A not so useful guide for foreign car owners
We hate July.
Well we hate July every other year as we have to get our car MOT certificate. Thats the British term for the test to ensure your vehicle is roadworthy.
We would have liked this article to be really useful guide for all of you who buy a car and need to get your car test certificate.
But this is more like a guide to ‘What can go wrong for foreigners who buy their own cars in Turkey and need to get their Vehicle Test Certificate’
So read if you want and learn how NOT to do something.
The very first thing you should do is book an appointment, which you can do online. You don’t have to book an appointment – you can just turn up – but what we have learned is that going through the process of booking an appointment online means that if there is a problem, it will be flagged before you make the journey to the testing station.
You go to this website
Which now, helpfully translates into English when you load from Google.
You must put in your car number plate and a number from your car log book.
We did this but the next screen we saw was one telling us that we had car tax debt and could not book an appointment or go to the Vehicle Testing Station until we had cleared the debt.
As fas as we were aware we were up to date with our car tax, paying online as normal twice a year.
In fact the last payment was just 2 weeks ago, so when we got this message we were confused .
We checked with the bank and the bank said our payments had all gone through.
But no matter what anyone said – the computer kept saying ‘No you haven’t’.
Finally we met with Aynur Aksur in Finansbank who is the Foreigner Liaison Officer and who always manages to solve the problems we have. She checked all our accounts and payments and told us that we had definitely paid and all our payments had been accepted.
She suggested we went to the tax office and checked our records there.
Now we hadn’t actually realised the tax offices deal with car tax as well. In the UK car tax is dealt with by a completely separate office and organisation called the DVLR so Aynur’s suggestion was a revelation to us. There was a place in the tax office for car tax and a real person working there who could check why the computer was saying ‘NO’.
So off we went to the Tax Office.
We found the car tax section to the right of the entrance. The guy working behind the desk checked our receipts and confirmed we had paid all our recent taxes BUT in January 2017 we had missed one payment and that was why the computer would not let us proceed to the Vehicle Testing Station with an appointment.
So 300 tl lighter but with all our tax debt paid we set off this morning to the Vehicle Testing Station.
We had emergency food, water, sweets (plus survival blankets, board games, pen and paper) just in case we were there a long time, but today it was thankfully a very quick process – but why oh why does it have to be so very very scary.
Of course, as soon as we walked through the door we fell at the first hurdle – to even get to the desk to book your car in for the test you have to log onto the touch screen machine in order to get a ticket to be seen.
After about 5 excruciating minutes of punching in the wrong numbers and the wrong information, it was to our great fortune that a very kind officer came to our rescue and told us we needed the car log book/passport, which was still in the car. We went to get it brought it back and he punched in the right numbers and eventually produced a ticket for us.
So we sat and waited until our number came up, we went to the desk handed in our car papers and paid the fee, around 300TL for a car, and it was off to the emission testing bay on the other side of the site – thankfully all was good with our emissions – so we returned to the front of the Bay where we were eventually called over the loudspeaker, by name, very very slowly because we were Yabanci, and told to go to Bay 2.
It went down hill after that – like silly Graham trying to turn off the hazard lights when they had been put on for a reason
And us both forgetting to empty the car that morning because the Inspector would need to get into every nook and cranny and having bags of washing on the back seat and our packed lunch in the front, which meant moving everything from one seat to another. Why on earth were we carrying all that washing in the car anyway!!!!
We were then sent to the front of the building to wait, not sure if it was because by that stage we were giggling nervously and helplessly or it was just that was where we were supposed to go.
Anyway we stood nervously at the other end of the building waiting for what seemed an eternity.
Eventually Mr Vehicle Testing Engineer drove our car out of the Bay with a screech and got out.
We asked him if it it was all ok – he was expressionless and uttered ‘wait’.
After what seemed like another eternity, which of course is impossible as you can only have one eternity and it never ends, he appeared with our papers on a clipboard.
He told Gra to put his name on the papers so Gra signed his name.
But he was supposed to print him name then sign his name.
So Gra printed his name and signed his name as told.
Mr Vehicle Tester then produced a small sticker from his pocket and stuck it on our number plate.
And …… apparently ………we were done.
It was finished – we had passed!!!!!
We politely expressed our gratitude and he nodded and disappeared.
It was over.
We can relax for another two years before the next dreaded test.
We still don’t know how to sign in or what information has to be typed into the machine at the start of the whole process so we will be as green as we were today when we arrive there on August 3rd 2020.
Anyway – who cares – a lot can happen in two years.
For now, it is done.
We are Yabanci and we have managed to get our car to pass its Vehicle Test
That’s enough excitement for one day.