Buying a used vehicle
 

Buying a used vehicle

Only buy a vehicle from its registered owner

Check the details of the vehicle tax details of the vehicle, any restrictions related to car tax and the details of the owner before completing the purchase.

You should only buy a vehicle from its registered owner in order to avoid any problems concerning right of ownership, motor liability insurance and vehicle tax. If, however, you decide to take the risk and buy a vehicle from an intermediate buyer who has not registered ownership of the vehicle, you should take out motor liability insurance and submit a registration notification immediately, on the day of purchase. In this way, you will at least avoid increased insurance premiums.

There may be vehicles in the Vehicular and Driver Data Register whose period of use in Finland has been restricted pursuant to the Car Tax Act (leasing vehicles imported to Finland for a fixed period on which car tax has been levied according to the period of use). Check with the Tax Administration service to find out if there are any restrictions on the period of use due to car tax.

For further information on car tax, please contact the Tax Administration.

 

You must not drive a decommissioned vehicle

A vehicle may have been decommissioned even if it still has its registration plates attached. You may verify the status of the vehicle here. A decommissioned vehicle may not be driven in traffic before you have submitted a notification of commissioning.

 

Verify the certificate

When you buy a vehicle, you are entitled to receive from the seller either a certificate or part II (notification part) of the registration certificate. You may register the change of owner using the certificate or part II. For further instructions, see the service description for Change of owner.

The certificate verification service will give you the name of the registered owner and information on any restrictions imposed on the vehicle.

 

Always draw up a deed of sale

Draw up a deed of sale or a deed of conveyance for the vehicle in two copies, for yourself and for the seller.

 

Motor liability insurance

Take out motor liability insurance for your vehicle from your insurance company. The vehicle must have a valid motor liability insurance policy for you to be allowed to register the change of owner, unless the vehicle is decommissioned. You must take out the motor liability insurance within seven (7) days of the transfer of ownership of the vehicle.

 

Registration of owner’s details

You are required to register the vehicle within seven (7) days of the transfer of ownership of the vehicle. If you do not register the vehicle within this time, the certificate you received from the seller may expire, and in some case you may be charged compensation premiums for the motor liability insurance.

 

Registration inspection and registration of an undocumented vehicle

The instructions on this page apply to registration inspections and registration of ‘undocumented vehicles’, meaning used vehicles lacking the documents required for the normal registration procedure: the documents required for the registration inspection are missing, or the documents required for registration (such as a history of ownership) are missing, or both. These instructions apply to undocumented vehicles which:

  • have previously been registered and in use in Finland,
  • have previously been used in Finland unregistered and not in normal traffic (vehicles subject to the registration obligation),
  • are imported used vehicles that have not been registered in Finland.

The first thing to do is to find out whether the vehicle is currently listed in the Vehicular and Driver Data Register. To do this, phone the Trafi registration helpline at 029 534 5100, for instance. You may visit an inspection station to have the registration inspection and registration performed.

These instructions do not apply to vehicles currently in traffic use or to vehicles decommissioned after 2 November 2007. These instructions also do not apply to towable devices that were in use in Finland before 29 April 2009. Trafi has issued separate instructions for the registration inspection and registration of towable devices.

Vehicle previously registered in Finland

The vehicle was deregistered before 2 November 2007 and the vehicle details are listed in the Vehicular and Driver Data Register, but there is no consecutive history of ownership for the vehicle

You do not need a registration document or copy of the register card for the registration inspection and registration. After an accepted registration inspection, register the vehicle at an inspection station. If you do not have a consecutive history of ownership (copies of deeds of conveyance) since the last registered owner of the vehicle, you must present written documentation verifying your right of ownership to the vehicle at the inspection station. You should include supporting documentation such as any copies of deeds of conveyance that you may have.

Vehicle details not found in the register

If the details of a deregistered vehicle cannot be found in the current Vehicular and Driver Data Register, you must produce documentation showing that the vehicle was previously registered in Finland.

If you do not have a register document or register card copy for the vehicle, you may order a register card copy from the Trafi document service or the National Archives, depending on when the vehicle was last registered. A fee is charged for this service. You will need the register card copy for the registration inspection and registration. In the National Archive, vehicle details can be found on the basis of the identification number since 1975 and on the basis of the registration number since 1965. Trafi has the details of vehicles that were registered in or after 1989. Details are available on mopeds as of 1 July 1995 and on snowmobiles as of 1 February 1995. More information on how to order documents is available here.

Information on the previous registration of a vehicle may also be found through antique vehicle organisations such as the Historical Vehicle Association of Finland.

If you have a copy of the registration document or register card:

You will need a registration document or register card copy for the registration inspection and registration. After an accepted registration inspection, register the vehicle at an inspection station. If you do not have a consecutive history of ownership (copies of deeds of conveyance) since the last registered owner of the vehicle, you must present written documentation verifying your right of ownership to the vehicle at the inspection station. You should include supporting documentation such as any copies of deeds of conveyance that you may have.

If you cannot find a copy of the registration document or register card, but you know that the vehicle has previously been registered:

If the vehicle was registered before 1975 and no details on the vehicle can be found at Trafi or in the National Archive, you must bring to the registration inspection a reliable written report of the previous use and registration of the vehicle in Finland and documentation of your right of ownership. You should include supporting documentation such as any copies of deeds of conveyance that you may have. In addition to the above, you must present the ‘Information not found’ certificate received in reply to your document order.

If details on a moped or snowmobile cannot be found in the Vehicular and Driver Data Register, and no copy of the registration document or register card can be found, that moped or snowmobile may nevertheless be reliably considered to have been registered earlier if it can be demonstrated that it had had insurance tags attached earlier than 1 July 1995 in the case of a moped or earlier than 1 February 1995 in the case of a snowmobile. In such a case, you must bring to the registration inspection a reliable written report of the previous use of and insurance for the vehicle in Finland and documentation of your right of ownership. You should include supporting documentation such as a copy of the insurance policy and any copies of deeds of conveyance that you may have. In addition to the above, you must present the ‘Information not found’ certificate received in reply to your document order.

After an accepted registration inspection, register the vehicle at an inspection station.

If earlier registration of the vehicle in Finland cannot be reliably proven, for the purposes of the registration inspection and first registration the vehicle must be treated according to the procedure for an imported used vehicle.

Vehicle introduced in Finland but not registered

In certain special cases, a vehicle liable for registration may have been introduced in Finland for a use other than road traffic use. Such a vehicle may have been in use unregistered for instance at an airport, in races, etc.

In such a case, for the purposes of the registration inspection you must present a reliable written report of the earlier use of the vehicle and when it was introduced (append documentation such as a motor insurance policy certificate, a transfer permit or a detailed race history for the vehicle).

Vehicle exempt from car tax:

For a vehicle exempt from car tax, after an accepted registration inspection, register the vehicle at an inspection station. At the registration, you must present a history of ownership, principally since the most recent foreign owner or since the holder entered on the transfer decision or customs clearance decision. If the vehicle was made in Finland, you must present a history of ownership principally since the manufacturer entered on the certificate of manufacture.

Vehicle liable for car tax:

For a vehicle liable for car tax, after an accepted registration inspection, declare the vehicle to the Tax Administration for tax assessment. You must also present to the Tax Administration a history of ownership. Once you have paid the car tax levied by the Tax Administration, you may bring the vehicle to an inspection station for first registration.

If car tax has already been paid on the vehicle, payment must be demonstrated at first registration by presenting a car tax decision (vehicles taxed in 1995 or later) or a customs clearance decision with payment stamp (vehicles taxed between 1975 and 1994). At registration, you must also present an appropriate written history of ownership for the vehicle.

Used vehicle imported to but not registered in Finland

For an imported used vehicle, at the registration inspection you must present the foreign registration certificate for the vehicle or a certificate issued by a foreign registration authority concerning earlier registration of the vehicle.

