Car registration in luxembourg

Posted November 10, 2018 by iCompare

The information you need if importing a new or used car or motorcycle to Luxembourg...

If a car is registered in a country outside of Luxembourg, it must be re-registered in Luxembourg if it is imported to the country by a Luxembourg resident.

The process to import a vehicle to Luxembourg has three main steps:

  1. Get clearance from Customs & Excise (this may involve the payment of import duties and VAT depending on the situation). Once complete, a Vignette 705 is issued.
  2. Apply for the vehicle registration documents (Carte Grise) and take it to a Société Nationale de Controle Technnique (SNCT) test centre to complete a technical inspection to check for compliance to European conformity (this may require some modifications being made to the vehicle, depending on its country of origin).
  3. Apply for and fit new registration plates.

Importing a Car from an EU Country

Many residents of Luxembourg choose to buy and import a vehicle (new or used) from an EU country where it may be cheaper. VAT is payable on a new car imported into Luxembourg; no VAT is due on a used car. A used car is one that:

  • has been on the road longer than six months and
  • has a mileage exceeding 6,000 Km? 

In Luxembourg, VAT of 17 percent is generally due on any vehicle that is classed as "new" (mileage under 6,000 Km or first registered less than six months prior).

Under EU law, a private vehicle may be temporarily imported to another EU country and used for up to six months in any 12-month period. However, the vehicle must be re-registered if it is owned and used by a resident of that country.

Importing a Car from Outside the EU

A vehicle (new or used) brought to Luxembourg from outside the European Union must be submitted for customs clearance either in Luxembourg or the EU country that is its first place of entry. At this point, customs duties (up to 10 percent of the purchase value of the vehicle), certain fees and the possible payment of VAT (in Luxembourg, this is 17 percent on new vehicles) is made. There may be an exemption from the payment of customs duties and VAT in Luxembourg if the vehicle is being imported as part of a relocation.

It is important to note that vehicles from countries outside the EU may have to be adjusted to comply with standard safety requirements of Luxembourg (and the European mainland).

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Documents are needed to register a vehicle...

Once the Customs & Excise process is completed, the owner receives the Vignette 705 "document douanier" and a receipt of payment of Luxembourg VAT (if relevant) and may proceed to the registration process. The Service Immatriculation Véhicule division of the Société Nationale de Contrôle Technique (SNCT) is responsible to the registration process.

The registration application form (Demande en obtention d’une carte d’immatriculation) is available from the SNCT centres, the Circulation Routière department of the Ministry of Transport (Ministère des Transports à la Direction), the Automobile Club du Luxembourg and the Administration de l’Enregistrement.

The application for vehicle registration must be accompanied by a specific tax stamp, the Timbre a Droit de Chancellerie, which is obtainable from the SNCT or a Administration de l'Enregistrement office.

There are four SNCT centres which handle the vehicle registration process. The main one is in Sandweiler, with others in Esch-sur-Alzette, Bissen and Wilwerwiltz.

Visiting the SNCT centre

Take the car to an SNCT technical centre together with a completed registration application form and the following documents:

  • Proof of ID
  • The original invoice (if the car has been bought for import) or proof of ownership
  • The existing car registration documents 
  • Tax stamp (Timbre Droit de Chancellerie)
  • Vignette 705 certificate (document douanier)
  • Insurance certificate
  • Residence certificate
  • VAT receipt (if VAT was payable) 
  • European Certificate of Conformity

An inspection is carried out and once the car is declared fit, the owner receives the Carte Grise registration document, a technical control certificate, a document stating the next technical inspection date, and a pink temporary registration vignette which is placed at the right bottom corner of the windscreen.

An invoice for registration tax is sent during the following days, and once payment is made, a grey window stamp is sent to replace the temporary pink one. This is valid for one year.

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Information on the different types of car insurance available in Luxembourg, plus details on premiums, claims and cancelling an insurance contract...

In Luxembourg, it is the car and not the driver that is insured. All Luxembourg registered cars must have at least third-party liability auto insurance (assurance responsabilité civile or RC). Additional insurances are available and widely used. The original insurance certificate must be carried in the vehicle at all times.

Types of Insurance

There are three main types of insurance in Luxembourg

  • Third Party Liability Insurance (Responsabilité Civile or RC) - provides cover against damage to third party property resulting from an accident
  • Part Comprehensive (Tiers Personnes) - provides third party, fire and theft cover
  • Fully Comprehensive (Tous Risques or Casco) - this policy covers virtually everything

Car Insurance

The cost of vehicle insurance varies from one insurance company to another. Other factors to take into account include:

  • make and model of the vehicle, its power and its age and occasionally its colour
  • driving history and age of the driver(s), some companies have differing premiums according to gender and place of residence of the driver
  • whether the car is parked off-street or in a private garage

Only residents of Luxembourg can take out vehicle insurance in Luxembourg.

Bonus-Malus system

Luxembourg car insurance has a system of no-claims bonuses, known as the Bonus-Malus system: annual rates increase if a claim is made when an accident is the driver's fault; if the driver has no accidents the rates will decrease.

All new drivers start at a premium level with a certain number of points that correspond to a full price premium. Each year the cost of the insurance will be adjusted:

  • In the event of a claim, the level increases by three points
  • If there are no claims made in the year, the level will decrease by one point 

The maximum amount of no-claims bonus is 55 percent.

A no claims bonus accumulated abroad can be transferred to a Luxembourg insurance company. The person will need to obtain a certificate from their insurance company stating the amount of no-claims bonus they have.

In the Event of an Accident

All insurers provide drivers with an Accident Report Form (constat amiable d'accident), available in French, German and English. In case of a minor accident, both parties must sign this form. For comprehensive information about road traffic accident and claims:

An accident report sheet will need to be sent to the insurance company within a limited time which differs from one company to another (usually five to eight days). Check with the insurance company.

Cancelling/Transferring a Car Insurance Contract

Insurance contracts are automatically renewed at expiry date. Three months written notice must be given when cancelling a car insurance contract. It is possible to have a clause inserted into the policy allowing cancellation, for example, for those who are obliged to move away from Luxembourg for employment reasons.

The Green Card

Luxembourg insurers automatically provide a Green Card which extends normal insurance to other European countries. The Green Card must be kept in the car at all times when driving abroad.

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