Buying a car in Norway
Can I pay for a car in cash?
Yes, there are no restrictions on cash payments for the purchase of goods. However, any amount exceeding EUR 3 000 must be declared to customs, regardless of whether the money is brought into or taken out of the country.
What about payment of VAT?
For new cars, the rate of VAT in Norway is 25 %. Purchases of second- hand cars are not subject to VAT. For a car to be considered second hand, no minimum age or mileage restrictions exist.
Is the seller obliged to provide a vehicle inspection?
No. The car must pass a periodic roadworthiness check (the first, 4 years after the date of its first registration and then every other year). It is, however, legal to sell a car that has not passed this check, but the car is unlikely to meet the conditions of the contract of sale if the seller does not inform the buyer about this in advance. A test drive to an authorised garage can be requested in order to have the car's condition assessed. The average cost of the test is EUR 150.
Is the Norwegian vehicle inspection recognised in my home country?
Some countries recognise it. Check in advance with your national authority to avoid unnecessary costs. Further information is available at the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.
Can I have an expert carry out a check on the car at the seller's premises?
If the seller agrees, you may ask a mechanic from a garage. You will usually have to cover the average costs of EUR 60-170.
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 for new cars.
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.
What documents should the seller provide?
- The contract of sale or an invoice
- The registration certificate ("Vognkort")
- The contract normally includes a clause under which the seller confirms that the car is not pawned. The buyer can check whether the car is pawned by entering the registration number for free here.
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?
Along with Norway, Norwegian transit plates may only be used in Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden.
Competent authority: TOLL Customs Schweigaards gate 15 - 0191 Oslo
Price: NOK 250 (+/-EUR 30)/day
Timeframe for delivery: 1 day
Validity: 3 weeks
You may 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?
To deregister a vehicle from the Norwegian Register of Motor Vehicles, the licence plates must be submitted to an official registration office. The alternative is to get confirmation from the foreign authorities that the vehicle has been registered abroad (a copy of the foreign registration document for instance). If a foreign registered vehicle undergoes a technical inspection before registration, the foreign plates must be handed in before the owner gets Norwegian licence plates fitted on the vehicle. Confirmation that the vehicle is registered in Norway is then sent to the foreign authorities so that they can update their register.
Do I need temporary insurance?
When driving the car home, you must be covered by insurance allowing you to drive on public roads.
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 Norway?
The Norwegian Consumer Council provides ADR in Norway.
To whom do I report cases of fraud?
You can report them free of charge to the Norwegian Consumer Council for mediation. If the parties cannot find a solution, the case may be handled by the Consumer Dispute Court.
You can also report them to the nearest police station. Foreign citizens must come in person in order to file a report.
Information provided by ECC-Net in March 2016 - see our legal notice.