Importing a car from another EU country to Germany

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Hi

 

I did not found any suitable answer on my issue - so -

I moved to Germany, now my work permit finally came through (as I am from new EU country) and would like to get to information - if I bring my car from my country to Germany (as from one EU country to another) - do I need to do anythihng - like getin it registered here, pay some import taxes? and how much time do I have to do that.?

 

car has been on my name all the time, it is 10 years old...

 

Thanks if anybody knows about this issue.

 

Maja

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Hello Maja,

 

Funnily enough my wife has just done this today.

 

You need a card from an insurance broker, I think it's called a doppelcart, and a German TUV. For us coming from the UK the biggest expense was having to change the headlights which were setup for driving on the left. Take these together with your ownership papers, passport and registration document along to the local Zulassung office and you're in business.

 

They will probably ask for you old numberplates, for some strange reason, so make sure you have these and you need the money to pay for new plates (about €20) and a year's tax (depends on the car.. a VW Golf is about €220).

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Well it's a bit old this topic, but it meets with my question/problem.

 

This September I'll make a road trip from Greece to Germany in order to get my car with me. The car has European (greek) plates and a Greek insurance company with green card (means it covers you no matter where you are in Europe).

Since I'll stay for one year in Germany and the next year in Finland and then who knows where, I'm thinking not to change my plates because if I want to come back to Greece I'll have to import it and pay its value like if I would buy it again.

 

So the question is...

Is it possible to stay with my GR plates, pay the road taxes (I suppose they have this in Germany as well, at least here we do) and be legal? Keep in mind I'll stay with the car for more than 6 months. I'm trying to reach the German Embassy as well the last 2 days but so far I didn't manage to get them.

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You need to be careful if you do this. As while your car may be insured all over europe you may well find that this is not valid if you are living (resident) in another European country. As it is just intened for short visits and holiday not permanent living.

 

Also, there is of course a moral obligation. If you are living in Germany and using the German facilities why should you avoid paying for them, which is in fact what you would be doing.

 

If everybody does this then there would not be any facilities for us all to use as it would not be substainable.

 

 

On another note. If you car is less than 6 months old then the process for importing is different as you will have pay the MWsT on the car here in Germany (and claim it back in the country of purchase, if you paid it there).

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The insurance company covers you as long as you have plates of the same country with the company.

The Green Card covers you till the day that the contract expires.

 

I'm not trying to "avoid" any legal obligation. I said that my intention is to pay the German taxes and all. The thing is that I don't want to change plates for the simple reason that it wouldn't be worthy, cause the value for this would be like buying a used car if I want to bring it back to Greece.

The road taxes or everything else that occurs ofc I will pay it, as I will be paying for the greek ones (although I'll not be using them, but since I keep the plates that goes hand by hand).

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i am working as a consultant in germany; still paying taxes in sweden - but since i am spending a lot of time here, i drove my car down. you can use your car here for six months without having to change anything under the freedom of movement. after six months; you should start the transition to the host country in which you will permanently reside. more information is available here:

 

http://germany.angloinfo.com/countries/germany/moving5.asp

 

if you are moving here for longer than six months and want to leave after that, do not bring your car unless you want to deal with the mess.

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thank you for your replies.

So far the only "official" written thing I've found is this: http://ec.europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/vehicles/registration/when-who/index_en.htm

 

As as student I know that I don't have to register my car, even if I stay for a year or two. From what I understand "if your only reason for being there is to study" means that if you study AND work at the same time then you don't belong at the exception from the compulsory car registration.

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I'll add on my own question if you don't mind! I've just bought a left hand drive van ready for my move to Berlin, its originally from Germany but now has Spanish plates & registration. I bought it from a dealer here in the UK who has been driving it for a few months on dealer plates. He told me its easier if I register it here, then register it in Germany when I move.

 

But, as I only have a few weeks left here (move on Aug 24th) it seems easier to just wait and register it in Germany. I'm happy not to drive it here in the meantime, would save me the cost of UK reg. and plates. I got insurance here to allow me to drive it home, but no tax yet as I'd need the registration first.

 

Any advice would be very welcome!

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SamTaffy,

How are you going to drive it (legally) from the UK to Germany without plates?

