Buying and selling vehicles in Bulgaria

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Buying and selling vehicles in Bulgaria

Postby Admin » Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:22 am

Buying and selling vehicles in Bulgaria.

The 2nd hand vehicle market in Bulgaria is integral part of the economy of the country. It has two faces basically – cars being sold here between private individuals and / or local corporate bodies, and imported used cars from abroad (mostly from the European Union 2nd hand car dealers). Inseparable part of the vehicle market are the foreign buyers too.
The procedures for locals when buying an used vehicle are simple, but they are different than the procedures for foreigners. The present article will try to make it easier for you if you intend to buy a car from Bulgaria, or to buy a car and use it in Bulgaria. Then this topic is namely for you - but please do not rely on it only, and contact a solicitor in Bulgaria to manage and perform the transfer of the vehicle. As many other valuable goods, some cars are also subject of frauds and theft.
Due to the current financial crisis the perspectives of the Bulgarian vehicle market are limited for car dealers (foreigners or local individuals) and quite reachable for these people who may be seeking for cheap offer. Talking about used cars in Bulgaria and foreigners, there are two types of buyers:
1) Foreign people who have decided to resident in Bulgaria. These are retired foreigners who have bought their dreamed house in cheap Bulgaria, or businessmen who have chosen not to bring their own car from the country of origin, but to buy one here and eventually re-sell it once their job is done.
2) Foreign people (traders or people who want to get cheap offer) who seek to buy vehicle from Bulgaria and take it in their own country where it is quite more expensive to buy the same car. These are mostly the citizens of the neighboring countries that are not EU members yet.
Both of these meet the restrictions of the local Laws – no matter where you are from – a company owner from London or trader with porcelain from Malaysia, foreign individuals are not allowed to own on their names a vehicle here in Bulgaria. This is something connected with the local taxes, which you may never understand. Technically you may buy the vehicle via VAT-receipt or vi contract, which is the usual way of purchasing 2nd hand car where it has local plates, or via VAT-receipt directly from a car-trader (where the car is newly imported). But you won’t be able to register it in the DMV (local Department of Motor Vehicles, similar like DVLA in the UK) here in the short deadlines provided by the Law, respectively to drive it. In addition to this you won’t be able to get insurance for 3rd parties responsibility, which is necessary here. And driving a vehicle with non-proper documents can bring you in serious troubles with the local authorities.
So here is couple of proposals for you (we’ve tried to cover main types of car buyers):
BUYING A VEHICLE:
- If you are foreigner and you are buying car in Bulgaria to use it, you need to buy it on the name of a local company (easy to set on your behalf, please refer to your local Bulgarian solicitor who will advise you further).
- If you are foreigner and you are buying car in Bulgaria with the intention to export it, note than after 14 days from the purchase contract, you should have already exported it, otherwise you will not be allowed to drive it around.
- If you wish to export car purchased from Bulgaria and bring it into your country, please check your local laws for driving car with foreign plates and registration – for example, in the neighboring Macedonia since 30th of September 2010 they do not allow any longer owning a car with Bulgarian plates.
- If you import in Bulgaria a vehicle which you have bought from abroad and which you wish to register at the local branch if DMV, then please ensure you’re holding the originals of: the purchase contract, the previous registration documents, and proper Bulgarian insurance for 3rd parties’ liabilities.
- Please ensure that the total price you are paying, exists on the purchase contract. You do not want to be involved in case where your newly bought car appears to be reported “stolen” in Italy, for example. Here once the police finds the vehicle, they return it to the owner abroad who has reported it stolen.
- Insurance – in Bulgaria it is necessary to have the car insured only for 3rd parties’ liability, although local agents will offer full insurance to you.
REGISTERING THE VEHICLE AT THE LOCAL DMV:
- If you are foreigner, please get a local Bulgarian solicitor to do it – you may not speak the local language or may not have all the needed documents, and you do not want them to refuse to register the car, once you’ve been waiting on the line whole day. But briefly, the needed documents for registration are your company documents, the purchase contract, previous registration license.
- Here the DMV charges 70 lv for registration, and may charge additional 15 lv for investigation Europe wide if they have doubts about the legal status of this vehicle.
POST REGISTRATION PROCESS:
- Note that once your car has got local plates already, you have to declare the vehicle in the local Tax Authorities.
- Note that we have annual council taxes for owning a car. There taxes are to be paid till 31st of January, where you get 5+ discount.
- Always check the expiration of your insurance and always hold a document (usually a valid letter of authorization) to connect you (the driver) with the ownership document of the car. You may be involved in police investigation if you let your best friend’s nephew to drive the car for some time, without any written authorization.
- When you re-sell the car, please ensure you've paid the vehicle annual taxes get the vehicle unregistered from your file at the local Tax Authorities. Here they do not do it automatically so you do not want to be in a situation where you will have to pay your buyer’s annual taxes just because you have lost your sale contact for your ex-vehicle.

Hope we have been helpful to you and wish you good luck with your vehicle deal.

Bulgariandeals Team

lexybam
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Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:53 am

Re: Buying and selling vehicles in Bulgaria

Postby lexybam » Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:54 pm

This information is helpful especially to us the prospective fairly used vehicle dealers. But there is something that is nopt clear in the message. Is it possible to buy car/vehicles from Bulgaria and export it to African countries and yet still make good money from it?
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Re: Buying and selling vehicles in Bulgaria

Postby Admin » Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:21 pm

Hi lexybam,

Exporting is possible, but making good money or not from this depends only on your abilities as a dealer. We are familiar with the legal procedures in Bulgaria and not with the international market of vehicles, so we don't know what are the prices in Africa and whether you can make good profit from selling exported cars there.

Bulgariandeals Team


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