Road Rules In South Korea
Car Rent Service
There are major traffic jams in South Korea at the rush hours, especially the bridges over the Han River can be choke points.
Road Signs are often written in both English and Korean nationwide. Reading road signs is one of the best reasons for learning the easy-to-memorize Korean characters. However the road signs placed at frequent intervals, often at junctions where you need to turn.
Driving Lane: Driving is on the right as in North American and most European countries, although walking is sometimes on the left.
Traffic Lights – Red (stop) lights are often treated more as suggestions than as rules in Korea. The amber light is usually a mere flash between the red and green lights, but drivers still try to make it across the intersection which results in blocked intersections and/or cars straddling the pedestrian crossing.
Right Turns: Right turns on red light are not prohibited, but carefulness should be maintained. At other intersections there are specific right-turn lights.
Left Turns: When specific left-turn light is available, left turns are not allowed at red lights. On green lights left turns are prohibited. If there is no left-turn light, keep driving until you come to a place where you can either make a left or a U-turn.
Emergency Vehicle Service: (through your auto-insurance provider)
- Free battery recharge service is available when the car battery dies.
- Free service for locking yourself out of the car.
- Free emergency gas service – 3 litres. Does not apply to vehicles using light-oil or LPG.
- Free tire exchange service in case of a flat tire
The police will have a car towed if it is illegally parked. Cars can be towed from areas where there is no towing sign posted.
If your vehicle has been towed
1. Look around the area where your vehicle was parked and see if you can find a piece of paper – it may be stuck on a pole, the side of a building, the curb, somewhere. You will know it is for you because your license number will be written on it. From that you will see where the vehicle is now waiting for you. There is usually a phone number listed. A Korean-speaker can call and confirm that your vehicle is there and find out how much money you need to bring with you.
2. If you can’t find the location of your vehicle and you are in Seoul, contact the Seoul Metropolitan Management Corporation or call the Automatic Response Service for towed vehicles: 02-2290-6300~5 (ARS) – again ask a Korean speaker for help.
3. To recover your vehicle, you must go to the tow lot, show your driver’s license and alien registration card. You will have to pay a tow fee and a tow lot fee. (The tow lot fee should be at most W500,000 regardless of the type of vehicle). Tow fees can range between W40-50,000 depending on the size of the vehicle.
4. To appeal the fine if the fine stems the vehicle having been stolen or from some other reasonable cause, the owner may appeal to City Hall within 10 days of the citation.
5. Unpaid fines can finally be paid at any bank or at the local gu-office in which the ticket was issued.