Buying a car in Hungary
Can I pay for a car in cash?
Yes, there are no restrictions on this for consumers. A limit of HUF 1.5 million (about EUR 5 000) a month applies for legal persons, unincorporated business associations and VAT-registered private persons who are obliged to open a bank account. If you travel within the EU, you don't need to declare money you take with you to customs. When entering or leaving the EU, you must declare any sum of money of or equivalent to EUR 10 000 and above 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 (27 %) 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, but details of the technical condition and repair history must be provided. In Hungary, the first periodic inspection has to take place 4 years after the vehicle is first registered and then every 2 years. Average inspection costs: EUR 55 for M1 vehicles (passenger vehicles with no more than nine seats), EUR 80 for M2 vehicles (passenger vehicles with more than nine seats).
Is the Hungarian vehicle inspection recognised in my home country?
Some countries recognise it. Check in advance with your national authority to avoid unnecessary costs. For further information, see the country fact sheets on registration.
Can I have an expert carry out a check on the car at the seller's premises?
Yes, if the seller agrees and at your own expense. There is no official website or list. Special vehicle servicing experts can perform checks on the condition of the vehicle.
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 registration certificate ("forgalmi engedély");
- The European Certificate of Conformity (COC) (not mandatory but recommended for registering the car abroad). If no COC is available and the car is being put onto the road for the first time, designated bodies perform a check to verify that the car is new. hu
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?
Hungarian plates starting with a ‘Z' allow you to cross borders and drive to your country of residence. Competent authority: Central Office for Administrative and Electronic Public Services, 1133 Budapest XIII. kerület, Visegrádi utca 110-112:hu: Price: HUF 5 500 (+/- EUR 18 for 1 plate) HUF 13 000 (+/- EUR 43 for 2 plates): Timeframe: issued immediately / Validity: 30 days: Good to know: The fee for deregistration of the car is HUF 2 300 (+/- EUR 7).
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 registration country?
The seller has to notify the Hungarian authority that the car has been sold to a consumer in another country and ask for the temporary deregistration of the vehicle. For that, the plates have to be left with the authority. When you register the car in your residence country, the authority in that country sends a notification to the Hungarian authority.
Do I need temporary insurance?
When driving the car home, you must be covered by insurance allowing you to drive on public roads. Only general mandatory liability insurance is needed and you must take out a policy with an insurer of your choice in the EU. 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?
Contact your local ECC
What out of court dispute resolution body is available in Hungary?
Details of the 20 ADR bodies (one for each of the 19 countieshu).
To whom do I report cases of fraud?
You should report any cases of fraud to the nearest police station to where the trader is located.
Information provided by ECC-Net in March 2016 - see our legal notice.