As a general rule, if you live in Denmark, your car must be registered in the country. If you live in Denmark and own a Danish-registered car, you must also take out the statutory vehicle insurance in Denmark.
Registering a car when you move to Denmark
If you move to Denmark, your car or motorcycle must be registered in Denmark and have Danish number plates. You must pay registration tax to get Danish number plates. You have 30 days to register your vehicle.
There are five steps involved in registering your vehicle:
- Inform the Danish Motor Vehicle Agency.
- Have your car or motorcycle inspected.
- Request a valuation from the Danish Register of Motor Vehicles, or via a private valuation business.
- Pay the registration tax.
- Register your vehicle with the Register of Motor Vehicles and buy new number plates.
You can read more about what you need to do at skat.dk.
Customs and VAT on your vehicle when you move to Denmark
From an EU country
When you import a vehicle from another EU country, you do not have to pay customs duty. However, if the vehicle is new, you must pay 25% VAT.
From a non-EU country
When you import a vehicle from a country outside the EU (such as Iceland or Norway), you generally have to pay customs duty and VAT. The duty is 10% and the VAT is 25% of the invoiced price of the vehicle freight and costs. In some cases, for example if the vehicle is classed as household effects, the vehicle may be imported free of duty and VAT, or at a rate of duty or VAT lower than 10%.
Reimbursement of part of the registration tax when you move from Denmark
You can obtain a refund of the registration tax if you have taken your vehicle out of Denmark and the vehicle has been deregistered in the Register of Motor Vehicles. The export refund cannot exceed the registration tax originally paid on the vehicle. You can read more at Skat.dk.
Driving a foreign-registered car in Denmark
As a general rule, you are not allowed to drive a vehicle with foreign plates if you are resident in Denmark. If you move to Denmark and have a car with foreign plates, you must register the car in Denmark within 30 days of moving to the country.
If you live in several countries, the Danish Motor Vehicle Agency can determine where you are resident.
If you are in doubt about how long you will be here or where you are resident, you can apply to the Danish Motor Vehicle Agency for permission to drive in Denmark on foreign number plates.
However, you may be allowed to drive on foreign number plates for a limited period if you:
- Import a vehicle
- Have loaned a vehicle from a foreign car repair shop because your own car needs to be serviced abroad
- Need to test equipment for vehicles, or test a foreign-registered vehicle. The test must be of a professional nature – i.e. you cannot apply for permission if you wish to test drive a vehicle as a private individual that you are considering purchasing.
In these three cases, you must notify the Danish Motor Vehicle Agency via the form "Driving a vehicle with non-Danish plates in Denmark" at skat.dk before you cross the Danish border.
If you have a car, motorcycle or moped that is used on public roads, it is compulsory to take out liability insurance on the vehicle. This insurance covers you if, as the owner or user of a vehicle, you cause damage or injury to others.
It is optional whether you wish to comprehensively insure your car for loss or damage in addition to the liability insurance. However, if you have borrowed money for the car or bought it on instalments, the insurance company will usually require that the car is comprehensively insured. In principle, comprehensive insurance covers damage to the vehicle as well as theft.
You can read more about insurance at borger.dk and at Forsikringsoplysningen.
Your car must undergo periodic inspections (MOT tests). A periodic inspection is a test to ensure that your vehicle complies with the current rules for the approval and inspection of vehicles.
The two main purposes of vehicle inspection are to check:
- Road safety factors, such as check of the steering, tyres, lights, indicators, reflectors and load-bearing parts such as suspension and shock absorbers
- Environmental factors, such as emissions of exhaust smoke, carbon monoxide and noise.
How often your vehicle will require inspection depends on the type of vehicle you have. For example, an ordinary passenger car must undergo a periodic inspection four years after it is first registered, and every two years thereafter.
The Danish Road Traffic Authority will send you a summons for a periodic inspection eight weeks before the inspection deadline. Once you have received a summons for a car inspection, you must contact an inspection company to carry out the inspection.
You must have a valid driving licence to drive a car, lorry, bus, moped or motorcycle in Denmark. You also need a driving licence to drive with a large trailer. If you are 15-17 years of age, you must have a driving licence to drive a small moped.
You can read about which driving licences are valid in Denmark, how you can obtain and renew a driving licence in Denmark, and how you can exchange a foreign driving licence for a Danish one on the Info Norden page about driving licences in Denmark.
Speed limits apply to passenger cars, vans and motorcycles – there are special rules for lorries, buses and passenger cars that have a trailer attached, such as a caravan. The general speed limits in Denmark are:
- 50 km/h in built-up areas
- 80 km/h outside built-up areas
- 130 km/h on motorways.
Summer and winter tyres
There is no legal requirement to use winter tyres in winter in Denmark. Studded tyres are permitted from 1 November to 15 April.
In Denmark, you must not drive if your blood alcohol content is greater than 0.5. You can be convicted of drink-driving even if your blood alcohol level is below 0.5, if the police assess that you cannot drive safely.
There are no road tolls in Denmark, but you must pay a bridge toll to cross the Storebælt Bridge and the Øresund Bridge.
Who should you contact if you have questions?
If you have any questions about importing and exporting vehicles, or about using a foreign car in Denmark, contact the Danish Motor Vehicle Agency.
If you have any questions about periodic inspections, contact the Danish Road Traffic Authority.
Please fill in our contact form if you have any questions or if you have encountered an obstacle in another Nordic country.
NB! If you have questions regarding the processing of a specific case or application, or other personal matters, please contact the relevant authority directly.