Buying a car abroad

We recommend using a car dealer when buying a new or used car from abroad. We have no way of helping you in disputes between to private parties.

Before importing a car

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration is responsible for approving and registering vehicles in Norway, and you should check with them to make sure that the vehicle meets the necessary requirements for approval.

You should check with local authorities where you purchased the vehicle whether there are any export restrictions you need to be aware of, and which export clearance procedures you must undergo.   

Make sure that the license plates and insurances are valid in Norway.

Before signing a contract, you should also check that:

  • You will receive the original service book when purchasing the vehicle
  • All services have been performed according to recommended service intervals.

Ownership and liens

Make sure that the trader’s ID corresponds with the name listed in the registration certificate. If you buy a car from someone who does not actually own said car, you risk losing both the money and the vehicle.

The responsibility of car liens varies between countries. The responsibility can lie with you or the trader. If you are buying a used vehicle and the responsibility lies with you, you should always verify that there are no liens, or other obligations, on the car.

Commercial guarantee

Verify that the guarantee is valid outside of the country of purchase, to ensure that you can have your car repaired in Norway. You can verify its validity in Norway with a Norwegian car dealer.

If there is no legal guarantee on the vehicle, you should make sure to get a commercial guarantee.


Never pay in advance. You should pay upon receiving the vehicle. We recommend pre-scheduling a wire transfer with you bank. This will help ensure that you get to inspect the vehicle and read the terms and conditions before the payment is finalised.

If you purchase a car online, and the trader does not accept credit cards, we recommend paying via an Escrow company, such as PayPal.


Always make sure you receive a written contract, as this is your proof of what has been agreed upon. It is also wise to keep the ad.

Importing to Norway

When importing a vehicle as a private person, you must first obtain customs clearance for the vehicle from Norwegian Customs, then pay the one-off registration tax to the Norwegian Tax Administration, before finally approving and registering the vehicle with The Norwegian Public Roads Administration.

Refund of foreign VAT is a matter between the buyer and seller, and the Norwegian customs authorities or The Norwegian Public Roads Administration have nothing to do with this. You should make written arrangements with the trader in order to obtain a refund of the VAT.


To obtain customs clearance you will need the following documents:

  • Transit document.
  • Invoice or contract of purchase showing the actual purchase price and any freight invoice and documentation of any other duties that have occured for the vehicle prior to crossing the Norwegian border (for example, insurance for the freight).
  • Original foreign registration document and possibly Certificate of Conformity (CoC).


In case of defects, contact the trader to see if the defect is covered by the legal guarantee or the commercial guarantee. If you repair the vehicle without contacting the trader, you may lose your right to complain. 

If you suspect that the trader misrepresented the mileage, you should get an independent condition report. Even though an incorrect mileage is a clear defect, it can be difficult to prove and to compensate the loss.


If you are unable to solve the issue with the trader, you can forward your complaint to ECC Norway.