Buying a car in Austria
Want to drive in Austria? Here’s what you need to know about buying a car in Austria, where and how the costs and paperwork.
For foreigners moving to Europe, Austria can be an attractive proposition. From an abundance of beautiful places to visit and cultural attractions to top-notch education and healthcare, the country has plenty to offer.
Austria also has a large network of roads and highways that make driving in the country a pleasure. But first, you’ll need a ride. If you’re moving to Austria and looking to buy a car here, this article will help you navigate the process with the following topics:
- Buying a car in Austria
- Who can buy a car in Austria
- Buying a new car in Austria
- Where to buy a new car in Austria
- Electric cars and hybrids in Austria
- Buying a used car in Austria
- Where to buy a used car in Austria
- Car registration and other paperwork in Austria
- Car costs in Austria
- Importing a car in Austria
- Selling a car in Austria
- Equipment your car needs to have in Austria
- Useful resources
Car ownership is popular in Austria because it makes getting around easier. This is especially true for residents living outside of Vienna, who do not have access to the capital’s well-connected public transport system. Despite the country’s population of around 9.1 million, there were around 5 million registered passenger cars in Austria in 2019. Additionally, a total of 371,252 new vehicles were registered in 2019.
When buying a car in Austria, many locals choose to buy a German-made Volkswagen. As such, it is the most popular car brand in the country. And, the marque’s Golf, T-Roc, Tiguan and Polo models are the most sought-after cars. However, some residents prefer the Octavia and Fabia models from Skoda, another popular car brand from neighboring Czechia.
The process for buying a car in Austria is similar to other countries. As such, most expats in Austria will find it familiar and easy to manage. The paperwork is also largely the same.
Who can buy a car in Austria?
You can buy a car in Austria at the age of 18, but you must have a valid driving license. In addition, you need to prove your residence in Austria to register the car and purchase insurance. You can do this with a local ID and address.
Buying a new car in Austria
Although local car prices are higher than in many other EU countries, Buying a car in Austria can be cheaper than importing it. This is because the import tax and roadworthy certificate you need to import a car can be quite expensive.
You have to present some documents to Buying a car in Austria here. This includes your ID and proof of local residence and address. To start the process, you’ll usually do some online research and figure out what kind of car you like. Then, you can decide whether you want to buy through a dealer or private seller and whether you want to arrange a test drive.
After you’ve chosen Buying a car in Austria to buy, you’ll need to sort out the paperwork and payments. You should have the sales invoice, registration certificates and European Certificate of Conformity when you walk away with your new purchase. If you buy through a dealer, you’ll often put down a deposit on the car first. This can be with a credit card, check or bank transfer, and then work out a payment plan for the balance. With a private seller, however, you often have to pay for everything in advance with a check or bank transfer.
Where to buy a new car in Austria
Car dealership in Austria
A dealership is a popular way to Buying a car in Austria. This is because there are plenty of dealers across the country and many of them offer both new and used cars.
When it comes to new cars, however, you’ll probably go to an official dealership of a car brand like Volkswagen or Skoda. Of course, the biggest advantage here is that you can trust the dealer you buy from and take your time to look at and test drive the car you want. However, a dealership is also a useful option as you can often access payment plans and negotiate better deals like free options and add-ons. Additionally, the dealer will take care of all the necessary paperwork—such as registration—and offer follow-up support and maintenance when you need it.
Buying a car online in Austria
Many people start the car buying process in Austria online because it is a good place to research what cars are available and narrow down the options. It is possible to find and buy a car online, but in Austria it is very rare for the whole process to be done digitally. Instead, you’ll usually find the car you want online, then contact the seller. In fact, most locals want to inspect and test drive a car before buying it.
There are a growing number of online portals for new cars where you can see what’s on the market. Online car sales platforms in Austria include:
Electric cars and hybrids in Austria
Although they still account for a minority of cars on the road, electric and hybrid cars are becoming increasingly popular in Austria. In fact, there were 106,457 electric vehicles in Austria as of December 2021. And, 4,416 of them were registered in the last twelve months alone.
As in most other countries, the Tesla Model 3 is the most popular electric Buying a car in Austria. But, some other European made vehicles are also popular. For example, you might find yourself driving the Volkswagen ID3 and ID4, the Skoda Anyak, the Renault Zoe, the Fiat 500, or the Audi e-tron. However, in December 2021, the electrically powered Mini Cooper produced by German manufacturer BMW saw the highest sales in the country.
Buying a used car in Austria
If you are buying a used car in Austria, you will follow the same process as buying a new one. Some residents prefer to buy a used car because it is often cheaper than buying a new one. And, because new cars lose a lot of their value as soon as you take ownership, it doesn’t make sense for many people to buy new. Of course, the downside of buying a used car is that you don’t know its full history. Additionally, you might not get the most advanced models and miss out on some of the newer features.
