Updated : 12/2012
VAT rules for cars bought in another EU country are different to those for other goods. They also vary depending on whether the car is used or new, and whether the seller is a private individual or a professional.
Make sure you know the VAT rules before buying a car elsewhere in the EU.
You are free to buy a car anywhere in the EU. For information on the best deals, consult the European Commission’s car price report.
When comparing the price of a particular model in different countries, make sure you are comparing cars with the same equipment and interiors. Technical features (air conditioning, heating, and so on) may differ depending on where the vehicle is sold.
When buying a new car in another EU country, you will need to consider carefully how to transport it home, because it will not yet be registered in the country where you live:
You should obtain your car's permanent number plate in the country where you register your car.
Be aware that consumer legislation does not apply to private sales, so you should exercise extreme caution when buying a car from a private individual.
When dealing with a private seller, make sure you know as much as possible about him or her, including contact details.
By law, a car must be:
However, new cars will have a higher standard of ‘quality' compared to second-hand cars. The law recognises that a second-hand vehicle may not be completely fault-free.Still need help?
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In this case, the 27 EU member states + Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway