35pluschips

Member
Top Poster Of Month
Hear we go :) Driving to Turkey
So day 3

We had a slight delay entering Croatia but nothing like the 3 hour delay entering Serbia. It was insane in the 31c heat and tempers were frayed all round. Some seriously aggressive driving was interspersed with 1000 horn blasts as frustrated people tried to get through the border

It was a s#it show

And for what?

That bit i cant explain. We sailed trough with just our pasports

SO when we left the UK we provided, double vaccination certificates and a written pledge of no covid symptoms

That's it.

We have travelled through France Germany Austria, Slovakia, Croatia and Serbia and all we have been asked for so far is our passports

We it border crossings at Austria Croatia and Serbia

We are currently 60 miles from Bulgaria and then we travel on to Istanbul tomorow

900 miles left to the villa but only about 400 to Turkey

Had it not been for the delays getting in to Serbia, id say it has been very easy going
"We have travelled through France Germany Austria, Slovakia, Croatia and Serbia and all we have been asked for so far is our passports"

So people could be touring around Europe for a few weeks without any country testing or looking at peoples Covid details........sounds well organized.

Keep us up to speed Chasey & be safe,
 

Chasey

Member
Hear we go :) Driving to Turkey
Breakfast by the pool in Nis whilst I type this

So a bit of research found its the Greek holiday seasion and this is the likely cause of delays on the E75 border entry point to Serbia?

Apparently delays of up to 4 hours can be expected at peek times :(

We may try Romania next time

Also worth noteing

When you check in at your hotel, staff will register you automatically. This is quite common when you travel to any country (for example, it happens in France), so don't worry about it. However, if you are staying with friends in a private home, you must register your presence with the police in the district you are staying in within 12 hours of arrival

So seeing as we were overnighting, if wed have staid in the tent wed need to register with the Police.

Today is the interesting one.

Bulgaria and then Turkey? Will we need a covid test at the border?

According to the info i have we can transit Bulgaria no problem but entry into Turkey could be interesting.

So apparently, no pre testing is required to enter Turkey

Still current at:25 July 2021Updated:1 July 2021Latest update:
Updated information on Turkey's COVID-19 restrictions; From today most COVID-19 restrictions across Turkey have been lifted ('Coronavirus’ and ’Entry requirements’ pages)


So we are going for it

Should be in Istanbul Tonight, all being well

ATB

Mark
 
Hear we go :) Driving to Turkey
Eurotunnel booked 8:30am tomorrow Thursday

Kids moving out of their rented flat and into our apartment to look after it and we are off by land to our Villa

So initial issues

Booked Insurance via LV car insurance who will give a six-month green card for Turkey

We paid £135.00 extra for this full comp cover

Slight issue once we realized we had general EU cover but it didn't include Serbia? Considered going through Romania instead but we were advised against it by experienced friends

An urgent call to LV and Serbia is now added to the green card at no extra cost. You can drive through on a basic green card with Third Party Only cover but we decided on full comp.

Fortunately, we hadn't paid the £150.00 each for the Covid test to enter France, because this requirement was scrapped on Monday and now all you need is a written declaration that your symptom-free.

Euro Tunnel price jumped from 150 up to 180 post the 19th but that was to be expected I suppose and on the upside we just saved 300 on covid tests.

SO Plan is

France
Belgium
Germany
Austria
Hungary
Serbia
Bulgaria
Possibly a touch of Greece
Turkey

Ill report back on how it went :D
It’s good that France scrapped the covid test but how about other eu countries.do you not have to show proof of negative test along the route.from what I hear turkey requires a test from uk visitors
Please do keep us posted as I am planning to do the same
 
Hear we go :) Driving to Turkey
Eurotunnel booked 8:30am tomorrow Thursday

Kids moving out of their rented flat and into our apartment to look after it and we are off by land to our Villa

So initial issues

Booked Insurance via LV car insurance who will give a six-month green card for Turkey

We paid £135.00 extra for this full comp cover

Slight issue once we realized we had general EU cover but it didn't include Serbia? Considered going through Romania instead but we were advised against it by experienced friends

An urgent call to LV and Serbia is now added to the green card at no extra cost. You can drive through on a basic green card with Third Party Only cover but we decided on full comp.

Fortunately, we hadn't paid the £150.00 each for the Covid test to enter France, because this requirement was scrapped on Monday and now all you need is a written declaration that your symptom-free.

