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Buying a car in Korea

Lenuel Morales

Information on buying a new or used car and the taxes that must be paid in South Korea

Foreign residents can buy a new or used car in South Korea without any special restrictions. For all buyers, regardless of their nationality, registration of the car must be completed within 15 days of purchase. The costs of registration vary depending on the model of the car.

For anyone wishing to buy a new car in South Korea, it is highly recommended to visit a range of car dealerships to compare prices and ranges available. Prices vary between different dealers. For a used car, checking dealerships, car magazines, or websites can help to find a reliable car with a full-service history. Most dealerships can assist with the paperwork for registration or transferring of ownership. Car dealerships can take care of the registration of new vehicles and insurance. In some cases, the buyer can drive the car away on the day it is bought.

Searching for new vehicles:

Going to the car manufacturer’s site and requesting a consultation.

You can also go to a car dealership. (showrooms)

Prices may differ based on direct from dealer or 2nd party showroom.

Prices are as shown, add-ons may be included. (dashcam, window tint, 3rd party navigation, etc.)

Direct transactions (Used Car):

Naver Cafes are another way to find used cars. Nearly all will be direct transactions.

Vehicles listed on a cafe usually have a more comprehensive maintenance history, as well as any modifications are done, small or large.

Documents required when buying a new or used car:

• Foreigner Registration Card; without this, the buyer must have 2 Korean sponsors.

• Copy of passport

• (For used cars only), Certificate of Residence in Korea.

Car Taxes:

• Registration Tax (7%) is to be paid within 15 days of purchase

• Acquisition Tax  (2% of the price paid for the vehicle)

• Government Bonds (cost varies depending on the size and model)


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