Importing a Car to Crete

This Importing a Car to Crete information Page is from the Completely Crete Living in Crete Bureaucracy Section.

The following importing a car advice is produced by the British Embassy in Athens.


Tourists from other EU Member States, whose cars are registered in that EU State, are free to circulate in Greece for a period of six months without customs control. The car registration document and proof of ownership of a caravan or boat is required. Travellers should at all times be able to prove to the authorities when the car was brought into Greece. To qualify for a second period of tax free circulation: either both the car and the owner should be out of Greece for at least 185 days or while the owner is away, the vehicle can remain at a special Customs compound in Greece for the period stated. Greek road tax is payable for all additional periods of circulation.

The entitlement to circulate on foreign plates is strictly personal, consequently only the wife/husband or children may use the car in addition to the owner. After the expiry of the period granted by the customs authorities, the person concerned will be required to either:

1) re-export the car,

2) seal it with the customs for a period of at least 6 months (but no more than 24 months) after which time, provided the owner can show that he/she has been out of Greece for at least 6 months during this time, another 6 month circulation period will be granted, or

3) clear it through customs.

Failure to conform to the provisions of Greek Law as above may result in the Greek Customs imposing fines for each extra day after the expired period. Such fines can be very steep. Under such circumstances, the vehicle is not released to the owner unless he agrees to clear it through customs or export it from Greece. Advice on extensions, transfer or sale of tourist cars in Greece can be obtained from the Directorate for the Supervision and Control of Cars (DIPEAK) at the following address:

Directorate for the Supervision and Control of Cars DIPEAK Akti Kondyli 32 Piraeus 185 10

Telephone No: 210 46 23615, 210 46 26325 and 46 27325


EUROPEAN UNION NATIONALS, who are residents in other European Union Countries for at least two years, who decide to transfer their place of residence to Greece are exempt from VAT and Registration currently levied in Greece on:

cars (owned and used privately)
pleasure craft
mobile caravans

provided that:

a) At the time of application the applicant has not been resident in Greece for more than two years.

b) The applicant has/had been domiciled in another member state for at least 185 days in each year of the three years prior to their initial arrival in Greece.

c) The applicant holds a change of residence certificate issued by the Greek Consular Authorities in the EU State of previous residence. This certificate is valid for use within 12 months.

d) The applicant owned and used the vehicle in the prior EU member state of residence for at least 6 months and that appropriate TAX and VAT has been paid in the country of origin.

e) The applicant is in possession of a 5-year residence permit.

Applicants who are not in possession of a 5-year residence permit should be aware that, usually, the relevant taxes and dues are required to be paid or a bank guarantee deposited for a sum equal to those taxes and dues, until they produce a 5-year residence permit to the appropriate customs authorities.

Within one month from the date of importation, owners of such vehicles must appear in person at the nearest Customs Authority to request exemption from payment of Registration and VAT. The owner will then be granted special Greek registration plates. More analytical information is available on the Greek Ministry of Economy and Finance website on (opens new window). Vehicles entering Greece are also required to undergo a test at a Vehicle Technical Control Centre (KTEO).

Diesel engine vehicles are not permitted to circulate in Athens, Piraeus or Thessaloniki. It is highly recommended that all vehicle owners consult the nearest Greek Consulate for full information prior to their departure for Greece.

A VEHICLE IMPORTED UNDER THE ABOVE REGULATION may not be transferred, leased, pawned or lent, nor it's use assigned in any other manner without prior approval by the customs authorities. In the event of transfer, lease, pawning, lending or assignment of the use of such a vehicle before the lapse of one year, the total amount of tax due shall be collected.

Authoritative information on this special concession is available from the Greek Customs Authorities at:

Custom Regime
Ministry of Economy and Finance
Amalias 40
Athens 105 62
Telephone No: 210 324 5552 & 210 324 5587

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