Euro Tunnel price jumped from 150 up to 180 post the 19th but that was to be expected I suppose and on the upside we just saved 300 on covid tests.

SO Plan is

France
Belgium
Germany
Austria
Hungary
Serbia
Bulgaria
Possibly a touch of Greece
Turkey

Ill report back on how it went :D
How is this written declaration for free symptoms is done?is it something you have to fill in on line or are you present with the paper and you just have to sign ?or perhaps you write it yourself and hand it over at border?
 

Chasey

Member
Hear we go :) Driving to Turkey
It’s good that France scrapped the covid test but how about other eu countries.do you not have to show proof of negative test along the route.from what I hear turkey requires a test from uk visitors
Please do keep us posted as I am planning to do the same


We had to show proof of vaccination at the Chanel Tunnel and the Turkish border. Thats it

No covid test required by any country (Including Turkey) on our rout

France
Belgium
Germany
Austria
Slovenia
Croatia
Bulgaria
Turkey
 
Last edited:

Chasey

Member
Hear we go :) Driving to Turkey
How is this written declaration for free symptoms is done?is it something you have to fill in on line or are you present with the paper and you just have to sign ?or perhaps you write it yourself and hand it over at border?


No you can down load a link to the declaration on the UK Gov Covid entry requirements France web site

1 page simple form takes less than 2 mins to fill out
 

Chasey

Member
Hear we go :) Driving to Turkey
We have arrived in Istanbul

total 3042km travelled

1890 miles

62 gallons of petrol

282ltrs avg cost 1.25 per ltr so £353 in Diesel at avg 30.5mpg

About £100.00 in toll charges and vignette charges (Bulgaria & Austria required a Vignette)

So first off, we had another hour and 15mins getting out of Croatia into Bulgaria at the border bringing the total time spent crossing borders to well above that it took to drive across the country :(

NOTE: If buying your Vignette at the Bulgarian Border, ignore the main office and walk another 20 m and you will find shops with no ques

Having got in to Bulgaria we were laughing at the new Speed limit of 140KMH?? up from 130 in previous countries. Sadly we couldn't make much use of it straight away as they were building a new motorway so we were diverted to cobbled and pot holed side streets at 20mph. After about 20 mns of this crawl, cruse was set at 90MPH and off we went

Despite cruising at 90 we were regularly overtaken and once a Porsche and a Audi RS6 went past at at least 150mph, the bow wave from the wind as they past actualy rocked my car

We cruised on up to Sophia and stopped for a quick look around the city centre. A stunning place we shall visit properly on the next trip but we were on a mission to be at our friends house in Istanbul by 8pm, so we set off again

We were warned to expect two + hours to cross the border into Turkey

It took about 45mins

NOTE: theres a duty free between the two check points on the Turkish border and theres a shop and area to buy car insurance

If you buy spirits you are only allowed 1ltr. Its no good telling them two people are traveling and asking for 2 ltrs, They will need BOTH passports or you only get one bottle.

At the Turkish side of the border, We were asked to prove we had had our double vaccinations. We used print outs of our vaccination record downloaded care of the NHS app, and they accepted these without question

Then we needed passports, proof of car insurance and the V5 document proving ownership

We had been told to take a copy of the purchase receipt for the car, but they never asked for it

For the first time we were NOT asked our final destination. I am guessing our Turkish residency visas and villa were all on file.

And we were waved through which came as a shock as the back of my car had the seats down and was rammed full to the ceiling with stuff including a Baur Junior dive compressor and four scuba tanks??? + Multiple power tools and several inflatable water craft


I have a load of pics to upload which ill do later

In short:

It was easy. Much much easier than I had expected in fact and considerably cheaper as out two overnight hotel stops came to less than 200.00 including food and drinks

With regard to Covid issues? Its a non event so long as you can prove the jabs

The driving was super fast and super easy. OK nutters overtaking you at 150mph would scare the feint hearted and some very aggressive driving should be expected from the locals, frankly if that phases you, you shouldn't event contemplate this trip and perhaps should give driving in Turkey a miss as well :D

Logistically we didn't realy need the tent but it was comforting for Ling to know we had a worst case option. Id have slept in the car

Next time

Id plan it to cross the borders in the early hours of the morning. The delays at the borders was the ONLY bad thing about the trip.

Doing this trip in 4 days ending 25th July, we had no rain and worst temperature was 31c, average 25c All perfectly doable with the Air con in the car.

