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Which Automobile to Buy as an Ex-Pat in Turkey?

You’ve made the plunge and invested in your dream home in Turkey.  You’re over the moon with decorating your house and getting to know your neighbors and new surroundings.  You’ve learned how to be picked up from the airport, or are using the excellent public transportation options when travelling within the country.  But, it’s time to think about purchasing a vehicle for even more independence.  The question is, what to buy?

Costs of Motor Vehicle Ownership in Turkey

Generally speaking, it’s expensive to own and operate a motor vehicle in Turkey.  Fuel is very highly taxed, and even second and third hand cars still retain very high resale values.  To get an idea of resale rates, take a look at www.sahibinden.com, the Turkish equivalent of Ebay.

The Automotive Industry in Turkey

Bear in mind that Turkey has a huge automotive industry.    Fiat, Toyota, Ford and Renault all take advantage of a skilled labor force with lower overhead costs than those in continental Europe.  In fact, Turkey exports approximately 3/4 of its production cars, even though there isn’t a purely ”Turkish” branded car, since the demise of the beloved Anadol.

New Car or Used?

There are few advantages in purchasing a brand new car, as the value will go down as soon as you drive off of the sales lot  Better to take a look at 1 or 2 year old cars, especially those with high resale values such as Fiat (Tofas), Toyota and Renault.   Turkish authorities also offer an excellent service by which you can investigate the accident history of a potential vehicle purchase, by sending an SMS with the licence plate number to 5664.  This quick and sure method works even if the license plate has changed.

Financing

It’s important to keep in mind that financing will normally only be available for new cars purchased by established residents in Turkey, and not for second hand cars.

The Prices of Luxury Add Up

As tempting as it may be, stay weary of SUVs and high end cars such as Mercedes Benz, Audi and BMW.  Not only are import parts for such vehicles extremely expensive, finding authorized service dealers in your vicinity can be tricky.  Even if your local ”sanayi” workers promise they can service your trophy car, such work will not be entered into the vehicle’s official maintenance records, and substitute parts will almost certainly be used.

LPG Options in Turkey

If you’ll be travelling long distances while living in Turkey, investigate the use of LPG (Liquid Propane Gas) which is an excellent, efficient and green fuel, with Turkey being the biggest users of such vehicles globally.

Classic Car Dreams

The last point to consider is that roads in Turkey are narrow, and parking in many areas is at a premium.  Smaller is usually better, with savings on fuel, insurance and maintenance.  On the other hand, maybe it’s time to indulge in your classic car dream.  Take a look at the Antikaraba, antique car restorers in Koycegiz, on the beautiful drive from Bodrum to Kas.

Darren Edwards, founder of Luxury Property Turkey in Yalikavak, spends many hours on local Turkish roads, especially with clients.   When asked about his local favorite mid-range vehicle choices, he suggested the Fiat Egea, Ford Focus and Toyota Corolla sedan.  ”That’s when I’m not riding my motorcycle,” he grinned.