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How to Register a Car in the Czech Republic

Discover how to register a car in the Czech Republic with these instructions for new, used, or imported vehicle registration.

Register New, Used, and Imported Cars in the Czech Republic

In this guide, we share how to register a car in the Czech Republic. Whether it’s a new car, used, or an import, we have you covered. Read on to learn what documents, certificates, and types of inspections you need for CZ vehicle registration.

New Car Registration in the Czech Republic

Let’s begin with how to register a brand-new car in the Czech Republic. Here, the process is similar to vehicle registration of used cars, although with a few less steps.
To register a new car, you need the following documents:
  1. Car insurance;
  2. Confirmation of Inspection;
  3. Registration certificate, COC lists, and invoices;
  4. Czech Residency Permit.

1. New Vehicle Insurance

First, you always need to arrange car insurance in the Czech Republic for a new vehicle before you pick it up from the dealership. In most cases, the dealership will have insurance on offer, although you can choose to get insured on your own.
You never know what can happen when you drive away from the car lot. This is why in the Czech Republic it’s mandatory to have insurance before getting behind the wheel.

As your car won’t have any registration certificate or CZ plate numbers yet, it will be insured under a VIN code number. Be sure to notify the insurance provider with the plate number after registering the car.
Also, since 2020, the Czech car insurance laws have changed, with so-called “motor insurance green cards” no longer in use. Now, proof of insurance is on black-and-white slips which you can download and print yourself.

2. Confirmation of Technical Inspection

Even with completely brand-new cars, all vehicles must undergo at least a basic technical inspection. You can do this through the dealer or with an independent service.
The inspection must be no older than 15 days from the date of registration. After this, your next required inspection must be completed 5 years from the initial registration.
  • Note: Certificates of light inspection are not necessary if buying a new electric vehicle.

3. Car Registration Certificate, COC Lists, and Invoices

Next, a dealership can arrange a registration certificate for the new car, or you can easily do this on your own. If the dealership does not provide registration, you’ll need either a sales contract or invoices to prove car ownership when registering.
Also, be sure the dealership provides a certificate of conformity (CoC) list with your new vehicle. The CoC is like the birth certificate of your car, and it makes registration after sale easier for future owners. It is also required documentation for exporting the car to different countries.

4. Czech Residency Permit

Finally, with any new car, you need a Czech residency permit even if you have an EU passport. If you do not have a Czech residency, you can register a car under your trade license or your company’s name.
However, registering a car under a trade license or company makes it a business vehicle, and comes with several disadvantages.
  • Car insurance is more expensive.
  • Parking permits are also more costly.
  • You have to pay road taxes, unlike with personal vehicles.
The only advantage to registering a car as a company vehicle is generating business expenses. After 5 years, you’ll be able to partially deduct these expenses, although this might not be as tax-friendly for trade license holders.
It all depends on whether the yearly deductible is higher than 60% of your gross income. If not, we recommend using the 60 / 40 reporting method instead of deducting real business expenses.

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Used Czech Car Registration and Ownership Transfer

Registering a used vehicle in the Czech Republic follows a similar process to that above for new cars. You will however also need the original car certificates, as well as power of attorney from the seller.
  1. Proof of Czech Car Insurance - Keep in mind that you can purchase car insurance under your name before you have official ownership of the vehicle.
  2. Certificate of Vehicle Registration - Obtain the original car certificate and the car ID card from the seller. Ownership will be changed after you transfer the car to your name. After registration, you will also get a new Vehicle ID Card.
  3. Light Technical Inspection for Ownership Transfer - Arrange a light technical inspection with confirmation no older than 15 days from the date of the registration application. For cars older than 5 years, we suggest a full inspection. A full Czech car inspection will be valid for 2 years and is represented by a red sticker on the back plate numbers.
  4. Czech Residency Permit - Here you can also use your trade license or company name if you don't have a Czech Residency permit. Before registering the car under a company name or trade license, you should consider the additional expenses for higher insurance or road taxes.
Need help with registration? Contact us.

Beyond these, you’ll also need a power of attorney from the seller. This must be authorized at the post office or through official notary services. With power of attorney, you have the ability to fully represent the seller.

A sales contract or invoice is not necessary for ownership transfer. Do keep in mind, however, car ownership must be changed within 10 days after purchase. For late registrations, fines can be up to 50,000 CZK.

