Today, the European Commission presented a proposal for simplifying car registration rules in the EU. The Commission considers vehicle registration problems to be among the main difficulties European citizens face in their daily lives and seeks to improve the regulatory framework for this problem.
The European Commission's memo on the proposal provides some interesting facts and figures, such as:
'- There are more than 300 million registered cars, buses, trucks and vans in Europe. Most of these will not be concerned by this proposal which concerns only the cars, buses, trucks and vans that frequently go across the borders within the EU. It is estimated that 3.5 million vehicles are transferred to another Member State per year.
- In the period 2000-2011, the Commission handled 114 official complaints about car registration problems while the Court of Justice delivered 17 judgments and orders about car registration.
- Three quarters of the public authorities say they contact the registration authorities in the Member State, where the motor vehicle was previously registered, in order to get information needed for re-registration. Moreover all respondents' confirm having problems when dealing with registration authorities.'
The Commission's proposal introduces the principle that a car should be registered in the EU country where its owner lives. Other Member States may not ask her or him to register the car with them, even if the car owner spends a longer period there. According to the proposal, the same principle applies for companies: cars, buses, vans and trucks should be registered in the EU country where the main office is established.
Furthermore, the proposal is considered to be beneficial for the tourism industry: According to the Commission's expectations, car-rental companies will save substantially under the new rules, as they will be able to transfer cars to another EU country during the holiday periods without re-registration. This could result in lower prices for renting a car during the holidays.