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Europe Vehicle Registration Process

Published by Joe Webster.

What's in this article?
  1. How To Register A Vehicle In Europe Process & Overview
  2. General Tips For Driving In Europe
  3. What side of the road do you drive on?
  4. What are the driver’s license requirements?
  5. Driving & Registration in the European Union
Europe Vehicle Registration Process

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.

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.

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

Car Registration Is Normally Done In The Country
  • 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.

Registering a vehicle in Europe
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Joe Webster always knew the auto transport industry would be a great career option. And with decades of experience, Joe is now an established consultant for A1 Auto Transport.

Joe was born in Santa Cruz, California. During high school, Joe worked as a mechanic; a job continued to work part-time during his bachelor's degree.

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd,
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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