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Query About Used Cars in Korea

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busaninfo
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Joined: 06/03/2012
Query About Used Cars in Korea
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Hello fellow expats, I am planning to buy an old car in Korea. I have already gone through many forums and blogs that are available online. As most of them are kinda few years old, I am posting it here and expecting tons of replies that can be helpful.

First and foremost, there are tons of korean online websites to buy used cars most notably are ~ http://www.encar.com/index.do

http://www.m-park.co.kr/

http://www.passo.co.kr/

http://www.bobaedream.co.kr/

http://www.bobaencar.co.kr

http://usfkclassifieds.co.kr/      http://karstart.co.kr/ (these two are on craigslist & are compartively expensive).

I wanna know if somene has any experience of buying a car from any of these above mentioned websites and which one would you suggest is better? I have been reading a lot of critcism about the last two websites which are advertising constantly on craigslist that they try to rip off the foreigners.

The second thing I would be interested in knowing is that I wanna buy a real inexpensive one, let's say between $1000-$1500. Does anyone else has bought the one in the same price range as most of my Korean friends are telling me to avoid buying such a cheap one since I am here for a real short time, I don't wanna invest more...again A BIG CONFUSION.. If someone has bought a car around this amount, kindly share which one would be better to buy: a small car such as matiz or long one's such as leganza, sonata, avante etc.

Another thing I am interested to know is which brand is better to buy in case of repairs and does the old car asks for lot of repairs & services regularly? I think there are mainly 3 choices: Hyundai, Kia & GM Daewoo.

Lastly apart from the price of the car, how much more money will it cost me to do insurance, paper work and other necessary formalities here in Korea?

ANY OTHER COMMENTS/FEEDBACKS WOULD BE HIGHLY APPRECIATED!

mattvsmith
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Joined: 03/03/2011
Re: Query About Used Cars in Korea

I used Encar just to get an idea of what cars are out there and how much I should expect to pay. (I have yet to find anything like a Kelly Blue Book or NADA guide here in Korea.) I found a car I liked and went over to the used car dealership. Turns out, there was one lot PACKED full of cars and one building had about 10 used car dealers. The car that I saw on the Encar website was sold (but not taken down from the site...I felt that was a little cheesy) but I found something else that was fine.

$1,000 is not a lot of money for a car these days. I'd say avoid cars that are too cheap. I bought a car for about 800,000 and it failed its next inspection and I had to junk it. I bought another car from a used car dealer for 2,000,000. I should have negotiated better. I was told my car is really only worth about 1.8 million. Oh well. I have spent just as much on repairs for my current car as I spent on the old one, but this one passes inspection, so maybe it was worth the extra million won not to have to switch cars again due to failed inspection. Maybe not.

I'd recommend buying small: Matiz, Click, Morning, whatever. I have a Sonata. I like it. It's great for trips to Costco because I can pack a lot of stuff in it, plus five people. But I find that it's a little big for my apartment's parking lot. If I could do it over again, I'd get another Avante Touring (station wagon). Also, other than epic Costco expeditions, I only drive it five minutes to and from work, so having a big car is kind of a drag. On the other had, I feel safe in my Sonata.

Personally, I like Hyundai. By the way, Hyundai owns KIA, but they still keep seperate makes and don't overlap models like Dodge/Plymouth do (or did...are they even around anymore?).

Anyway, no matter what car you buy, buy it knowing that you are never going to get your money's worth and you will never get your money back when you sell it. A car is not an investment; it is a depreciable commodity, and you will always lose money on them.

As for the costs...my insurance is about 400,000 per year. As for the registration fees and taxes, those are based on vehicle weight. If you buy a Matiz or other tiny car, you get significant discounts on taxes, fees, insurance, tolls, parking, etc.

I recommend you find a piece of crap Matiz for about 600,000-1,000,000 and drive the heck out of it until it is unservicable. Then sell it to a junk yard when you move home. I got 450,000 for my 800,000 car when I junked it. Knowing it could not pass inspection, I couldn't resell it to another foreigner in good conscience. Expats screw expats too often.

busaninfo
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Joined: 06/03/2012
Re: Query About Used Cars in Korea

Hey Matt,

Thanks a lot for your good explanation. Actually I am not sure what do u mean by inspection check, can you please explain me that?

And I am wondering does the second hand cars here in Korea are usually in such a bad shape that we have to do a fixing of that big amount ($400) as you have mentioned. That means when you gonna buy the car from this car place, it won't be in the running condition or do you mean it will break down within few weeks?

I also agreed with your point of buying a small car like matiz or morning but I have found out that they are comparitively more priced than the long ones such as avante or sonata, only the LPG ones are little bit cheaper, would you suggest to go for the LPG one? I am about to buy one this weekend.

Your help will be deeply appreciated, thanks!

Nathanael jackson
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Joined: 04/17/2013
Re: Query About Used Cars in Korea

I purchased my car from the store around US Army base. Well, firstly the car dealer offered hondai Cridus at the price of $1500. I firstly thought the price is inexpensive and the outfit looked clean enough to buy it impulsively. I didn't think about getting fair deal or rational price much since inconvenience i had been getting from public transportation was making me so impatience of purchasing whatever the price is. A day before i signed up the contract, one of my friend called me and introduced Insurance Agent from AIG, Steven Lee(01096721114). He called the car dealer pretending to be a korean customer to car dealer and price i got offered decreased by $100~$200. He introduced me some other credible and reputable shops around yang san Army Base and i bought mine from there. I got Hyundai Sonata 1997. The insurance agent Steven has been helping me since then, several accidents & car problems, he has helped me a lot and sure he will help you too. www.911ins.com / And i pay $536 for the premium with basic package /

mattvsmith
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Joined: 03/03/2011
Re: Query About Used Cars in Korea

Every two years a car needs in emissions inspection. If your car passes, you're good to go. If it fails you have 30 days to get it repaired and re-tested to pass, or junk the car. I ended up junking my last car because they said it would take about $1,000 to repair and couldn't guarantee it would pass inspection.

Every used car has problems, and you can never know the problems until it's too late, unless you are a mechanic. But even then, it's hard to know exactly what can go wrong. They have key things they examine. I'm not a mechanic, so I recommend you look on line for the special problems to look for when buying a used car.

In both of my used cars, there have been old and leaking gaskets and problems with rotted wires from the distributor to the sparkplugs. I've also had some trouble with engine belts (e.g. serpentine belt, timing belt). These are all easily fixed, but you can expect to spend as much for repairs as you did on the car itself.

LPG is very economical, but you sacrifice perfomance. I prefer regular gas.

busaninfo
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Joined: 06/03/2012
Re: Query About Used Cars in Korea

Hey matt sorry to bother but one last thing, do I have to do the emission check right after I purchase the car or will it be cleared if I buy from a dealer?

I won't be using it for more than 2 years, that is sure. So you mean for 2 years I don't need to go through any inspections, thanks!

the_business_teacher
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Joined: 10/04/2009
Re: Query About Used Cars in Korea
No its 2 years since its last inspection which is another reason to pay a little more. I sold my old car to a dealer in December but the inspection ran out in January, he dropped his offer when he realised that.
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