ECC-Net issues cross-border car purchase report and country fact sheets

European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) recently issued its cross-border car purchase report as well as country specific fact sheets to help EU consumers to be more informed and aware of their rights and obligations when buying a new motor abroad.

Purchasing a car, whether it is new or second-hand, can be one of the biggest, and sometimes stressful, financial decisions consumers make. EU consumers often look to other Member States to find a particular model, for better value for money, or simply for more choice, however it can be a complicated journey. Consumers may have to ask themselves some of the following questions: What documents are needed? In which country does VAT have to be paid? Is the car covered by a guarantee? Are insurance or transit plates needed for the journey home? Is a vehicle inspection conducted in one country valid in another? To whom should a complaint against the seller or an issue with the registration be addressed?

In an effort to provide a comprehensive set of answers, in 2015 29 ECCs, coordinated by ECC France, carried out an extensive study into the hurdles faced by consumers when buying a car across borders. The ECCs have now produced a series of guidance documents in order to give practical advice on every step of the process to consumers buying a car in another EU Member State or Norway, from the initial transaction to the completion of the registration procedure.

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