Purchase of a vehicle that was last registered outside Luxembourg

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In order to be able to drive a second-hand vehicle, that was last registered outside Luxembourg, on public roads, a series of administrative procedures must be carried out.

Before driving a second-hand motor vehicle on public highways for the first time, you must register the vehicle in your name and obtain a registration certificate from the National Society of Automotive Traffic (Société nationale de circulation automobile - SNCA).

There are a number of administrative procedures you have to carry out with various organisations, in a specific order:

  • applying for a registration number (if necessary);
  • applying for a registration certificate for a road vehicle;
  • taking out a civil liability insurance policy;
  • customs clearance of the vehicle;
  • paying the tax stamp;
  • submitting the administrative record to the SNCA.

When you buy a vehicle from a professional seller (dealer, garage, etc.), all the administrative formalities are generally taken care of by that seller.

Who is concerned?

Any person residing in Luxembourg who:

  • purchases a vehicle already registered in a country other than Luxembourg;
  • wishes to register it in their name.

Vehicles concerned

This procedure applies to the following vehicles:

  • cars; 
  • motorcycles;
  • mopeds;
  • tricycles;
  • quadricycles;
  • camping-cars;
  • vans;
  • tractors and machinery with a maximum design speed that does not exceed 6 km/h and whose weight exceeds 600 kg;
  • trailers, including agricultural trailers towed at more than 40 km/h;
  • buses;
  • lorries;
  • articulated lorries.


Residence in Luxembourg

You must:

Bill of sale

A bill of sale serves as your proof of ownership and identifies the vehicle and yourself as its legal owner.

When the seller is:

  • a legal person: the document must be a sales invoice printed on letterhead paper, with the business's intra-community VAT number shown on it. Your signature as the buyer is not required on a sales invoice;
  • a natural person: the document must be a sales contract. This document must be signed by both parties. If the vehicle has been sold several times without being registered, the sales contracts must be traceable back to the person registered on the most recent registration certificate.

A number of details must appear on a bill of sale:

  • the date of issue;
  • details of the vehicle: the chassis number, the make (manufacturer) and model (commercial name);
  • the mileage;
  • information about the seller and buyer:
    • for natural persons: surname, first name, address, signature;
    • for legal persons: company name, address, VAT number;
  • the sale price, and whether or not VAT is included;
  • VAT-related data: the VAT on a vehicle must always be paid in the destination country – i.e. the country where the vehicle is registered.

Foreign registration documents

In order to register your vehicle in Luxembourg, you will need the foreign registration document. As a buyer, you must make sure to obtain all parts of the registration document from the seller.

In Europe, many countries issue a two-part registration certificate for registered vehicles. The document states how many parts there are.

Luxembourg registration number and licence plates

Before starting the process, you must apply for a registration number for the vehicle that you wish to purchase.

You can choose either either a number from the current series or a personalised number.

Unlike many foreign registration systems, the allocation of a registration number does not mean that the vehicle is registered, nor that it has automatically been accepted for registration.

Once you have received confirmation that a registration number has been reserved, you must have the licence plate printed by a licence plate manufacturer.

Vehicles purchased abroad can be moved to Luxembourg on a trailer or semi-trailer. This avoids temporary registration procedures which, depending on the country, may be rather complicated, to varying degrees. In fact, no registration at all is required for a vehicle that is being transported on a trailer. In addition, each country has its own laws and procedures that may be more or less costly and complex for temporary registration with a view to the sale and purchase of a vehicle abroad.

If the vehicle that has been purchased or is to be purchased has to be driven to Luxembourg but has not yet been registered in the name of the new owner, it may be driven if it is:

  • fitted with red licence plates or licence plates bearing the number that will be used when the vehicle is registered; and
  • covered by civil liability insurance.

These conditions also apply for the direct trip:

  • between the point of sale and the place where the vehicle will be registered; and
  • to a garage or repair shop to undergo a repair, technical modification or conversion, or inspection.

Civil liability insurance

Driving a road vehicle on a public highway requires a civil liability-type insurance policy (RC Autos) to be taken out with an approved insurance company in Luxembourg.

As soon as you can provide the vehicle's chassis number and Luxembourg registration number, you can ask your insurer to issue the insurance card and an insurance certificate. This valid document is required in order to register the vehicle in your name.

Customs clearance and payment of Luxembourg VAT

When you buy a vehicle registered outside Luxembourg, you have to pay customs duty on the vehicle in Luxembourg in order to receive the road tax certificate(vignette 705) needed for final registration in Luxembourg.

Technical inspection

When registering a vehicle that is already registered, the technical inspection documents for the vehicle must be current.

Technical inspection certificates for vehicles previously registered in another EEA Member State or in Switzerland that have been issued by the competent authorities of that State remain valid if the vehicle is registered in Luxembourg.

However, this certificate shall not be valid for longer than the period allowed under Luxembourg law.

The valid technical inspection certificate must be drafted in one of the official languages in Luxembourg. If this is not the case, the certificate must be translated by a sworn translator in Luxembourg for acceptance purposes (subject to the conformity of the technical inspection).

Failing this, the vehicle can also undergo a technical inspection with one of the approved technical inspection bodies in Luxembourg before the vehicle is registered.

