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Why rent a car in Izmir?
Izmir is the right place to explore by a rental car. Having a vehicle here will let you to experience this huge, historic city in its fullness, and then continue your travels along the wider Izmir Province and the Turkish Mediterranean Coast.
Top ways to enter Izmir
- Izmir Airport: Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport, named after the former Turkish prime minister, is just south of the city. The fifth busiest in the country, it serves more than 12 million passengers every year.
- Milas-Bodrum Airport: About two-and-a-half hour drive south of Izmir, Milas-Bodrum Airport serves many domestic air connections, as well as flights to European countries like United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, and many others.
- Dalaman Airport: Serving the small town of Dalaman and its many surrounding beach resorts, this international airport is especially active during the summer months when it hosts flights by more than 30 different airlines.
Useful city facts
- Izmir enjoys a typically hot Mediterranean climate. During summers, it is very common for temperatures to rise higher than 30 °C (86 °F). The precipitation is close to non-existent in July and August. Winters are mild in temperature, but much more humid, with December and January seeing as many as 12 rainy days every year.
- The history of human settlement in Izmir dates back all the way to 6500 B.C. when Yeşilova Mound was established here during late Stone Age. The city of Smyrna (Izmir’s Greek name) was established on the same location more than 3000 years ago.
Top destinations and activities
- Konak Square. The main meeting place and the beating heart of the city, Konak Square is home to Izmir’s most famous landmark, its clocktower. You can also visit the beautiful Konak Yali Mosque and try your bargaining skills at the Kemeraltı Bazaar that are both right next to the square.
- Alsancak. Made up of a network of small, narrow streets, Alsancak is the one place in Izmir where its Greek heritage still lives through its old mansions and other buildings. If you’re looking for a more Turkish flavor, visit one of the countless shisha bars that are located here.
- Kordon. The beautiful promenade along the Aegean Coast is a perfect place to go on a long stroll, meet locals, enjoy the shade of a palm tree or visit a local restaurant.
Traffic and parking tips
- Unless specifically indicated otherwise, the speed limits are 120 km/h (74.5 mph) on highways, 90 km/h (55.9 mph) on two-lane roads, and 50 km/h (31 mph) in populated and built-up areas.
- It is illegal to use the mobile phone while driving.
- On regional roads there might be fewer gas stations than on the national highways. Never stay too low on gas and always set out your route in advance to know the location of the next gas station.
- Due to high taxes, Turkey has a very expensive petrol, with prices higher than even in the most EU countries. Keep that in mind when setting out a route ahead!
- Turkey is overall a warm country, but during winter roads can be covered with ice, especially in mountainous regions. Do ask your car rental provider in advance if your vehicle’s tires will be equipped for to the season.
- Occasionally you might encounter police roadblocks and even military checkpoints, especially in Southeastern Turkey. They are there for your own safety, and on most cases they will only check your license and warn you about any potential danger that might lie ahead.
- The legal alcohol limit is 0.05% if you’re driving alone and 0.00%. Exceeding the limit can lead to large fines and a licence ban.
- The insurance and car documentation needs to be in the car whenever you’re driving.
- If you’re the driver, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
- The general emergency number is in 112. The police number is 155, the fire brigade number is 110, and the forest fire number is 177.
Driving on most national motorways, as well as some bridges and tunnels in Turkey require a toll payment, including many motorways in Izmir area and in the wider Turkish Aegean region.
Most Turkish toll roads only permit an electronic, contactless payment from an electronic toll-payment transponder that’s in a car or by an electronic chip-sticker that’s on a car. This means that you cannot pay either by cash or credit card for most toll roads (only a handful newer ones will permit that).
All rental cars have to be equipped either with a toll-payment transponder or with a toll-payment sticker. Some rental car providers might charge an extra fee for this service. Do contact your rental car provided in advance to find out more.
The toll roads in Turkey are divided in HGS, the High-Speed Passage System (Hızlı Geçiş Sistemi in Turkish) and OGS (Otomatik Geçiş Sistemi in Turkish). On HGS roads, you can pass through the toll area at a higher speed. On OGS roads, you need to slow down as you go through a toll gate and the toll payment is registered through the electronic transponder that’s in a car. The exact amount you’ll have to pay will depend on the specific road you drive on and on the distance of your travels.
Find out more about the toll roads in Turkey on the European toll road website.
Ideas for a day-trip
- Beaches. The Izmir’s long history is fascinating, but, let’s be honest, the main attraction of the Izmir Province is its long and beautiful Aegean Coast. With a rental car you can easily reach many nearby beaches, Foça, Dikili, Urla, and Seferihisar being among the most famous ones.
- Tire. Known both for its fancy seafood and its no-nonsense meatballs, Tire is a real Turkish foodie destination. Time your travels to arrive her on Tuesday when the city’s open market takes place, then proceed to visit the even smaller fishing villages up or down the coast.
- Sardis. Just 40 minutes drive northeast of Izmir and next to the large city of Izmir, the ancient town of Sardis is a timeless and mythical place. Observe the ruins of the streets once inhabited by Ancient Greeks and Lycians, then go on a long walk in a nearby forest that encloses Mount Sipylus.
Most popular rental types and cars
The most popular rental cars in Izmir are the Renault Clio, the Fiat Albea, and the Citroen C Elysee. The most popular rental car types are compact, economy, and intermediate.
- Istanbul. Beautiful, rich in history, and really, really huge, Turkey’s largest city is a place like no other. Explore both its Asian and its European side, visit one of the countless historic sites, or simply get lost in its crazy atmosphere. Istanbul is about six hours drive north of Izmir.
- The coastline. The beaches near Izmir are great, but it gets even better as you drive down along the coast. Both the Aegean beach towns and its Mediterranean counterparts offer everything from popular spots for partying and doing water sports to rugged, more remote terrain for those who seek it. Marmaris, Antalya, and Alanya are some of the standout places.
- Ankara. Despite being located in the steppe, Ankara is a very green capital thanks to its many forests and parks. It also offers interesting architecture from both old and recent times, a number of impressive mosques, and interesting museums.
How can I save money on my rental car?
These are some of the tricks you can try to land an affordable rental car in Izmir:
- Compare rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit on the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Izmir is the cheapest in December when renting a car is about 50% cheaper than the yearly average and a whole 65% cheaper than renting a car in July.
Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Izmir?
What’s the usual rental length in Izmir?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Izmir?
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