There are a lot of companies and private persons that do car business — they import cars and export them as well, buy and sell them and even rent them, therefore this is a quite competitive sphere in Georgia. A car used to be a luxury but today almost everyone has it as it’s very important in everyday life. You can find any type according to your needs – whether you want it as regular transport to drive in a city or whether you want to drive somewhere in the mountains on the off-roads. You can even buy a bobcat or a truck if you want.
Are foreigners allowed to buy cars in Georgia?
Yes! Foreigners are allowed to buy, sell, and rent cars in Georgia. The process is very easy and simple, With just your passport you can own your car or sell it in a couple of minutes. In some cases you might need to translate your passport and notarize it. You don’t need to have a residence permit in Georgia to own a car. I remember when I bought my car that I paid around 80 GEL for the whole process.
Car evolution history in Georgia
Before Georgia was introduced to the famous car brands and started to import them from abroad, Georgians used to ride Soviet Union-time cars imported from Russia like: Lada, Pobeda, Zhiguli in the previous century. Later on, the whole Caucasus region including Georgia started to import brands like Peugeot, Opel, Benz (Mercedes-Benz) and even Cadillac which belongs to General Motors.
Which car brands are famous in Georgia?
As Georgia is a very small country with a quite big number of population you will see a lot of cars in the streets starting from old Soviet cars to the latest-model ones with different series numbers, it depends on a generation, needs, income etc. You might see a Georgian riding a BMW, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Toyota, Nissan, Lexus, Mitsubishi, Audi, Fiat, Mini Cooper and other high-class cars and at the same time you may find a Georgian citizen driving Soviet-time car or a truck. Recently electric cars have also become popular.
Car markets in Georgia
Before buying a car in Georgia and completely making up your mind make sure to explore every possible choice. One of the good options is to visit Rustavi Auto Market called AUTOPAPA where you may find what you are looking for. It’s open during whole week but the best option is to to go there on Saturday or Sunday. Especially if you are in Tbilisi it’s very near and will take you 40 minutes to get there. It’s the only market not only in Georgia but in the whole Caucasus region which sells imported cars from US, Asia and Europe as well and you will meet people from Azerbaijan and Armenia here as it is cheaper for them to purchase car in Georgia and export it to their country.
After buying a car at Rustavi Auto Market you can register your car in the same spot as there is Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia where all the procedure can be made.
Online car markets
Also, there are some online car shops where you can find a wide range of choices before driving to Rustavi. Some Georgian websites are: autopapa, myauto, auto, etc.
From where does Georgia import cars?
Georgia doesn’t have any limitations in importing cars. The country can import any kind of car – any brand, any size, any shape from any country. Some companies try to import more cars from Korea as it gives them an opportunity to receive undamaged ones, some choose America as it has car auctions from where they can buy a car on sale and much cheaper.
Does Georgia export cars?
Georgia doesn’t only import cars but also exports them to the neighboring countries located in Caucasus region – Azerbaijan, Armenia and to Kazakhstan which is in Asia and to Turkey as well.
How to buy a car from another country and import it?
If you are already a resident of Georgia and have enough rights to purchase anything from another country you have to take into consideration that when a car crosses border of Georgia and appears on its land it will have to go through customs and you will have to pay a specific amount according to the car’s price, it’s appearance, year of production, motor capacity etc.
You’ll need a legal document proving your right of importing, sales documents, a document given on customs, name of a car and a technical passport.
If you aren’t a resident of Georgia and want to import anything from abroad, you’ll need to get a temporary registration number which you can receive in a Revenue Service.
Car auctions in Georgia
It’s been very popular recently to buy a car at a car auction as it may cost 30% cheaper than to buy one in Georgia. Though not everyone is satisfied with this service as many of them are left disappointed. But still sometimes it’s still better to risk it .
What difficulties people find while buying a car at a car auction?
Difficulties are mainly connected with low ratings in services which do not match high standards. The main issue is that sometimes customer isn’t given the right and detailed information about the car. So when buying a car you should pay your attention to the picture given and try to predict what to expect once your car arrives.
Driving license in Georgia
Before buying a car and starting to drive it you need a driving license. Does a foreign driving license work in Georgia? Yes, it does, but there are some steps the Georgian government requires from you. A citizen from a foreign country who doesn’t have a Georgian citizenship needs the following paperwork:
- passport or a document proving his temporary citizenship;
- driving license which he wants to change into Georgian license
- driving license approval
- health reference
- document of registration in Georgia
- document proving payment
This procedure can be done in a any service agency.
