residence permit needed for buying car?

Hi, a bit confused now... For buying a (new) car in Greece, do you need a residence permit if you are already a EU-national? Planning to buy one as soon as we have moved, and don't want to wait until we have obtained the residence permit. We do have a Greek tax number already.

Some websites say residence permit is only needed for non-EU citizens, other websites say you always need this. Unfortunately i can not find the official information.


Good evening Matthijs,

For this procedure (buying a new car in Greece), you need:
European Citizen Card (Conditions for legal residence and work of European citizens in Greece).

"Citizens of European Union countries, unlike citizens of third countries, can enter Greece with a valid identity card or passport, without the need for an entry visa or other equivalent wording. Upon entry, they can stay in Greece for up to three months without any conditions or formalities.

For European citizens, however, who wish to stay in Greece for a longer period and have access to social and other benefits, it is required to meet the requirements of Directive 2004/38/ΕΚ, which have been incorporated into Greek law through the Π.Δ. 106/2007, as in force today.

In particular, European citizens wishing to reside in Greece for more than three (3) months must register with an application submitted to the Aliens Department of the Police Authority of their place of residence. Their service issues a relevant registration certificate, which is issued free of charge.

For the registration and their legal residence for a period of more than three (3) months, the citizens of the EU state. must meet the following conditions:

• be employed or engaged in independent economic activity,
• to have sufficient resources for themselves and their family members, so as not to burden the social welfare system of the country during their stay,
• be pupils or students in a public or private educational institution.''

Hi Eugene, thanks for your reply. Although i still have my doubts, reading on the EU-website: 'As an EU citizen, you are free to buy or sell a car anywhere in the EU.'?

Dear Matthijs,

About: ''For this procedure (buying a new car in Greece), you need:
European Citizen Card (Conditions for legal residence and work of European citizens in Greece).''

This information is not from the internet nor personally from me!

Because of my job, I work with many companies and people, I contacted a Hyundai dealership manager and he gave me this information.

You are Dutch and as such an EU national,you dont need a residence permit,you do need to register yourselves if you reside here for more than three months,you can buy a new car,second hand car,if its new it says on line that the dealer will most likely register it which would be easier for you.Probably best to have a Greek speaking person with you if you dont know Greek.Those...following conditions... I have never heard of,you cant burden the state here as unless you are paying in to anything the state offers you will get nought anyway,so the state wont bother you,They think its your matter,not ours.I was an EU citizen until recently being British,for many years and I was never asked about any of those said conditions.You are lucky to be an EU citizen and it will serve you well in your rights to travel and live within the EU without any hassle.

Thank you both! It seems that 'European Citizen Card' is in effect the same as a temporary residence permit. I also had contact with a car dealer, and it seems that for buying a car the residence permit is not necessary, but for registering it is.

@concertina; also a Dutch national need a resident permit; like you say i have to register if i stay longer than 3 months, and the result of this registration is that i will obtain a residence permit.

Why would you need a residents permit if you are an EU citizen,a registration card after three months...yes...When I was an EU citizen,being British never had or needed a residence permit only a registration card for living here after three months and I am here for twenty years.Now I have a residence permit as I am no longer an EU citizen ?????

Well, this registration card is in fact the same as a residence permit, as i understand it. For both are the same requierements (income/sufficient funds, healthcare insurance etc) needed.

"If you wish to stay in the country for more than 3 months, you must contact the police station of the area in which you are residing to obtain a registration certificate. A residence permit confirms your right to stay in the country as an employed person who is an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen. Essential requirements for residing in Greece are to be in employment or in possession of sufficient resources. If the conditions are met, a residence permit is issued for 5 years and may be renewed."

So if i have to apply for 'registration' or 'residence permit', i think it ends up being the same, as i can not find any difference in this.

I think you are totally correct,you certainly know your stuff.

Hi Eugene!,

As an aside I wanted to thank you. This is very eye opening information. I was under the impression that being an EU citizen was similar to being a citizen of the USA.  Moving from State to State is a private decision; there is no government involvement!!  Yet within the EU, this is not the case! It's more like moving from country to country!!! This is not the EU that I anticipated! It does not bode well in the effort to create the USE as was envisaged early in her establishment!

Pour vivre plus de 3 mois sur le sol Grec, travailler ou acheter une voiture il vous faut le numéro afmi ou numéro fiscal

If you are staying in Greece longer than 3 months you will need a residence permit. Even if you are an EU member.

I went through the process last year.


