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A friend of mine is moving to Belgium from Germany. Since buying a second hand car in Germany is less expensive then in Belgium, he is considering to buy a car there, then move and then register the car and get a Belgian license plate. Is this feasible and what steps are involved in getting a German registered car, registered in Belgium?

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Your friend would, in any case, need a Certificate of Conformity (CoC) for the vehicle he is purchasing. This is available for every new vehicle sold in the EU since around 1996 and states that the car can be registered in any EU state which drives on the right and uses metric units for the speedometer, without any need for technical modifications. In the past the document was often kept by the authorities upon registration, thus he would need to get it reissued by the manufacturer. This may come at a fee in the € 50 range.

Secondly, he would need to prove ownership. If he lives in Germany, it is easiest to register it in his name there – the whole procedure should cost no more than € 100 – then take it to Belgium and register it there. If he is not registered in Germany, he would still be able to get export plates and have German registration papers in his name. Otherwise, a contract might be sufficient – but he would need to check with Belgian authorities for that.

Third, he would obviously need insurance, as for a used car purchased in Belgium.

Some states (not sure about Belgium) charge a tax on first registration in that state. If that is the case in Belgium, then the tax would be due here.

Finally, he would likely need to take the car in for inspection. For a car with a CoC, the procedure is likely the same as the periodic inspection for any car with a Belgian registration. Your friend should be careful to point out that he has a CoC for the vehicle.

With all of these, your friend should then be able to register the car in Belgium. He might want to check with German authorities to find out if he needs to cancel the German registration explicitly after registering the car in Belgium (there is a chance the Belgian authorities report the registration back to Germany, and he doesn't have to do it).

All of the above is based on my experience taking a car from Italy (where it was registered in my name, as I was relocating) to Germany.

  • Just to add details, my COC from Toyota Spain cost me 100€. – Diego Sánchez Jun 7 '16 at 20:18

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