As an EU national residing in Bulgaria, you have to register your car if you are the owner of the vehicle.
In case of a change in the permanent address of the owner to another region/country, the owner applies for re-registration of the vehicle within 14 days of issue of the new identity document.
Time allowed for re-registration of the vehicle
If you change your country of residence to Bulgaria, you have a month in which to re-register a vehicle previously registered in another EU country, starting from the date of issue of the document establishing your permanent residence in the Republic of Bulgaria.
To re-register a vehicle previously registered in another EU country, apply at the Sofia Metropolitan Traffic Police or the relevant Provincial Traffic Police unit, in accordance with the registered address of the owner.
Temporary number plates
If you buy a car abroad, transit registration plates issued in another EU country will be recognised in Bulgaria for the purpose of driving your car in the designated territory and within their validity period.
You can get transit licence plates at any Provincial Traffic Police unit or the Sofia Metropolitan Traffic Police, irrespective of the permanent address of the owner, for EUR 12.00 or BGN 24.00.
There are no exemptions from the obligation to register a vehicle
As an EU national residing in Bulgaria you may use the vehicle registered in your country of origin for 185 days (establishing your main residence in Bulgaria).
You can use your car if you are in possession of a valid technical inspection certiificate and civil-liability insurance for your vehicle.
As a citizen, if you wish to register and use your motor vehicle in Bulgaria, you will have to pay the following taxes, charges, insurance, etc.:
Product tax under the Regulation on defining the procedure and payment of product tax for products, the use of which leads to the generation of widespread waste (OPC);
For passenger cars the municipal council sets the amount of the tax according to engine power, adjusted by a factor depending on the year of manufacture as follows:
1. up to and including 37 kW — from BGN 0.34 to 1.02 per 1 kW;
2. from 37 kW to 55 kW — from BGN 0.40 to 1.20 per 1 kW;
3. from 55 kW to 74 kW — from BGN 0,54 to 1,62 per 1 kW;
4. from 74 kW to 110 kW — from BGN 1,10 to 3,30 per 1 kW;
5. over 110 kW — from BGN 1.23 to 3.69 per 1 kW;
Depending on the year of manufacture the tax is multiplied by the following factors:
Number of years since the factor of production year, including the year of manufacture
- Over 14 years — 1
- 5 to 14 years — 1.5
- Up to 5 years — 2.8
The Municipal Council sets the tax for trailers of passenger cars as follows:
1. cargo trailer — from BGN 5 to 15;
2. camping trailer — from BGN 10 to 30;
For vehicles acquired or registered in the current year the tax is paid within two months of the date of their acquisition, or respectively of their registration, amounting to 1/12 part of the annual tax for each month until the end of the year, including the month of acquisition or registration.
Payment of the tax is a condition for regularity in the yearly technical inspection of the vehicle. Payment of the tax is evidenced by presentation of a document issued or certified by the municipality.
Number plates (foreign nationals residing temporarily in the country are issued blue number plates), mounting, technical inspection, applications, declarations, registration fee, registration certificate, references, vignettes, etc.
Other fees Registration and circulation tax are not necessary for some motor vehicle categories.
The following categories of vehicles are exempt from circulation tax:
- the priority vehicles of public authorities and publicly funded organisations, ambulances and fire engines of other persons, and those belonging to the State Agency for Special Operations for performing activities laid down by law;
- the vehicles of diplomatic missions and consulates under conditions of reciprocity;
- the vehicles of the Bulgarian Red Cross, when used for the purposes of the organisation;
- passenger cars with engine capacity not exceeding 2 000 cm³ and power not exceeding 117.64 kW owned by persons with more than 50 percent disability;
- Electric cars, motorbikes and mopeds are exempt from tax.
- If vehicle ownership if transferred, the new owner does not pay tax if the previous owner has paid until the end of the calendar year.
- No tax is due for vehicles with terminated registration from the month following the month of termination of registration. No tax is due for end-of-life vehicles for which a statutory instrument provides for an obligation to deliver for dismantling, after the termination of the registration and submission of a statement that they were delivered for dismantling.
For vehicles with engine power not exceeding 74 kW inclusive that are fitted with active catalytic devices and do not fall within environmental categories Euro 3, Euro 4, Euro 5, Euro 6 and EEV, the tax for the relevant year set under Article 55 is paid with a reduction of 20 to 40 percent by decision of the Municipal Council.
For vehicles with engine power not exceeding 74 kW falling within environmental categories Euro 3 and Euro 4, the tax under Article 55(1) and (3) is paid with a 50 percent reduction, and for those falling within Euro 5 and Euro 6 it is paid with a 60 percent reduction.
Environmental categories Euro 3, Euro 4, Euro 5, Euro 6 and EEV are certified by providing documentary evidence that the vehicle complies with environmental category specified by the manufacturer.