Making it easier to register a car in another EU member state could save €1.5 billion a year, said Internal Market Committee MEPs on Tuesday. They amended a draft law to set a 3-month deadline for re-registering a car in a new country and require EU member states to recognise each others' roadworthiness tests.
The European Commission's April 2012 proposal to simplify the transfer of motor vehicles in EU estimated that it could save at almost €1.5 billion per year for businesses, citizens and registration authorities.
"My report tackles a key problem for European citizens wanting to take advantage of the single market. The new regulation will enable them to re-register their vehicles with less administration and lower costs", said rapporteur Toine Manders i (ALDE, NL).
From three years after the law enters into force, member states should enable vehicle owners to apply online for re-registration, said the committee.
The new law would give citizens three months to re-register their cars or motorbikes when they move their normal residence to a new EU member state.
No duplication of roadworthiness tests
The law would also require member states to recognise each others' roadworthiness test certificates. Further inspections could be made only if a vehicle was seriously damaged or there was a mismatch between the data given in the application and the vehicle register.
In addition, member states should have the option of requiring civil liability insurance as a precondition of vehicle registration, said MEPs.
National or EU plates?
Citizens or businesses moving to another EU member state, and in particular rental and leasing companies, would be able to choose whether to have number plates in national or EU colours (yellow characters against a blue background), provided this is consistent with national rules on the use of EU colours.
To ensure that simplifying car re-registration does not encourage cross-border car smuggling, MEPs backed provisions to step up cooperation among member states' vehicle registration authorities and enable them to access to each others' vehicle registers.
To this end, MEPs recommended expanding EUCARIS, the European car and driving license information system, which is already working in most member states.
The legislative resolution was approved by 34 votes in favour, none against and 3 abstentions. The committee will decide later whether to start informal negotiations with the Council on the amended draft regulation.
In the Chair: Committee Chair Malcolm Harbour (ECR, UK)