Buying a New or Used Car in Taiwan

Information on the paperwork and processes involved when buying a new or used car in Taiwan...

Cars can be purchased privately or through a dealership; cars for sale privately are generally cheaper. Private car sales in Taiwan are advertised online and in newspapers. Buying a car online is very popular and there are numerous advertising and auction sites, for example Tealit.

There are companies which specialise in helping foreigners buy a vehicle. They offer a variety of services including searching for a suitable vehicle, vehicle checks and repairs.

It is accepted practice to bargain over the price of a car. It is a good idea to know a car’s value in advance; websites and car magazines are a good source of information.

A reputable dealer should be willing to have a vehicle inspected, either by the buyer or by a mechanic on the buyer’s behalf. Buyers are advised to have a used car checked by a technician or mechanic before committing to a purchase; a professional checks for any necessary repairs, finds out if there is any history of accidents and helps the transaction go smoothly. Some also help with translations.

The buyer should check that the engine and chassis number as well as the colour of the vehicle match those stated in the registration documents. It is illegal in Taiwan to register or operate a vehicle where the documents and vehicle do not match.

Contract

A car sale is finalised once the price has been agreed on and a contract signed. The contract should include all details of any repairs or alterations which need to be made to the car prior to the purchase being finalised.

It is difficult for foreigners to apply for credit to buy a car in Taiwan. Most car purchases are made in cash or by bank transfer.

Debts

Both dealerships and private sellers are required to settle any outstanding debts on the vehicle. The Motor Vehicle Office does not complete the transfer of a car’s ownership until all debts including parking tickets, taxes and fines have been paid.

Transfer of Ownership

To buy a car in Taiwan, a valid Taiwanese driving licence is required.

If buying from a dealership, they can take care of the necessary registration procedures. If buying privately, the buyer should go with the seller to a local Motor Vehicle Office to complete the transfer of ownership. The following documents are required:

  • Proof of identity of both the owner and the seller
  • Driving licence
  • Proof of insurance
  • Copy of the licence plate registration certificate

There is also a fee to be paid for the procedure.

Most sellers expect a deposit to be paid, if not the entire amount, before transferring ownership. Once the transfer is completed the rest of the payment is due if it has not already been paid.

Cars which are more than ten years old and motorcycles over five years old must undergo a Provisional Inspection for Transfer of Vehicle Ownership. The inspection can be done at any Motor Vehicle Office.

  • For further information about the Provisional Inspection for Transfer of Vehicle Ownership: Click here

Further Information