Buying and selling a motor vehicle in another Member State Unfortunately this specification of service has not yet been completely translated.

Vehicle registration in another EU Member State and motor vehicle tax in another EU Member State

Registration conditions

If you, as an EU citizen, move to Germany, you must register your car there if its established location is in Germany.

Exemptions from the registration obligation

If you, as an EU citizen, move to Germany, you may use your vehicle there while it is still registered in your previous country of residence.

You can use it for a year as long as its established location is not in Germany. The regular location is, in principle, determined by the use of a vehicle. It is the location from which the vehicle is mainly used to directly access public road traffic and at which it is left after it is used. If a regular location has been established in Germany, then the vehicle must be registered in Germany.

Students

There are no special provisions or exemption regulations for students in terms of vehicle registration.

Pensioners, second home owners and cross-border workers

As an EU citizen with a second home in Germany, you must register your vehicle there if its established location is in Germany.

Period for new registration of a vehicle

If you move to Germany, you must re-register a vehicle previously registered in another EU Member State as soon as your move is complete.

If the location of the vehicle has already moved to Germany in advance, then the vehicle must already be registered in Germany from this time.

The district or municipal registration authorities are responsible for the new registration of a vehicle previously registered in another EU Member State.

Export plates

If you, as a foreign national, buy a car in Germany then you may drive it back to your country of residence with export plates. Refer to 'General rules and regulations' for the requirements that a vehicle must fulfil.

You can obtain the export plate from the responsible district or municipal authorities and the number plates at special points of sale for around EUR 10-40.

Motor vehicle tax

If you, as an EU citizen, have registered your car in Germany then you as the holder must pay motor vehicle tax annually in advance.

Tax relief is granted for the following vehicles:

  • pure electric vehicles registered for the first time in the period from 18 May 2011 to 31 December 2020: Complete tax exemption for 10 years from the date of first registration.

Vehicles of severely disabled vehicle owners: depending on the type and degree of the disability, a complete tax exemption or tax relief amounting to 50% will be granted. A vehicle owner entitled to tax relief of 50% can choose between this or using public transport free of charge. Evidence of the severe disability must be provided. It must be considered that the tax-advantaged vehicle must only be used for the transportation or household management of the beneficiary.

Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur (BMVI)


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Last update or date of publication
02.03.2020