Ankara - 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?

You see all sorts of cars here. It is more practical to have a smaller car so you can fit down the tiny local streets and tiny parking spaces. We have a mini van that needed to have the axel and brake pads replaced. We had to order everything through the pouch, but we found a local mechanic who fixed everything for next to nothing. Ankara is VERY hilly, so you need a car that can handle that. Snow tires or all-weather tires are mandatory for the winter season. We have never had any problems with burglary, but we also don't leave expensive things in our car. - Jan 2023

Ankara is very hilly! So something good for hills. We also get snow and ice. Many people have some version of an SUV and having two cars is not uncommon. We have a smaller car for my husband to commute in and a larger family car for me and for road trips. You can drive all over Turkey and there is a lot to see. Something that handles big mountains, winding roads, and occasional off-roading/dirt roads is handy. You'll likely spend a lot of time road tripping, so a car that comfortably fits your family and luggage. Parts aren't too hard to come by and there are many dealers and mechanics here. - Nov 2021

We have a regular mid-sized sedan which has served us well here. Others have SUVs. The streets in Ankara are generally wide enough that any normal sized car would be just fine. Would recommend good tires and new brakes as the roads can be very steep and slick. Most parking is in underground garages and I’ve heard of no issues with break ins as Ankara is a very low crime city. Car repairs and maintenance can be pricey and in line with US prices. - Sep 2020

Anything with all-weather tires would be fine on Ankara's modern roads. We enjoyed having our Honda CRV for greater clearance/visibility and to better handle Ankara's roads in weather. Turkey's roads are world class, but their asphalt appears to have a higher content of marble in them than U.S. or European counterparts, so they are generally slicker even in dry conditions. When accelerating from a stopped position even up a slight grade, for example, my front-wheel drive tires would often spin a bit before gaining traction.

Rain and snow reduced standard traction quickly and significantly. Salt is not widely used on roads in winter, and instead the city put down sand or a sand blend to defeat ice on roads. Ankara is also shaped like a tea-cup, with the Embassy at the bottom of the cup, meaning steep roads. Many folks, and most locals, went to winter tires early in the season to help with traction. - Oct 2018

4WD, because the streets are very steep, and it snows a lot. - Oct 2018

Any vehicle is usable. We have a sedan and use it no problems. If you care about which tires you use, I would suggest bringing your winter tires. You can get decent ones here too though. Crime is very low, no reports of car break-ins or car-jackings here. - Sep 2018

I highly recommend bringing a 4x4 vehicle due to the hills everywhere. The city is prone to flash floods and you want to have enough clearance to be able to drive home without getting stuck on the street. - Jul 2018

If you're just in the city, anything is fine. If you go further out or worry about security, get a bigger car, but you don't need anything huge. - Oct 2017

Before coming to post I was told that the streets were very narrow European streets. I sold my Camaro and bought a small Ford. I was given bad information and regret it. The roads are more narrow than the U.S. but the post motor pool drivers use Suburbans without any difficulty. It does snow in the winter and get icy, so there are a few days out of the year it is helpful to have 4 wheel driver, but the city clears the streets very quickly and the roads are very good throughout the country. - Sep 2017

You can bring anything. I sold my Camaro prior to coming to post on the advice of someone previously here and I am regretting it. The roads are very good. They can be narrow in the city but I've seen suburbans driving around without difficulty. Ankara does get a lot of snow and ice in the winter. Make sure that you have winter tires. - Jun 2017

Most expats tend to drive big cars. But if you are serious about trying to find parking, a little mini would work wonders. - Sep 2016

Aggressive driving, expect some dents.... - Jun 2016

Any automobile is suitable. Cars are new, well-cared for or old and junky. Driving is a circus (skiiers' rules, if your nose is ahead, you have right of way) but your insurance may go down because there is no litigation, cars are just fixed. Driving at night in the country is discouraged, primarily for single car accident reasons. We had a Subaru and VW serviced regularly and see everything from Renault to Mercedes and Range Rover. - Aug 2015

An SUV is good for highway driving. Smaller cars are good to have while living in Ankara because of parking and traffic concerns. Maintenance is reasonable. If parts are unavailable here, you usually can order from Istanbul. - Apr 2015

Four wheel drive is helpful with hills. You will need snow tires. Parking is very hard to come by, which is why many double park on the road, using the far right lane(s) for 'just running in'. Parts are available and the bit of work we have needed to do was very reasonably priced. That is not always the case though. - Feb 2015

Small cars are ideal for parking and maneuvering through the chaotic traffic. Big cars with higher road clearance feel safer generally, especially if you're out on the highway or taking a road trip. - Jun 2014

All wheel drive is highly recommended. Something with high rating for crashes is also good. Turkey is the "European" country with most traffic-related fatalities. - Apr 2014

Do not bring anything you don't mind getting dinged because it will happen. Any cars work here, small, large, whatever you would drive in DC area you would drive here. - Mar 2014

AWD is a must. Ankara is very hilly. - Mar 2014

Anytype of car is fine, but smaller cars are easier to park in basement garages. Larger cars often handle the hilly terrain better however. Car care has been great at post, with labor costs being much lower than in the U.S. Just order your parts through the BX or from the U.S. - Jul 2013

Whatever you like -- sedans or SUVs both work fine. V6 is maybe a little better for the steep hills. - Aug 2011

Any car is adequate, but we enjoyed having an SUV to drive all around Turkey. The roads are paved well. - Jul 2010

Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More