Import rules and regulations for Japanese used cars in Austria

With every passing day, the popularity of Japanese used cars is increasing. Not only in the local market, used vehicles from Japan are popular in almost all countries throughout the world. They are known for their reliability, longevity, quality and safety. It is almost impossible to find automakers other than Japanese makers that can excel in both performance and price at the same time. Japanese automakers have built their reputation on smooth, refined, and perfectly nerve-calming cars. Austria located in the central Europe import many used cars from Japan.


The country does not hold many restrictions for the importation of used vehicles. Importation of left-hand drive vehicles is allowed in the country. Vehicles with foreign license number plates are allowed in Austria only for one year (from the time vehicle enters the country) provided primary residence of the owner is not Austria. If one moves to Austria with the country as the primary residence, then it is allowed to display the vehicle with foreign plates only 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. Then the owner must hand over the plates to the Austrian authorities and replaced with Austrian plates which also require official admittance of the vehicle. At this time, vehicle owner is required to pay “Normverbrauchsabgabe” (NoVA) to the tax office.

Required Documents:

  • Passport & International Driver’s Permit
  • Certificate of Title and Registration
  • Proof of value (Commercial/Purchase Invoice with payment confirmation, purchase agreement).
  • Grundlagenbescheid – A Notice of basis of Assessment, must apply at a customs office at origin.
  • Austrian License plates- Application must be completed immediately, plates from country of origin must also be available.
  • T1 form (if required)
  • Letter from Employer stating length of stay abroad for at least one year.

Duties and Taxes-
Used vehicles imported in the country are subjected to duties and taxes. For duty and tax free importation of vehicle, the used vehicle importer must have owned and used the vehicle abroad for at least six months. The vehicle cannot be sold, disposed or otherwise transferred for one year.

  • A 10% duty on the value of the motor vehicle (passenger cars and other motor vehicles manufactured expressly for the transportation of passengers) will be charged up to the duty limit (purchase price plus delivery costs to the EU’s external border).
  • A 20% import turnover tax will be charged based on the value of the motor vehicle free to destination (purchase price + delivery costs + customs duty amount).
  • A separate tax called “NoVA or a standard consumption tax has to be paid (up to 16 % of the car’s value) if the motor vehicle is licensed with the local tax office at the owner’s place of residence. It depends upon the fuel consumption of the vehicle and on the value of the vehicle at the time of registration.

Shipping Ports-
The major shipping port in Austria is Port of Vienna. For shipping of vehicles, RoRo (Roll-on Roll-off) method is used mainly. However, if requested by customers, more expensive and safe container shipment method is used.


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