Importing a car from Sweden

Je bent nu in:

Importing a car from Sweden is relatively easy. You can just drive there and because it is an EFTA country (= EC), the RDW must in principle allow a car regulated in Sweden to enter the Netherlands and issue a Dutch registration. Exceptions and exotic (or unsafe) cases aside, of course.

Volvo Amazon convertible imported and driven back from Sweden

Check Swedish registration

For some basic information about a car, you can check a Swedish license plate at Transportstyrelsen (say the Swedish RDW). Sometimes even the mileage is listed with the most recent MOT.

Bringing it to the Netherlands can of course be done by a transporter or on a car trailer, but driving back is of course so much fun.

Drive the car back yourself

There are a number of options for driving a car back yourself (with or without a temporary license plate):

VDC Netherlands

Via the Vehicle Documentation Center you can request a temporary license plate which starts at the moment they create it. You cannot have license plates there that start in the future and are then valid for 5 days or 21 days.

I have no experience with this myself. More information can be found on

Whether or not a 5-day license plate is allowed is, in my opinion, a bit contradictory and I think there is quite a bit of uncertainty about it. Officially, the yellow German is not allowed and the red one is allowed (see also kurzzeitkennzeichen).
The plates with a yellow area are intended for use in Germany, see TUV website, kurzzeitkennzeichen.
Due to EU legislation, you would then be allowed to drive it throughout the EU.
However, as a Dutch citizen you are not allowed to drive in the Netherlands with a foreign license plate due to BPM and road tax evasion (see also on Swedish registration).
Red, yellow, will not make much difference in practice. The question is whether you will be arrested in the Netherlands and how strict they are. I have read about fines of 400 euros and not being allowed to continue driving.
But then a Swedish license plate of the old owner is just as not allowed as a Swedish export license plate and just as not as the temporary German one.


I myself picked up a car driving from Sweden with a Swedish export license plate. If you do that the first time, it’s quite a hassle. You are sent from and back to all kinds of parties. Here’s how I managed it:

  • Use the export request form
    This export request form can be found on the Vägverket website. This also contains the requirements that you must meet.
  • Take out third-party liability insurance
    This is still a bit tricky. A Dutch company probably does not want to insure the car by chassis number. Moreover, not all Swedish insurers (Trygg Hansa, for example) want to insure the export license plate. In the meantime, IF is no longer (cost 600 SEK there). In the meantime, I have heard that you can go to Folksam .
  • Minimum 1 month MOT
    Arrange an MOT that is still valid at least during the period of the temporary license plate. Pay attention to this when purchasing and make sure that this is the case, otherwise you cannot request an export license plate.
  • Let the old owner send everything
    The old owner must then send the completed form to Vägverket together with the insurance certificate, papers and license plates. They have a processing time of about 3-5 working days and then send the (red) temporary plates to the old owner (or another address in Sweden).

The process is based on good communication and trust with the old owner.

More information can be found at Transportstyrelsen – Temporary registration when exporting used vehicles .

Sweden export papers

On Swedish registration of old owner

A third option is to simply drive the car back on the Swedish license plate of the old owner. This is based on even better cooperation with and trust in the old owner. You then drive in the name and insurance of that owner. So make sure that the car is insured! is, has not been suspended and has MOT.

Swedish license plate


More information about this option can be found on the website of the Swedish transport organization (Transportstyrelsen) under the heading “Export” and from there to “Exporting vehicles“.

Tax authorities

In addition, it is wise to apply for an exemption BPM and motor vehicle tax for the Netherlands. Officially, as a Dutch citizen, you are not allowed to just drive a car abroad in the Netherlands.
The exemption is valid for 14 days and can be requested from the Tax and Customs Administration BPM notification.
Officially, this is a notification for rented, borrowed or leased cars. I don’t know if it works/is allowed if you bought the car.

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OldVolvo is a classic Volvo hobby blog by Lars Rengersen.

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