'Droit de Chancellerie' (stamp duty)

For a vehicle to be registered, you must pay stamp duty by purchasing a tax stamp (timbre fiscal or timbre de chancellerie) in the amount of EUR 50.

When a vehicle is registered with a personalised registration number, an additional EUR 200 is payable on top of the standard amount of stamp duty. In the event of the transfer of a personalised number from one vehicle to another vehicle that is to be registered, the duty payable is EUR 24.

Stamp duty can be paid:

  • at one of the competent offices of the Luxembourg Land Registration and Estates Department (Administration de l'enregistrement et des domaines); or
  • by bank transfer into the account LU76 0019 5955 4404 7000 (BIC: BCEELULL).

If paying by bank transfer, you, as the future owner, must submit proof of the transfer (debit notice) at the time of registration.

The following information must appear on the proof of payment:

  • surname and first name;
  • specific reason for the transfer;
  • vehicle registration and chassis numbers.

Tax stamps are also available from the SNCA Registration department. There will be a EUR 3 supplement for administrative fees.


In addition to the cost of the vehicle itself and the insurance fees, the following, in particular, are payable:

  • VAT in Luxembourg for any vehicle considered new that was purchased abroad or originated outside the EU;
  • EUR 50 in tax stamps to register the vehicle, as well as:
    • EUR 200 for a personalised number; or
    • EUR 24 if the personalised number is being transferred;
  • licence plates;
  • additional registration and acceptance testing fees for any vehicles purchased outside the EU or for vehicles that have been converted/modified;
  • if any, the fees for technical inspection or a conformity certificate for vehicles not subject to periodic technical inspections.

How to proceed

Registering the motor vehicle

The vehicle you purchased must be registered in Luxembourg with the National Society for Automotive Traffic (SNCA). To do this, you must complete and sign the form 'Demande en obtention d'un certificat d'immatriculation' (see 'Online services and forms').

This procedure can be carried out at any one of 3 SNCA sites:

The Sandweiler, Esch-sur-Alzette and Fridhaff sites invite applicants to make an appointment to submit the administrative documents, either online or by phone on (+352) 26626 - 400.

The person submitting the registration documents to the SNCA must bring their identity card. If the documents are submitted by a third party (a person other than the new/future owner of the vehicle), the third party must produce a mandate and a copy of the future registered holder's ID document at the time of registration. In this event, it is important to ensure that all the documents state the name of the owner and not that of the representative.

You must submit the administrative documents in order to register the vehicle with the Luxembourg authorities and obtain a vehicle registration certificate in your name.

Supporting documents

You must also enclose with your application:

  • the tax stamp(s) Droit de Chancellerie;
  • the bill of sale;
  • proof of valid insurance;
  • the customs document;
  • foreign registration documents;
  • a valid technical inspection certificate for vehicles subject to regular technical inspection;
  • the European certificate of conformity for vehicles registered for the first time after 1 February 2016.

Original copies of all required documents must be produced.

If the vehicle is not covered by a European certificate of conformity (for example, a vehicle originating outside the EU) or if the documents attesting to the vehicle's conformity are incomplete or show inconsistencies, a vehicle conformity check will be required.

Owner's obligations

You must inform the SNCA of any change of residence within one month.

Road tax

When registering the vehicle at the SNCA, you are issued a temporary road tax certificate, which is valid for 30 days.

Apart from some exceptions, all road vehicles registered in Luxembourg, and used on public roads, are subject to road tax.

The Customs and Excise Agency (Administration des douanes et accises - ADA) sets the amount of tax based on the data registered by the registration authorities and according to the applicable rates. The decision of the final tax is sent to the debtor of the tax.

If payment of the road tax for the vehicle in question has been outstanding for:

  • fewer than 60 days: the Grand Ducal police and customs and excise officials may issue a fine of EUR 74;
  • more than 60 days: the Grand Ducal police and customs and excise officials may immobilise the vehicle on the public road.

The Customs and Excise Agency (ADA) now offers the activation of the eDelivery function for road tax invoices. All invoices relating to road tax (Autosteier) can now be issued in electronic format (PDF) in the private eSpace on MyGuichet.lu.

To benefit from this service, you must first subscribe to the eDelivery function. Users can subscribe in their MyGuichet.lu private eSpace under 'My data', 'Transport', 'Road tax (Autosteier)'. This step is necessary to receive the ADA invoice in the electronic mailbox of your private eSpace.

Moreover, it is now also possible to receive the road tax certificate by electronic means. You will need to activate the specific eDelivery function for this. Once the invoice has been paid, the tax certificate will be sent and you can print it out and keep it in your vehicle.

Deposits of new documents in the private eSpace will be notified by email.

Parking permit

Many communes now require motor vehicle owners to obtain a residential parking permit for the neighbourhood in which they live. Residents' parking permits are distributed by the commune in question upon submission of a registration certificate.

Online services and forms

Who to contact

National Society of Automotive Traffic

2 of 6 bodies shown


2 of 7 bodies shown

Registration Duties, Estates and VAT Authority

2 of 14 bodies shown

Customs and Excise Agency

2 of 11 bodies shown

Automobile Club of Luxembourg

Related procedures and links

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