Buying a car in Denmark
Can I pay for a car in cash?
There is no limit on cash payments for the purchase of goods. When entering or leaving Denmark, any sum of money of or equivalent to EUR 10 000 and above must be declared to customs using a specific form.
What about payment of VAT?
Within an intra-EU transaction new cars should be sold without VAT. A car is considered new if no more than 6 months have passed since the date on which it was first registered or if its mileage does not exceed 6 000 km. In practice, some sellers may require payment of VAT as a deposit, to be refunded once the car is registered in the buyer's country. Check in advance with the seller how to claim the VAT refund, i.e. what documentation the seller needs from you. Be aware that you have no direct claim against the fiscal authorities, only against the seller, so you should claim any refund quickly. All other cars are considered second hand (more than 6 months since the date of first registration and mileage of more than 6 000 km). They are generally sold inclusive of VAT (25 %) if the supplier is a commercial seller (the supply is not liable to VAT if the supplier is a private person). You don't have to pay VAT in your country of residence.
Is the seller obliged to provide a vehicle inspection?
No. In Denmark, a roadworthiness test has to take place 4 years after the vehicle is first registered and then every 2 years (average cost: EUR 50).
Is the Danish vehicle inspection recognised in my home country?
Some countries recognise it. Check in advance with your national authority to avoid unnecessary costs.
Can I have an expert carry out a check on the car at the seller's premises?
Yes, if the seller agrees and you pay for it. FDM, a consumer organisation, offer used car tests in their garages for approximately EUR 400.
What should I look out for in the contract of sale?
Read the contract carefully and only sign contracts you understand. Some traders try to exclude legal guarantee rights by claiming that the contract is a business-to-business contract or that the car is sold "without warranties" (only in business-to-consumer contracts would such a clause be considered null and void). Make sure that the name of the seller is the same as the name given in the registration document, or that the seller has power of attorney to sell the car in the registered owner's name. If you buy from a trader, make sure that the name of the company is mentioned in the contract and that there is an indication regarding VAT.
Can I cancel a signed contract?
- If the contract is signed on the seller's premises, you have no legal right to withdraw (unless the contract includes the possibility of withdrawal).
- If the contract is a distance sale contract and you have not yet collected the car from the seller's premises, you can withdraw from the contract before delivery. You can also withdraw up to 14 days from delivery of the car to your address. If you collect the car at the seller's premises, the contract is usually signed there and either will not foresee or will exclude the right to a cooling off period.
What documents should the seller provide?
- The contract of sale or an invoice;
- The vehicle registration certificate ("Registreringsattest").
Check if other documents are needed in the country where you intend to register the car.
Should I apply for temporary plates to drive the car home?
You cannot order transit plates in advance but will have to rent them at the border upon arrival. Competent authority: The Danish Customs and Tax Administration – SKAT, Tel: +45 72 22 18 18, Price: +/- EUR 14/day, Validity: 7 days maximum. You may also be able to apply for transit plates from your home country. Check with your relevant national authority.
Regular national plates
If you wish to drive home with the national plates still on the car,are you obliged to return them to the competent registration offices, either in the country of previous registration or in the registrationcountry? You have to return the license plates to an authorised license plate operator or a motor centre operated by SKAT, the Danish Customs and Tax Administration. For more information see SKAT
Do I need temporary insurance?
When driving the car home, you must be covered by insurance allowing you to drive on public roads. When applying for transit plates, you need to show proof of (temporary) insurance cover.
If I have a complaint about a cross-border purchase, whom do I contact?
What out of court dispute resolution body is available in Denmark?
To whom do I report cases of fraud?
You must report them in person at the local police station.
Information provided by ECC-Net in March 2016 - see our legal notice.