How to bring your car to Turkey

The Republic of Turkey is a colorful resort state, which harmoniously combines Muslim traditions and secular values. Picturesque nature, many historical sights, wide beaches, excellent ecology and inexpensive quality service as a magnet attract tourists and investors from all over the world.

Once on vacation, many foreigners then think about traveling around the country or moving to permanent residence in their own vehicles. Both of them ask a quite reasonable question: “Can I import my car in Turkey?”.

In our article you will learn:

About the rules of importing foreign cars into Turkey.

About the documents required for crossing the border.

About the current restrictions on entry.

Legislative rules for entering Turkey by car with foreign license plates

Foreign citizens are allowed to cross the land Turkish border by their own automobile transport. The main condition is the availability of a package of documents and fulfillment of the rules stipulated by the legislation.

Let’s consider the main ones:

Period of stay.

Temporary importation of cars into Turkey in the presence of a residence permit is allowed to foreigners for a period of two years. If there is no residence permit, the time of location of the vehicle is conditioned by the visa-free regime provided by the Turkish legislation for each specific state.  For example, for Ukrainians and Kazakhstanis the visa-free period is 90 days, and for Russians – 60+30 days.

If you plan to obtain a residence permit in Turkey, you will need to apply to the customs service at the place of registration and extend the period of stay of the car.

Exit and entry by car – the rule of 185 days.

The rules for entering Turkey by car include the following condition: before crossing the border, a vehicle with foreign license plates must be outside the Republic for at least 185 days without interruption.

Two-year rule.

If you plan to enter the resort state with your car and further permanent residence on the territory of Turkey, take into account that after that the car must be in the country for at least 730 days. Leaving the Republic of Turkey, the car should be left, otherwise after crossing the border, the rule of 185 days will automatically apply.


Availability of declaration.

The owner of the car is obliged to declare the car. For this purpose it is necessary to go to the customs control authorities in any Turkish city.


Conditions of using the car.

If all the rules are observed (including the 185-day rule), the nearest relatives (spouse, children, parents) can drive a car in Turkey on foreign license plates, in addition to the owner. Other persons are not allowed to use the car. The only exception is in emergency situations.


If you plan to leave the country by plane for a short time, you should leave your car in a parking lot and notify the Customs Service at least one day in advance. In this case, even your closest relatives will not be able to use your car. If there is no notification, the owner of the car will be fined. The amount of the fine depends on the make and year of manufacture of the vehicle.

Conditions of importing cars to Turkey for pensioners.

The maximum period of stay of cars owned by pensioners is 2 years. At the same time, having a pensioner’s license allows leaving and returning to the Republic of Turkey at any time, i.e. the 185-day rule does not apply.


Temporary Turkish license plates are issued to pensioners after payment of a deposit and on condition of residence in Turkey for more than 185 days during the year.


Customs clearance.

After two years, the owner of a car with foreign license plates is obliged to undergo the customs clearance procedure. In practice, customs clearance is not favorable for foreigners who moved to Turkey. The amount of tax on new cars is on average 100% of their market value and depends on the engine capacity. In addition, you will have to pay 18% VAT. It is almost impossible to clear a car with high mileage. Therefore, it is more favorable to make a purchase locally, despite the fact that the cost of cars in Turkey is higher than, for example, in the former CIS countries.

What documents are required

To temporarily import a car into Turkey, prepare the following documents:

Vehicle registration certificate (technical passport).

International Green Card insurance policy (to be issued in Turkey or your country of permanent residence).

Driver’s license.


If you are not the owner of the car, issue a power of attorney at a notary, at the consulate or embassy of the Republic of Turkey in your country.

Which cars are allowed to be imported into Turkey

Legislation provides a certain list of vehicles allowed for importation into the country. It includes:

passenger cars;






small-sized trucks with closed bodies.

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