Buying a Motorcycle: Part 1

The main reason we went to Istanbul was to buy a motorcycle.  We had two lined up to look at, though we suspected the first one would be right for us.  It was, we saw it at the service department of Bosphorus Harley Davidson, took some photos, discussed the bike in detail, and agreed a price.

Then the process of buying started.  For us it was initially fairly simple.  The current owner wanted cash.  So the following morning we went for the cash whilst he made sure all the papers were up to date and correct.  We found a bank in Taksim, the staff were a little surprised about how much money we wanted, but the money came soon enough.  So we ended up in Starbucks with enough cash fund the backhanders at a Tory party conference (without the brown paper envelopes) waiting for Şadi to phone us.  He phoned in the early afternoon to say that papers should be ready shortly after 5pm and that by this time the Noter would be closed so we would have to do the sale the following morning.

Shortly before midday the next day we met, he assured us the papers were all correct, so leaving the bike where it was yesterday we went to the Noter.  The first office we went to did not want to do the work, found excuses, made it difficult despite us having all the necessary numbers and identification.  He said it was not possible for a Turkish citizen to sell a vehicle to a foreigner.  We tried another Noter and this time the papers were accepted.  The Noter did all the necessary checks ensuring the papers pertaining to the bike were as we were told all correct, that there were no outstanding debts or fines, and the rest, and as expected told us that an official translator would need to be present for the sale to be completed.

We waited, chatted to Şadı, eventually the translator turned up, then with very little fuss all the necessary papers were signed and the transfer of ownership made.  We paid the Noter and translator for their services, Şadı got his money and we got the documents, keys and everything else.  He also, very generously, bought us lunch to celebrate.

Of course this is the simple bit, we now owned the bike and had a properly notarised contract to prove this, but the papers needed to updated to reflect the change in ownership and the change in colour, all of which needed to be done in Izmir.  With this in mind and also the fact that Istanbul was freezing cold and wet we opted to leave the bike at Bosphorus Harley Davidson, to get them to deliver it to us, and headed to Ataturk Airport hoping to grab an evening flight home.

What is needed for this part of the process:
Money, as agreed with the seller.
Residence Permit
Yabancı kimlik number
Patience and trust

The seller also needs to have all their papers together.  The slight delay in our case was due to the bike being in need of a TUV (similar to an MOT in the UK) and the change of colour which needed to be registered in the vize (similar to a UK log book).


2 responses to “Buying a Motorcycle: Part 1

  1. We’ll be buying a bike in May, so useful info for us, thanks.

    • Make sure you have your Kimlik number, this is not the same number as in your Residence Permit. Without the Kimlik number the transfer of ownership cannot happen.
      Then you get to the more complicated part, registration of ownership and new plates from the Trafik Polis, we have just posted our experience with this.

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