Car Ownership Denmark

Car ownership Denmark is very involved and you should be prepared to invest time and money if planning on owning a car.

First thing to know is that you have to have a valid driving license in order to drive in Denmark.

If you come from outside the EU, you will have to take a theory and driving test to exchange your license. This could be fairly expensive. Learn how to exchange yours drivers license for a proper one and avoid a hefty fine.

Owning a car is very expensive, so if you do not really need a car on a daily basis, you are financially better off not owning one.

You can bring your own car over, but there are some heavy taxes imposed. (180%) These taxes were placed on vehicles in order to limit the number of cars on the roads. (I'm not really sure that has helped.) See more details on importing a car.

If you need a car, there are a few options to consider:

  1. If you only need a car occasionally, consider renting one from a local dealership. If you rent on a regular basis, you should be able to get some decent deals. There are also many local rental places that are more likely to bargain with you than the major players like Hertz and Budget. That said, Budget and Hertz are often running specials - just keep an eye out.
  2. If you are staying for a year or two, consider leasing a car. This way your maintenance, repairs, wheel rotation, etc., will all be taken care of. When you are ready to leave, they take the car back. You can often get a nicer car for lower payments.
  3. If planning on staying longer, check out the used car market. There are plenty to choose from. I suggest buying from a car dealership, where you will get a warranty on the used vehicle.
  4. Some communities now have car sharing programs. Cars are shared by a group of people and you reserve the dates and times when you need to use the car. In Copenhagen, Hertz has one called Delebilen. Others are Bryggebilen, LetsGo and MoveAbout. More companies are popping up all over Denmark.

Learn more about driving and car ownership Denmark.

Car Ownership Denmark Expenses

Things you need to know about car ownership Denmark.

  • If you purchase a new car, you can expect that half the cost is just your registreringsafgift. Acutally it is 105% of the value of the car up to 80,500kr and any amount over that is taxed at 180%.  You can see a break down of individual taxes on your new car here.
  • Your car must be insured. Check out Forsikringsluppen for a list of insurance companies. Your previous driving record outside of Denmark will not be taken in to account, so your premiums will probably be higher. One way to avoid this, is to buy a new car that includes insurance.
  • You must have a valid drivers license.
  • Your car will also be subject to a yearly "grøn afgift" which is based on your car's mileage and type petrol you use. Price varies from 620 kr for the most economical to 21,660 kr for cars with under 5 km per liter. Diesel cars at a bit less ranging from 240 to a whopping 32,040 per year. Rates are paid in 6 month installments. Most cars will fall in the 2000 to 3000 kr per year range.
  • Car Ownership Denmark also requires you to have your car inspected regularly to make sure it is road worthy and properly equipped. It is called a Bilsyn and a new car will have it's first inspection after 4 years. Used cars will have it every 2 years as will new cars after the 4 yr inspection. About 750 kr - price varies.
  • It is not required, but due to the temperatures in winter, it is HIGHLY recommended that you switch your tires to winter tires during the winter months and back to summer tires in the summer. Due to the cold, they claim that the tires do not adhere as well to the road surfaces during the cold weather.

Personally I have never understood their rationale and have never experienced it while living in Britain where it is just as cold. But it is another expense. (5000 - 10,000 kr)

If you want to drive with studded tires/tyres, you can only have them on your car from 1st of November to April 15. Must be on all 4 wheels. You may not mount on just back or front.

  • The worst part of car ownership Denmark are the Gas / Petrol prices - VERY HIGH. If you live in the US, you may think you are being gouged at the pumps, but in 2015 the average petrol price is hovering around 10 - 11 kroner per liter and that has dropped from about 14kr in mid 2014.  If you do your conversions at 3.8 liters to a gallon and the current exchange rate you can expect to pay $6.75 to $7.00 per gallon. About 2.5 times what most of the US pays!

Explore more transportation options in Denmark

Learn more about importing your car to Denmark. and if it is worth the expense.

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What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Returning a leased car 
Do you have any idea on what are the conditions while returning the leased cars in Denmark. i heared that it can be very expensive sometimes as they look …

Winter is coming Not rated yet
Hi I am fresh in DK after living with a Dane in London for a few years - just wanted to say, it is colder here and the snow stays longer so yeah - defo …

Car ownership in Denmark - avoid car taxes? Not rated yet
Hi, Would you have any idea about avoiding taxes? That is to say, I live in Copenhagen but register my residence in Malmø, in order to take advantage …

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