Cross-border car purchase and registration

Buying a car in another EU Member State: a good deal? Your European Consumer Centre (ECC) can help you answering the right questions. 

Update : Mar 2016

Looking for the real gem, competitive/attractive prices or just a wider choice, many EU consumers decide to go car bargain hunting in another EU Member State. What at first sight seems a simple transaction may quickly turn into an obstacle course: which documents are needed? Where to pay VAT? Is the car covered by a guarantee? Do I need insurance or transit plates for the way back? Is the foreign vehicle inspection recognized in my country? What to do in case of a complaint against the foreign seller or difficulties with the registration procedure?

To provide you with complete and transparent information, 29 ECCs under the lead of ECC France realised an extensive study in 2015, analyzing obstacles consumers may encounter when buying a car cross-border. Practical advice guides through the process from buying a car in another EU Member State or Norway to the registration in the consumer’s residence country.

To answer all these and more questions and to facilitate the cross-border car purchase, the ECC-Net provide following documents: 

  • Fact sheets for both country of purchase and country of registration regrouping in one place the main information consumers need (see below on the map);
  • General practical recommendations for consumers;
  • A video giving one example of a cross-border car purchase;
  • An extensive report about cross-border car purchase and registration in the EU and Norway, and its  summary;
  • A press release.
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