Price, VAT and other taxes
Buying a car abroad need not necessarily be more expensive than in Belgium: you do not pay any extra car tax by buying your car in another European country. You should, however, consider the following:
When do you pay VAT?
Buying a new car abroad?
Rule: You pay a net price to the professional seller, plus 21% VAT to the Belgian customs. The local VAT therefore does not apply.
A ‘new car’ must meet the following conditions:
- The delivery took place no more than six months after registration of the car.
- The car has been driven less than 6000 km.
TIP: Tell the seller when you buy the car that you intend to export the car to avoid paying VAT twice on the same purchase. If the foreign seller nevertheless insists that you pay local VAT, tell him you will only do so if he writes down his promise to refund the local VAT as soon as you have proven that you have paid VAT in your home country.
Buying a second-hand car abroad?
Rule: Whether or not you pay VAT depends on the seller:
- If the seller is a private individual, you do not pay VAT. Not in Belgium nor in the country where you bought the car.
- If the seller is a professional car dealer, you pay the seller the price plus the VAT applicable in the country where you buy the car.
A ‘second-hand car’ meets the following conditions:
- The delivery took place more than six months after registration of the car
- The car has been driven more than 6000 km.
You do not only pay VAT. If you buy a car, you also pay car taxes. The same tax legislation applies for an imported vehicle as for a vehicle you buy in Belgium.
When you register your car, you will receive an invitation to pay the various car taxes that are mandatory in Belgium:
- registration tax (one-off)
- road tax (annual)
- additional road tax for LPG systems
Transport of your car to Belgium may take place in several ways (you drive yourself, you use a trailer, etc.) Each option has its price. To avoid unpleasant surprises, you should make an estimate of the costs in advance.
The section 'Transporting your car' contains all the information you need if you want to transport your car.