Moving Cars
The implementation of the principle of free movement of people, is one of the cornerstones of our European construction, has meant the introduction a series of practical rules to ensure that citizens can travel freely and easily to any Member State of the European Union. Travelling across the EU with one’s car has become a lot less problematic. The European Commission has set a series of common regulations governing the mutual recognition of driving licences, the validity of car insurance, and the possibility of registering your car in a host country.
Your driving licence in the EU

There is currently no common EU driving licence in place, but the EU Member States have introduced a “Community Model” driving licence. This common model ensures that driving licences issued by different EU countries are easily recognised in other Member States. A principle of mutual recognition is generally applied. The licence is issued in accordance to national law, but should incorporate provisions concerning the Community Model, such as the basic conditions to be granted a licence.

Old driving licences issued before 1996 do not have to be exchanged for the new Community Model driving licence and remain valid until their expiration.

If an EU citizen takes up residence in another Member State, it is not necessary to exchange the driving licence, although many often do for practical reasons. Also, some Member States require that additional data be entered onto the licence to fulfil certain administrative requirements.

In the event of expiry, loss or theft, a new driving licence can be issued in the Member State of residence, in accordance to national conditions. Citizens should contact the competent authorities.

Registering your car in the host country

In the event you reside in another EU Member State and drive your car there for more that six months, you will be obliged to register the car with the local authorities and pay the host country’s registration tax.

Car Insurance

EU citizens can insure their car in any EU country, as long as the chosen insurance company is licensed by the host national authority to issue the relevant insurance policies. A company based in another Member State is entitled sell a policy for compulsory civil liability only if certain conditions are met. Insurance will be valid throughout the Union, no matter where the accident takes place.

Taxation

Value Added Tax or VAT on motor vehicles is ordinarily paid in the country where the car is purchased, although under certain conditions, VAT is paid in the country of destination.
More information on the rules which apply when a vehicle is acquired in one EU Member State and is intended to be registered in another EU Member State is available on the link "Motor vehicle tax".

Further Information Cyprus
  • Department of Customs:
    Tel: 22 601 657 and 22 601 658.
  • Road Traffic Department:
    Tel: 22 807 000 / 22 807 117

Text last edited on: 02/2008

Source: European Union
© European Communities, 1995-2008
Reproduction is authorised.

 
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