Friday, January 14, 2011

Blue Plate Special

A new, base model Honda Accord costs about $50,000 USD in Turkey today. That's pretty steep compared to what I can get it for here in NC. The car isn't any different, but each country has a different tax schedule and the result is less car for your money in a lot of locales, not just Turkey. I've a client who says he paid $90,000 for a Honda Odyssey in Singapore recently. No wonder the rest of the world drives small cars, right?

So what does that have to do with Blue Plates?

In Turkey, an expat can get around the tax. Sort of. If you bring a car in and intend to take it back out with you, then you can get blue plates. Mavi Plaka they call it. I call it: Stop that driver and see if she has any Marlboros...but that's another post. I'm a foreigner, so techically I can import a car, go through (a million) hoops and mayhaps get away with paying less than the dealer MSRP in Istanbul. Well...let's just say hindsight is 20/20.

I put my 3 month old Acura on a boat and picked it up at the seaport in Turkey. Then it got interesting. I was an expat, but I was married to a Turk and apparently that was a problem, even though the car was in my name. I couldn't get blue plates. I couldn't get yellow temporary plates. I had to import the car and then get white ones. Just get divorced, says the attorney. Ha! I drove around with (blue) CT plates and no one asked me why.

Six + months of headache and miles of red tape later, I got the priviledge of paying my tax to the Turkish government and went to get my plates. According to the logic, they should be white because I paid the tax, right? Well, no. I got blue ones.

And wouldn't you know...we moved to Abu Dhabi shortly after.
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Matthew MacNish said...

Wow! That's crazy. And you lived in Abu Dhabi? In the UAE? Isn't that like the richest city in the world now? Or is that Dubai?

Today's guest blogger is K.M. Walton!

Jules said...

Wow, I would have been broke with my big Ford truck, huh? :) All this talking of Blue Plates has made me hungry :D
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Unknown said...

Interesting! Red tape in foreign countries boggle the mind. As you know, I lived in an African country and a European country, so I know just what you were up against during those six months. Too funny that you ended up with blue plates. I'm not surprised!

Happy Weekend!

Carolyn V. said...

Oh man. That's amazing. And a ton of money for a car. Wow!

Old Kitty said...

Wow!! Talk about Kafkaesque!!! LOL!! But I'm glad you got some kind of car plates!!! :-) Take care

Creepy Query Girl said...

Ugh, and I thought France's beaurocracy was hard to get through!

Golden Eagle said...

That sounds like a mess!

Christopher said...

That sounds like a whole lot of fun there.

Ayak said...

I really shouldn't laugh...but can't help it. Although I am often reduced to tears at some of the red tape here :-(


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