How to Buy a Used Car in South Korea

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Wondering how to Buy a Used Car in South Korea? Three easy steps and some very important things you need to know in order to buy your first used car.

About the Robert’s Used Cards Content Partnership

Hi everyone, this is Robert from Roberts used cars. I was asked by the volunteers at South of Seoul to share some articles about cars here in South Korea. I have been living here and selling cars for longer than anyone needs to know. I am looking forward to sharing my insight. This will be the first in a series of articles about vehicles here in South Korea.

Shameless Self-Promotion

The first thing I wanted to discuss is something that’s, of course, easier for me which would be purchasing used vehicles in South Korea. First and foremost, I’d like to say of course if you come to me you’re going to get the easiest and most pleasant experience of buying a used car. I’m a used car salesman so starting with a plug for my skills is on-brand.

What to Know When Buying a Used Car in South Korea

But if you’re new here and you haven’t got a clue about where to go to buy a used car this is how I recommend you get started

It is always good to do a Google search about used cars in South Korea. Google Search will show you the English-speaking used car sales options. You will find my services as well as Facebook groups and other companies. Knowing your options should always be your first step.

Step 2: Look at Car Prices

Now that you have found a few places to shop, make sure to look at different vehicles and the prices. Once you’ve done that you should also try to get a good idea of what it is that you’re looking for that way you can gauge the average price online. I have a website with Korean used car prices in English which makes prices shopping easy. Always shop around though, I want you to feel confident about your dealer choice if we work together.

Step 3: Reach Out to Dealers

Once you review dealers and understand the pricing for the vehicle you want, the next thing is to contact a dealer or someone who is selling one online. You may even reach out to a few dealers if that makes you feel more comfortable.

Points of Clarification Related to Price and Payment

When purchasing a vehicle through any dealership, these three to clarify in addition to the price of the vehicle:

  • Payment Options: Number one is they will accept Korean and Foreign credit cards or cash or Korean or Foreign bank transfer. Each dealer may have different payment options. (Not all dealers accept foreign bank transfers, foreign currency, or foreign credit cards. Clarify this carefully.)
  • Additional fees and charges other than the vehicle itself: For starters, you may have administrative fees which vary from Province-to-Province to city-to-city.
  • Taxes: You also may be required to pay taxes on any vehicle other than a subcompact vehicle which is a price less than 12 million.

Not all dealers clarify payments options, additional fees, or taxes upfront. Instead, dealers may just tell you the price of the car and then figure out the taxes and fees later. However, if you need to know these additional costs in order to make your decision, let us know. In Korea, the buyers know about such fees so mentioning them at the beginning doesn’t always feel important. However, for first-time buyers, the additional fees may feel like a surprise.

Coordinating Insurance

You will need to purchase insurance on the vehicle before you’re able to take it out of the dealership This includes test drivers. In Korea, because of insurance, dealers generally may not allow you to personally test-drive vehicles.

Korean insurance agents do this at the time of sale. The insurance agent needs the exact car information from the dealers in order to finalize the insurance. This means buying a car in the morning on a weekday often allows you to drive the car home immediately. However, buying the car on a weekend or in the evening may mean you need to have the car delivered or return later to pick it up. We can dig into this more in a future blog.

Prices for insurance vary based on driving record. For most instances, if you’re a new driver in Korea the best option is to get prior proof insurance from wherever it is that you’re coming from if you have it they will accept a maximum of 3 years and it should give you up to a 40% discount on your insurance the best option is to go for a full year. Once insured you’re free to enjoy your ride. I can help my car buyers find insurance and I am happy to help make sure you are getting the best deal.

SOFA v. Korean Resident Vehicle Purchases and Registration

Additionally, when reaching out to dealers you should clearly clarify your legal status in South Korea. Customers purchasing under the SOFA agreement (those living in South Korea and affiliated with the US military) have different needs related to purchasing and vehicle registration.

And the next article I’ll be discussing vehicle maintenance do’s and don’ts. Thanks for reading all the way to the end and for all your used cars and needs please choose Roberts used cars

About South of Seoul Content Partnerships

South of Seoul volunteers partner with businesses, influencers, and community organizations to support international residents living in South Korea. Content Partners provide informative, unbiased information which informs the community on a variety of topics. Content partnerships benefit the Content Partnership by linking to their businesses, services, or influencer accounts within their article. The community benefits from the Content Partnership by getting additional insight into living life in South Korea.

South of Seoul volunteers deeply appreciate our Content Partners. Such partnerships allow South of Seoul to provide additional community information and resources that our volunteers may not have direct expertise in.

If you would like to partner with South of Seoul to write informative community articles feel free to email us at: southofseoul(at)

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