Ingrid,I see your profile says you are English so that would be why you need a permit to stay here,like myself,even though I am married to a Greek citizen.And that permit allows me,you, to live or roam around any other member state country.Someone who is a citizen of any EU country has the right to live in another EU country under of course certain conditions,Spain requires certain things even though the person is EU.In Greece you will simply register yourself if staying more than 3 months.A registration card id absolutely not a RESIDENTS PERMIT.For some things as we know you must have a tax number and address.My registration card was swapped for a ten year permit,renewable,you only get ten years if you lived here more than five years before Brexit,less than that you get five year permit,renewable.Now of course applying gets more tricky because there was a time limit on applying.As an EU citizen one can buy a car,I think British must do something new about their license if they want to buy a car here,Im not sure.If you are EU living here you dont need to run along to anybody to show your bank account etc..nobody cares,they only care if you have the legal right to be here.

Thanks for the reply. Is it an easy process if I have an EU passport?

Whoa there, guy and girls! I think we're conflating buying a car and having a residence permit.
Consider the following case :  you might wish to buy a second hand car in Greece while never staying there for more than 3 months at a time. Because you're not staying there for more than three months at a time, you don't need a residence permit or certificate. Therefore, when you buy a car, you won't be able to present the latter because you haven't got one because you don't need one.

You are wrong there. You can indeed buy a car, but you have to register the car to be able to drive it. And for this registration, you will need a residence card.

Obviously you can buy a car, that goes without saying - the topic was how you register it. And there, dear Friend, you are not correct. You cannot even get a residence permit for Greece if you stay for less than 3 months. You cannot supply that which you can't get. And you, as a foreign resident and staying in Greece for less than 3 months every time, can register a car there; you simply supply your tax number and if you have an accountant who deals with your yearly Greek tax declaration the registration authorities will take his/her address.

Sorry Squeler, perhaps you have not been in the situation as described. Where you say i am wrong that you can not even get a residence card when staying for less than 3 months, it is actually you who are wrong. I am staying in Greece now for 5 weeks, and i already have my residence card. So your 'cant supply what you dont even have', is just not correct in this case.

It wouldnt be a...residence have,it would be a registration card,you are an EU member so you dont need a...residence card...only to register yourself as living in Greece at the present time which must be done up to a 3 month period or there abouts.AN EU MEMBER DOES NOT NEED A RESIDENCE PERMIT TO LIVE HERE,only a registration card.

Can I buy and register a car in Greece in my name as I'm not an resident of a EU country.
What do I need as already have a non-resident Greek tax number but no Greek ID or registration card.
I'm planning to go there for 3 months a year so it would be handy to have my own car

@KiwiAlek Hi,it looks like you need a residence permit to register a car so thats out,but walk into a car showroom and ask,they of course might say...oh you buy it but then later you find you cannot register it.When you are here on one of your trips walk into your nearest KEP office and ask them,they speak English.It would be difficult to keep a car here as every so often one has to take the car in for emission tests,a letter comes from the government office and you would not be here.Why not just get around on public transport or ferry boat.

Hi Alek
It's possible that concertina's right when it comes to non-EU nationals, but if you were an EU-national you would NOT need a residence permit to register a car here in Greece. You would - as a EU-national - only need a residence permit if you were to stay in Greece for more than 3 months at a time.
In any event, you would need an address in Greece; that address could be that of your tax accountant (I assume you have one since you say you have a Greek tax number (AFM).
Concertina is correct when he/she says that there is a yearly emissions test; there is also a biannual technical inspection (if the car is older than 4 years). However if you come at roughly the same period every year that should not be a problem for you. One assumes you would be capable of remembering when those inspections are due, hence not being here to receive the reminders from the govt (if such actually are sent) should not be a problem either.
Good luck!
I forgot : you get round the first objection raised by concertina by getting the garage which sells you the car to take care of the registration formalities; you only pay the garage once the car is presented to you with brand new number plates and the necessary documentation (eg logbook).

@Squealer Hi Squeeler,Alec is a Kiwi,not a European,doesnt it get so complicated,I just want to say...yer...yer..I have rights to be here,yes,I will go where ever I like,dont bother me but then comes...your papers madam...what papers?will the Daily Mail do or the Sun?Cars are so expensive anyway,and yes they send a message on my husbands phone to bring it in for emissions check,they are very hot on that,theres no escape.Sometimes as we leave Hithari to get on the top road for corinthos direction they have a mobile unit waiting there to catch people.they test your emissions and want to see your test results so dont think its lassez-faire like some things in greece cause its not.

