Importing Car to Denmark


First, let me say that you really, really do not want to be importing car to Denmark. It is very expensive, so unless you are just "madly in love with your vehicle", I suggest selling it or putting it in storage until you return home.

If that does not dissuade you, here is what you have to do within the first 2 weeks of importing your car into Denmark:

  • You need to pay duty and VAT
  • Get proper insurance
  • Have the car inspected
  • Make any repair and adjustments needed (like adjusting the lights and automating the light system)
  • Register it.

This is a real pain, not to mention it is time consuming and expensive.

Still thinking about importing car to Denmark?

Okay, then this is how you do it. If the car was registered within the EU, you will not have to pay customs duty. If it was registered outside the EU, there is a 10% duty.

VAT duty. If the car is more than 6 months old and has been driven at least 6000 km, you may be exempt from VAT. You will need to check with the Tax Office (SKAT).

The Registration fee of the car is calculated by the SKAT office again, but it is about 60% of the value of a simliar used version sold in Denmark. So if a car (similiar to yours) sells in Denmark (not in your home country) for 200,000 kroner, you would pay a registration fee of 120,000 kroner. Considering that a car in Denmark sells for about twice the price compared to other many parts of the EU, you are actually paying for your car twice - four times if it was bought in the US!

Example: I bought a Smart car in the UK in 2002 at a cost of £8,000. When I wanted to bring it to Denmark in 2008, the registration fee was 80,000 kroner. That is £8,700. That is £700 more than I paid for it and it was 6 years old. I bought a new car in Denmark - for 120,000 kroner - instead.

To find out the value of your vehicle, there is a Registration Form on www.skat.dk, which you can fill out and find out if it is cost-effective to bring your car to Denmark.

When you open the page, click on "Hent blanketten" and that will open a download window for the PDF file in English.

Now if you decide that importing car to Denmark is still a good idea, you will also have to get new number plates/license plates and register your car with the police.

So if you are set on importing car to Denmark, send in your car evaluation form, and when you get it back, SKAT will send you the other details of what to do. Good luck.

Explore more transportation options

Bottom Line on Importing

The costs of importing car to Denmark usually averages out to about 180% of the value of the car. That is not a misprint - average is 180%. Now as one of our readers mentioned - read his post below - you can fight the evaluation and try to get the valuation down, but it is hard and time consuming to fight the system.


Clarification: The registration fee is on average 60-65% of the cost of the car in Denmark, but that is the price of car in Denmark and not where you bought it, which I guarantee is no where near what you paid for it, that is why the average cost comes close to 180%

There is some light at the end of the tunnel, since there have been talks about reducing these fees and replacing them with road tax fees instead. This is still a few years away. Maybe 2015 or 2016 if the law passes. But the heavy fees may not be any better than the current structure.

Now, you may be thinking I will just bring my car over and drive it on foreign license plates and people will just think I am a tourist. Well, many have tried and few have gotten away with it. the reasons are two fold.

1. Police routinely stop cars with foreign plates and check out your residency papers. If caught the fines are much higher than your original costs would have been plus they will impound your car til you pay the fees.

2. Your neighbors will report you if they suspect you are breaking the law. Why should you get away with not paying the fees, when they had to pay them or worse because they can not afford a car due to the high cost. They WILL turn you in.

Options to Importing

First and foremost, I would check out the cost of cars in Denmark first and see what you can afford and do you really need it. It may be that you may just need to downgrade a bit in the type of vehicle you own.

We use to drive a Toyota and now drive a Hyundai. Still a good car, but not quite as many features. We learned to live with it.

You can also check out the option of leasing which is quite affordable now, compared to ownership. The leasing companies take care of all the service, tire switching and most of the hassels of ownership.

If you are running a business and plan to use your car for business, you can consider getting a yellow license plate vs a white one. With the yellow plates you pay much less in registeration fees, but the vehicle is only allowed to carry two people in the front and no one in the back. The seats in the back must be removed and that area may only be used to transport goods.

You can do some research on google for comparison car prices. Just put in the make of car and Denmark. For example: toyota Denmark and will find several dealership sites. Most major brand name dealership are in Denmark. But there are lots of places to find cars, so do not limit yourself just to dealership. Buying used cars can save you a small fortune, since the registration fees have already been paid.

If you live in a major city, especially Copenhagen, there are several car sharing programs. So instead having to worry about all the above fees, parking in the city, service costs - check out being part of a car share program.

More information on car fees can be found at importing car to Denmark.