When you buy a car abroad, your rights – including the amount of VAT to be paid – vary according to several elements:
- if the car is new or used
- if you buy from a professional dealer or a private individual
- whether the seller is based in an EU country or not.
- You usually have the highest level of legal protection when buying a new car from a professional seller based in the EU.
The EU rules on consumer rights require that you have at least 2 years guarantee if the purchased car is defective or does not match the advertising.
In some EU countries, the warranty period can be reduced to no less than 1 year for used vehicles . The buyer and seller must agree on these conditions at the time of purchase.
Remember that EU consumer rights do not apply to private sales : therefore, when buying a car from a private individual, you act with extreme caution.
Check the car documentation
When buying a car abroad, check that the seller provides you with all the necessary documents to register it in the country where you live. Check that you have the original documents of the car .
Transporting a new car
If you buy a new car in another EU country, you will have to carefully consider how to take it home because it will not yet be registered in the country where you live:
- you can tow it at home with a duly insured and registered vehicle
- you can contact a specialized transport company
- you can drive it yourself , but you must have insurance and temporary plates in the country where you buy it
Moving abroad in a leased car
Warning! It could be difficult. If you rent a car, you can use it for the duration of the lease and you have the option to buy it at the end of the contract. However, until then the person or company that makes the leased car available to you is the rightful owner .
Since you are required to insure and register the car in your country of residence, you may also encounter difficulties if your insurance is not valid in the country you want to move to.
The person or company that makes the leased car available to you may also be reluctant to accept the registration of the vehicle in another EU country.