Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Help from fellow expats: A car question

Here's the question:
A day or two ago I wrote to "Ask A Korean" because I had a question about getting rid of a car in Korea.  He wrote back and said he has never owned a car in Korea, but recommended I write to you and ask.
And here's the AAK question:
I am an English teacher about to finish my third year here in Korea.  A while back, I bought a (beautiful 1992) KIA from a woman who was leaving. We went to all the correct offices and did it by the book.  I have insurance, the title, etc.  However, now my time here is ending and a couple people want to buy it but in a more under the table kind of manner.  Do you know how to get the vehicle out of my name with out putting into somebody else's?  Or, going a different direction, do you know if there is a company who buys back used cars?  This probably wouldn't be a big deal in Seoul or Busan, but I'm like in Pohang.
Like The Korean, I have never owned a car in Korea and don't know anybody who has tried to sell a car under the table. I'm a motor-scooter guy, so this is out of my league. 

Any of you guys have any ideas?

8 comments:

Ryan Freer said...

In Pohang and Gyeongju there are several 2nd hand car dealerships. Look one up on naver with the help of a Korean firend. These dealership will usually offer you a fair price for your car and save you a lot of hassle. Since your car was manufactured in 1992 I'm guessing you'd be lucky to get 500,000 won for it. If the engine hasn't been well services and the body and paint are dented/ scratched then your car is practically worthless and may need taking to a wrecker. So if a 2nd hand car dealer ship offers you 350,000-400,000 then you should take it.

Under no circumstances should you try to sell to your friends without transfering ownership as you will be liable for any raffic violations and 3rd party damages caused by your car. Why would anyone want to be so irresponsible to purchase your vehilce under the table. This should set off a red flag for any rational thinker. Transfering ownership from one foreigner to another is not a problem provided the owner has paid off all his/her traffice fines.

If your traffic fines are higher than the value of the car, which very well might be the case if you've owned a 1992 Kia for 3 years then I suggest you park it near a wreckers remove the plates and engine serial number.

My advice, enjoy the convenience of owning the vehicle right up until the day prior to your departure and then take it to the 2nd hand car yard and take waht they are willing to offer you. It simply isn't worth the 100,000 or 150,000 won more you may get from selling to foreigners who book inspection appointments from out of town and don't show up etc etc.

The Expat said...

Thanks, Ryan. Great advice.

Chris in South Korea said...

Unless this foreigner happens to be a very good friend (and even then...) the car's barely worth selling under the table. Ryan's hit it on the head.

Dan, said...

Thanks everybody for your help. I am going to take your advice and get someone to help me look up the wrecking yards in my area. I already tried driving it up to a couple lots, and they basically laughed in my face. One place offered me 60,000won - yeah, thanks but no thanks! I appreciate you help and timely responses. Take it easy everybody and happy new year!

The Expat said...

Good luck, Dan. And please make sure to send me an email and let me know what happened.

kushibo said...

What is up with people trying to do all kinds of crap under the table? It will only make you liable for stuff (should you ever decided to come back) and there's no point.

Ryan's advice was excellent.

That said, a car that is considered "abandoned" can also run you up a fine... if they figure out whose car it is (and there are at least two places where the VIN is located).

WORD VERIFICATION: cryok (what you do when you're looking for Ok in the wilderness)

Moorabbin Carsales said...

Buying a used car doesn't have to be risky. If you know what you want then it becomes a lot easier.

moorabbincarsales.com.au

James McAllister said...

Yeah I would stick to above-the-table deals. It may be more difficult up front but it is worth it in the long run not to get in trouble with the government. What did you end up doing about your car insurance?