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I'm planning to buy a used car in Italy and export it to another EU state, and am wondering how to register the car to take it home.

The regular way (for residents) is to go to a studio di consulenza automobilistica with the previous owner, where both request the trapasso, i.e. registration of ownership change. The studio issues a written statement that the procedure is ongoing, and the new owner can drive off with the new car immediately. After about a week, the new owner returns to the studio, where a sticker with his details is placed in the registration certificate.

Being an EU citizen, I could do the same, even without being a resident of Italy. However, that would require me to pay the IPT (imposta privinciale di trascrizione, a registration tax due for every trapasso) of several hundred euros and get a regular one-year insurance.

Since I have no residence in Italy, I understand I could get EE (export) plates for the car, for which I wouldn't have to pay the IPT.

  • How is the procedure for that?
  • Will any regular studio di consulenza automobilistica issue these plates for me?
  • Where do I get insurance for an EE-registered car?
  • How long does the procedure take?
  • How much does it cost?
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I asked the dealer in Italy the other day, who contacted the agency through which they do the registrations. Turns out EE plates have been abolished some time ago. Therefore the only options are:

  • If the car is still registered in the previous owner's name, drive it across the border with that registration and re-register it upon arrival. Some owners may be reluctant to do this, though, as it would entail various risks for them.

  • Cough up several hundred euro for an Italian registration, in addition to a regular insurance and the annual motor vehicle tax.

  • Get a registration from the country of destination – not an option for me, as I'm taking the car to Germany, which requires the car to be physically within its borders in order to register it there.

  • Take the car to Germany on a trailer or flatbed, which is an equally costly option.

  • Find another state which will register a car which is currently abroad and whose owner does is not a resident, and which does not charge exorbitant taxes for the procedure.

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