Settling into a new and foreign country is always difficult in the beginning. There are many aspects of the country’s culture that you must get accustomed to such as their food, accommodation, and social practices. In Korea, a country so rich in history and cultural heritage, settling in and learning new concepts could be a fun and abundant experience.
For many new settlers in this wonderful country, however, the daily commute might not be a favorable option when it comes to transportation. Aside from renting a studio apartment in Korea, you might need a car too. That’s why in this article, Ziptoss is going to briefly introduce how to own a private vehicle in Korea. We’re also going to talk about other factors that come into play when owning a vehicle such as fuel and insurance policies.
Making a Purchase
Of course, before making a purchase, you must choose the type of vehicle that you prefer to own. In Korea, the cost of registration depends on the make and model of the vehicle. More often than not, foreign brands are more expensive than local ones so if you’re looking for a cheaper option, the latter choice is more ideal.
Korea is one of the biggest car manufacturers in the world. Since most of the cars manufactured in Korea are sold overseas, there is no denying that the country has a strong car industry. Korean car companies continuously seek advanced innovations and brilliant designs to match the performance and technology of their foreign competitors.
The process of choosing and buying a car in Korea is similar to most countries in the world. You can check any local dealership to compare pricing and availability. You may also choose to look online but always remember to ask about the vehicle’s service history. After buying a vehicle, take note that completing the registration process must all take place within 15 days after purchase.
One of the benefits of purchasing from a dealership is their ability to assist you when it comes to paperwork. Most dealerships offer assistance when it comes to transferring ownership and filing for registration or insurance. This is truly beneficial for new settlers especially since most of the paperwork would be written in Korean.
Additionally, before making your purchase, you should always check whether the vehicle has any outstanding tax balances that you must pay in the district office where the car is registered. Always remember that no matter where you purchase a vehicle, it’s important to ask all the necessary questions to make sure that you’re getting the best deal.
Preparations and Tax
Like anywhere else in the world, you must prepare some documents before you can finally purchase the vehicle you want. One of the most important documents you must prepare is your foreign registration card. If you don’t own one yet, you must have at least two sponsors such as your employers.
They would also require you to bring a copy of your passport and if you’re opting to buy a used car, you must have a certificate of residence in Korea which is issued by a district or local office. Having these documents ready should provide you with a smoother and less complicated processing experience.
It’s also important to note that the taxes you must pay depend on the vehicle itself. The registration tax has to be paid within 15 days after purchase and is 7% of the total price of the car. As for the acquisition tax, you would have to pay 2% of the total purchase price and government bonds will depend on the model and size of the vehicle.
Insurance and Fuel Pricing
Compared to western car insurances, getting your vehicle insured in Korea is generally much cheaper. Insurance prices can range anywhere from 400,000 won (335 USD) to 1,000,000 won (840 USD).
Gas prices in Korea, on the other hand, are a little bit higher compared to Diesel. But of course, cars that drive using LPG are still considered the cheapest option. Most gasoline stations in Korea operate much like in western countries with self-service and payment options in English.
Purchasing a car in Korea can be a great way to start your journey in the country. While another part of being a responsible car owner is making sure your vehicle is well-maintained, there is no need to worry about maintenance costs. Owning a local car can provide you the benefit of easily finding a garage but it’s always ideal to know your way when it comes to properly maintaining a vehicle.