Bringing car to Hungary vs. buying other car in HU

Hi all,

In November i am about to relocate to Budapest from Serbia and I own car with Serbian plates.

From the very beginning I will be registered with an address in Budapest for two years. In the same time, I will keep all the Serbian papers.

So, the first dilemma I have is whether it is possible at all to keep my car with Serbian plates (as I read many articles about that famous new law with high penalties for people residing in HU and driving foreign plate cars?

Second thing, if you suggest that it is not the best idea - is it better to register/import my car in HU or to sell it and buy other one in HU?

Many thanks for your help

gbrkic wrote:

Hi all,

In November i am about to relocate to Budapest from Serbia and I own car with Serbian plates.

From the very beginning I will be registered with an address in Budapest for two years. In the same time, I will keep all the Serbian papers...

THis subject has been well covered in these forums.  If you are registered here in Hungary and you are stopped by the cops in a non-HU car, they will check your ID against person registration and give you a warning the first few times.

I don't know if it would work long term but I've heard of people transferring car into a relative's or friend's name, then get the person to give you a paper (or multiple undated papers) giving you permission to drive it.  The maximum (I think) is for a resident to drive a foreign registered car for 30 days in any one year. Of course, you might not get stopped in 2 years and they'd obviously not know (easily) how long you were driving it previously in Hungary. The worst thing is that these papers have to be dated the same day as the day you are stopped. So it's a little inconvienient.

Unless you have a special reason to keep the car, it's probably best to get a locally registered car. As SRB is not in the EU, you will be faced with a lot more bureaucracy than inter-EU transfers. And you will have to buy import duties.

THe HU government has not made intra-EU car registrations easy at all. A car worth say, EUR 3000 could cost you say, EUR 700 to register (depends on the car, CC, Euro rating, age). After registration, it'll still be worth EUR 3000 so the money is just wasted.

If u keep ur serbian docs, ID, etc., why u dont just show thoose to the police in case they stop you? And if they ask, u just came for holiday... I guess this may work... :)

adopapa wrote:

If u keep ur serbian docs, ID, etc., why u dont just show thoose to the police in case they stop you? And if they ask, u just came for holiday... I guess this may work... :)

Won't work if your ID documents are registered in HU with you as a resident. They check by radio if they stop you. Some people with dual nationality can get away with it allegedly by showing the non-registered passport to the cops.

But it seemed to be a good solution :)

adopapa wrote:

But it seemed to be a good solution :)

Yes, "seemed" is the main problem word here.

The cops have digital radios and they enter the ID number into the radio to check records.

Also, they also know when a vehicle as crossed a border in and out because they have ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) on all border crossings including Schengen ones. You can see the cameras when you cross the border. They are at the barrier, about car driver height, with a white dotted area around what looks like a lens. The dotted border is infrared illumination. On some border crossings, the cameras are high up so when they ask you to open the boot, it takes a photo of you and your car.  If you are at a Schengen border, it does not matter if you are travelling at higher speed, the cameras can still get a picture of your number plate and store it in a database or compare it to a watch list.  The only upside is that most ANPR systems can only recognise 30 or 40 country specific Euro sized plates and can get confused by non-EU plates (e.g. Arabic, USA etc). They can also get confused if you travel at relatively high speed, like more than 80 kmh. Not guaranteed though.

So the deadline is: if he must to have a car and if he can allow to himself: buy here a car (with or without seling the presentone)?

adopapa wrote:

So the deadline is: if he must to have a car and if he can allow to himself: buy here a car (with or without seling the presentone)?

Yes - unless the car is something really special.  Hungary does follows the facts of EU membership re: cars but does not adhere to the spirit. They want to punish car imports (from anywhere).

dont worry they will also rip you off if you dont import a car... buying an used car in hungary with hungarian plates they also make you pay a lot to register the car on your name... in this case it depends mostly on the poweroutput of the car (roughly):

70 HP : 60.000 HUF
140HP :100.000 HUF

If you import a car with at least Euro 4 rating its not much more expensive than just to re-register a car with hungarian plates on your name.

For powerful motorbikes it is even cheaper to import them than to  re-register a hungarian one. Hence my next motorbike will be imported as they are in better condition than on the hungarian market anyway :)

TornadoHH wrote:

dont worry they will also rip you off...

If you import a car with at least Euro 4 rating its not much more expensive than just to re-register a car with hungarian plates on your name.

Yes, you'll get ripped off by the government anyway.

The procedure for registering has been made complicated (I believe) that most ordinary (non-HU speaking) people cannot manage it easily without help.

Registering lower cost cars are mostly Euro 3 and more expensive.

Germany is an obvious place to buy quality used cars to import into Hungary. I do not know if DPF (Diesel Particle Filter) retro fitted cars are recognised by the HU government import procedure - a DPF is necessary to obtain Euro 4 standard. I expect they do not accept or  (want to) understand this method of obtaining Euro 4 classification.

The HU government is generally anti-car.

fluffy2560 wrote:

The HU government is generally anti-car.

The logic here is : You need money to buy a car. If you have money they take it from you because they need it to build the Metro 4 line which will be ready in 2078... :D

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