Istanbul - Post Report Question and Answers

What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

We brought a mid-sized SUV and purchased a 2WD sedan locally when we got there. The roads are fairly well-paved. However, the city is extremely vertically hilly in places, and the inner neighborhood roads are about 1 to 1.5 car widths. The pavement is mixed (maybe with marble?) which makes it super slick when it rains (which it does all winter long and during the summer. The roads are slick enough that even AWD slide in the rain. Driving is pretty orderly on the main roads, especially compared to some other countries, but people generally have the whoever-is-most-aggressive-goes-first rule. Street parking is haphazard and all over the place. The parking spots are smaller, and garage parking can be difficult to squeeze cars into. Our car got dinged up but it was very cheap to repair and repaint. You see the typical overseas brands (skoda, VW, mazda, BMW) with some very very expensive cars mixed in. Most locals seem to have sedans to mid-sized SUVs. - Aug 2021

As small as you can get away with is helpful in dealing with narrow streets and small parking lots. Currently, U.S. government personnel assigned to the consulate are required to pre-clear their vehicle make/model to ensure it blends into the local environment. That said, other than pick-ups and minivans, everything is available here including Ford, Jeep, and Subaru. - Sep 2017

Just bring a vehicle. Any vehicle will do. - Oct 2010

I do not have experience with owning a car in Turkey. - Jan 2010

More compact the better given narrow roads, traffic - Jan 2010

A Honda CR-V or similar is ideal. Something small, maneuverable, and with 4-wheel drive. There is very little snow, but steep hills get slippery. Anything too big will be hard to drive. Most brands exist in Istanbul. - Dec 2009

Just about any car is fine here. Some people prefer SUVs, others prefer small cars to zip in and out of traffic. Gasoline is expensive, even without the tax. - Dec 2009

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