Cheap Car Hire Turkey - Trains, Buses and Dolmus
While hiring a car in Turkey will give you the freedom to go wherever you wish, it can be a full-on experience for those involved. Turkish driving standards (as well as roads) can be rather dubious, even dangerous, so be prepared to adapt to the environment.
Car hire is rather expensive in Turkey, with a daily rental rate sitting at around YTL50 (around £20) to YTL115 (around £46). Unfortunately, British drivers will have to adapt to driving on the right-hand side of the road, but the good news is that UK licences will be freely accepted by rental companies. Generally hirers need to be at least 19 and must take out third-party vehicle insurance (check that it is included in the hire price). Most of the major hire companies operate here, but in order to get cheap car hire in Turkey, you are probably best to go with the locally-owned companies.
Trains in Turkey
Remove all notions of the romance of rail when thinking of undertaking train travel in Turkey. Trains are slower than the buses and the tracks are in desperate need of an upgrade. However, if you do have time to spare and don’t mind the dirty conditions onboard, then rail travel is a cheap option. A trip from Istanbul to Ankara costs from TYL10 (just £4), although you may want to throw caution to the wind and splash out on a 'first class' cabin for the tidy sum of TLY23 - around £9!
Dolmus (shared taxi/car hire)
Dolmuses work on the premise of connecting passengers between small towns and villages or specific routes within a city. Similar to share taxis, the driver will transport passengers for a flat fare, and will either wait for the whole van to fill up before leaving, or will leave at a scheduled time.
Buses are possibly the best and cheapest way of getting around Turkey. For foreign travellers that like a bit of luxury, stick to the bigger companies such as Kamil Koc (www.kamilkoc.com.tr), Metro (www.metroturizm.com.tr), Ulusoy (www.ulusoy.com.tr), Varan (www.varan.com.tr) or Boss Turizm (www.bossturizm.com). These companies' buses are more modern than those offered by the smaller operators so long-distance trip should be that bit more comfortable. Prices are reasonable; for example a trip from Istanbul to Antalya is YTL56 (£22 GBP), and Istanbul to Izmir is YTL53 (£21GBP) – although these prices regularly fluctuate as competition is stiff between competing bus companies.
Although still relatively cheap compared to domestic flights in the UK, air travel is by far the most expensive way to get around Turkey. A one-way flight can cost anything from £30 to £70. Four airline companies (Turkish Airlines, Onur Air, Atlasjet and Fly Air) service the domestic flight routes throughout Turkey.
Turkish Airlines (www.turkishairlines.com) flies to around 27 destinations, however most flights fly in and out of Istanbul or Ankara, so you'll have to arrange connecting flights if you want to travel to other destinations like Izmir and Konya. Flights with the airline generally cost between YTL120 (£48 GBP) and YTL155 (£62 GBP).
Onur Air (www.onurair.com.tr) and Altasjet (www.atlasjet.com) both offer a flat rate pricing system for their flights (and are by far the cheapest of all the airlines), with flights costing around YTL80 (£32 GBP) each way. Fly Air (www.flyair.com.tr) flies to only five destinations, including the main tourist areas of Izmir, Antalya and Bodrum.
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