often cheaper than Airbnb! (Read more)
✈️ What’s the best site to buy flights to Turkey? For finding cheap Turkey flights, I recommend Skyscanner and Google Flights. (Read more about the best Turkish Airline Companies.)
🎫 Do I need a visa for Turkey?
Likely Not — U.S., Canadian, and most European Passport holders don’t need a visa for Turkey but check here to see if you do need a Turkey travel visa.