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Buying a car without an ARC
« on: May 07, 2020, 09:25:20 pm »
I left Korea in a humph at the end of last year, but I've decided that the positives outweigh the negatives and I'm going back, first to study Korean.

When I get back, I plan to live about 40 minutes away from the city where I'll be studying. I'm not a 'big city' person and the difference in rental prices is incredible. However, I will obviously need a car.

I've bought cars previously in Korea, but I had an ARC. This time, I'll be looking to get a car as soon as the self-quarantine is over.

I remember when I returned to Korea a few years ago after a hiatus, I was able to get a document - a certificate of alien registration - from a residents' centre. It showed my previous addresses in Korea and had the same ARC number that I'd had before. This was before I got my new ARC.

It might be a long shot, but I'm wondering if anyone has any experience of buying a car with just this document, not the actual ARC, or if they have another workaround. Another option would be getting two Korean people to sign something (what?) saying they guarantee (what exactly?).

I wouldn't need a loan. I could pay in cash. But it needs to be done ASAP once I'm out of self-quarantine.


  • JNM
  • The Legend

    • 4552

    • January 19, 2015, 10:16:48 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: Buying a car without an ARC
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2020, 01:16:08 am »
I donít know if the letter would work, but if you bring the oldest Korean man that you know with you it can only increase your odds.

Plan B: Could you rent one for the first few weeks? A monthly rental can be cheap.


Re: Buying a car without an ARC
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2020, 03:03:32 am »
I looked at rentals, but it seemed to be around 1 million KRW for a month. However, that was likely the daily rate x 30. Is there any company you'd recommend for a monthly rental?


  • JNM
  • The Legend

    • 4552

    • January 19, 2015, 10:16:48 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: Buying a car without an ARC
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2020, 04:15:21 am »
I looked at rentals, but it seemed to be around 1 million KRW for a month. However, that was likely the daily rate x 30. Is there any company you'd recommend for a monthly rental?

I did a few long term rentals... like 6 months and 12 months for half that.


Re: Buying a car without an ARC
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2020, 07:25:51 am »
Can you buy a car without an arc? Yes.

Can you insure and register the car? Probably not.

Do you have a Korean driving licence?  This may up your odds. As far as I'm aware you need a Korean form of ID to register the car into your name at the Jumin office.  If you don't I would ask at your local office if it is possible with piece of paper from immigration and your passport, they're ultimately the ones that can block you registering the car.  As for insurance, your ARC number will stay the same so providing they don't need you to send a copy of your ARC that should be fine.


  • pkjh
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1893

    • May 02, 2012, 02:59:44 pm
Re: Buying a car without an ARC
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2020, 08:41:51 am »
Can you buy a car without an arc? Yes.

Can you insure and register the car? Probably not.

Do you have a Korean driving licence?  This may up your odds. As far as I'm aware you need a Korean form of ID to register the car into your name at the Jumin office.  If you don't I would ask at your local office if it is possible with piece of paper from immigration and your passport, they're ultimately the ones that can block you registering the car.  As for insurance, your ARC number will stay the same so providing they don't need you to send a copy of your ARC that should be fine.
Surprisingly you can get insurance without a Korean license, and even register the car. I know a few foreigners that have managed to do this. However, I'm not sure if an actual payout would be made in the event of a claim and the insurance company discovering you don't actually have a local license.


Re: Buying a car without an ARC
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2020, 08:46:44 am »
Surprisingly you can get insurance without a Korean license, and even register the car. I know a few foreigners that have managed to do this. However, I'm not sure if an actual payout would be made in the event of a claim and the insurance company discovering you don't actually have a local license.

I was offering it as an alternative to the ARC.  When I first purchased a motorcycle (same process with registration etc. as a car), I did not have a Korean licence, however I needed to send a copy of my ARC to the insurance company and needed it when registering the vehicle.  The next time I used my licence to register a vehicle so it could be possible if you did not have an ARC. I used the same insurance company as before though so didn't need to send them any documentation.


Re: Buying a car without an ARC
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2020, 04:16:40 pm »
I have a Korean licence, a photo of both sides of my old ARC, and I had the same insurance company for years (so I'd hope they'd be flexible).