Can foreigners bring their cars to Turkey from abroad?

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The number of foreigners settling in Turkey has increased rapidly in recent years, and a large part of them are Arabs who were living in Arab countries, and this also means that these people are used to owning good and affordable cars, so it is shocking for them to witness the high prices of cars in Turkey. Unfortunately, the car market is very expensive in Turkey;

The customs and special consumption taxes levied on cars are incomparably high. Moreover, according to Turkish laws, it is forbidden to import used cars into Turkey, which is another factor that keeps car prices high. For the reason mentioned above; Foreigners who are settling in Turkey are aware of the new reality that they cannot easily buy luxury cars anymore and need to pay big amounts for even simple cars. Under these circumstances; Many foreigners have the question: "Can't I bring my car with me?" The aim of this article is to answer this question.

Foreigners in Turkey

We have to divide foreigners in Turkey into two categories:

The first category: foreigners who do not reside in Turkey permanently and live in another country, but visit Turkey frequently, and let's call them "temporary visitors".

The second category: foreigners who reside in Turkey permanently, and these we call "permanent residents".

If foreigners visiting Turkey have a permit to legally stay in Turkey for less than two years, their vehicles will be allowed to stay in Turkey only as long as that permit is valid.

Temporary visitors

For temporary visitors; There are some soft rules for bringing in their cars from abroad, these facilities are called “tourist exceptions”, and even if foreigners somehow obtain Turkish citizenship, they can still benefit from the tourist exceptions as long as they live in another country and are only temporarily residing in Turkey, and temporary visitors can bring their cars to Turkey and use them for a maximum period of 730 days (two years), and the conditions for benefiting from this exception are as follows:

-Having a usual residence address in a country other than Turkey. for the owner of the vehicle and the vehicle; He must be outside Turkey more than 185 days within one year before entering Turkey (this requirement does not apply to persons who are officially retired from their jobs and can prove this with the necessary documents for their first visit to Turkey after retirement).
-Have a car registered in the country where the usual address of residence is located (if the usual address is in an EU country, it is acceptable for the car to be registered in any EU country).
-Owning a car registered with an individual person (if the car is registered with a legal entity such as companies or NGOs, the maximum allowed to roam in that car in Turkey will be 90 days instead of two years), only one car is allowed per foreigner within the scope of this exception.

It is important to note that if foreigners visiting Turkey have a permit to legally stay in Turkey for less than two years, their vehicles will only be allowed to stay in Turkey as long as that permit is valid.

Cars that will be brought into Turkey with this exception must be reported in advance online via this link. This online reporting platform makes customs procedures much easier. and then; The following documents must be brought when passing through Turkish customs:

driving license.
An official power of attorney if the driver of the car is a person other than its owner.
Rental office contact information if the car is rented.
An official document proving that the driver is a partner or employee of that company; If the car is owned by a legal person such as companies or NGOs.
Driver's license.
Driver's passport.
The insurance policy states that the car is valid in Turkey.

If the driver is officially retired, an official document proving this must be presented. Official documents - which have not been issued by the above-mentioned private institutions - must be duly certified and translated by the Turkish Embassy/Consulate.

After completing the registration process; Cars are registered on the passports of the foreigners holding them, and once the maximum two-year period has expired, foreigners can only use the same car or bring in another car from abroad unless they leave Turkey and stay abroad for at least 185 days. And if foreigners leave Turkey with their cars before the permission expires, they can take advantage of the remaining days on their next visits.

Cars allowed in Turkey according to tourist exceptions cannot be used by other people, and if the car is caught by law enforcement elements while being used by other people, the driver will be fined and the car will be expelled from Turkey unless the driver proves that there is a legitimate reason For the use of the vehicle by another person. However, the husband/wife, parents and children of the car owner can drive the car as long as their usual addresses are abroad as well and the car owner is in Turkey.

Cars that fall within the scope of the tourist exceptions can never be sold to anyone else in Turkey.

Can foreigners bring their cars to Turkey from abroad (2)
Permanent residents

Permanent residents consist of foreigners who have to live in Turkey permanently for business or educational purposes; Therefore, foreigners in this category usually hold a work permit or a student permit. For permanent residents, the main privilege is the same as that of temporary visitors; Foreigners in this category can bring their cars to Turkey and use them for 730 days (2 years). Of course, if a foreigner residing in Turkey has a permit to stay legally in Turkey for less than two years, his car will be allowed to stay in Turkey only as long as the permit is valid.

However; The main difference for permanent residents is that the permit period is a maximum of two years and is renewable as long as the reason for residence in Turkey continues and the relevant residence permit that proves this reason has also been renewed.

When foreigners somehow seek to leave Turkey for a long period during the permit period, they have a chance to hand the vehicle over to the Customs Service to keep the vehicle and freeze the permit. And therefore; They will not lose the permission period while they are outside Turkey and they will not lose the exception

There are two different procedures that can be applied to take advantage of the exception for permanent residents, and since these are very technical matters; We do not prefer to go into its details here, but we can not fail to mention that in the first option foreigners deal directly with the customs authority, while in the second option they deal with a quasi-governmental organization called the "Turkish Car and Tourism Corporation" that acts as a guarantor for foreigners who want to bring their cars.

The list of required documents is different from that mentioned for temporary visitors because permanent residents have to submit some relevant documents that prove the reasons for their permanent residence in Turkey. Unlike the registration procedures according to the tourist exceptions; Documents can be submitted after entering Turkey by car within a maximum of 30 days upon entry.

It is also important to note that foreigners must deposit a certain amount of security deposit with the customs authority, which is approximately 20% of the price of the car, and this deposit can be collected again when leaving Turkey.

One of the most important differences for permanent residents is that foreigners in this category do not have to be outside Turkey at least 185 days before the date of entry in order to bring their cars with them.

Only one car per foreigner is allowed within the scope of this exception, and that car must be owned by a foreigner, foreigners with Turkish citizenship also cannot take advantage of this exception.

Once cars are registered in this way; It is provided with a special car plate that begins with the letters "MA" or "MZ". These cars can be driven by the husband/wife, parents, children or the officially designated driver of the car owner as well.

Car owners in this category are obligated to pay MTV tax like the Turkish people, a type of tax that must be paid twice a year.

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Permission Expiry

Once the period of exceptional leave for aliens in both categories has expired; They have to complete some paperwork through dealing with the customs authority before leaving Turkey. If these specific actions are not duly implemented; Car owners will be charged with administrative fines. Also, when the cars registered outside Turkey are not brought on time despite the expiry of the permission period; There will again be administrative fines levied on car owners, and once the vehicle is over 3 months, the fine will increase a lot.

Finally, when foreigners somehow seek to leave Turkey for an extended period during the permit period, they have the opportunity to hand over the vehicle to the Customs Service to keep the vehicle and freeze the permit; Thus, they will not lose the permission period while they are outside Turkey, they will not lose the exemption, and they can use the remaining days of the permission once they return to Turkey.

Note: A foreigner can bring a right-hand drive car, as this is not prohibited in Turkey.

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