General information on own import of vehicles

The provisions outlined in this section apply to the own import of new and used vehicles into Austria by private individuals.

As the applicable taxation and approval obligations will vary depending on whether the vehicle (e.g. car or motorcycle) being imported is new or used, it is important to make a strict distinction between new and used vehicles.

For approval purposes, it is relevant whether the vehicle was already registered for circulation (in Austria or abroad), regardless of the duration of the registration.

From a tax law perspective (with regard to the obligation to pay acquisition tax), a distinction is made between new and used vehicles as follows:

New vehicles

A vehicle is deemed to be new if it has covered less than 6,000 km or it was first put into operation no more than six months prior to the time of purchase.

Example

  • A car has 8,000 km on the clock, but was registered abroad for less than six months. This is regarded as a new vehicle, as no more than six months have passed between when it was first put into operation and when it was purchased.
  • It would also be considered a new vehicle if it had been registered for more than six months, but had only driven 5,000 km.

Used vehicles

A vehicle is deemed to be used if it has covered more than 6,000 km and it was first put into operation more than 6 months prior to the time of purchase.

Tip

Before importing a used vehicle, contact the  general agent of the vehicle brand in Austria or the technical inspection centre of the relevant provincial government departmentGerman text to find out whether there is an EU type-approval for the vehicle or whether a single or exceptional approval can be issued.

Be aware when it comes to vehicle safety inspection intervals that even if the inspection interval applicable abroad is longer than in Austria, the Austrian inspection interval applies.

Furthermore, a distinction must be made between the import of vehicles from EU countries and the import of vehicles from third countries.

Using a vehicle with foreign number plates in Austria

Generally speaking, vehicles with foreign number plates may be used in Austria, including by drivers with an Austrian driving licence.

Time limits

Vehicles imported by individuals with their main residence or residence in Austria may usually only be used without an Austrian vehicle registration certificate for one month after import.

Once this time period expires, the vehicle’s current regsitration document and number plates must be handed in to the authority under whose jurisdiction the vehicle falls.

It is possible to extend this period by a further month if convincing arguments are provided as to why it was not possible to have the vehicle registered in Austria during the initial one month period.

More detailed information on the subject of 'Driving with foreign number plates' can also be found at oesterreich.gv.at.

Further links

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 1 January 2022
Responsible for the content:
  • Federal Ministry of Finance
  • Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology