Brits in Kefalonia - Importing a Car

Finally Nicos & Eleni are moving to Kefalonia to be with the Lady O family all year round! It certainly has taken a lot of organising. 

One of the major milestones was how to bring the car and keep it in Greece without it costing a small fortune. When trying to find out, no two answers were the same and Nicos felt like he was going round and round in circles!

But he did it!

Here's how...

The Greek Embassy website states that;

Individuals (citizens of any European Union member State, Greek citizens or persons married to a Greek citizen) that are residents abroad and wish to settle permanently in Greece, are exempt from import duties on their personal belongings (furniture, car e.t.c.). Permanent residence is the place where an individual is resident for at least 185 days in a 12 month period and where he holds personal and professional bonds. The right for domicile transfer exemptions is founded on proof of residence and work of the applicant himself or his family, for a two year period before settling in Greece'

Greek Embassy

This is a once in a lifetime exemption certificate!

At first glance Nicos thought this meant you had to be of Greek origin to be entitled to this exemption, however he had heard/read somewhere on Facebook that an expat could do it, but didn't know of anyone who had actually gone through the process. We'd love to hear your story if you've done it.

Having applied for his residency, he was able to book an appointment with the Greek Embassy in London even though he had not yet received his ID card (his official receipt was accepted as proof of residency). To his surprise he was given an appointment fairly quickly (4 days). 

He had to take with him;

 • Personal Statement (This is done  at the Embassy)

 • Passport or Identity Card and family's members and Marital status certificate or birth certificate of family members (for foreigners) 

 • Residence Card in Greece is required for third country (non EU) nationals

 • Tax clearance (employment history HMRC) or tax clearance notes (P60) for at least the last two years before settling in Greece and certificate of termination of work (P45).

(In other words someone who has just applied for residency, but has lived out of Greece for the last two years)

 • Payroll statements (payslips) at least quarterly per year, monthly detailed bank accounts statements (at least quarterly per year) for the last two years before settling in Greece

. • In the case that the applicant is a company owner or a self-employed person, the necessary supporting documents are defined as follows: company registration, tax clearance (self assessment tax return), invoices, payslips, combined, for the last two years before settling in Greece. 

 • Council Tax Receipts, Public Utility Bills (electricity, gas, water) at least quarterly per year for the last two years before settling in Greece.

 In case of a private use car, motorbike or motorcycle, pleasure boat or private aircraft are transported, documents proving the full and exclusive ownership of the vehicle for a period of at least six months before the application date are required, as well as:

 • Vehicle Registration in the name of the applicant issued by the relevant British authority (DVLA e.t.c.) covering a period of at least six months before the application date.

 • Driver’s license valid for the above mentioned period.

 • Purchase invoice.

 • Insurance policy.


(But Nicos did 3! 😂)

The Greek Embassy were very helpful. The appointment lasted about an hour and a half and cost £103.00 in cash! There and then Nicos was given his exemption certificate.

The next stage was to find a Customs Procedure Agent (which was harder than he thought) to send all of the original documents, together with the exemption certificate to. Nicos eventually found an agent in Patra, Konstantinos Sotiropoulos, who was able to help him through the next stage which was to clear customs.  You may be able to do it without one but it takes a lot of the stress away, especially if you don't speak Greek. 

The agent will need to know if your car is suitable to import by the way of a Certificate of Conformity, which you can apply for directly from the manufacturer. Once you explain to the manufacturer why you need it, they are happy to email it to you free of charge.  

Originally Nicos was asked to take the car to Patra where it would have been quarantined for 2 weeks while the paperwork was being processed, but was allowed to take the car direct to Kefalonia where Nicos liaised with the Customs Office there. This way took longer! It took 3 months for the car to be processed and for each month the local Customs Office charged 80 euros. 

The next step was to take the processed paperwork to the Ministry of Transport. Nicos was lucky to have his wonderful partner Dennis at hand once again to help him. Without someone in the know to guide you, it might be advisable to pay a local customs agent. You will be asked to get an MOT (KTEO which lasts two years). 

The Ministry of Transport will then process the already processed paperwork and allocate a Greek Number plate to your car. This cost 75 euros payable at Eurobank NOT the Ministry of Transport!

But...before you do that you will need to get Circulation Tax (Road Tax) and it's advisable to do this in January to get your money's worth! Tax is payable from January to January irrespective of when you pay for it (Nicos had to pay the full 385 euros for his car at the end of November even though there was only 1 month of the year left!). He also paid for next years tax.

The whole process took approximately 3 months, was hard work with a lot of effort involved and many emails and phone calls but he got there in the end :-)

 and the cost;

  • Greek Embassy London £103.00
  • Custom Procedure Agent 300 euros
  • Customs office 80 euros per month (240 euros)
  • Number plates (Ministry of Transport) 75 euros
  • KTEO (MOT) 55 euros
  • Circulation Tax (Road Tax) 385 euros (But could be more or less depending on the engine size. This was calculated on a 2 litre petrol car)

So, in total it cost Nicos 1560 euros! If you have a smaller engine and don't have to pay twice for Circulation Tax, you could do it for under 1000 euros. But don't forget you will have to get your car to Greece...and that's another story!

Let's Cruise Together!...

Written by Eleni Nicolaou