Europe Vehicle Registration Process

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How To Register A Vehicle In Europe: Process & Overview

Europe is one of the “easier” parts of the world to ship and register a vehicle from the United States, but what’s involved is slightly different from one country to another. This article will give you a general idea of what you can expect when registering a car or other vehicle in Europe, though it’s important to keep in mind that the specifics of each country should be kept in mind since any small hangup can be costly in terms of both time and money.

Europe Vehicle Registration Process

Those hang ups can include fees in your resident nation as well as registration requirements. Generally moving in between the EU member nations is painless as being an EU national citizen makes the process as seamless as possible.

If you plan to ship a vehicle to Europe, you should consult our online shipping guide for more information, including costs and requirements. If you have questions, our staff is available any time to answer them or provide a FREE price quote.

General Tips For Driving In Europe

Things to keep in mind when registering a vehicle:

Car registration is normally done in the country that you primarily reside in, though there is some exception as far as where the car is kept. Generally you shouldn’t and can’t register your car in a country where you have a second home that you don’t frequently use.

There is no general catch-all registration for the EU and you’re encouraged to research each nation to find their specific car registration process.

A-1 Auto Transport ships vehicles worldwide. Click here or call 1-800-518-8708 to get a free, no obligation to buy price quote to ship your car.

Here’s a general list of documents that will help you navigate the process

  • Certificate of conformity showing the vehicle meets safety and environmental standards
  • Proof of insurance (keep in mind some nations have private third-party insurance plans while others have state-issued ones)
  • Proof of ownership
  • Authorities in each country will likely require the vehicle to pass a physical and road test
  • Proof of payment of appropriate taxes, depending on each nation

Another exception to this is if you are attending university in an EU nation. Generally university students from one EU nation studying at a site in another EU nation aren’t required to register their car, pay duties or taxes on the vehicle in the new nation.

What side of the road do you drive on?

This is tricky. Most nations in Europe have cars that drive on the right-hand side of the road, with a few larger nations that choose to drive on the left. Those left-hand nations include the United Kingdom and Ireland. Be mindful of this as you move between countries and borders.

What are the driver’s license requirements?

Typical requirements for drivers in the EU are that they reside in a member nation, meet medical fitness including vision tests and meet a general age requirement of 18 for a car.

There are also a series of practical and theoretical tests that must be passed.

Driving & Registration in the European Union

Vehicle Registration & Taxes - A brief look at registering a vehicle in Europe, whether for temporary or permanent stays.

EU Rules on Vehicle Registration - A research portal for the EU that provides statistics and reports.

Joe WebsterWritten By:Joe WebsterConnect with Joe Webster on facebookConnect with Joe Webster on linkedin

Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

Email me - info@a1autotransport.com

Satisfied Customers

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“I’m so glad I met you Joe!! A truly fortunate experience. Having to transport a car to Minnesota, I was stunned to see the company, who was supposed to take care of it, just vanish. I couldn’t reach them anymore, like they went bankrupt overnight. However, I was lucky enough to not pay anything, so I simply researched some more until I found A1 Auto Transport. Joe answered my call the first time and we soon agreed on a date and a quote. Unfortunately, I got caught up in work and forgot about it. The order was not confirmed, so Joe must’ve thought I changed my mind. I called him the next day and arranged for a new date. This time, I made a note on my phone and it went well. I replied to his email this time, and the driver arrived at a parking lot down the street on time, as promised. The driver was nice enough to not mention my previous mistake. He delivered my car in just 3 days. Upon careful inspection, there were no scratches or damage done to it during transport. Joe was there along with the driver and they both waited patiently until I was satisfied. Thanks!”

“A1 Auto is kind of like your favourite mom and pop pizza parlour, the one you can’t get enough of despite all the new, expensive avant-garde pizza shops that have mushroomed conspicuously across the entire neighbourhood and seem to have taken over the whole world...but not you. Because you value quality and genuine customer service, and know this business understands and works doubly hard to give you your money’s worth. I’ve been using A1 Auto Transport whenever I left California for business: they may not be the cheapest car transporters around, but the sheer professionalism, dedication, and heart they put into their work is just amazing and worth my every dime. I’m probably one of the most sceptical people you would ever meet. I’m rarely convinced when bombarded with dubious, self-congratulating ads of companies that look like they’ve spent tons of money on marketing materials just to lure your average guy in. A1 Auto Transport is the complete opposite of these companies. My car always arrived promptly on schedule, never with a hint of scratch or dirt or damage, and they keep me updated every step of the process. When you’ve found a company whose genuine care for their customers comes naturally, you stand by them no matter what. It’s the most logical thing to do.”

“A1 Auto Transport helped me move a vehicle to Iowa from Houston. I was a bit nervous, no knowing much about such services. Thanks to Joe, I was able to clear the fog a little. He answered all my questions and explained everything in a way that left no room for interpretation. The details were straightforward. I picked Sunday as the pickup date, since I wasn’t at work, and they accommodated me. The truck arrived an hour early, yet the driver patiently waited for me to arrive. He thoroughly checked my car for scratches or anything that might affect the transport then drove it onto the truck. I was given a 2 day time window during which the car was supposed to arrive in, and it got to Iowa in the evening of the first day. The trip didn’t damage it at all. Next time a friend wants to move, I’ll surely recommend A1 Auto Transport.”

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