Seoul - Post Report Question and Answers

What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

Parking spaces are incredibly tight here, so smaller is better. Most Koreans put foam bumpers on their car doors to prevent scratches. Korean brands are most common (Hyundai and Kia), but you can find parts and service for most everything. - Mar 2022

Anything, but you must have one. - Nov 2021

Something small if you are at the Embassy. The parking lot is tiny. Parts are easy to find, but will be cheaper if you order yourself (like oil filters for oil changes) or have a Korean car. Not all Korean brand cars that are built to U.S. specs use the same parts/sizes though. Heated seats are nice in the winter. - Feb 2020

Don't bring a huge car...roads are descent and parking spaces are small. People don't really take care in avoiding bumping other cars so if you bring something, expect it to get dinged and scratched up. I personally bought a local car because it would be easier to maintain and service. You will have to order parts for American cars unless you want to pay a fortune. People usually ordered car parts and tires through the APO. - Feb 2016

We did not have a car and did not miss it one bit. If you live on base a car might be more useful, as you have to walk further to access public transportation. Traffic can be pretty awful, too, and parking can be limited. Unless you really want to stand out, bring a black, white, or silver car. It seems that's all the Koreans drive! There are always cars for sale, either diplomatic or military. One friend had a very easy time buying a used car on the local economy, too. - Feb 2016

Any car is great to have here. - Jul 2015

Any but if you get a Korean made 9 seater it is a huge advantage to be able to drive in the HOV lanes. - Feb 2015

Anything. Smaller would be better for parking. If you buy a 9-passenger minivan here, you can drive in the bus lane, making trips out of the city SO much better traffic-wise. - Jan 2014

Any car will work here, but buying local Korean cars are best to mitigate costs. - Sep 2013

You can bring any car, but fixing a Korea car is very inexpensive, parts are made next door in China. It is easy to buy a used car here. There is no car theft or carjacking. Driving is organized but agressive. People will run lights and stop signs, you have to be very aware while behind the wheel. - Dec 2010

There are no carjackings in Seoul. If you plan to buy a car in Seoul, get a Korean make as the repairs and parts are much cheaper than having a non-Korean make serviced; however, if you bring a car, you can get parts and service. NOTE: when driving in Seoul, it can be treacherous. While Korea has top-notch infrastructure, people still drive like they are in the developing world as they do not really stay in the lines, don't come to complete stops at intersections if they stop at all, and will cut you off in an instant to get an edge in the flow of traffic. It's L.A., Atlanta, or D.C. type of traffic. If you are in an accident, you will pay60 percent if you are at fault and the other party will pay the rest even if they were not responsible for the accident whatsoever. It's considered a vehicle operator user fee essentially. - Sep 2009

Any and all types of vehicles are fine. Luxury foreign vehicles are an increasingly common sight, despite high prices. Traffic can get heavy like most major cities but experience will help you navigate more efficiently. Most drivers in Korea use a GPS Navigator (including almost all taxi drivers). - Jul 2008

Anything would be suitable. There are several good garages next to the base that can perform routine maintainence. - May 2008

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