Buying a New Car in Turkey

Information on the paperwork and processes involved when buying a new car in Turkey as well as details on tax free vehicles...

The Turkish car market is growing, providing easy access to a wide range of new and used vehicle makes and models sold at dealers, auto markets, car fairs and conventions, and via websites and newspaper classified advertisements.

A foreigner in Turkey must have a valid residence permit to buy a car.

Buying a New Car

The vehicle registration procedure and documents required by foreigners are same as for Turkish citizens, however a vehicle registered to a foreign resident is issued with a licence plate from the MA/MZ group.

Dealers in new cars will generally manage the registration paperwork on a buyer's behalf. A new car must be registered to Traffic Registration Offices within three months of purchase. Documents required for new vehicle registration include:

  • Notary sales transaction (Noter SatışSenedi)
  • Invoice of sale (Fatura)
  • Highway certificate of compliance (technical document) (Karayolu uygunluk belgesi)
  • ÖTV (special consumption tax) receipt (ÖTV makbuzu)
  • Compulsory motor insurance (Zorunlu Motor Sigortas?)

CO2 emissions for new passenger cars

Regulations are in place concerning the fuel economy and CO2 emissions of new cars. Official, specific CO2 data must be displayed on all new passenger cars for sale or to rent; also a car's gram/kilometre CO2 emissions rating must be documented in the registration book.

It is expected that during 2012 the consumption tax (ÖTV) and motor vehicle tax (MTV) will be reorganised to be rated based on a car's emissions (currently vehicle taxation is calculated according to engine cylinder capacity). These rates have not yet been defined, but will be in compliance with European Union standards.

Cars are classified in three tax categories according to their engine cylinder capacity:

  1. Capacity exceeding 1,600 cm3, total tax - 61.6%
  2. Capacity exceeding 1,600 cm3 but not exceeding 2,000 cm3, total tax - 88.8%
  3. Capacity exceeding 2,000 cm3, total tax - 177.1%

Note: ÖTV and VAT are included in the rates.

  • To find out a particular vehicle's fuel economy and CO2 emissions: Click here (in Turkish)

Foreigners' Tax Free Vehicle

A foreigner legally registered in Turkey with a valid residence permit may be entitled to a tax free vehicle, either when buying a new car from a dealer in Turkey, buying a used tax free car from another foreigner, or importing their own car to the country.

This vehicle tax exception means that a foreigner is entitled to buy a new car from an authorised dealer without paying the Special Consumption Tax (Özel Tüketim Vergisi, ÖTV) or Value Added Tax (Katma Değer Vergisi, KDV). This benefit is passed on when the car is sold by one foreigner in Turkey to another.

Note: While tax free cars are exempt from these taxes, the annual road tax (bandrol) must be paid.

This tax free benefit is only available for one car per residence permit holder (with the exception of diplomatic and NATO personnel who may buy a car for a spouse). Only related family members may drive the car; Turkish citizens may not buy vehicles tax free nor drive them.

Buying a tax free ("blue plate") car

The tax free vehicle, also commonly known as a "blue plate" car (Mavi Plaka), carries the "MA/MZ" vehicle registration plate which marks it as belonging to a foreigner resident in Turkey. The vehicle registration is noted in the "blue licence" and is valid for the period of the owner's residency or work permit. If the registration is not renewed, fines to the multiple of the customs tax rate are charged.

Those entitled to a tax free car are:

  • Foreign retirees
  • Foreign employees on Turkish work permits
  • Foreign lecturers and students (excluding students of a language course)
  • Foreign personnel working for NATO and experts working for international missions or the EU
  • Foreign press employees based (but not resident) in Turkey
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs identity card holders

Documents required when buying a tax free car:

  • Passport with residency/work permits
  • Notary-issued document
  • All documents of car
  • Tax receipts
  • For further information about the buying and selling of tax free cars: Click here

The sale of a used car from one foreigner to another generally takes place in the seller's consular office. There are companies which specialise in handling these transactions.