I could easily have done the trip in Three days on my own

Plan now is to leave the Skoda Kodiak in Turkey for two years

So we will fly home in December returning in January and leaving the car at the villa

After 2 years, we will have a new challenge. Either we get another two years with our new residency permits? OR we have to drive the car home and keep it in the UK for 6 months. Both work for us

I will now deffo drive my sports car out next year, but Ill do this on my own. Cant wait to let her lose on the smooth roads :)

Hope this helps some people considering the trip. Any questions please ask.
 
Last edited:

yalimart

The Carnwath Massive
Hear we go :) Driving to Turkey
Which version of the Kodiak have you got Chasey, I've abandoned my attempt at buying electric
 
Hear we go :) Driving to Turkey
We have arrived in Istanbul

total 3042km travelled

1890 miles

62 gallons of petrol

282ltrs avg cost 1.25 per ltr so £353 in Diesel at avg 30.5mpg

About £100.00 in toll charges and vignette charges (Bulgaria & Austria required a Vignette)

So first off, we had another hour and 15mins getting out of Croatia into Bulgaria at the border bringing the total time spent crossing borders to well above that it took to drive across the country :(

NOTE: If buying your Vignette at the Bulgarian Border, ignore the main office and walk another 20 m and you will find shops with no ques

Having got in to Bulgaria we were laughing at the new Speed limit of 140KMH?? up from 130 in previous countries. Sadly we couldn't make much use of it straight away as they were building a new motorway so we were diverted to cobbled and pot holed side streets at 20mph. After about 20 mns of this crawl, cruse was set at 90MPH and off we went

Despite cruising at 90 we were regularly overtaken and once a Porsche and a Audi RS6 went past at at least 150mph, the bow wave from the wind as they past actualy rocked my car

We cruised on up to Sophia and stopped for a quick look around the city centre. A stunning place we shall visit properly on the next trip but we were on a mission to be at our friends house in Istanbul by 8pm, so we set off again

We were warned to expect two + hours to cross the border into Turkey

It took about 45mins

NOTE: theres a duty free between the two check points on the Turkish border and theres a shop and area to buy car insurance

If you buy spirits you are only allowed 1ltr. Its no good telling them two people are traveling and asking for 2 ltrs, They will need BOTH passports or you only get one bottle.

At the Turkish side of the border, We were asked to prove we had had our double vaccinations. We used print outs of our vaccination record downloaded care of the NHS app, and they accepted these without question

Then we needed passports, proof of car insurance and the V5 document proving ownership

We had been told to take a copy of the purchase receipt for the car, but they never asked for it

For the first time we were NOT asked our final destination. I am guessing our Turkish residency visas and villa were all on file.

And we were waved through which came as a shock as the back of my car had the seats down and was rammed full to the ceiling with stuff including a Baur Junior dive compressor and four scuba tanks??? + Multiple power tools and several inflatable water craft


I have a load of pics to upload which ill do later

In short:

It was easy. Much much easier than I had expected in fact and considerably cheaper as out two overnight hotel stops came to less than 200.00 including food and drinks

With regard to Covid issues? Its a non event so long as you can prove the jabs

The driving was super fast and super easy. OK nutters overtaking you at 150mph would scare the feint hearted and some very aggressive driving should be expected from the locals, frankly if that phases you, you shouldn't event contemplate this trip and perhaps should give driving in Turkey a miss as well :D

Logistically we didn't realy need the tent but it was comforting for Ling to know we had a worst case option. Id have slept in the car

Next time

Id plan it to cross the borders in the early hours of the morning. The delays at the borders was the ONLY bad thing about the trip.

Doing this trip in 4 days ending 25th July, we had no rain and worst temperature was 31c, average 25c All perfectly doable with the Air con in the car.

I could easily have done the trip in Three days on my own

Plan now is to leave the Skoda Kodiak in Turkey for two years

So we will fly home in December returning in January and leaving the car at the villa

After 2 years, we will have a new challenge. Either we get another two years with our new residency permits? OR we have to drive the car home and keep it in the UK for 6 months. Both work for us

I will now deffo drive my sports car out next year, but Ill do this on my own. Cant wait to let her lose on the smooth roads :)

Hope this helps some people considering the trip. Any questions please ask.
many thanks for your meticulous report of the trip. it has put my mind at rest now and will definitely do the trip later next month, one thing baffles me though you mentioned at the beginning of your last update that border crossing from coratia to bulgaria took 1h15m. is there a border crossing between the two countries? i don't think there is.
best wishes and enjoy your stay
 