If you do not have a driving license yet and want to take an exam in Georgia you can do it in English language as well. There are several exam centers in the country: in Rustavi, Gori, Telavi. Read more about How to get a driving license in Georgia?
What do you need to know before buying a car?
Not everyone has enough knowledge and experience in cars, therefore, before buying one there are some recommendations which need to be followed.
A buyer should do analysis of car-prices. He needs to set the minimum and maximum price limitations to avoid additional taxes.
Of course buying a brand-new car is more expensive and people prefer to buy a second-hand one from a private person. But there are couple of things you need to know: in case of buying a second-hand car make sure to show it to a master or someone who can advise you whether to buy it or not.
It’s preferable to buy a car which has already been tested by a Technical Inspection Team and has an approved certificate.
There is some paperwork which you’ll need. Ask a seller to give you a car-book – a document like passport where all the details are marked – for example when he changed a motor etc. Don’t be afraid to ask any question that bothers you.
You’ll need a certificate proving car’s registration, sales contract, your ID or passport as well. If all the documents are in order you are ready to make a deal and register your car. Every procedure connected with buying, selling, registering, importing or exporting cars takes place in Georgia’s service center.
What to do first before buying a car?
After purchasing a car show it to a professional master and do a test-drive to make sure that it works perfectly and its condition completely matches the paid price. You may also need to change oil and anti-freeze, test brakes. Wheels and tires. Afterwards explore its history using VIN code to receive complete information and check once more whether a seller gave you wrong details about a car.
Car prices in Georgia
A price of car depends on a model, year of production, vehicle type etc. If you want to buy a typical car for everyday life and expect it to be in quite a good condition then you should spend thousands of euros to afford one like that. The prices start from 4,000 Euros approximately.
Auto leasing – Buying a car through banks
If you wish to buy a car as soon as possible but don’t have enough amount to afford it you can make a request from a bank as almost every bank offers you money loan. It may require a day or two or maybe a week until your request is approved.
Car insurance in Georgia
After affording a car you need to insure it to avoid any unplanned fees that may occur unexpectedly. In case of a car accident if you are hit the damage and repairs will completely or partly be covered by your insurance. You can use insurance services from the agency like Aldagi or banks: TBC Bank, VTB Bank etc.
If your car is experiencing any kind of issue or if you need to change and buy a detail to fix it, there is a big shop called Tegeta Motors where you can find anything you need. It has branches in different cities of Georgia: Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Batumi, Gori, Poti, Zugdidi, Telavi, Akhaltsikhe.
There is also a company called Toyota Center Tegeta which was founded based on a cooperation agreement between Tegeta Motors and Toyota Caucasus. The company offers its customers the newest models of Toyota vehicles, high quality original spare parts, accessories and technical service. The project is accomplished with the support of TBC Bank and European Bank of Reconstruction and Development.
Economy cars in Georgia
Big part of Georgians prefers economy cars which don’t require much money. Once in Georgia you will see a lot of Toyota Prius cars in the street and 90% of them serve as taxis as they are cheap. Also, you’ll come across a lot of electric and hybrid cars because they don’t require much fuel.
Fuel types and how to choose the right one
There is a big choice of fuels but it’s important to choose the right and optimal one for your car so it can function correctly. Choosing a fuel type may depend on a car brand, model, motor capacity. You can choose petrol, diesel or even gas, hybrid, electric, hydrogen.
Car renting and hiring
Sometimes when foreign visitors come to Georgia, and they wish to do a trip around the country and go to different places like Kazbegi, Batumi, Kutaisi, Kakheti, Tbilisi etc. they hire a car. There are some car rental companies where you can hire any car which matches your requirements. The prices vary based on a car model or on quantity of days.
If you are a foreigner in Georgia and you are planning to buy a car, take into consideration that it’s quite a long-term procedure registering your own one. Before buying make sure to follow above-mentioned recommendations, it will be better if a Georgian friend helps you to deal with a local car seller because you may be fooled easily. In case of buying a car at the auction be careful and contact trusted companies that will assist you to avoid any inconveniences. You’ll need to do a lot of research before making up your mind.