I just help some good friends of mine buy car last night and found the process relatively “easy” (if I knew the following information beforehand).
You can shop online through a Korean used car website website such as Jame’s Garage. It’s the auto-trader of Korea. I’ll layout the simple features in a pictorial but best to have a Korean friend, coworker or KATUSA help you out. Know what kind of model your interested in. That cuts then number down from the thousands. Then you can be more specific to the make, year, cost, options, etc.
When getting to the dealer, make sure to test drive it around the block and look for dents, scratches and imperfections Hopefully, your friend will be gracious enough to come along to translate any problems that need to be fixed and haggle. A lot of the used car people will use a pen and paper or calculator to bargain. The first car we looked at went from 8.75 mil to 8.2M after a little bargaining. They will also include free delivery to your house or location of your choosing.
Make sure when talking to the dealer, you have some questions in mind that you would ask a dealer at home as well. Especially about accidents, what damage was done, and how it was fixed/replaced. Look for unwanted vibrations or alignment problems when driving.
what to bring to the dealership (new or used):
– set aside maybe 3-4 hours from the selection time
When signing for the vehicle, you basically sign a contract with the dealer. The difference between buying a car as SOFA person vs. normal foreigner here in Korea is that the car dealer doesn’t register the car for you.