Use of cars with foreign licence plates

Principal residence of car owner not in Austria / Permanent location of car not in Austria

Use of a vehicle (or trailer) displaying foreign licence numbers is permitted for a maximum of one year (from the time the vehicle enters Austria) provided the owner’s primary residence is not in Austria. Each border crossing interrupts the time period and the one-year period starts again.

Note: To identify the permanent location of a car the assumption of its location is important. The Austrian law automatically assumes that a car with foreign licence plates and owned by people with primary residence in Austria has its permanent location in Austria until it is proved that black is white. The centre of vital interests normally counts as primary residence. In case of weekly or monthly commuters the place of family residence counts as centre of vital interests.

Principal residence of car owner in Austria / Permanent location of car in Austria

If moving to Austria and declaring Austria as primary residence, the vehicle or trailer may only display foreign plates for a month. An extension of a further month is possible if the car owner shows credibly that an Austrian admission was not possible within one month.
The plates must then be relinquished to the Austrian authorities and replaced with Austrian plates which also require official admittance of the vehicle. In this case vehicle owners are obligated to pay the so called „Normverbrauchsabgabe“ (NoVa) to the tax office.

Normverbrauchsabgabe (NoVa)

  • The common value or the vehicle purchasing price without purchasing tax are the assessment basis of NoVa
  • Tax rate depends on fuel consumption and pollutant emission of the vehicle
  • Tax liability arises with the transfer of the vehicle to Austria, tax is due one month after the transfer
  • Delayed declaration of NoVa may result in a late filing penalty, delayed payment of NoVa may result in a late payment penalty
  • Usage of a vehicle without domestic admittance despite admittance obligations may result in a € 5.000 fine. The vehicle owner also can be impeded from using his vehicle (e.g. take over keys and number plates through authorities)

Note: For the admittance of vehicles without an EU operating permit, an individual permit or, for vehicles with an EU operating permit, data entry in the permit database is required. As requirements can vary individually, please contact your vehicle importer or the vehicle inspection agency directly.

More information about vehicle import to Austria find here.