Tips on How to Buy a Second Hand Car in Korea

by Gily Tenorio on September 7, 2014

in Car


Buying a second hand car is not that easy especially if you are in a foreign land like here in Korea. This post is intended for foreigners living in Korea who want to buy a second hand car. I hope the tips outlined in this post will help you decide on which car to buy here in Korea.


If you are like me who has a limited budget, a second hand car is the way to go unless you already have a big amount to buy a new car. Since you and I are foreigners, you are not allowed to buy new car in installment. I have already asked my Korean friend to confirm about that. He asked several dealers around Geoje and they said it is not allowed for foreigners. It’s is easy to understand why.

By the way, I have a Kia Morning LX model 2009. I’ve been using it since June 2014 and it still works good up to this date. Hopefully it will continue for more years with small maintenance.

Here are some of the tips that I can give to you if you want to buy a second hand car here in Korea. Some are the common stuffs you may already know.


First of all, you should set first a budget before deciding which car to buy. In my case, I set a budget around 5 million won because I want a car which is not too old.


Most cars from 2008 model up to 2010 will cost around that amount. With that budget, you can buy a subcompact car like Daewoo Matiz or Kia Morning. If you will buy lower year model, it will cost less than this amount.

If you want a sedan, you can also look for a lower year model like those of Hyundai Avante XD and Daewoo Verna.


You can compare the prices by using online shop for second hand cars like SK Encar and local websites in your area. I’m living in Geoje city down south of Korea and theer are few shops in my area.


Good thing, there are several people in my company, Samsung Heavy Industries, that are selling cars through the online portal. Normally, they cost less than the ones in the car shops simply because they don’t add any fee or commission on the price of the car.


It will be better also if you can ask your Korean friends and colleague if they know someone selling car. It is better that way than going your own on the car dealers.


In my case, I ask our friend to look for us a Kia Morning around the target price I want. At the same time, I am also looking in the internet if there are people selling online.


If you are in Geoje, there are some people selling cars through the Geoje Flea Market in Facebook. If you want to look it, just click the link.





In my opinion, it is very important to decide first which type of car you want to buy so that you know what you are looking for. Most subcompact cars in Korea are in good condition if they are in the range of 2008 and up. However, it also depends on different factors like the mileage of the car and where it has been previously used.


That’s why it is important to know where is the car coming from and what type of owner it has been previously. In Korea, most accidents are recorded particularly those major ones. In that way, you’ll be sure that the car you will be buying are not involve in accidents before.

There are several documents you need to have when buying your car like your alien registration card, passport, registration form of the car, and the car insurance.


In my case, I got the car registration even though I’m not fully paid, I just transferred 500,000 won to the seller after our first meeting so that I can search and buy insurance. Without the car registration information, it is not possible to buy for car insurance because you need the details of the card like engine and chassis number, plate number and so on.



I bought insurance at Samsung Fire Insurance. It cost around 700,000 won for my KIA morning model 2009. It is the most basic insurance I think with only a maximum insurance of 200 million won.


If you have extra money to spend, you can buy higher premium. The agent doesn’t speak that good in English but he can communicate enough and I just try to understand him through the emails he sent.


I have a friend who also got insurance from him so I am confident that he knows the stuff when dealing with foreigners. Samsung Fire accepts payment through credit card. However, my card didn’t work during that time so I was forced to pay through bank transfer.


I just send the copy of transaction to him so that there’s a proof of payment even though he already send me my insurance documents in complete and finished status. Its’s just a trust system, though you cannot really escape from what you need to pay because they have your records.

That’s all! Do you have any tips to share or you want to know something, you may leave your comment below.


Image: Pixabay 1 and Pixabay 2

Leave a Comment


CommentLuv badge

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Previous post:

Next post: