When importing a vehicle in to Austria, especially from the UK; what must I consider?
Firstly, there is a difference between importing a vehicle from within the EU and from outside the EU (e.g. the UK). In both cases the NoVANormverbrauchsabgabe The Normverbrauchsabgabe (NoVA) is a one-off fuel consumption tax to be paid at your local tax office when importing a car previously on foreign number plates. tax must be paid; however, if importing from a non-EU country certain further customs formalities will need to be completed, which is not the case for an EU country.
Note: Different treatment may apply to vehicles registered in Northern Ireland!
The NoVA tax is a standard consumption tax that is specific to Austria. When importing a vehicle from outside Austria, this one-off tax must be paid before a vehicle can be registered. The amount you pay depends on the WLTP CO2 emissions of the vehicle above a certain threshold (102 g/km in 2023 for private vehicles). NoVA is also paid on new vehicle registration in Austria.
There are different NoVA calculations for vehicles directly imported from the EU/EEAEEA The European Economic Area (EEA) consists of the 27 EU Member States as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The United Kingdom is not part of the EEA. where they were first registered there: “For motor vehicles imported directly from a Member State of the European Union and previously registered in the rest of the Union, the NoVA must be calculated on the basis of the legal situation in force in Austria at the time of first registration in the rest of the Union”
It is worthwhile doing a rough calculation of the NoVA BEFORE importing the vehicle to see if it is worth importing the vehicle in the first place.
Note 1: The NoVA calculations also affect the road tax element of the annual insurance premiums.
Note 2: Please ensure it is the WLTP CO2 value as some dealers (eg. in Germany) have been known to show different values which does affect the calculations.
Items required for registration
In order to register the vehicle, you will need the vehicle registration details (e.g. UK V5C), EU Certificate of Conformity and an up to date official valuation or invoice for the vehicle. You should get these from a main dealer. Of course, you will need valid insurance and where appropriate a valid certificate of roadworthiness (e.g. UK MOT) to drive the vehicle to Austria.
Austrian book values on vehicles tend to be higher, so you are advised to get a recent valuation from the country where you are importing the vehicle from.
Where the vehicle does not have an EU Certificate of Conformance, then this can be obtained via an independent Sachverständiger in Austria (one member paid 2K EUR for this).
Note: UK Green Card insurance is typically valid for 90 days in the EU.
When moving your main residence to Austria you have 1 month to register a vehicle in Austria. If your main residence is outside Austria, you have 12 months to register the vehicle. When importing the vehicle from outside the EU, you must complete the customs forms (links below)
The relief from having to pay tax and duty on personal belongings is only valid up to 12 months from the point you move your main residence to Austria.
Importing vehicles from outside the EU after the 12-month period will incur addition cost (Duty etc)
Austrian Approval Database
Before registering imported vehicles with EU type-approval; the vehicle details must be entered in to the Austrian Approval Database. This can be done by a General Importer or the Technical Test Centres of the relevevant Provincial Government department and should cost a maxium of €180 (2023). More details on this link
Vehicle Roadworthiness Certificate (Pickerl)
The vehicle will need a Roadworthiness certificate to be insured. For UK vehicles particular attention needs to be paid to things such as headlamps which either need to be adjusted (best case) or completely replaced (increased cost). Beam benders are unlikely to be accepted. Fog lights might also need to be replaced if they are only on one side.
Depending on the time of year you import the vehicle at, you may also require winter tyres.
Licence Plates & Insurance
One key difference with vehicle licence plates in Austria compared to the UK is that they are issued by the insurance company as opposed to an organisation such as the DVLA. No insurance, means no licence plates. Licence plates are also district specific, if you move districts you will need a different licence plate.
Austrian vehicle insurance typically costs a lot more than UK car insurance. The coverage is different (eg. Any driver) but costs can be considerably higher and an element of the annual premium is based on the CO2 values.
Owners should consider all the costs/effort and work out whether it is beneficial to import a vehicle in the first place. In some case it may be beneficial to use a specialist broker to help with the paperwork.
Vehicle prices in Austria tend to be higher than countries such as the UK. However, the second-hand market for Right Hand Drive (RHD) vehicles is quite low here.
Driving a right-hand drive vehicle can also be a pain in certain situations (e.g. entering car parks with barriers)
Classic Cars (Oldtimer)
There are special rules for importing Classing Cars (Oldtimers) in to Austria. In general they need to be over 30 years old and in the original state. There are also restrictions on their usage (e.g. maximim use of 120 days per year for cars, 60 days for motorbikes). These are exempt from the NoVA, but are subject to import tax. More details on the OeAMTC website.
- Driving a vehicle with Foreign Plates
- Importing vehicle for personal use
- NoVA (Standardised Consumption Tax)
- BMF NoVA online calculator (DE)
- BMF NoVA information (DE)
- NoVA 2 Forumula (DE)
- BMF Transferring place of residence non-EU
- OeAMTC Self Import (DE)
- Durchblicker Insurance Comparison
- Certificate of Conformity
- Motorway Vignette
- Classic Cars (Oldtimer)