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It has Spanish plates at the moment. The dealer said its ok to have them on temporarily, don't know if thats right though.

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Why would driving it on Spanish plates be OK if you don't own it? They don't belong to you and there's no way to trace you to the plates. And of course he will say it's OK - he wants to sell.

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Well it's a bit old this topic, but it meets with my question/problem.

 

This September I'll make a road trip from Greece to Germany in order to get my car with me. The car has European (greek) plates and a Greek insurance company with green card (means it covers you no matter where you are in Europe).

Since I'll stay for one year in Germany and the next year in Finland and then who knows where, I'm thinking not to change my plates because if I want to come back to Greece I'll have to import it and pay its value like if I would buy it again.

 

So the question is...

Is it possible to stay with my GR plates, pay the road taxes (I suppose they have this in Germany as well, at least here we do) and be legal? Keep in mind I'll stay with the car for more than 6 months. I'm trying to reach the German Embassy as well the last 2 days but so far I didn't manage to get them.

 

 

Getting plates in Germany is not difficult nor expensive (it covers the administrative costs only). The minimum insurance is not that expensive either. If you stay longer than 6 months you probably should get plates. Not sure the Germany embassy is the right person to contact, the laws and enforcement vary from place to place. Just do it because you know its right and the problems of not doing it are far worse.

 

As for paying import tax to Greece, I doubt that is the case as Greece is for now still in the EU. You pay VAT once on a new car and that's that. Even for outside EU imports you only pay import duty once.

 

 

 

SamTaffy,

How are you going to drive it (legally) from the UK to Germany without plates?

 

 

Recently I tried this and it was impossible to get plates for the car without my local registration office first seeing the car. No plates no insurance green card, no green card no drive from the UK. I had it shipped, cost 750 pound and it took about 30 minutes of my life in total. Then I drove it direct to the registration office to get plates. It was permitted to drive without plates for that purpose ONLY.

 

Each registration office in Germany has a different process, you may find you need the original CoC (not the duplicate which is a 100% duplicate, don't ask) ... the car manufacturer can supply that.

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Sam Taffy according to the link of the European site, you can stay with the "foreign" plates for no longer than six months. After that, you have to register the car to the country of your permanent residence, and that would be Germany, in your case.

 

In the case of Greece, when you want to "delete" your plates you give your original plates and they give you new ones for "travelling" that are valid for a month. That's enough in order to go to the other country with the "travel plates" and then register it there, getting new ones.

I suggest you ask at the UK office. They will inform you on the subject, since you can "delete" plates other than your country's.

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I'll add on my own question if you don't mind! I've just bought a left hand drive van ready for my move to Berlin, its originally from Germany but now has Spanish plates & registration. I

 

 

What do you mean if I don't own it? Its in my name now with the Spanish reg.

 

Are you saying that the car is registered in Spain under your name? Or putting it another way, if it were possible to trace ownership via the Spanish registration authorities then it would track back to you in UK?

If so, then assuming you live in UK and have nothing to do with Spain, how did you do that?

And if it is registered in Spain, who has insured it for you?

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What do you mean if I don't own it? Its in my name now with the Spanish reg.

 

 

Now if you'd made it that clear in your first post (though I'd be interested to read your answer to YL6's questions). What's the story with the dealer driving it on trade plates go to do with anything if it's your car on Spanish plates? IIRC, you can drive it here for 6 months before you need to re-register onto German plates. Then you'll need a CoC along with the other 'normal' docs for registering in Germany and it'll have to go through the HU/AU inspection.

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I don't know about the process, which is why I'm asking. The dealer filled in whatever the equivalent to the V5 would be to change the ownership from him to me. What I was wondering was whether I could register it with the German authorities, pay the German tax and then drive it over, or if I would need to physically be in Germany first. That would seem more straightforward than registering it here for a few weeks, then again over there. I was aware that the legality of me driving the car home from the dealer was dubious as its insured but not taxed. I was just asking for advice from anyone who'd had experience of a similar situation, I didn't expect the hostility, guess I'll know better in future.

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I brought my car to Germany from Switzerland. I only had to pay the normal fees for German plates and the yearly fee, have the inspection done (TUV) and get insurance. Because I had owned the car for more than 6 months there was no import/duty tax or sales tax to pay

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