Your Guide To Buying a Car in Sweden

The car offers great convince and flexibility if you are living in Sweden, especially for someone in the countryside. Foreigners residing in Sweden usually don’t have issues with buying a car. While prices might be higher than you used to in a home country, it’s not a big deal to purchase a vehicle as a foreigner in Sweden.

To buy a car in Sweden, you must be over 18 years old. There are no special requirements for foreigners who want to buy a vehicle in Sweden. Whether you’re buying a new or used car, formalities are involved, including transferring the ownership, etc.

This article is your guidance on everything you need to know about buying a car in Sweden, the requirements, and the step-by-step process. Read on to find out how to buy a vehicle for use in Sweden or export. Learn how much owning a car in Sweden will cost you every month in our in-depth guide.

Can a foreigner buy a car in Sweden?

Foreign nationals can absolutely purchase a car in Sweden for use within the country or export. Moreover, you don’t need a Swedish driver’s license as long as you are 18 and agree to be registered as a car owner in Sweden.

You can buy a car in a similar way as you would in your country – just find a suitable vehicle and pay for it! You can read everything about owning a car in Sweden on the official Swedish Transport Agency website.

Yet, when buying a car in Sweden as a foreigner, you might face financing limitations since you will need a long-term residence permit to obtain a loan in a bank. As long as you have a budget for a new vehicle, you are good to go.

Full-time employees with a residence permit in Sweden have great chances of getting a car loan from local banks.

Nonetheless, foreigners, especially non-EU citizens who don’t have Swedish ID, will need to go through several bureaucratic processes to get a car loan in Sweden.

Check out the best websites to find a car in Sweden.

Buying a car in Sweden as a foreigner: The process

Buying a car in Sweden as a foreigner isn’t challenging, provided you pick a vehicle wisely and complete the necessary paperwork. There are almost no requirements for purchasing a car unless you want to apply for financing.

Here are your steps to follow when buying a car in Sweden:

  1. Check the market and pick the car
  2. Evaluate the car
  3. Conduct a purchase contract
  4. Get an insurance
  5. Pay for the car
  6. Report the change of the ownership

The most rigid process is to acquire a registration certificate. Here you will need to have an address in Sweden.

If you want to finance the car, you might also need the following documents:

  • Valid ID, which can either be a passport or ID card
  • Valid driving license
  • Swedish residence permit
  • Income source, e.g., job contract

That said, when buying a car in Sweden, you should consider the following:

The step-by-step process of buying a car in Sweden

1. Search for a suitable car

You can choose from a new or used car. New cars are pretty costly in Sweden. The option you’ll settle on depends on your budget and the vehicle’s condition.

You can search for the desired car on one of several online marketplaces like Blocket.

2. Find financing

Applying for a loan as a foreigner can be challenging. You will need to have a Swedish residence permit or EU passport to get financing in Sweden. Nonetheless, check out comparison websites like  Lendo or Advisa for a personal loan.

3. Choose a seller

There are several places you can purchase a car in Sweden; some of the most common is from a private seller or a dealer.

Buying a car from a private seller

Buying a car via a private deal is a very popular option. You will save on the dealer’s markup. You can find private car sellers online on one of the few largest car marketplaces in the country. When buying from a private owner, make sure you do your due diligence and sign a purchase agreement.

Ensure you get all the necessary documents such as the registration details, vehicle report, and a technical report certificate if the car is above four years old. Pay using a third-party service like Escrow if the seller requests upfront payment.

Buying a car from the dealer

There are plenty of dealerships selling new and used cars in Sweden. Some sell specific brands, and others offer multiple brand options. If you’re buying a used car, ensure that you get it from a reliable dealer. Besides, keep in mind that dealers will charge about 10% extra.

Some dealers handle the paperwork like registration, maintenance, and insurance for you at an additional cost.

4. Take precautions

 After choosing your car, take time with the paperwork and do a test drive. Ensure you receive:

  • A purchase agreement. This includes your details, the seller’s information, the terms of sale, vehicle information, and the warranty duration.
  • The vehicle’s report if it’s a used car. Vehicles undergo inspections every few years. Run the Vehicle’s Identification Number or registration number on Transportstyrelsen to find details on mileage and accident history. If the vehicle is over ten years old, ensure it passes a technical control test to know if it fulfills the state’s requirements.
  • Previous owner details which you can find on Transportstyrelsen – Swedish Transport Agency.
  • Previous registration certificate if you’re buying a used car because you’ll need it for your registration.

5. Get an insurance

Make sure you get an insurance before bringing a car home. By law, all cars must have motor insurance in Sweden. It covers all personal injuries if you cause an accident with the vehicle. You might also add additional coverage for other types of damage.

