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.

Car purchase abroad

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, analysing 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.

Fact sheets regarding country of purchase and country of registration

Please click on the country to get more information.

See our article on car purchase frauds

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Innovation Council and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Executive Agency (EISMEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.