Buying A Car As An Expat
We arrived in Antalya in mid-March 2020, one week before all international flights were halted. A week after we’d arrived the Turkish government ordered the closure of all restaurants, cafes, barbers, hair salons, spas, and many other service-oriented businesses. Despite all the closures, the Antalya Public Transportation service remained unchanged, and we utilized it during the early days of our stay.
We found Antalya’s Public Transportation to be very dependable, clean, efficient, and timely. If we didn’t want to leave the city of Antalya, we certainly could have gone without a car. However, we planned on exploring the entire province of Antalya and as much of Turkey as humanly possible. To fulfill this desire, we needed to purchase a car.
Purchasing a Car in Turkey
We originally planned to purchase a used car because we thought we could find a reasonably priced car with low mileage. We were advised to use Sahibinden, an app for all kinds of classifieds. Once we began our search for such a car, it became very evident that used cars were outrageously priced. We discovered the newer model used cars where listed at almost the same price as a new car.
When we asked our landlord about this, he said the prices have gone up simply because the inventory of new makes and models of cars is nonexistent due to the volatility of the Turkish Lira (dollar). The mass closures of manufacturing plants due to the Coronavirus exasperated the already volatile market and put high demand on used cars. With this new information, we decided to increase our budget and purchase a new car when inventory became available.
Most Common Vehicles & The Vehicle We Purchased
We continued our search and asked our landlord to help us learn about the quality of various car models. The models we explored were the Peugeot, Ford, Renault, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Hyundai. Our landlord spoke highly of the Peugeot because he had planned on buying one in the near future.
After many conversations with our landlord about the best car to purchase, he introduced us to the salesman he was working with at the Peugeot dealership. We were able to look at many different models of the Peugeots in the showroom. The salesman, Ekrem, informed us that the Peugeot 3008 package we were interested in was available but it would take two to three weeks for the car to be transported from France.
We agreed to the wait and put down a deposit on the vehicle. We walked out with a confirmation of our purchase, the approximate date of delivery, and a “Power of Attorney” form that must be signed in the presence of a Notary Public. A month later we became happy car owners of a Peugeot 3008.
Omar test driving Peugeot
Below are some questions we asked about buying and driving a car in Turkey:
Can foreigners drive cars in Turkey? If so, what is required?
Yes, foreigners can drive in Turkey with an International Driver’s License that’s valid for six consecutive months. At the end of this period, there are two options to continue driving. A Turkish driver’s license can be obtained or a new six-month period may be granted by driving across country borders then returning.
What types of fees or taxes are required?
The price I was quoted by the salesman included all fees and taxes. Just like in the United States, the fees are for the title and registration. New cars are subject to an 18% sales tax.
What documents are required to buy a car in Turkey?
As mentioned above, A “Power of Attorney” that is signed in the presence of a Notary Public is required. The form is primarily used by the dealership to obtain a license plate in the name of the purchaser and on behalf of the (DMV) Department of Motor Vehicles.
It’s worth noting that the license plate belongs to the person and not to the car. Meaning, that in the event of changing vehicles, simply take the license plate from the current vehicle to the new vehicle with the notification and approval of the DMV.
If you are not a Turkish citizen, you will need to submit a Notarized copy of your passport to the DMV too.
Is Motor Vehicle Insurance required in Turkey?
Yes, it is required. Proof of insurance must be submitted to the Department of Motor Vehicles along with the notarized Power of Attorney. If you are not a Turkish citizen, a copy of your passport will also need to be submitted. You can purchase auto insurance through the dealership or through an agent. The insurance coverage is similar to the coverage you would have in the United States.
Are rules of driving in Turkey different from those in the United States?
For the most part, the driving rules are the same. There are strict rules about texting while driving and if caught expect a stiff fine. Also, beware of “traffic cameras” at every traffic light. Violators are subject to a citation and a very costly fine.
Omar bought the car!
We have done a good job of exploring the city of Antalya by foot, bikes, and bus but our main reason for buying a car is to explore the entire province of Antalya and beyond. We’ve already mapped out several trips that are both day-trips and extended overnight trips. We’re certainly excited and looking forward to exploring Turkey and sharing our experiences with you.
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Inshallah (God willing!)