NOTE: Technical inspection is valid for 2 years and the inspection document has 1 year validation. If the car has an inspection document from a previous owner that is not older than 12 months, then you don't need to do new inspections with the purpose of the ownership transfer registrations.

Vehicle Registration of Cars Imported from within the EU

Registering a New Vehicle Imported from within the EU

What about registering a new vehicle you have imported from within the EU? Simply follow the same process as registering a brand-new car in the Czech Republic.
  1. Obtain Czech Car Insurance - Just as with any new car, remember to do this before you pick up the vehicle and get behind the wheel.
  2. Get confirmation of light technical inspection - Be sure to arrange this through the dealership. The inspection must be no older than 30 days from the date of registration and must be completed again after 5 years. Note: this is not necessary for new, electric cars.
  3. Provide registration certificate, CoC, and invoices - If no registration certificate comes with the new car, you’ll need to provide a sales contract or invoices to prove ownership.
  4. Show Czech Residency Permit, Trade License, or Company - If registering a personal vehicle, you’ll need a Czech Residency. To register a business vehicle, you can apply with a trade license or a company name registered in the Czech Republic.

Registering a Used Vehicle Imported from within the EU

For registering a used car imported from within the EU to the Czech Republic, you need the following documents.
  1. Proof of Insurance - Here, you need insurance through a Czech insurance provider. Your car won’t have any registration certificate or plate numbers, but will initially have insurance under a VIN code number. Notify the provider with the plate number after registration.
  2. Original Vehicle Certificates - Submit all original car certificates from the vehicle’s country of origin when applying for registration. You will not need to provide sales contracts, invoices, or power of attorney.
  3. Confirmation of Inspection - For cars newer than 5 years old, you will need to submit a confirmation of light technical inspection. If older than 5 years, you must complete a full inspection that will be valid for the next 2 years.
  4. CoC Lists - Providing a COC list is not mandatory, but it can have an impact on registration fees. If not provided, the Inspection office has to request a car parameters protocol from the car manufacturer.
  5. CZ Residency Permit - To register a personal vehicle, you must prove Czech Residency. You can also use a Czech trade license or company name to register a business vehicle.

Car Registration for Imports from the UK and Switzerland

As for imports from the UK and Switzerland, car registration in the Czech Republic is similar to above. However, sometimes there might be a Customs Duty tax. This is because both countries are not a part of the EU.
There is however an exception when importing cars from the UK & Switzerland which you have owned for at least 6 months. In this case, submit proof of ownership to avoid Customs taxes.
With right-hand drive vehicles, such as those from the UK, it’s also necessary to get headlight homologation / type approval. This approval is a certificate proving the vehicle meets requirements for driving in the Czech Republic.

Car import taxes

The is no import tax for used vehicles that are imported from all EU countries.

There is no import tax for New cars imported from the EU but you should pay the 21% Local VAT. But it doesn't mean a Higher car price value because you will buy the car in another EU country without VAT. For Example, you buy a brand new car in Germany and since the car will be imported to another EU country, the seller will sell you the car without German VAT. So, you will buy a car without VAT in Germany and once you import the car in the Czech Republic you will pay only local Czech VAT on top of the purchase price.

The cars with under 6,000 km are considered new cars and you should pay Czech VAT which is 21% while registering them.

For the used cars that are imported out of the EU to the Czech Republic, you should pay an import tax. Only the exception for import tax is proof of car ownership of at least 6 months before importing the car.

For Vehicle Registration Assistance in the Czech Republic

Need assistance registering a vehicle without all the hassle? Our team at Pexpats can help! We provide both local car registration services and import vehicle registration services. Our packages cover the entire process, allowing you to save time & skip all the bureaucracy. Contact us today and we’ll guide you through how to register a car in the Czech Republic in no time.

Czech Ownership Certificate

Starting from 1.1.2024, Czech-registered cars will not have a big certificate( also called big Technický průkaz) anymore. Big certificates used to have all car technical information, car inspection history, and information about previous owners. All this information is digitalized and registration and inspection offices have it in the state database.

In case you bought a Czech used car with a big car certificate and transferring it to your name and want to keep the certificate, you should propose a registration office during the ownership change process.

They will invalidate it by cutting the corner of the document.
You might still need it for a car inspection at an office where there is no internet connection or in case of technical issues, as you already have all the car information on the paper certificate.

Let us arrange your car registration - contact us.

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