Each year, people and businesses in the European Union have to move some 3.5 million vehicles to another member state and need to get them registered according to the national legislation.
However, what should be a simple registration procedure remains a cumbersome and lengthy administrative procedure because of the diversity of rules and the various conflicting requirements.
It takes on average five weeks to complete the procedure and the cost is estimated at €400. Moreover, these problems also represent a significant barrier to the free movement of goods, services and workers, and therefore for growth and jobs creation in Europe.
This is why the European Commission is acting today to dramatically reduce this unnecessary administrative burden. The proposal presented by Vice-President Antonio Tajani would lead to a very substantial administrative simplification with total savings of at least € 1.5 billion per year for businesses, citizens and registration authorities.
The proposal is straightforward and tackles very concrete issues. The re-registration of vehicles coming from another EU country will be limited, for example citizens who work in another EU country using a car registered by their employer will not need to re-register it.
Generally administrative formalities for the re-registration within the EU of cars, vans, buses and trucks will be greatly simplified, for example when moving residence from one EU country to another and when purchasing a second hand car from another EU country. It will also become impossible to register a stolen car in another EU country.
Car-rental companies will save substantially, as they will be able to transfer cars to another EU country during the holiday periods without re-registration. The Commission says this will be good news for tourists as it is expected that renting a car will become cheaper, once today's proposal will be approved.
European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said: "With today's proposal the Commission wants to make it as easy as possible for citizens and companies to move and register cars across borders in the European Union.
“Greatly simplified rules for cross-border car registration and a substantial reduction of administrative burden will bring us a step closer to a smooth functioning Single Market, our engine for growth and jobs."
European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship said: "Twenty years after the entry into force of the internal market it is unacceptable that there are still so many obstacles for citizens and business.
“Our proposal puts an end to many car registration formalities and lengthy procedures. This means substantial savings for rent-a-car companies. Economy as a whole will win, and in particular the tourism industry."
The proposal put forward means an improvement for persons who spend a part of the year in another EU country who are currently often requested to re-register their vehicle.
The proposal introduces the principle that a car should be registered in the EU country where its owner lives, and that all other Member States may not ask her/him to register the car with them, even if the car owner spend a longer period there.