Temporary Import of a vehicle to Turkey
I am writing these notes on my experience of importing my UK vehicle to Turkey, as I could find little information that describes the complete process, and much that was available was inaccurate and incomplete. I did this in Samsun and the process may differ in other places. The process is complex and time-consuming, and the biggest problem is finding the right people to undertake the necessary steps for you, as few will have had to do these for a foreign vehicle, and they can too easily tell you it is not possible. You therefore need to have someone with good Turkish to talk to people and has knowledge of the system, together with lots of patience as you will continually meet "Catch 22" situations, and you have to coax people through them.
Note Turing have informed us that you may keep your vehicle in Turkey as long as you have a valid visa (there is no limit). However Turing will only provide the YKGGT for a maximum of two years at a time, but you can renew as often as required.
1. Bring your vehicle to Turkey. You need to obtain a green card to drive through certain countries and for Turkey. You should be able to obtain this from your existing insurance company. I would recommend 1 month cover as the process is time consuming before you can obtain insurance in Turkey, and having your vehicle makes it easier to go to each of the places to complete the various tasks.
2. Driving through Europe to Turkey is covered by others, but note you need to obtain a vignette in many countries to drive on the motorways. How to obtain the vignette or pay tolls varies in each country; often there is an official office at the border crossing. Check before setting out.
3. You should apply in advance for HGS for Turkey. You need this to drive on toll motorways (e.g. from the border at Edirne to Istanbul) and to cross the bridges in Istanbul. You normally obtain this from PTT or banks, so you may need to drive into the nearest town after crossing the border.
4. Collect the necessary documentation required by Turing to obtain the YTGGK (blue card). Turing offices are quite helpful and I suggest you ask them to check your documentation in advance to ensure it is complete before making the actual application (you do not want any delay once your car is in customs). It is easier if you have your residence card as this provides both your ID and that you have a work permit, but they can take other evidence if your card is delayed, such as a printout of payments from social security to prove you are in employment. Note that Turing ask for payment of their fee in cash.
5. You need to send an email to Turing in advance to request the quote for the deposit you need to make for your car. This is based on the age and type of car and is about the same as the declared replacement value of the vehicle for insurance in Turkey, and therefore high. You can take cash or make a bank transfer to Turing. It is suggested to take a receipt of the bank transfer as proof that you have made the deposit.
6. Although Turing will take a bank guarantee letter for the deposit, this is difficult to obtain as a foreigner from a Turkish Bank, and is only available from the national banks. The bank will charge commission, and this may be larger than the interest you may obtain on the deposit to the bank, so you will likely choose to make a bank transfer to Turing.
7. After completing your application with Turing, you must then complete a number of steps to satisfy both customs and the traffic police before your car can be registered in Turkey. However it is recommended that you try to undertake as many of these steps in advance of registering with Turing as possible, as you may need to leave your car with customs until the process is complete, and you are charged for each day your car is in customs by the port authority (~$15 per day). It is also suggested that you contact or visit customs daily to ensure that they are processing your vehicle, that the correct steps are being taken, and the correct documentation has been sent to the traffic police. You will need to do many of the following steps yourself, so allow plenty of time, and be ready to drink lots of tea and sign many pieces of paper.
8. You need to have insurance for the vehicle. There are relatively few Turkish insurance companies, but you cannot deal direct (or on the internet) with them and you must go through one of their agents. Many of these agents will not have insured a foreign vehicle and will tell you that they can only insure vehicles with Turkish plates. You will need to persist until you find an agent that has experience of registering a foreign vehicle or agrees to investigate to do this for you.
9. You will need to obtain an MOT. Vehicle inspection is undertaken at special centres (TUR). Again you may be told that the inspection can only be undertaken on vehicles with Turkish plates, and they may require that you have a letter from customs explaining that you need the MOT for import purposes, so you may only be able to do this once your car is with customs and you may need to persist. You will need to ring in advance for an appointment to take your vehicle. We suggested to the manager that he contact head office in Ankara to enquire about the process and a customs officer came with us. Note you need to pay the fee in cash (~300TL). The certificate is valid for 2 years.
10. Before you go to Turing to submit your application, you need to deposit your car at customs. They will register your vehicle and provide you with a certificate that the car has been deposited with them and confirms details of the vehicle. You take this certificate to Turing with the rest of your documentation to start your application. It is therefore important that everything is in order in your application to prevent unnecessary delays for your car in customs.
11. Turing will process your application immediately and give you the YKGGT document. You then need to return to customs to give them the YKGGT. They will take one of the coupons and return the rest of the document to you. Customs will start their process, which involves repeating much of the paperwork for their purposes.
12. Customs will prepare a dossier that they will send to the traffic police for the police to register your car. You need to go to the traffic police to ensure they receive the dossier and that it contains the correct information. It is essential that customs include the wording that your car is only temporarily exported and therefor exempt from import tax, otherwise the police will not process your application until they receive confirmation that the tax has been paid.
13. You also need to go to the drivers union office (Soforler ve Otomobilciler Esnaf Odasi) to collect the 'Ek.1 formu' form to request the registration for the car. This must be completed and taken to the police.
14. The police will then complete the registration of your vehicle and you wiil be given the registration document for your vehicle. You need to pay a registration fee in cash to the police (~150TL).
15. You need to take the registration document back to the drivers union office where they will make the vehicle plates.
16. Take the plates to customs and collect your car. You will need to pay the port authority for the time your car has been in the port in cash.
17. You need to pay the road tax at a bank. You may need to wait some days for your car to appear on the system before it can be paid. You have a month to pay.