Buying winter tires in Ankara

A reader asked a couple of great questions on one of my earlier blog posts, Tips for Driving in the Snow in Turkey.  She was wondering about the costs of winter tires and how a non-Turkish speaker could find out about it?  Below are my thoughts on the matter, but your experiences would be welcome comments!

WHERE TO FIND TIRES:

Tire shops are everywhere!  I’ve seen them near ODTÜ.  I’ve seen them in Aşağı Ayrancı not far from the US Embassy.  We went to an area that had many tire shops next door to each other on Turgut Özal Blv.  The easiest way to find them is to google “lastik ankara turkey.”

Tire Locations in Ankara

COSTS and HOW TO: 

To my knowledge, the costs of tires is not something that is easily found online.  Learning the costs is usually done the old-fashioned way, going door to door and asking.  Luckily, in Turkey, tire shops are like most other types of shops, they generally setup shop next to each other.  So one would literally just walk from door to door!

There are basically a few ways to shop for tires as an expat:

1- Be prepared and don’t be embarrassed!  Learn a few Turkish words.  Write them down and go into the shops.  Point to the words.  Point to the car.  Let them show you what they have.  Have them write down the prices for you.

Things to Consider:

  • You don’t generally see women at these places.
  • If you are concerned about not getting a fair price, you should send a Turk (See below).
  • If they don’t understand you, be persistent.  It is common that they may be as nervous to deal with you as you are with them!  For instance, If they don’t seem to want to deal with you because of the language, print out the below chart and point to the words you want to convey.  If you want them to write the prices, hand them a paper and pen.  Be polite.  Don’t mistake their mannerisms for “rudeness.”
  • You will see brands you know like Firestone and Goodyear, but don’t be afraid to try the Turkish brands.  Some are made by the same companies as the names you know.
Tire lastik
Price fiyat
How much / How many? Ne kadar?
Winter kış
I want 4 Dört tane istiyorum
Now şimdi
Today bugün
I will wait here Burada bekleyorum
Credit Card kredi kartı
Cash nakit
I don’t speak Turkish Türkçe bilmiyorum
Please write Yazın lütfen
Are there other options? Başka var mı?
There are Var
There are not Yok
I want Istiyorum
I don’t want Istemiyorum
Yes Evet
No hayır (depending on the format of the question, you may also hear “yok” or “maalesef,” the latter meaning “unfortunately” which is a polite way to say no.

2- Ask a Turkish friend for help.  Every Turk who owns a car has winter tires put on their car every year.  They likely have their “guy” who sells tires.  Many shops also offer storage of your summer tires.  That service is not something I’m familiar with and I would definitely suggest taking a Turk with you for that.

3- If you don’t have Turkish friends, well shame on you!!  Get out there now and make some!!!  But in the mean time, there are 2 other options.  First, if you work for a company that has a driver, ask for his advice.  If you don’t have a driver, ask your kapıcı for help – he is the guy who takes care of your building.  Turks are a gracious people, he is likely going to offer to do it for you, or offer a friend who will help you.  Offer some money for the help.  Use the words you learned above.  (By the way, “help” in this instance is “yardım.”  It is not “imdat.”  Imdat is for emergency situations.  You would say, “Yardım istiyorum,” I want help.

 

Finally, as far as I know, it is required that you carry winter chains in your car.  You will probably never need them in Ankara, but good to have.

Stay warm out there!

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