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11/05/2020 News


“On-the-road” and “off-the-road” are common terms for price in vehicles sales that that you will most likely hear from your car dealer. To be able to make the best purchase decision, a consumer will need to understand the difference and consequence of purchase under each term.

The terms are fairly simple from definition point of view. On-the-road price simply means all-inclusive price of a vehicle; it has included tax and costs for the dealer to apply for a vehicle’s plate number and registration papers. You can drive an on-the-road vehicle immediately after transaction. Considering that it is hassle-free, this is the most common method of vehicle purchase.

Off-the-road is therefore the opposite, where the price offered excludes tax and the administrative requirements. While price may appear lower, it is illegal to take your off-the-road vehicle for a ride. Without registration papers, traffic police have the authority to stop and impound the vehicle.


However, different buyer has different preference. Buying an off-the-road vehicle if desired, or for a manufacturer or dealer to sell one as off-the-road is legitimate. In fact, manufacturers and dealers often quote off-the-road prices on their catalogues to let potential buyers know the vehicles’ basic prices. Final price will of course vary depending on local tax regulation and other costs.

In Indonesia, off-the-road vehicles are usually offered by luxury brands and European manufacturers, even though tax component will be added to make a unit an on-the-road vehicle.

Moreover, off-the-road purchase is typically made in bulk for fleet requirement or for corporation needs. Cars or motorcycles promoted as the grand prize of an event, or used solely for competition purpose, are also usually off-the-road.

Individual buyers are perfectly allowed to purchase an off-the-road. You may later engage a service provider that specializes in getting vehicle plate and registration papers on your behalf. However, the final cost will not be significantly different than buying an on-the-road unit.

You may also try to do the all the work yourself. Below is the compilation of steps and the documents that you will need to do this.

From Off- to On-the-Road

The procedure to make your vehicle legal to drive is not complicated, but will demand extra time, energy, and out-of-pocket expenses. Make sure you are ready before you begin.

The first step is to prepare the required paperwork: authentic and copy of purchase receipt, dealer’s vehicle certificate, Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) certificate, copy of ID of the person stated on the receipt, and copy of family card.

Next, head to the vehicle registration and payment service office (SAMSAT) in the city of your residence to apply for new vehicle registration. Upon arriving, look for the Vehicle Tax and Vehicle Ownership Transfer Unit. Submit your documents to be formalized and to have your vehicle registered. This process usually takes 24 hours to complete.

Once registered, the vehicle will need to go through a physical inspection, including swipe of engine and chassis’ serial numbers. SAMSAT then will issue ownership certificate (BPKB). Again, this process will take 24 hours.

The next step is to pay your vehicle tax in order to receive vehicle registration certificate (STNK), where you will need to bring with all required documents. You will be informed of the tax amount to settle. It typically takes one week until you can return and get your papers (STNK, BPKB, and plate number).

However, keep in mind that the cost and time may vary depending on vehicle type and your location. Vehicle tax also applies progressively if you are already the registered owner of one or more cars.

Finally, while the above process is doable, buying an on-the-road unit is still the most practical choice. The dealer will then give you a temporary plate number and vehicle certificate while waiting for the official papers. All you need to do is seal the deal.