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Best place to rent a car

Delavan, Illinois
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Best place to rent a car

The question is not if we are going to rent a car, but where?

We aren't spending any time in Istanbul other than simply to crash the first night in the hotel and rest back up. From there we are headed east along the Black Sea and then eventually south to the Mediterranean coast.

Our first stay will be in Duzce.

I've heard all about Istanbul's crazy traffic. As someone who has never been to Istanbul, but also has never had trouble driving in LA, New York, or even Mexico City should I just go ahead and rent my car in Istanbul or wait till we get to Duzce?

If we wait till Duzce before renting, what are the pros and cons between taking a bus or a train to get there?

istanbul
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1. Re: Best place to rent a car

Two points:

-You probably will not be able to rent a car in Duzce for long distances and/or for separate return locations.

- Duzce is only slightly above two hours drive from Istanbul, all on motorway, thus spending first night there is not a good decision.

Possibly the best place to get a rental car by avoiding Istanbul traffic will be Sabiha Gokcen Airport which you can reach by the Havas bus from Taksim Square.

Whether you rent the car at Taksim or take the bus across the bridge to the Asian side, you will be exposed to motorway tolls. You should either rent a car with an OGS (like EZ-Pass) device or get a KGS card. The rental agencies will overcharge for this card which you can probably get just before the first bridge tolls in Istanbul and return to a bank to get your deposit afterwards.

Depending on your route, I recommend that you spend first night at the closest at Koru motel on Bolu mountain and preferably, all the way at Bartin or Amasra, or if you turn towards the coast earlier, at Akcakoca.

I have a trip report on our Western Black Sea Trip of about three years ago on Fodors which you can find from my Fodors profile if you search among my list of trip reports. It may give you some useful ideas. There is also an Eastern Black Sea trp blog that my wife made four years ago.

Istanbul
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2. Re: Best place to rent a car

Hi turkce....,

Welcome to Turkey. You can best stay overnight in Istanbul at Taksim area, "taksim.hotelle.com", and then either rent a car at Taksim at one of the numerous car rental agencies or simply take a HAVAS bus from Taksim terminal to Sabiha Gokcen Airport and rent a car there. Here is one agency that has been recommended at these forums before: "http://www.cizgirentacar.com/english/?gcs=12".

I suggest that you spend your first night by Lake Abant very close to Bolu and not too far from Duzce. I suggest either Abant Palace Hotel or Buyuk Abant Hotel, both by the shore of wonderful Abant Lake. "http://www.abanthotels.com/". There is an Abant exit from the motorway (TEM).

The roads are good and well sign posted. You need good maps and the best that is available is "Turkey Euro Map by Geo Center" and "Turkey Road Map by Arkadas", both available from Amazon. Here is very good current online map by Turkish Highways Directorate: "kgm.gov.tr/Sayfalar/…Maps.aspx". You can also use your Garmin, load it with Turkey road maps. It will be very useful, especially inside towns. You should get KGS (not OGS) card, which is less expensive and good for toll road driving. Your car rental agency should provide you with one.

You should drive defensively on Turkish roads, and should not do night time driving simply because there are tremendous number of International TIR trucks and buses on the roads at nights. Gas is expensive (about 2.39 USD/liter) and therefore try to get an economy car that is real stingy on gas. Use a well known company for rental that has 24 hours service all over Turkey.

After these tips you are ready now for driving on the Turkish roads.

Happy driving,

enigma...

Istanbul, Turkey
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3. Re: Best place to rent a car

I know your first stop will be in Duzce as I know you have friends here but this is not the best place to hire a car from.There are only local companies operating here and they would not allow you to drop off the car remotely.(I am assuming here that after the Black Sea coast you will most likely fly to the south coast-Mersin?)so you need to use a national/international company with offices in other cities.

Of course you may be intending to drive the whole way but I doubt it given the cost of fuel here!

Thus I am inclined to agree with OC,rent a car at Sabiha Goçken,this will put you well on the way out on the east road and will give you chance to get used to the car(and the driving!)rather than in the thick of the city centre traffic.

From S.G.A you can rent wih any of the major companies and have the option of a remote drop off-plus a nationwide service back up in the event of a breakdown.

Delavan, Illinois
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4. Re: Best place to rent a car

Cok cok tesekkurlar! You all have been so very helpful. The advice on renting a car in S.B.A. is extremely helpful. That's what's so great about actually talking to people who know the country, rather than just reading a travel guide.

Yes, sarikanarya, you are right about why we will be stopping in Duzce first, not just to overnight but for several days with family. Maybe, if I'm reading otherchelebi's comments correctly, we should consider actually going ahead and heading all the way to Duzce on arrival rather than spending our first night in Istanbul recovering from our travels?

enigma, I appreciate the suggestion on getting the KGS card. I'm assuming there is a difference between it and OGS beyond just price. Are there any pluses with regard to the OGS that should be considered?

istanbul
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5. Re: Best place to rent a car

OGS is like the E-Z pass, as i mentioned. You usually stick it to the windshield and drive throug.

KGS is a card and you need to have it read at the toll booths.

OGS gives you a 20% reduction in the tolls, but has a high deposit. May also has more administrative hassle to return . For rental cars, unless the car already carries an OGS, it makes sense to purchase a KGS card. rental agencies usually charge you 50TL for a week lump sum for a KGS and make a nice profit on that.

Kayakoy, Turkey
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6. Re: Best place to rent a car

My recommendation would also be to rent from Sabiha Gökcen, it is so easy to leave İstanbul from there, actually you have already left the main city traffic.

To continue to Düzce it is easy, you are already on the right way just follow directions to Ankara, and you will pass by lovely Sapanca lake.

İ have recommended this website:

economycarhire.com/quote/#3raavoq0r0vda42ohe…

to my customers and they did not find anywhere else cheaper, so it is worth the check.

Good luck!

Istanbul
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7. Re: Best place to rent a car

turkce_bilmiyorum, KGS card is really better for short term visitors and you can obtain it from the car rental agency. You slow down at the booth, have your card read by the sensor and then at the green light proceed. I doubt that any rental cars will carry an OGS pass. You may be looking for an economy but make sure that you rent a car from an agency that has service for all of Turkey in case of a break down.

Even if you stop at Duzce, still visit Abant Lake for a few hours with the family and you will enjoy the scenery and tranquility at the countryside and the lake.

good luck,

enigma...

8. Re: Best place to rent a car

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