Chasey

Member
Hear we go :) Driving to Turkey
Which version of the Kodiak have you got Chasey, I've abandoned my attempt at buying electric

We got a 2020 2.0tr Diesel Sportline

Chosen because of its size and 7 seats for when the kids come out and the fact it has Alcantara seats which work a lot better in the heat of Turkey

Baught in March 21 as an ex demo for 31K There were deals on the 2021version which has 200BHP over the 180 i think of my one but they were 37K and its just a re map of the same engine which I can get done for about £400

1 Proven on this trip to be a fantastic Motorway cruiser and capable of carrying a very heavy load with confidence

30.5MPG is IMHO pretty good considering the weight we were carrying and the fact I didnt often drop below 80mph and spent a lot of time at 85/90 Not as good as the 40MPG+ of my 2.2lr Rav4 but that's a smaller car. Much better than the 25mpg of my Shogun but that was a 3ltr

Kids tell me the rear seats are comfortable and they recline a bit so again good for long trips

Down side is the turbo lag in "Drive" mode is very irritating

In sport mode its a perfectly drivable car but revs to high at gear change

I tend to drive in Sport mode and then manualy change up using the flappy paddles on the steering

I may get the engine re mapped to see if I can improve its low speed throttle response issues

I am pretty sure this is why the new version ths the boost to 200bhp

Equipment wise its got pretty much everything
 

Chasey

Member
Hear we go :) Driving to Turkey
Sorry brain fart I think I meant Croatia to Serbia and Serbia to Bulgaria for borders
 
Last edited:
Hear we go :) Driving to Turkey
So day 3

We had a slight delay entering Croatia but nothing like the 3 hour delay entering Serbia. It was insane in the 31c heat and tempers were frayed all round. Some seriously aggressive driving was interspersed with 1000 horn blasts as frustrated people tried to get through the border

It was a s#it show

And for what?

That bit i cant explain. We sailed trough with just our pasports

SO when we left the UK we provided, double vaccination certificates and a written pledge of no covid symptoms

That's it.

We have travelled through France Germany Austria, Slovakia, Croatia and Serbia and all we have been asked for so far is our passports

We it border crossings at Austria Croatia and Serbia

We are currently 60 miles from Bulgaria and then we travel on to Istanbul tomorow

900 miles left to the villa but only about 400 to Turkey

Had it not been for the delays getting in to Serbia, id say it has been very easy going
one more q for you chasey if you please. I understand you didn't require a test to enter Turkey because you are resident in Turkey. But, how about us non residents? From what i read on the uk gov site we require a negative pcr test can this be taken at the border and if so how long will it take before we get an answer and allowed to enter?
 

Chasey

Member
Hear we go :) Driving to Turkey
We are on a 2 year visa we are not residents as such.

Strangely we were never asked to produce our cards but I assume the data is on file?

I remind you of my previous research on this

Still current at:25 July 2021Updated:1 July 2021Latest update:
Updated information on Turkey's COVID-19 restrictions; From today most COVID-19 restrictions across Turkey have been lifted ('Coronavirus’ and ’Entry requirements’ pages)



Note the info on UK citizens entering on a holiday basses still suggest a negative test requirement but you can do this up to 72 hours before you hit the border HOWEVER. we were not screened, i saw no evidence of others being screened and i didn't see a test facility at the border



Which version of the Kodiak have you got Chasey, I've abandoned my attempt at buying electric
Note the final avg fuel consumption figure on reaching the villa last night was 35.4 MPG??

Somehow it was improving as we went along :D
 
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Chasey

Member
Hear we go :) Driving to Turkey
A quick run down of traveling the last 460 miles from Istanbul to our villa

The roads were by far the worst we drove on for the whole trip

The driving was as to be expected, also some of the worst we experienced for the whole trip

Despite being told horror stories about driving in Istanbul, it wasnt much better or worse then London and i have had tougher transits of Antalya

We picked up two toll tickets on the way out one for the bridge and one for a moterway. Annoyingly we couldn't just pay them, and it had to be done On line.

The scan code on the tickets worked fine with English and Turkish info but the App it directed you to was all Turkish and not easy to understand. Genius move.

I THINK we can also pay at a QNB finance bank branch? I will try this soon.

