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Last checked : 18/05/2018

Car registration in another EU country – Finland

Registration rules

If you have moved to Finland and are living there permanently, you are not allowed to use even temporarily a vehicle registered abroad on the road in Finland without paying car tax there.

Time allowed for re-registering a vehicle

If you are an EU national moving to Finland, you can use your vehicle there while it is still registered in your previous home country.

If you are moving to Finland and you bring a vehicle registered abroad into the country for personal use, you or the vehicle owner must register it in Finland within 30 days:

  • of the import date if the vehicle owner intends to take up permanent residence in Finland on arrival

  • of the date when the vehicle owner is considered to have settled permanently in Finland after arrival

You may use a vehicle registered in the EEA, which is to be registered in Finland, in Finland even before the vehicle is taxed, provided you submit a declaration of use to Tax Administration before taking the vehicle into use in Finland and you submit the tax declaration within five days after submitting the declaration of use for the vehicle. The right to use expires on the date on which the car tax is due, at the latest three months after submitting the declaration of use, or after 30 days if a vehicle is not subject to car tax. The vehicle must have motor insurance that is valid in Finland.

To re-register a vehicle previously registered in another EU country, see the Tax Administration and the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi) websites.

Temporary registration plates

If you buy a car abroad, the transform permit plates issued in another EU country will be recognised in Finland for the purposes of driving your car back to your country of residence.

You can get transfer plates from the Finnish Transport Safety Agency - Trafi's registration affiliates. Finland has around 300 vehicle inspection stations.

Exemptions from registering your car

If one's residence is in Finland, the vehicle must be registered and car tax must be paid. To qualify for exemption from the vehicle registration requirement, one must submit a certificate of enrolment from a university or another institution, which is valid for the whole duration of your study visit.

Students

If you move from another EU country to Finland to study:

  • you do not have to register your own car with the Finnish authorities for your period of study. This also applies if the car is owned by your parents, who are not resident in Finland
  • you do not have to pay the registration fee or motor vehicle tax in Finland
  • you do not have to buy additional car insurance for your period of study in Finland

To qualify for exemption from the vehicle registration requirement, you must submit a certificate of enrolment from a university (or another institution), which is valid for the whole duration of your study visit. In addition, if you intend to stay in Finland for at least 6 months, you must also complete a tax administration form.

You can get a certificate of enrolment from your educational institution and the customs form from the Tax administration form on the Tax administration's website. You must keep these documents in the vehicle in case of checks by the authorities.

If in addition to studying, you are also working in Finland, you must register the vehicle and pay the related taxes and charges.

Pensioners, second homeowners, and cross-border commuters

EU nationals with a second home in Finland do not need to register their vehicles in Finland.

They are exempt from compulsory car registration if the following conditions are met:

  • the owner or holder of the vehicle is habitually resident in another EU country

  • the vehicle is registered in another EU country

  • their vehicle is brought into the country for their own use

Use Tax administration form 1260 to apply to extend the period for temporary use of a vehicle.

More information on temporary tax-exempt use of a vehicle on Tax Administration website.

Taxes and duties for vehicles in Finland

As an EU national, if you want to register and use your car in Finland, you must pay the following taxes and charges:

  • Car tax: Car tax must be paid to Finnish Tax Administration for passenger cars and vans, buses and delivery trucks weighing less than 1 875 kg, as well as motorcycles and other L-category vehicles (such as all-terrain vehicles). The car tax must be paid before the vehicle is registered or taken into use in Finland, with the exception of certain well-defined, temporary tax-exempt uses.
  • Customs duties and import VAT must also be paid for vehicles imported from outside the EU.
  • Motor vehicle tax is payable to the Finnish Transport Safety Agency - Trafi. The motor vehicle tax consists of a base tax and a tax on driving power. Motor vehicle tax is calculated for daily use and charged for a 12-month tax period on the basis of the vehicle data in the vehicle register. Motor vehicle tax is not calculated for the days that the vehicle was entered in the register as temporarily decommissioned. The tax is based on the vehicle data in the vehicle register.
  • Tax on driving power is levied on vehicles that use something other than motor petrol for fuel.

  • Fuel tax is included in fuel prices.

Trucks, like light L-category vehicles such as mopeds, are tax-exempt. They do not fall within the scope of the Car Tax Act, so you do not even need to submit a tax return for them. As a general rule, you must submit tax returns for other categories of vehicles and apply for tax-exemptions.

A category M1 vehicle with an unladen mass of at least 6 000 kg is tax-exempt.

Vehicles acquired by EU officials after moving to Finland and vehicles of EU officials not recruited from to Finland. If a person who is recruited from a country other than Finland to come and work in the institutions or services of the European Communities located in Finland imports a vehicle for personal use, that vehicle is tax-exempt.

You must pay the car tax before registering the car or using it in Finland — car registration or vehicle use in Finland is tax-exempt only in exceptional cases. Tax-free use is usually temporary.

If vehicles are used in Finland without being registered there in accordance with the regulations, they will be subject to a higher motor vehicle tax of at least EUR 1 000.

Car tax can be partly refunded if a taxed vehicle is permanently exported to another country.

Further information (in Finnish only).

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