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I'm an EU citizen (Poland) and resident of Germany. I'm planning to buy a car, but obligatory insurance in Germany is much more expensive than in Poland.

Am I obliged to insure a newly bought car in Germany, or can I register and secure it in my country (Poland)?

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From verkehrsportal.de/:

§ 20 Abs. 1 Satz 1 FZV:

In einem anderen Mitgliedstaat der Europäischen Union oder einem anderen Vertragsstaat des Abkommens über den Europäischen Wirtschaftsraum zugelassene Fahrzeuge dürfen vorübergehend am Verkehr im Inland teilnehmen, wenn für sie von einer zuständigen Stelle des anderen Mitgliedstaates oder des anderen Vertragsstaates eine gültige Zulassungsbescheinigung ausgestellt und im Inland kein regelmäßiger Standort begründet ist.

Der Begriff "vorübergehend" ist in § 20 Abs. 6 FZV definiert:

Als vorübergehend im Sinne des Absatzes 1 gilt ein Zeitraum bis zu einem Jahr.

That means that if you're living in Germany you have to register your car there. If you register it in another EU country, you can drive it up to 1 year in Germany.

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    @dirtyflow the time allowed to drive in a foreign car as a resident is meant as a transition. It only applies when you bring your car. It doesn't if you buy one abroad. You do that, but you need to have so called import plates with limited validity – Andra Mar 13 '14 at 9:44
  • @Andra to me it looks like the OP doesn't want to import his car. In this case, does it mean that for up to one year the car can be insured in Poland? – dezso Mar 13 '14 at 10:39
  • @dezso from the quoted passages, that appears to be the case. – Tim Seguine Mar 18 '14 at 19:43
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    Check "wenn ... im Inland kein regelmäßiger Standort begründet ist". If you are a resident in Germany, then this doesn't apply. If you are a Polish resident, you can drive a Polish car in Germany for considerable time, but not if you are a German resident. And if your Polish insurance refuses to pay the damages in an accident because you didn't tell them you were a German resident, you will be in severe trouble. – gnasher729 May 10 '15 at 23:28
  • Polish car insurance companies are obviously free to sell car insurance to German residents, but I very much doubt they would do that cheaper than German companies. If they are cheaper, it's probably because they assume they are going to pay mostly for accidents in Poland and maybe repair costs are lower in Poland, or there are fewer accidents in Poland. – gnasher729 May 10 '15 at 23:32
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To show you have obligatory car insurance all you need to is the green card and a european accident form. So if you are able to find a insurer willing to issue you such a green card you are set to go.

Having said that, I doubt such a company exists. When I moved country I remained insured with my previous travel insurance. Years later they fully reimbursed me the full premium paid, since they found out that I have been uninsured to some small print that required my travels to always start in the country where the bank was located.

So even if you might get a polish insurance, legal interpretations later might complicate affairs.

  • In Romania the greed card and the accident form is mandatory release for every car insurance. – Radu Maris Mar 13 '14 at 9:12
  • @RaduMaris yeah but the question is whether or not a Romanian insurer would issue an insurance for a foreign car. – Andra Mar 13 '14 at 11:01
  • Don't know about that and I doubt they will, but from the question he wants to register the car in Poland, then if the Poland insurer will release a green card, AFAIK from a insurance point of view he will be covered. Still he needs to deal with tax issues. – Radu Maris Mar 13 '14 at 11:12
  • Now, that's a great insurance company! I know one that declined to refund anything for a car that was not registered in the country anymore and most certainly would not have been covered if it had an accident but for which I still paid the premiums for a few months due to a glitch in the paperwork. – Gala Mar 8 '15 at 21:23
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My experience in Germany was different then @Dirty-flow answer:

I lived in Germany for about 1 year and I drove a car registered in Romania, with Romanian plates and Romanian insurance and green card.

As I knew I can drive up to 6 months, I went to the local Police to ask about my legal options to drive the car, and they told me I do not have to register the car in Germany, that from the Police point of view I can legally drive it for unlimited time as long as the car is legally registered and has a green card released by another EU member state. They also told me to ask to the Tax office because there might be some taxes involved.

I have some friends in Denmark in the same situation and they have to pay around 6 - 9 Euro/month to be able to use their Romanian registered car there (this was 3-4 year ago, so laws might be different now).

I would say the best way is to ask to the Police station and the Tax office.

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    I would not necessarily rely on the police for legal advice, you might still get in trouble later on, say when trying to lodge an insurance claim. But at least it suggests they are not actively enforcing the rules. – Gala Mar 13 '14 at 9:26
  • You might be okay with the police (I doubt it, but who am i to question your police source), however you are not in order with taxation and EU laws, so in case of legal problem things can get mirky. – Andra Mar 13 '14 at 9:42
  • @GaëlLaurans: You are right not to rely on the police for legal advise, it might even happen that a land will not enforce it and when you drive thru another you might get into problems. I was in BW. – Radu Maris Mar 13 '14 at 9:44

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