To begin your journey toward buying a used car, you’ll likely start looking for cars online and narrow down a few options. After that, you will need to contact the seller (be it a private seller or a used car dealership) and arrange to inspect and test drive the car you are interested in. After you’ve decided on a Buying a car, you may want to negotiate a bit on price. And possibly get an independent inspection. You may also need to check the car’s history through authorized channels to ensure that it is not a write-off and has not been in a bad accident.
Then, you have to sort out the paperwork and make the payment. You will have to arrange the transfer of ownership and get the vehicle re-registered in your name. And, you should also ensure that you have the seller’s European certificate and sales invoice. Additionally, you need to get car insurance before you drive the vehicle. Finally, you will need to pay for the Buying a car in Austria. You’ll probably need to do this by check, although if you’re buying from a dealer, credit card payments or bank transfers may be possible.
Related: Getting an Best Austrian driving license 2022
Where to buy a used car in Austria
Car dealership in Austria
There are numerous dealerships throughout Austria and most of them will have used cars for sale. Because it is the most reliable place to Buying a car in Austria, dealerships are often the best way to buy used cars as well. You can visit the previously mentioned sites of AutoScout24 and Automobile.at to find new cars and contact dealers.
Buying a used car in Austria from a private owner
Many Austrians are turning to the internet to buy and sell used cars. As such, a car sales website is a good place to start when looking to Buying a car in Austria. AutoScout24 and Automobile.at are valuable resources. But there are plenty of useful sites to look at, including Ooyyo, autto.at, gebrauchtwagen.at and Buying a car in Austria.
If you go with a private seller, you will have to organize a lot of paperwork yourself. However, you will also need some input from the seller. As such, you should make sure you know exactly what you need to do and what documents you need so that the seller doesn’t short-change you. You should also make sure you have a thorough inspection of the vehicle—and perhaps schedule a reliable third-party inspection—to make sure everything is as it seems.
Car registration and other paperwork in Austria
Buying a car in Austria requires a lot of paperwork. As such, you will need to present a lot of documents when you go to register your new purchase. This includes:
- Sale contract with your name as the new owner
- Clearance Certificate (for used cars only)
- Roadworthy certificate (for cars older than three years)
- Passport or ID card
- Proof of Insurance
- Austrian license
Once you have all this, you can go to the registration office in your local municipality. You also have to pay a registration fee of around €200. After this, you will receive your new license plates and a safety inspection sticker that should be placed on your windshield.
Car prices in Austria
When buying a car in Austria—or anywhere else—you should remember to factor in all the extra costs. This is because the actual Buying a car in Austria price is only the beginning of the fees you will have to pay to maintain the car and drive it legally.
Of course, you have to pay a registration fee of €200, as well as compulsory car insurance, which ranges from €60 to €150 per month. Additionally, you can expect to pay around €8,000 per year for regular inspections and maintenance, as well as €1.7/litre for fuel.
In many cases, you have to pay 20% Buying a car in Austria tax and €93.80 for an annual vignette that covers all necessary tolls and congestion fees. Remember that these figures are subject to change, so check in advance to see what you’ll be paying.
Importing cars into Austria
Some expats choose to import their existing vehicles instead of buying a car in Austria. It is possible, but you should decide if this is a good choice in your particular circumstances. In some cases, it can be a bit expensive and complicated to import a car. And, your car may not need all of Austria’s requirements. However, if you want to do so, here’s what you need to know.
Cars over 6,000 km are considered subject to different tax and customs formalities than new cars. Either way, you’ll need to obtain proof of the Buying a car in Austria value (such as an invoice or purchase agreement), a T1 consignment note and file an import/customs clearance declaration. Additionally, you need to pay 10% customs duty (unless you can present proof of preferential origin from countries like Norway or Sweden). You also have to pay 20% import turnover tax and standard consumption tax.
However, if you are importing a car into Austria from the EU, you do not need to deal with any paperwork or customs formalities. However, you still need to pay the standard consumption tax.
In addition to all the above, you need to have an EEC Certificate of Conformity and get an inspection and certificate for roadworthiness. Finally, you must also register your Buying a car in Austria within a month and obtain local car insurance.
Car sales in Austria
Whether you are leaving Austria or just want to sell your car, there are many options. First, you can choose to sell privately by advertising online or through your personal network. But, this will require you to personally handle all the paperwork including the transfer documents. Second, you can sell your car to a dealer. Although you will get less if you sell privately, the advantage is that you can usually sell your car quickly and the dealer will handle most of the details.
You will need to deregister the Buying a car in Austria from your name and transfer it to the new owner, although there are two ways to do this. You can do this in person by going to your local registration office with your approval documents, proof of registration, certificate of conformity, then turning in your number plates. However, the new owner can also do this by submitting all the above documents on your behalf, along with a signed proxy form. Also, you have to cancel your car insurance.