Notwithstanding the above, Trafi may for exceptional justifiable reasons accept another kind of reliable report as proof of your right to register the vehicle. Trafi may issue a decision, subject to a fee, on your right to register the vehicle in Finland, for instance on the basis of a customs clearance decision if issued before 2003 or if the imported vehicle was bought at an auction held by the Finnish government. In such a case, please send a freeform application with the necessary appendices (e.g. the customs clearance decision or deed of conveyance from the auction) to the Trafi Roadworthiness Unit (address: Finnish Transport Safety Agency, Roadworthiness Unit, PO Box 320, FI-00101 Helsinki; e-mail: kirjaamo (at) trafi.fi). The application must include your address details and other contact details such as your phone in case you need to be contacted for instance for the purpose of requesting more information.

If your report is accepted, Trafi will send you as statement that you must present at the registration inspection with the report form.

Vehicle exempt from car tax:

For a vehicle exempt from car tax, after an accepted registration inspection, register the vehicle at an inspection station. At the registration, you must present a history of ownership, principally since the most recent foreign owner or since the holder entered on the transfer decision or customs clearance decision.

Vehicle liable for car tax:

For a vehicle liable for car tax, after an accepted registration inspection, declare the vehicle to the Tax Administration for tax assessment. You must also present to the Tax Administration a history of ownership. Once you have paid the car tax levied by the Tax Administration, you may bring the vehicle to an inspection station for first registration.

If car tax has already been paid on the vehicle, payment must be demonstrated at first registration by presenting a car tax decision (vehicles taxed in 1995 or later) or a customs clearance decision with payment stamp (vehicles taxed between 1975 and 1994). At registration, you must also present an appropriate written history of ownership for the vehicle.

 

Exceptional cases

I have bought a vehicle from a party that is not its registered owner

You may encounter problems with right of ownership, motor liability insurance and vehicle tax. You should immediately take out motor liability insurance on the vehicle to avoid any further increased premiums. For further information, consult your insurance company or the Finnish Motor Insurers’ Centre. Also immediately submit a registration notification in person at an inspection station authorised to perform registrations.

For registration, you must present a history of ownership since the last registered owner of the vehicle so that the ownership details may be entered accurately. This will also allow any taxes and insurance premiums payable on the vehicle to be correctly levied.

If the vehicle you buy has had its registration plates removed, it may nevertheless still be in the register and commissioned. If it is, it is also continuously liable for tax and insurance premiums. Confirm the registration details of your vehicle and ensure that you comply with your registration requirement. If necessary, decommission the vehicle.

Special vehicles

The use of special vehicles such as rescue vehicles, hearses, veterinary vehicles and caravans involves ownership and control details that cannot be submitted in the online service. To register a change of owner for such a vehicle, visit an inspection station.

I am being charged compensation premiums for motor liability insurance

For further information, consult your insurance company or the Finnish Motor Insurers’ Centre. Compensation premiums are imposed if you have not taken out compulsory motor liability insurance on the vehicle within seven (7) days of the change of ownership or if you have bought the vehicle from a party that is not the registered owner and did not take out motor liability insurance immediately, on the day of the purchase.

Registering vehicles contained in the estate of a deceased person or registering vehicles purchased on behalf of such an estate

No registration notification is required for the Vehicular and Driver Data Register for a vehicle whose ownership passes to the estate of a deceased person. However, a registration notification must be submitted within 7 days of the ownership of the vehicle being transferred from the estate to a new owner in a legally valid transaction.

When a vehicle is registered under the ownership of the estate of a deceased person or when the estate transfers a vehicle to another party, no copy of the deed of estate inventory or any similar document is required to be attached to the registration notification. An individual party to the estate may make the registration notification regarding a vehicle belonging to the estate. An individual party to the estate can also sign the vehicle's transfer document, which is usually the notification part (part II) of the registration certificate. However, it is the signing party's duty to ensure that he or she had the right to hand the vehicle over (sell it).

Further information on vehicles belonging to a deceased person’s estate here.

 

Services

Electronic services

Deed of sale (pdf, in Finnish and in Swedish)

 

Elsewhere on the Web

Tax Administration

 

Contact information

Registration advice
Phone: +358 29 534 5100 (local network charge/mobile call charge)
E-mail: neuvonta (at) trafi.fi

 
 
 
Page updated 03/13/2017