Buying a car in Luxembourg
Can I pay for a car in cash?
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 (17 %) 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 almost all consumers ask for it. Every new car registered in Luxembourg has to pass its first periodic technical inspection 3 years and 6 months after its first registration, and then every year. The inspection costs EUR 27.47 for cars.
Is the Luxembourgish 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 cover the costs. A list of experts is available at the "Chambre des Experts". Prices vary.
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. The contract and invoice should also follow a specific form and contain certain mandatory provisions.
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
- Both parts of the registration certificate (Certificat d'immatriculation - Partie I (carte grise), Certification d'immatriculation - Partie II)
- The European Certificate of Conformity (COC) if available. If the seller cannot provide the COC, you can contact the manufacturer in your home country to obtain a duplicate for a fee. If the manufacturer cannot provide one, you can ask one of the technical services on the European Commission list if they can supply equivalent documentation for the car.
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 can order Luxembourg transit plates in advance. Whether or not you can cross borders with them depends on the regulations of the countries through which you travel.
Competent authority: Société Nationale de la Circulation Automobile (SNCA).
Price: EUR 173.20 (including a EUR 100 deposit, refundable after return of the plates).
Documents/information to be presented: Identity card, car brand, vehicle identification number, details of departure and destination.
Timeframe: issued immediately.
Validity: 3 months (the month in which you receive the plates and the following 2 months)
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?
In the case of export of a car, you have to apply for export plates, which cost EUR 173.20. These are valid for a maximum of 3 months (current month + 2 months). Upon return of the plates, you will get a reimbursement of EUR 100.
Do I need temporary insurance?
When driving the car home, you must be covered by insurance allowing you to drive on public roads. The car has to be insured by an insurance company authorised to provide insurance in Luxembourg.
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: www.cecluxembourg.lu
What out of court dispute resolution body is available in Luxembourg?
There are no specific out-of-court bodies.
To whom do I report cases of fraud?
You should report them to the nearest police station. Online reports can be made here.