When buying a car in Sweden, you can choose from several insurance options, such as half or full coverage or only motor insurance. Most car dealers won’t permit you to drive the car out of the dealership without insurance. 

The insurance will cost more for an older car, so most people find half insurance a viable option. Getting full insurance will be more beneficial if the vehicle is relatively new.

That said, average car insurance always includes mandatory traffic insurance. It compensates for all personal injury and property damage caused by the car. 

Traffic insurance

In Sweden, it’s mandatory to have at least traffic insurance. Traffic insurance compensates personal injuries to drivers and passengers in the car, regardless of who is responsible for the damages. 

It also pays for personal injury to people outside the vehicle and damage to property caused by the car. The deductible is often 1,000 SEK.

6. Report the change of the ownership

When a car changes owners, you and the seller must sign a registration certificate of change of ownership and submit it to the Swedish Transport Agency. Usually it’s a seller’s task.

Overall, the transfer is a straightforward process. It’s usually can be done online and must be completed by both parties – the owner and the seller. If you buy a car from a dealer, they will do this step for you.

Getting a registration certificate in Sweden

As a car owner, getting all the required registration papers for your vehicle is essential. A registration certificate is issued for every vehicle registered in Sweden. When you buy a car within Sweden, it’s already registered.

Acquiring a registration certificate Part 1 and 2 is very straightforward in Sweden. You will only need your ID and address in Sweden, where they should be mailed to.

You can order a registration certificate via an online service at Transportstyrelsen. They will send you a registration certificate after registering the car or changing any information on the registration certificate.

The registration certificate is free and will be sent directly to your address which is registered in the Swedish Road Traffic Registry.

Part 1 of the registration certificate includes an authorization code for transportstyrelsen.se as well as information about:

  • owner of the vehicle
  • leasing or loans
  • technical and general information about the vehicle

You should use Part 1 to: 

  • license a vehicle for use
  • make an off-road notification
  • order plates
  • order Part 2 of the registration certificate

You also will get Part 2 of the registration certificate, which will be sent as part of changing vehicle ownership. Part 2 of the registration certificate includes the information on the following:

  • the vehicle
  • owner of the vehicle
  • previous owners/users of the vehicle

You should use Part 2 when applying for: 

  • a change of ownership
  • deregistration

Buying a car in Sweden for export

It’s possible to buy a car in Sweden for export. There are a few formalities you will need to go through, the most important of which is deregistering a car from Sweden’s car registry. If you are exporting a vehicle to a non-EU country, you also must notify Swedish customs.

1. Exportation notification: All cars you export permanently from Sweden for use in non-EU countries must be reported to Swedish customs by submitting an exportation notification. You can do it at the nearest customs clearance. For this, present your details, such as your ID number and address.

2. You might also get a customs duty reduction in the country you are taking the car to. For this, you need to obtain exportation declaration documentation. To get this document contact a car manufacturer or the dealer where you purchased it.

They are responsible for issuing a supplier declaration. However, Volkswagen, Audi, and SEAT don’t issue supplier declarations.

3. After you have obtained a supplier declaration, you can buy and complete a goods movement certificate. This shows the car’s origin.

4. Upon completion of the goods movement certificate, ensure that it’s stamped by Swedish Customs when the car is being exported. Now you can present those documents to the customers of the country you are importing the vehicle to.

Car prices in Sweden

The prices for used cars may vary depending on the car model of choice. There are used cars that go for about 20,000 SEK up to 70,000 SEK. For a new car, the price can be anything above 150,000 SEK.

Used car prices

Car modelAverage price
2016 Volvo S60 2.0 D3214,900 SEK
2016 Volvo XC70 2.4277,800 SEK
2012 BMW 5 Series 550i114,900 SEK
2018 Mercedes Benz S-Class 560809,000 SEK
2015 Volkswagen Golf 2.0 R294,900 SEK

New car prices

Car modelAverage price
Chery Tiggo 8 Pro 1.6 DEX Plus 2022 300,370 SEK
Land Rover Range Rover P400 SE 2022728,450 SEK
Ford Transit Connect Passenger Wagon Titanium 2022 279,395 SEK
Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce Ti AWD 2022429,973 SEK
Lexus LS 500 F Sport 2022677,450 SEK

As you can see, cars aren’t cheap in Sweden, in fact there you will some of the highest prices in Europe. Check out this article to learn about European countries where you can buy a car for cheap.

Also read our guide about the cost of owning a car in Sweden.

Best websites to find used cars in Sweden

By now, you have an idea of how to buy a car in Sweden You need to check related marketplaces to find the best deal and ultimately purchase a used vehicle. The largest websites for used cars in Sweden are:

You can also check the smaller ones:

  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Ooyyo.com
  • KvdBil
  • Bily.se
  • Go to a dealer; there is no particular list of dealers; you find one through physical advertisements.

