Expatriation: Buy or import a car to Andorra when you are an expatriate
You are thinking of expatriation in Andorra and you have questions of a material nature, including one, necessarily legitimate, about your vehicle. What is the best option for you: to buy or to import your car into Andorra? Set Up gives you information and advice on this point!
Import or buy a car in Andorra: administrative procedures and steps to follow
Case 1: import your car into Andorra during your expatriation
If you are thinking of expatriation in Andorra, know that it is quite possible to settle with your vehicle. Importing a car into Andorra is a very common thing, even if you have to respect certain rules and comply with certain administrative obligations, the main ones being:
- the old regulation stipulated that the age of your vehicle was taken into account in the authorization of the import of a car into Andorra, namely that it had to have been put in circulation for less than 5 years, or even 3 years ... From now on, it is rather the respect of the Euro 5 norm which prevails (to read at the end of the paragraph);
- declare the procedure to the Government of Andorra;
- complete the administrative formalities of declaration of importing a car into Andorra by the French and Andorran customs authorities;
- complete the license plate change file;
- validate ITV technical inspection (see second part of this article);
- apply for the yellow card (the equivalent of the registration card in France);
- take out an insurance policy.
The Certificate of Conformity (COC) may also be requested (see elsewhere). Some people will judge these rules and formalities rather tedious and prefer to focus on the purchase of a vehicle in Andorra during their expatriation ...
Buying or importing a car into Andorra by an expat: compliance with the Euro 5 Standard
Since 2009, the Euro 5 standard sets the maximum pollutant release limits (excluding CO2) for vehicles, especially those equipped with diesel engines: carbon monoxide, particulate matter, nitrous oxide, hydrocarbons, etc. Since 2016, the Euro 6 standard has taken over.
Now if your vehicle does not comply with the Euro 5 Standard, it will be impossible for you to import your car into Andorra. You will need to obtain an official written document issued by your dealer.
The Certificate of Conformity COC
The Certificate of Conformity (COC) is a standard document issued by the manufacturers. It essentially indicates the characteristics of a motor vehicle as well as its conformity with the standards of the country of manufacture.
Appeared in 1993, it has been obligatory since 1996 and it is essential, in many countries and according to European Directive 70/156 / EEC, to register a new vehicle imported from a foreign country. It is also issued by your local retailer.
Case 2: acquire a vehicle directly there
Buying a car in Andorra if you live there will probably be easier than importing your car. It all depends on the everyone´s choice!
Easy and fast
The procedure to follow is simple and the formalities to accomplish are common: obtaining the yellow card and the subscription to an insurance policy.
You will even have the opportunity to choose your number license plate, or any personal registration according to your wishes, for about 3 000 euros ...
Buying a car in Andorra offers above all the opportunity to achieve excellent business. The offer is substantial and the retailors offer a very rich set of brands of vehicles, among the most prestigious. Even on the second-hand market, good deals are countless!
In addition, the VAT rate is very low in the Principality, compared to France. The IGI (Indirect General Tax), which is equivalent to the French VAT, is in fact of 4.5% in the country!
The reception, the after-sales service and the maintenance are finally a trademark of the Principality. So many points are very positive!
Expatriation in the Principality : two points that need your attention
During your expatriation in Andorra, you will notice that the technical control of the vehicles is comparable to one in France, in Spain and in other European countries.
Named ITV, it’s pretty strict; this is why many garages and retailors offer pre-maintenance and verification packages before the date of the actual test. This option can avoid additional costs later, and especially, having to go for a counter-visit.
Buying a car in Andorra : be ready for a lot of snow!
Buying or importing a car into Andorra must not make you forget this essential aspect of life in the Principality. This mountainous territory is snow-covered in winter and it is advisable to equip and adapt your car accordingly to the snow-covered roads.
Moreover, the law requires the equipment of vehicles in winter season: snow tires or chains in the trunk required! Whether you have bought or imported your car into Andorra, you have been warned!
That is all about importing or buying a car in Andorra. If you are interested in other topics before settling in the Principality, do not hesitate to contact Set Up, Private Concierge, the expert in expatriation in Andorra. We will advise you and assist you in many other areas such as finding housing, opening a bank account, starting or resuming business, childcare or schooling, etc. See you soon in Andorra!