Thank you for that, concertina.
I was aware that KiwiAlec wasn't an EU national, which is why I started my post by writing "It's possible that concertina's right when it comes to non-EU nationals...".
As for emissions checks, I'm sure you're right, but if you re-read my post carefully you'll note that I was merely suggesting that those yearly checks do not seem to be a very convincing practical obstacle to our Kiwi friend purchasing a motor vehicle here in Greece.
I think the fundamental difference between our approaches is that I'm trying to be helpful in a "positive" sense whereas you're trying to be helpful in a "negative one".
PS - I would never accuse any public authority in Greece of being laissez-faire! Not even when a couple of motor cycle police waiting at a red light right next to one or more other motorcyclists not wearing the mandatory crash helmets..... :)

@Squealer Squeeler,they say...beware the hands that press the keyboard without first consulting with the BRAIN...Negative it may seem to you,have you ever lived in Greece?I have been here twenty five years and I believe its better to be in reality and tell things as they really are and not lead people up the garden path just to boost my image so that they like me,however I usually try to boost people in their efforts to live,work, visit Greece and I tell people to keep trying,dont give up,my hundreds of posts will bear witness to slow down with your comments and learn to be polite and kind,thats what is all about.

Judging by your last two somewhat intemperate posts, concertina, you don't seem best placed to advise other people to "learn to be polite and kind", do you?
Perhaps you're going through a difficult patch, though, in which case I'll understand and not think worse of you.
Over and out for the time being!

@SquealerThankou Squeeler  for your post,it was helpful,welcome to the forum,we look forward to more input from you soon,meanwhile you stay safe where ever you are on the planet,hopefully you are not caught in the cross-fire of any live ammunition somewhere in these troubled times.


Yes, I'm well, thank you, concertina - no live ammunition where I am, just blanks! :)

Keep well now and do keep posting, your contributions are always worth reading and have surely helped many people.

@Squealer Thankyou Squealer,most kind


Based on your style (of writing, I mean), I believe we might actually have met. Do you frequent - or have you frequented - YaBanaki beach at Varkiza, by any chance?

@Squealer Hello Squeeler,I dont frequent the east side of Athens,I was a few times in Loutsa which I loved the sandy beach,people surf there a lot,I stayed for a month years back in Markopolo,it was dreary I thought but kind people,I wrote one of my best poems there though.I have a tiny cottage in Pissia mountain village above Loutraki on the Gerania mountain range,there is a sea fed lake nearby which is wonderful,with ancient sites around.I went to a church even further up on the mountain last weekend,rough track road,kind of strange churches in the middle of nowhere,built in the seventies.The wild flowers were incredible.There is a mountain village I want to go to above Corinth called ..Mana...looks amazing.There is a valley as you come into Megara,its where they were going to put the new airport but it gets too foggy there,in summer when the grass has turned yellow it reminds me of the film...Out of Africa...If you have not ventured over this west side you should,its so green,they lost much forest though two summers ago close by on the gerania mountains and its now a crying shame to see the devastation to the trees and driving through the area recently I have realised that without trees this planet is not worth living on.

Hello there,

Can you please help me to understand what and when I have to do to register my car in Greece?

I came to Greece with my car with polish plates.
From one side I know that for 6 months this car can stay in Greece without any issues. Do I need to fill in any form with arrival date?

I also would like to register this car in Greece. I am EU citizen, I have tax number but I worry coz I dont have address in Greece. I am staying with my partner in his house and i dont really know how I can proof this (also there is no particular address just a village name and post code).

Can you suggest what kind of documents i need to prepare and where I can obtain them to be able to register my car?

Thank you

@asagnieszkastanczak Is your partner greek?if so,they should help you,go to your nearest KEP office,they speak English.

@ Agnieszka

Czesc! and welcome to Greece!

Unless your partner is Greek and has a lot of free time and patience and is prepared to go backwards and forwards, I would advise you to get an agent to do the job for you. Mine took my papers and did everything necessary, including getting the number plates. For a modest fee, of course.
By the way, it would be good if your car's Technical Check Certificate (in English: MOT, in French : contrôle technique) is still valid.

The question is, of course, this :  the KEP will certainly tell you what you have to do, but will they do it for you? If not the latter, it's still Agnieszka (or her partner) who will have to do the running about.

@Squealer We have all had to "run about"we all have suffered,thats the way it is Im afraid,But with a Greek speaking other half things are slightly easier,we hope.


my point was that we don't all have to run about - if you have an agent to do the running about for you!

Would be interested if you would tell Agnieszka if the KEP just tells you what to do or whether it also does it for you (submitting docs to the vehicle registration service, etc..).

Many thanks in advance, concertina.

@Squealer Im not sure about vehicles,we recently needed a paper for our property and KEP got it for us,they said it would be a month but in fact it came back sooner than that.You dont know until you go in and ask.Of course it would be great to pay someone to do all these things for us but that depends on someones finances.I would certainly pay to go through getting citizenship  paper-work done but same thing availability.

@concertina Perhaps you can tell details of who your agent was/is,might be helpful to someone.You could always private message.