Can I drive my car in Denmark?
Of course you can! Some European students actually prefer to move to Denmark by car. And it makes sense, after all, you can bring many more things along with you.
Let’s say you have just arrived in Denmark by car. So far so good.
But if you plan to use your foreign car on a daily basis, while being a student here, you might want to consider a few things.
The moment you get your residence permit, your clock starts ticking. Why? If you are a resident in Denmark you have a time limit of 30 days to register a foreign car, i.e. a car with foreign number plates.
Otherwise, you will be driving around Denmark illegally.
“You can drive a foreign car in Denmark for 30 days, after which it needs to be registered. Failure to do so means you are driving illegally.”
To prevent this, you need to visit SKAT (the tax authority) and register your foreign vehicle.
There are 3 options to register your foreign car in Denmark:
1. 6-month registration
According to SKAT, if your stay in Denmark is less than 6 months (185 days), then you are allowed to drive your car with foreign number plates without paying Danish registration tax (but continuing paying the tax from your home country).
However, if you are not entirely sure of how long you will stay in the country, then you can apply for a permission to drive your foreign car. The tricky requirement is to prove for how long you will stay in Denmark, e.g. by showing documentation from your university.
Full-time students or people who cannot prove their time limit of their stay, will have their 6-month registration declined.
The 6-month registration is suitable for Erasmus students or people who stay in Denmark temporarily for work.
Be aware that there is an application fee of 400 DKK , so think twice and double check your documents before you start signing up.
If you stay in Denmark temporarily, you need to submit a document proving the duration of your stay.
2. Full registration
In case you want to use your car permanently (so importing it) in Denmark, then you need to register it in order to get Danish number plates. Permanent registration, hence, applies to everybody who wants to drive their car in Denmark on a long-term basis.
It doesn't matter whether you are a full-time student or a person who decided to move here for work or family, you still have to pay for the full registration if you are going to live in Denmark for over 6 months.
Once you go through the process, you will get Danish license plates and your car will officially become Danish.
But everything comes with a price...
The registration tax is calculated by SKAT and it usually amounts to 85% of the current (Danish) market price of the car. However, if the value of the car is higher than 185.100 DKK, then you will be taxed an additional 150%.
Basically, the first 185.100 DKK of the car’s value is taxed with 85% and everything above 185.100 DKK is taxed with 150%.
Check SKAT’s page for more up-to-date information about registration tax.
Aside from this, you need to pay other fees as well, such as the license plates themselves (1.180 DKK), green tax and insurance..
3. Quarterly registration
If you stay in Denmark for more than 6 months, then you also have the option to pay your registration tax quarterly, in installments.
In this way, you can pay a small part of the registration fee depending on the duration of your stay, which you have to document. You can find the necessary forms to complete on SKAT’s page.
Of course, you should remember to pay insurance and green tax for your car as well.
What if I don't want to register my car in Denmark?
It’s understandable that after reading all this, you might want to avoid paying for registering your car here.
In this case, we strongly advise against that.
If you get caught by the police or the customs (SKAT), you might not only lose your car, but you might also have to pay full registration and a penalty. This can end up being double the amount of just registering the car correctly from the beginning.
Denmark is really not a country which celebrates people owning cars, especially imported ones. Furthermore it is well known for its high taxes and registration fees. However, Denmark has a pretty good transportation system, so you can easily find alternative methods to travel here.
For some inspiration regarding moving around in Denmark, check out our blog: 7 apps to install for easy public transportation in Denmark.
So is it worth bringing your car to Denmark and registering it here?
Well, at first glance it doesn’t really look like it is (who wants to pay 185% for their car?) , but your situation may be different. Make sure you make a well-informed decision, though.
Nonetheless, if you really cannot live without a car, you can also consider buying a second hand one, right here in Denmark. Watch the video below if you are interested in this.
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