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Taking your car abroad in Europe – fewer registration formalities

© Skynesher - iStock photo

The EU is proposing simpler car registration rules – whether you spend part of the year in another country or drive a company car registered outside your home country.

What's the issue?

  • As more and more Europeans travel, live and work abroad, the question "Where do I have to register my car?" has become more difficult to answer.
  • National governments do not always make it easy, requiring re-registration for short or work-related stays, or lengthy procedures for people who move permanently.

What exactly would change?

  • Formalities for re-registering a car in another EU country would be reduced to a minimum.
    Many controls would be abolished altogether, with authorities getting any technical information they need about the car directly from their colleagues in the country where it's already registered.
  • Registration authorities would cooperate more with each other, making it easier to track stolen cars. It would become impossible to register a stolen car in another EU country.
  • IMPORTANT – this proposal would change nothing as regards:
    • vehicle and registration taxes;
    • vehicles that are re-registered in the same EU country (for example, after being sold).

Who would benefit and how?

  • People who buy or sell a second-hand car in another EU country would not have to undergo additional technical controls and administrative problems.
  • People who spend part of the year in a holiday residence in another EU country would not have to re-register their car there.
  • People who move permanently to another EU country would have 6 months to re-register their car there.
  • People who work in another EU country and use a car registered by their employer there would no longer have to register it in their home country.
  • Car-rental companies – during holiday periods, they would be able to transfer cars to another EU country without re-registration. This could lower the price of car rentals.

When is the proposal likely to come into effect?

  • 2014

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