You have 15 days to pay.
 

enoch

Member
Hear we go :) Driving to Turkey
A quick run down of traveling the last 460 miles from Istanbul to our villa

The roads were by far the worst we drove on for the whole trip

The driving was as to be expected, also some of the worst we experienced for the whole trip

Despite being told horror stories about driving in Istanbul, it wasnt much better or worse then London and i have had tougher transits of Antalya

We picked up two toll tickets on the way out one for the bridge and one for a moterway. Annoyingly we couldn't just pay them, and it had to be done On line.

The scan code on the tickets worked fine with English and Turkish info but the App it directed you to was all Turkish and not easy to understand. Genius move.

I THINK we can also pay at a QNB finance bank branch? I will try this soon.

You have 15 days to pay.
If it is like all fines you will get about a 30%discount if you pay quickly.
 
Hear we go :) Driving to Turkey
Pleased to hear that you made it to your villa. So jealous, as we have yet another showery day on the Kent coast. I guess that I shouldn't complain, as other parts of the country are due to get really bad storms again.

For anyone else planning to drive to Turkey, make sure that you avoid the end of Bayrum & the like. I think that even when we move to Turkey, that I will avoid travelling anywhere given these statistics 46 dead, 341 wounded amid Qurban Bayram exodus in Turkey
 
Hear we go :) Driving to Turkey
Just seen the news & videos about the big fires near you. Hopefully they wont get too close to your villa. Stay safe
 

Chasey

Member
Hear we go :) Driving to Turkey
A quick run down of traveling the last 460 miles from Istanbul to our villa

The roads were by far the worst we drove on for the whole trip

The driving was as to be expected, also some of the worst we experienced for the whole trip

Despite being told horror stories about driving in Istanbul, it wasnt much better or worse then London and i have had tougher transits of Antalya

We picked up two toll tickets on the way out one for the bridge and one for a moterway. Annoyingly we couldn't just pay them, and it had to be done On line.

The scan code on the tickets worked fine with English and Turkish info but the App it directed you to was all Turkish and not easy to understand. Genius move.

I THINK we can also pay at a QNB finance bank branch? I will try this soon.

You have 15 days to pay.


An update on this

We asked a Turkish friend to open the app for us, pay the charges and register our credit card so future toles would be paid. The app doesent work and will not accept credit cards

So we followed the instructions and went to QNB bank to pay the charges

The system at QNB could not recognise UK number plates so they could not pay the charge for us and directed us to Ziraat Bankası

Finally, we were able to pay the charges.

God knows how we can pay the charge on our return trip? There's no UK bank to pay it into and if the app wont accept credit cards, then that is useless.

No problem if your never returning to Turkey but of course we will only be taking the car out for the obligatory 6 months then we would return

We can keep the car here for the duration of our residency visa which is 2 years. This expires in July next year and we do not know if we can extend the cars stay in Turkey when we get our new RPs SO we will either have to drive it back next July or possibly it can stay.

The other problem is trying to fly home for Christmas and leaving the car in Turkey? You used to have to lodge the car with the customs office where it is kept in a compound, but i believe you can now keep the car at home. However it appears we have to arrange this storage before we travel. My wife needs to fly out regularly to work and it will be a problem if we need to do this every time she travels and of course i will still be here using the car? Information is both confusing and hard to find.

Ill update on progress as we get real world experience.
 

enoch

Member
Hear we go :) Driving to Turkey
An update on this

We asked a Turkish friend to open the app for us, pay the charges and register our credit card so future toles would be paid. The app doesent work and will not accept credit cards

So we followed the instructions and went to QNB bank to pay the charges

The system at QNB could not recognise UK number plates so they could not pay the charge for us and directed us to Ziraat Bankası

Finally, we were able to pay the charges.

God knows how we can pay the charge on our return trip? There's no UK bank to pay it into and if the app wont accept credit cards, then that is useless.

No problem if your never returning to Turkey but of course we will only be taking the car out for the obligatory 6 months then we would return

We can keep the car here for the duration of our residency visa which is 2 years. This expires in July next year and we do not know if we can extend the cars stay in Turkey when we get our new RPs SO we will either have to drive it back next July or possibly it can stay.

The other problem is trying to fly home for Christmas and leaving the car in Turkey? You used to have to lodge the car with the customs office where it is kept in a compound, but i believe you can now keep the car at home. However it appears we have to arrange this storage before we travel. My wife needs to fly out regularly to work and it will be a problem if we need to do this every time she travels and of course i will still be here using the car? Information is both confusing and hard to find.

Ill update on progress as we get real world experience.
As far as I know you must drive out after 2 years.
 

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