Bringing Your Car to Turkey

In Turkey, cars and fuel are expensive. The price of a car, both new and second hand, is likely to be much higher than ‘back home’.

It therefore looks an attractive option, especially if you live in Europe, to drive or otherwise import your car to Turkey. An added advantage is that you can take some of your possessions with you. Can this be done?

Bringing your car to Turkey temporarily

It is possible to drive to Turkey via Bulgaria or Greece, or via Italy (with a ferry to Turkey).

As a tourist, you can bring your car into Turkey. You can then keep it with you for up to six months, after which it must leave the country for at least six months. Only you can drive it whilst it is in Turkey.

At the border you will need to provide:

  • A valid passport
  • Your international driving licence
  • Your vehicle licence documents
  • An international green card (insurance)
  • Your vehicle registration details

Your car should also have an international identification plate or sticker on its rear: e.g. a GB or F sticker. This is so even if you have a European registration plate incorporating your country identifier. See our Guide to Driving in Turkey for more information.

Turkey does not require a “carnet de passage en douane”: an international customs guarantee.

Check if your insurance is valid for the Asian side of the country.

If the vehicle belongs to someone else, a Power of Attorney will be required, under which they authorise you to drive the car. In practice, it can make your life much more complicated if you try to bring a car belonging to another person or a company.

Failure to remove the car leads to heavy fines.

Can a foreigner permanently import a car into Turkey?

In some cases, yes. However, it is not very simple.

Foreign-plated vehicles can only be brought into Turkey on an Alien Vehicles Temporary Entry Card (Yabancı Taşıtlar Geçici Giriş Belgesi – YTGGK). This card, also referred to as the Blue Card, can be obtained from the Turkish Touring and Automobile Union – Turing.

They are granted a ‘blue plate’. Just to confuse you, the colour of the plate is no longer blue, just like an American ‘green card’ is no longer green.

The vehicle may only be used for your own private use. It must be registered at your (Turkish) residential address under the name of:

  • A retired foreign citizen who has a temporary residence permit
  • A person resident outside Turkish Customs who is in Turkey to carrying out a specific work assignment
  • A person present in Turkey for the purpose of education

Required documents

Retired foreigners

  • Your Residence Permit (started to be for the purposes of retirement)
  • A document issued by your home state social securityinstitution, showing that you are retired and certified by a notary public or Turkish consulate, together with a Turkish translation
  • Your passport and driving license (together with photocopies)
  • Your vehicle registration documents
  • A delivery receipt for the vehicle, from the Customs Directorate
  • A financial guarantee covering the potential liability to import duties if the vehicle is not removed, the size of the guarantee depending upon the engine capacity, and the age of the vehicle. This will require a bankguarantee from your bank. Contact triptik@turing.org.tr for details of what will be required
  • The application form, completed and signed by owner of the vehicle. This is obtainable from the association’s website

Foreign employees

  • Your Residence Permit (stated to be for the purpose of working)
  • Your passport and driving licence(together with photocopies)
  • A photocopy of your work permit, certified
  • Your vehicle registration documents
  • A letter from your employer, addressed to the association, on letterheaded paper and signed, specifying your employmentduties and their duration
  • The employer-company’s “signature circular”, with a photocopy. This is the official document used in Turkey to confirm that the signatories produced are duly authorised
  • A delivery receipt for the vehicle, from the Customs Directorate
  • A financial guarantee covering the potential liability to import duties if the vehicle is not removed, the size depending upon the engine capacity and age of the vehicle. This will require a bankguarantee from your bank. Contact triptik@turing.org.tr for details of what will be required
  • The application form, completed and signed by owner of the vehicle. This is obtainable from the association’s website

Foreigners receiving education

  • Your Residence Permit (stated to be for the purposes of education)
  • A Student Certificate, issued by the school or college, addressed to the Association
  • Your passport and driving licence(together with photocopies)
  • Your vehicle registration documents
  • A delivery receipt for the vehicle, from the Customs Directorate
  • A financial guarantee covering the potential liability to import duties if the vehicle is not removed, the size depending upon the engine capacity and age of the vehicle. This will require a bankguarantee from your bank. Contact triptik@turing.org.tr for details of what will be required
  • The application form, completed and signed by owner of the vehicle. This is obtainable from the association’s website

Known issues

The YTGGK is limited to one or two years, as the term will not exceed the length of the residence permit and (if there is one), the work permit. It is very important (to avoid financial penalties) to apply for an extension before the YTGGK expires.

Certified translations by the Turkish consulate or a Notary Public are required for all vehicle licenses which are not issued in multilingual form.

The person who obtains a YTGGK from the Association should take it, first, to the Customs Office and then to the Traffic Department Directorate for the province where the vehicle is located.

To be able to recover the deposited security, the vehicle must be definitively re-exported and the YTGGK should be returned to the Turkey Touring and Automobile Association – after the completion of the paperwork by the relevant Traffic Department and Customs.

Should I buy a new car to import into Turkey?

If you are thinking of buying a new car to bring with you – something we recommend – we would suggest:

  • The newer the car the more valuable it will be, and so the financial guarantee you must provide will be higher.
  • Choose a car with the steering wheel on the left-hand side: in Turkey they drive on the right! A wheel on the left is massively safer.
  • Choose a car that is available for sale in Turkey. This will make maintenance much easier.
  • Choose a car with readily available and inexpensive parts.
  • If you will be driving a lot, choose a car with good fuel consumption: fuel is expensive in Turkey. An LPG (Autogas) car will be much cheaper to run.

Who can help me do all this?

If you need help with importing your car into Turkey, there are three main options:

  • Have a friend or neighbour make the application on your behalf. They will need a Power of Attorney. This can be prepared by your lawyer. The typical cost of a Power of Attorney is TRY600 (US$170).
  • Employ a customs agent. These can be found by a Google search but it is much better to get a recommendation from your lawyer or the estate agent dealing with any property purchase on your behalf. The cost is likely to be about TRY1,200 (US$340).
  • Use your lawyers, if they offer this service. This will also probably cost about TRY1,200 (US$340).

How long does it take?

Once you’ve assembled all the documents and presented them to the customs agent, the process typically takes six weeks, though it can take much longer.

How much does it cost?

This depends on how you choose to do the work. See above.

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