On websites like Bytbil and Autouncle, you can apply the filtering criteria to see the most suitable options.

Once you see a car you like, you can get more information via Billskat.nu and Bilpriser to know the expenses such as approximation of tax, fuel consumption, etc.

Things one should know when buying a car in Sweden

Before buying your dream car in Sweden, you should consider and check some crucial aspects when it comes to cars.

1. Check out Transportstyrelsen for details

Firstly you need to check the registration information of the car you want to purchase. This can be done on the Transportstyrelsen website by keying in the registration number. Here you will find information like:

  • the latest inspection date (Besiktning) of the car
  • next inspection period
  • annual tax amount
  • tax payment month
  • technical data (e.g., engine number, transmission type)
  • vehicle data (e.g., number of owners)

Look out for:

  • Vehicle status (Fordonstatus)

Make sure the vehicle is allowed on roads. If it’s on stands (owners who don’t use the car move the status from allowed to on stands), the owner gets a percentage of the vehicle tax refund which will be transferrable to the new owner to be allowed on the roads again.

  • Inspection before (Besiktigas senast)

Check for the next inspection date. The owner may be selling a car whose inspection is in the next 2-3 months. You can see the next inspection date (Besiktning) on Transportstyrelsen website.

New cars should be inspected 36 months after purchase for the first time, 24 months for the second time, and 14 months after that. Don’t buy a car where the inspection date is coming soon.

When buying, ask for previous Besiktning documents. The documents contain the number of owners, last issued registration certificate, and yearly vehicle tax.

  • Vehicle debts

You can find the car’s unpaid taxes and debts at Kronofogden.

  • Vehicle history

While this information is publicly available, you can save time by looking at sources like Carfax.

2. First meeting with the owner

If you didn’t find anything suspicious during the first step, you can go ahead and meet the owner. During the first meeting, you should do the following:

  1. Ask for the service booklet, if it exists
  2. Ask for vehicle inspection reports
  3. Check for errors on OBD
  4. Check for summer and winter tires, and if all spare rims are the same or threads have worn out
  5. Check for the engine oil level in the dipstick
  6. Test drive and perform basic maneuvers
  7. Whether the car has an engine heater since running with a cold engine drops down the mileage

3. Car insurance in Sweden

Sweden requires all vehicles with a valid registration sticker to be insured, failure to which you might incur hefty fines. After gaining full ownership, you should now insure it as the next step. Insurance for old car costs between 450 SEK and 1,800 SEK per month, depending on the coverage:

  • Mandatory traffic insurance: 450-700 SEK
  • Half insurance: 600 – 1,000 SEK
  • Full insurance: 800 – 1,800 SEK

If you buy a car from Blocket, you will have two weeks’ insurance from Blocket. After that, you must purchase permanent insurance. 

There are different types of insurance. Mainly three types:

  • Full insurance: It will cover everything!
  • Half insurance: It will cover, in case of an accident, your car’s damage, other’s damage, medical, theft, etc.
  • Traffic insurance (Mandatory): You must have at least traffic insurance in order to take your car on the Swedish road. This insurance is the cheapest and won’t cover your car’s damage. But it will cover others’ damage and your medical expense. You will find more information about traffic insurance on the Swedish Traffic Agency’s website (Transportstyrelsen).

You can compare prices (Jämför Bilförsäkring) among different insurance companies on these websites: CompricerBilpriser.

4. Refilling fuel

Fuel prices may differ depending on the different fueling stations. For example, uncrewed stations such as ST1, Ingo, and Preem are cheaper than human-crewed stations like shell and OKQ8.

5. Road Toll

A road toll is a separate cost you may incur if you enter a toll zone like central Stockholm. The toll cameras will auto-detect your vehicle, and you’ll get an invoice from Transportstrylsen. Stockholm’s entrance toll is 35 SEK per entry.

6. Maintenance and servicing

For oil and oil filter change of a 2.4-liter engine, be ready to spend around 1700Kr and about 1,300-1,400 SEK for a 1.4-1.8 liter engine.

Wiper fluids cost 17 SEK per liter when you fill it from the petrol pumps but may cost less, around 6-7 SEK per liter if you buy from a shop and store.

7. Where to service

You can get an online quote from Lasingoo and AutoButler by specifying your inquiry or get the workshop list with costs for services like oil change, brake parts replacement, or AC service.

8. Parking

You can use popular apps for parking such as Easypark, SMSPark, SmartParkAB, and Stockholm Stad for a flexible parking process.

Read our guide about the cost of owning a car in Sweden.

Anna

Anna is an experienced expat and writer. She has been living abroad for over 6 years.

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